In the hunt to improve ecommerce stores, we normally see the implementation of other tools, plug-ins and technologies. But, how many of these tools can an ecommerce store add without breaking under its own development entanglement? Let's highlight the case study for Mattress Warehouse (MW) to expand and solve this conundrum using headless ecommerce technologies.
The word headless is a buzzword around the tech community, but to better understand its meaning and benefits, we must dive deeper. We revisit the MW implementation, the technology and financial benefits of a headless ecommerce project. Discover the important factors of what headless eCommerce really means using a real life headless development example and how it increased sales by 50%.
It's important to identify the client and why it's a great candidate for a headless eCommerce solution. Mattress Warehouse is a locally owned furniture retail chain in the southern and eastern regions of the US. With over 300 locations, you can guess that the moving parts and the speed of change between locations are vital to their success.
Throughout the years, as it’s commonly done, they built on the already existing technology foundations that had previously served them well. This is not a wrong approach and can take you extremely far when done correctly.
But, as we usually see, there are new phases of evolution that are necessary in order to keep up with growth. With this in mind, you'll learn these next level upgrades necessary for an ecommerce headless approach.
With Mattress Warehouse’s growing success since its founding in 1989, the amount of ecommerce complexities also mounted. Here are some that needed to be addressed fast:
inaccurate searchability of 5,000+ SKU’s
limited metadata associations
unmatched SKU’s between ERP
low site performance scores
lackluster content management features
somewhat outdated technology
Knowing there were coming changes, Mattress Warehouse took the opportunity to correct technological pitfalls and also implement an omnichannel experience across their 300 locations. A solution that would serve their company and their customers long term. Let’s visit those now.
To start, we mentioned the poor search experience on their previous site, but what were its root causes and how do you fix them? When it comes to a good search experience in an ecommerce store, product data is foundational.
For Mattress Warehouse and their 5,000+ SKUs, we analyzed their entire product lines and sorted, categorized, defined, added, deleted, and created product records that would benefit product organization and product searches.
With these two factors of their online store being well prepared and managed, it has provided a level of ease to all users. It helps internal staff easily manage inventory, and it helps customers experience a fast and accurate search and buying process. Better searches result in better sales.
For Mattress Warehouse, managing and synchronizing product inventory for 300+ stores is not a luxury but a necessity. This is a fast-growing realization for store owners nowadays. For a Shopify and STORIS integration, like the one being used by Mattress Warehouse, guess what factors ERP functionality relies on? The accuracy of product data and product records.
Joint efforts between Mattress Warehouse and our team included massive amounts of data analysis. This allowed the creation of a fully functional product library that also translated its usefulness into a powerful ERP setup.
We should well understand that in order for ecommerce systems to communicate, they must be able to define and share exact product information. This type of synchronization is better showcased for Mattress Warehouse as they fulfill orders or add new inventory.
Their data automatically syncs product availability for customers and organizes inventory metrics for supply managers. Now, inventory, pricing, orders, and order fulfillments now automatically sync between Shopify and their ERP STORIS.
This new ERP update provides a gratifying customer experience and a higher proficiency for backend administrators. From this, we can agree that in order to establish a vigorous order and fulfillment management ERP system, proper data is key. Which is the primary factor in communicating to customers if their product is available, in cart, purchased or shipped.
With the newly implemented data structure, it’s important to maintain the level of accuracy throughout the system’s lifespan. With this in mind, we also added customizations to their Shopify and STORIS integration, which enables tight control over data quality for newly imported products. These are automated checkpoints in the integration software that verify new product data is imported properly using the correct product records.
With the new website overhaul being set in place, the technology platform chosen to house their new online store was Shopify Hydrogen. This method uses API technology to incorporate different data sources that make up Mattress Warehouse’s final custom design. The site layout, the content, and the backend infrastructure are all their own unique pieces of data that come together to form the store.
Utilizing popular technologies such as React, Tailwind CSS and Flowbite allowed us to build exactly what Mattress Warehouse not only envisioned, but needed in order to satisfy business and customer needs.
We met Mattress Warehouse’s goal for a custom page design builder by incorporating Contentful CMS technology. Using this technology, they can create and modify home and campaign specific landing pages with less effort and errors.
With our implementation of Contentful, their headless ecommerce store now incorporates a headless content management system that’s built on the idea of creativity and flexibility. For nearly all ecommerce stores, content can be the difference between a conversion and a store visit.
A custom approach to content was important for Mattress Warehouse to adapt their frontend content to market changes or customer findings through analytics data and research. Their creative director can flexibly layout home page and landing pages with a library of widgets built using Content Models from Contentful. This means faster campaign launches.
Along with the new website launch, other technologies for an omni-experience were developed. One of these is the development of a tablet-based app for in-store sales reps.
The new app enables them to create Draft Orders on behalf of walk-in customers, who then receive text and email reminders allowing them to complete orders online. This app allows location reps to provide customers with a supportive experience by searching for product availability, size, price, and similar products that meet their criteria.
The new application has been able to increase sales by simplifying and widening customer options for in-person shoppers. With the new app technology, they’re able to capture new lead information for a group who would’ve otherwise been unknown visitors. This has enabled new opportunities to share meaningful communications tailored to the customers’ interests.
With the major store infrastructure set in place, it was time to fine tune some custom features into the store. These are common amongst online stores, but it’s the function and value that keeps customers moving along their shopping journey. Here are some worthy mentions:
Finding the best store in proximity to the customer’s location is nothing short of efficient. The store locator makes it simple without interfering with the shopping experience.
Track My Order:
As shoppers, we all understand how important it is to know when orders are expected to arrive. Due to everyday schedules, this information helps to be available for an important delivery.
Book Appointment page:
With bedroom furniture being such an important decision, it typically involves a physical visit to review and test potential products a customer has in mind. An appointment allows stores to prep products for visitors and assure visitors products will be available to view and test.
Customer Account page:
This headless My Account page integrates with both Shopify's list of orders and the orders stored in Mattress Warehouse's ERP, STORIS. This provides customers with a true omnichannel online experience, showing them both in-store and online orders.
Order details track progress throughout the fulfillment process.
Upsell and Cross sale:
Offering customers useful products during the purchase process has served customers well in foreseeing potential items they can take advantage of sooner without having to pay for more shipping costs after realization.
The new headless ecommerce store provides Mattress Warehouse with an abundant list of improvements and opportunities.
The established “wins” already include a vigorous product data system with ERP STORIS synchronization, improved searchability, cross-sell and up-sell additions, a headless CMS, improved Lighthouse scores, a new tablet application, and a list convenient customer features for crafting the best omnichannel experience. The results are clear, a 50% increase in sales.
We should keep in mind, implementing headless ecommerce is not the simple answer for all ecommerce brands. However, the right headless ecommerce solution that aligns technical inputs with practical business outputs is the better rationale. If you’re interested in learning more about headless ecommerce, contact us with any questions concerning your particular scenario.