1. Comment
September 5, 2017updated 03 Nov 2017 5:01pm

Improving Sofology’s conversion must be DFS’s priority post-acquisition

While DFS’s purchase of Sofology will enable the market leader to develop its online expertise and help towards its goal of attracting more affluent shoppers, its most pressing issues will be to increase awareness of the brand and improve conversion among visiting shoppers.

By GlobalData Retail

While DFS’s purchase of Sofology will enable the market leader to develop its online expertise and help towards its goal of attracting more affluent shoppers, its most pressing issues will be to increase awareness of the brand and improve conversion among visiting shoppers.

DFS will continue to run Sofology as a separate brand, with Sofology’s current owners retaining full control over store experience, product and promotion. There are also no plans to close any of its 38 stores or integrate elements of DFS’s offer, such as its capsule collection or Swoosh, into Sofology stores or vice versa. This is the right move for DFS to employ as Sofology’s store experience, in terms of layout and service levels, is one of the main drivers that its shoppers cite when asked why they use it.

Conversion rates of top five upholstery specialists

DFS needs to get more people to consider Sofology when buying upholstery and improve its conversion rate. Findings from GlobalData’s Living Room Furniture survey found that only 6.5% of upholstery shoppers initially considered Sofology and that it converted less than one in three of those that visited its stores. This conversion rate is below the industry average and places it 30th among all upholstery retailers. While Sofology changing its name from Sofaworks would have impacted the number of shoppers considering the retailer, DFS should use its significant scale within media to help rectify this.

To improve conversion, the retailer should emphasise its product quality and draw attention to its trend-led collections. Sofology’s 20-year guarantee is one of the longest in upholstery and helps to highlight its quality. With 47.6% of upholstery shoppers saying that they bought from a retailer due to product quality and more constrained shoppers actively looking for value, it is important that this is emphasised in marketing communications.

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