Journey East

As an adaptive and savvy furniture company, Journey East has undergone several refinements to business goals and model over the years. At each of these junctures, a strong digital presence was instrumental in driving their overall business strategy forward.

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Over the years, Pettycache has worked with Journey East to reimagine the digital presence and relevance of journeyeast.com. As their business grew, so did our process and technical ability. With each collaboration, new challenges were presented and addressed. Building on the foundations of its predecessors, each version of Journey East’s digital properties were superior to its last.

In its most recent iteration, we worked to design and build a website that not only exuded the same authority, charm, and uniqueness as the store itself, but also became an integral tool for prospecting new clients.

Can we bring the spirit of the physical store into the digital space?

When consulting on the digital brand identity, we proposed the use of a varied set of typefaces. Much like the unique furniture and items you would find at the store, these font families ranged from fat and bold, to thin and tall. You might find the bolder fonts used in all uppercase in some places, alongside thinner regular case body copy, mimicking the carefully curated assortment of pieces in the store.

Journey East also had one other quirk that no other furniture store had—a resident shop cat named Ginger. We proposed and produced caricatures of Ginger and placed him in strategic areas on the site.

Much like the showroom where one might find Ginger on chairs and under tables, Ginger interacts with elements on the site and sometimes gets in the way (as cats do) in an adorable manner. This eventually helped become a further brand differentiator and enhanced Journey East’s voice as a fresh, relevant, and quirky brand.

Can we offer users something to do?

During planning, Journey East shared with us that in their experience, it is much easier to close a sale once a customer enters their showroom to see, feel, and smell their products. This insight helped us design a user flow that prioritised the need to give users something to do—an interaction or call to action that required the user to make a small commitment.

Observing that Journey East was well equipped with sales staff to handle walk-in customers, we proposed to make users commit to a specific enquiry, and have the sales team convert that user to a walk-in customer. In response to this, Journey East started training their internal sales and support teams to receive these specific enquiries from the website, building sales flows and processes to coerce leads to come experience their showroom.

Increasing quality leads

With the new content structure and refreshed interface online, the website empowered their sales team by supplying them structured data from each enquiry (such as materials, colours, and associated categories). This made incoming enquiries more relatable and enabled the sales team to understand the context of which each enquiry was being made. As a result, the sales team were better armed to suggest more relevant solutions and/or authentic alternatives.

From this approach, Journey East has seen an increased rate of enquiry from 2 per day to 10 per day. Their records also indicate that on average 1 out of these 10 converting to a sale.

The new site structure also allowed Journey East to redirect spending from printed advertising to digital advertising campaigns. Similar to the digital marketing strategy we brought to upsidemotion.com, the new structure allowed for more aggressive and efficient digital marketing efforts. Promotions and special offers could funnel prospective customers to specific landing pages with clear calls to action.

Sustainable by design

In keeping with our philosophy of planning, designing, and building lasting digital architecture, the new journeyeast.com was also built with sustainability and modularity in mind. The cost of servicing and upgrading components to meet new business goals were reduced as a result.

The new website also saw us deploying a new back-end Content Management System (CMS) to make it easy for marketing team to update content while also allowing a fine degree of control when it comes to categorizing products in its catalogue.

Journey East also shared with us their longer-term vision of moving toward a fully ecommerce experience. In response, we planned for a foundation that could evolve into an ecommerce site down the road and slowly ease the business into the realm of digital commerce.

Final takeaways

Journey East has been an ideal partner, in that they were unafraid to take risks and determined to change the paradigm in which furniture brands engaged with their customers through digital. They understood what it meant to reshape an experience in a physical space to meet the expectations of the online one.

In a way, Journey East has strengthened its position, not so much as a furniture store, but as a feeling and experience—an equity that is difficult for competitors to wrestle from it.