Customer Story

Sofology uses Yext to achieve 7x ROI from foot traffic, increased customer footfall and conversions

Discover how Sofology used Yext to drive organic search traffic, optimise listings to increase customer footfall and ultimately conversions, as well as making rapid updates to keep customers informed.
7x ROI from foot traffic in the back half of 2020 alone
33% YOY click growth in year one, with a location information focus
95% YOY click growth in year two, with a focus on product information
Industry
Retail
Size
50+ locations
The Challenge
Sofology uses Yext to achieve 7x ROI from foot traffic, increased customer footfall and conversions
View Results

Sofology is driven by a single-minded mission: to help everyone feel at home on a sofa they love. One of the ways it strives to do this is by breaking the mould of traditional sofa retailers, with a commitment to providing the best prices, year-round, in contrast to slashing prices during sales. It also delivers a truly omni-channel experience, with the option for customers to both browse online and be inspired by physical stores. 

Because the in-store Sofologists don’t work on commission, this creates a no-pressure environment for shoppers and an innovative, engaging customer journey, where they’re free to complete purchases anywhere, anytime, on any device. However, with some 80% of customers wishing to visit stores to complete the “sit test” before purchase, Sofology encountered a problem where store listings were lacking in relevant and up-to-date information. This was disrupting their customer journey and resulted in lost sales.

“The ideal customer journey is to research online and then go to the store and do a sit test” explains James Robinson, Head of Conversion Rate Optimisation at Sofology. “So making store listings accurate can be the key to boosting conversion. If we can get more people in the store by making these small changes, it’s really valuable.”

‘“It became apparent, given the sheer volume of listings that were out there across hundreds of platforms, that trying to get ownership and authorisation of just one was a challenge. We simply wouldn’t have been able to handle it internally, so that was the start of our journey with Yext.”’
James Robinson Head of Conversion Rate Optimisation at Sofology


Increasing customer footfall and conversions with Listings

Before working with Yext, Robinson explains how “it soon became apparent that a huge opportunity to increase sales was to use listings to drive more people to the store, where they can build a basket and then complete the transaction at home.”

The first step to this was ensuring the information found on its thousands of listings was up to date and accurate for every store. A combination of factors meant this was easier said than done, says Robinson: “We’ve gone through three brand name changes in seven years. And obviously there’s thousands and thousands of listings out there. In many cases, even if a customer is in that final stage of purchase, incorrect listings were sending them to the wrong locations, which was having a huge impact on sales.”

Like many businesses across the UK and indeed, the world, Sofology was managing listings on a channel-by-channel basis, with employees sporadically updating the likes of Google and Facebook, but not keeping a record of updates – as well as neglecting many other platforms. This, combined with the brand’s growth and opening of new stores, was making it harder and harder to keep on top of the situation.

 With Yext’s platform serving as the central source of truth for all of Sofology’s information, listings for every store, across every digital platform, are now accurate and complete., Sofology has also taken its listings to the next level, to make information as compelling as possible. “More recently we’ve been looking at things like wheelchair accessibility, free parking and many other amenities, to ensure these were visible to customers” adds Robinson. 

‘“Yext has enabled us to do everything we can do to make sure our listings are as good as they possibly can be.”’
James Robinson Head of Conversion Rate Optimisation at Sofology

Laying the foundations for growth in a post-pandemic world

Listings took on yet more importance when customers’ livelihoods were turned upside down by COVID-19. “Without a central platform to manage the operational side of things, we simply wouldn’t have been able to effectively inform customers of store hour changes and closures” explains Robinson. Adding: “To be able to post updates and do it instantly was crucial. Yext has been instrumental in helping us to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.”

Sofology is also poised to continue its growth with the support of Yext. One way this has been achieved has been through driving discoverability through organic traffic. “Since working with Yext, we’ve seen a significant growth in our visibility for unbranded terms like sofas near me” says Robinson. “The more information we can put out there, the more platforms and customers are able to understand who we are and what we do, which is translating into more people discovering Sofology and landing on our website” he adds.

And it hasn’t stopped there. In a bid to further outshine the competition, Sofology has made the most out of the last lockdown to ensure its listings are as up to date and compelling as possible, complete with appealing photography of stores and products, to further increase footfall and drive sales. In the words of Robinson: “It’s about making use of every available option that we’ve got within those listings to make sure they’re all as accurate and compelling as they can be, to see if they give us that extra edge over our competition.”

Results
7x ROI from foot traffic in the back half of 2020 alone
33% YOY click growth in year one, with a location information focus
95% YOY click growth in year two, with a focus on product information

 In their first year live with Yext, Sofology was able to double the count of listings across Yext’s network, whilst simultaneously correcting thousands of inaccurate names, phone numbers, addresses, and website URLs across existing Listings. This resulted in a 33% increase in clicks to all Listings across the Yext network when comparing post-launch volume to pre-launch volume (Jun 2019-Dec 2019 vs. Jun 2018-Dec 2018).

A year later, Sofology is using Yext to focus on managing the data about their products, as an ecommerce first company. As a result, they are experiencing re-invigorated growth to their Listings traffic despite the challenges faced by retailers in 2020. Clicks to all listings grew 95% YOY — including positive growth for phone call clicks, clicks to websites from listings, driving direction clicks, and other types of clicks on longer tail publishers (Jun 2020 – Dec 2020 vs. Jun 2019 vs. Dec 2019). The increase in driving directions clicks in the last 6 months of 2020 alone drove 7x incremental ROI on the year. 

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