Kravet, a fifth-generation family-owned company, kicked off its second century early this year with a redesigned “content-driven” B2B e-commerce site that has scored well with customers.

Founded in 1918, family-owned Kravet Inc. took a new approach early this year to engage the interior design firms worldwide that purchase its plush couches, carpets, wall coverings and other home furnishings.

While we are B2B, our customers are increasingly digital natives with a business-to-consumer expectation of content and functionality.

The company, now its fifth-generation of family ownership, in February relaunched its website, Kravet.com, to better merge content and functionality in a blended experience for online buyers. In the months since then, the redesigned website has produced several improvements in measuring online customer engagement, Jesse Lazarus, chief progress and innovation officer, said during a presentation last month at the inaugural B2B Next conference in Chicago.

Jesse Lazarus at B2B Next

Kravet’s customers, as professional interior designers, often play the role of someone who either purchases products on behalf of a client or influences a client’s purchasing decision. And that leaves Kravet’s customers demanding access to extensive information on product details and on how Kravet’s brands fit into home furnishing trends. “Our challenge is to provide interior designers with the product they need, the service they desire and knowledge to sell their client confidently,” Lazarus said during a B2B Next session called “Operating a 21st Century Content-Driven B2B Commerce Platform.”

Kravet’s prior e-commerce site had built a good reputation as a highly functional commerce tool, but one that focused only on “transactional efficiency, with a traditional procurement/buyer point of view,” Lazarus said. The company also operated separately “pretty marketing sites” that featured engaging content, but without the same transactional functionality as the e-commerce site.

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“While we are B2B, our customers are increasingly digital natives with a business-to-consumer expectation of content and functionality” combined on the same site, he added.

Kravet launched its new site with several improvements. In addition to merging better content and functionality for viewing products and placing orders, the site features:

  • Content that integrates technical specifications and documentation with “inspirational” content that suggests how Kravet’s home furnishings can appear in attractive home settings;
  • Interactive tools that let online customers customize products and instantly view how they appear with chosen options;
  • Display user-generated content in an online community where customers can learn from one another;
  • A blog section that serves as a hub for “editorial and inspirational” content accessible to both customers and Kravet’s sales teams.

The new site design has produced several improvements to performance metrics, including increases in the average time per visit and the number of pages viewed per visit, and a large decrease in the bounce rate, the percentage of site visitors who abandon the site from the landing page.

In gathering feedback from customers, Kravet found that their “reaction to the content has been overwhelmingly positive,” Lazarus said.

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