The furniture retailer’s recurring contest, Design Dash, showcases La-Z-Boy’s variety of furniture SKUs, generates new customer leads and boosts sales.

La-Z-Boy Inc. sells more furniture than just recliners.

While the iconic La-Z-Boy recliner is the furniture retailer’s “bread and butter,” it’s both a “blessing and a curse,” Dallas Budry, digital marketing manager at La-Z-Boy told attendees this week at Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience conference in Chicago.

“We just can’t shake it,” said Budry about the retailer’s association with recliners.

To communicate its breadth of selection to consumers, the retailer and manufacturer decided to launch a marketing campaign called the “Design Dash” to showcase its more than 800 SKUs of furniture. In Design Dash, eight home design bloggers competed against each other designing their ideal room with La-Z-Boy’s furniture. Consumers voted on their favorite room, which entered them in a sweepstakes for $15,000 in La-Z-Boy furniture.

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The competition started with each blogger designing her own couch. Once La-Z-Boy manufactured the couch, the bloggers had an hour to “shop” at La-Z-Boy’s showroom, and then six hours to design their ideal living room—all while the retailer filmed it. La-Z-Boy had the bloggers design a couch because, usually when a consumer is shopping for a couch, she is looking to redesign her entire space. The couch is often a focal point that has to coordinate with other furniture pieces, Budry told Internet Retailer.

La-Z-Boy then used the Design Dash video as marketing creative that it promoted in email campaigns and social media.

The six-week campaign in May 2017 was a success, Budry said. The retailer sent 440,000 Design Dash emails, which had a 36.6% open rate from unique consumers and a 10.06% click-through rate. Both of these metrics are above its average, said Budry, without revealing La-Z-Boy’s average email metrics but said the industry open rates are around 20% and industry email click-through rates are around 8.21%.

The Design Dash video generated 925,000 views. The campaign also helped drive 427,000 visits to its website, and it added 12,500 new contacts to its email list from shoppers entering the contest. customer relationship management system. Plus, La-Z-Boy received 360,000 entries to its contest, and 10.14% of consumers who entered bought something in the store or online within six months of entering the contest, Budry said.

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What’s more, because of this campaign, 886 consumers signed up for a free La-Z-Boy design consultant to come to their homes and help them with interior design. These consultancy appointments are extremely valuable for  La-Z-Boy, as the average order with a consultant is much higher compared with a shopper who comes into the store to buy a chair, Budry said. This is likely because a shopper using a design consultant will buy several big-ticket items, Budry said. Internet Retailer estimates La-Z-Boy’s online average ticket at $1,250, according to Top500Guide.com. The retailer is No. 994 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000.

Typically, the retailer has on average about 30 design consultant appointments in any given time frame, so 886 is a huge increase. Plus, La-Z-Boy has been able to maintain that elevated level since this campaign almost a year ago, Budry said.

La-Z-Boy first implemented the Design Dash in 2013, conducted other Design Dash sweepstakes events in 2015 and 2017 and will have another one in 2018, Budry said.