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Durham revamps website

From the HGO Merchandiser

 23 January 2023     Ashley Newport 

When the e-commerce boom started, many people in the furniture industry insisted the brick-and-mortar shopping experience would continue to reign supreme since the idea of someone purchasing a costly solid wood bedroom group or Italian leather covered upholstery suite without first seeing and touching it seemed absurd.

Now, with the shift to online shopping well-ingrained in western culture finding its way in a post-pandemic world, some companies are working to enhance the online buying experience by allowing retailers and consumers to customize their very own pieces and see exactly what the finished product will look like without ever stepping into a store.

As it’s part to lead the industry into this new frontier, Durham Furniture recently announced it was partnering with Intiaro, a 3D technology and software company based in High Point, North Carolina to launch a revamped website that offers browsers the ability to completely customize every piece and collection in its offerings.

This is one of the new kiosks Durham Furniture installed in its new, smaller High Point showroom just before the fall 2022 industry trade event. It demonstrates the new customization software developed for the solid wood specialist by Initaro, a North Carolina-based technology firm.The Canadian solid wood bedroom and occasional furniture specialist first showcased its new state-of-the-art 3D visualization tool at the recent fall edition of the High Point Market. The tool provides high-quality 3D models of more than 95% of Durham’s products, boasting 4K zoom and 360-degree rotation functions.

The tool, which will also be available on Durham’s website sometime over the few weeks, allows users the ability to pick a piece and then see how it looks in any of its wide range of finish and hardware options.

“We’ve used this as a revamp for our whole website. It’s not a significant visual change, but it’s a change to the way you access the product, and our website partner has developed a proprietary backend login for our retailers to use,” Luke Simpson, president and chief executive officer of this country’s oldest continuously operating furniture manufacturer, told Home Goods Online.

“The third component – where Initaro (https://en.intiaro.com/) comes in – is they’ve built a plug-in that’s a product configurator. You can browse any product with any finish,” he said, adding buyers were able to try out the new feature, which also allowed Durham to pare down the size of their market showroom, which it moved from the International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC) to 220 Elm.

“We were able to show our reps what the experience is going to look like and what they’re going to be able to do with it,” Simpson continued, adding the technology allowed them to shrink their showroom from about 12,000 square feet to 3,000.

“This went hand in hand with our whole strategy for the company. We downsized our showroom to about 3,000 square feet, and this made that happen. We invested in standalone touchscreen kiosks so that amongst the furniture we were showing, you could see everything else we had in various finishes. It’s demoing to the retailers how this investment in tech will be an effective selling tool,” Durham marketing and sales support manager Amanda McQueen said. 

Click here to read the rest of Ashley’s report in the HGO Merchandiser…


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This HGO article was written by:
Ashley Newport
Ashley Newport

A regular contributor to HGO Merchandiser, Ashley Newport is a Toronto-based freelance journalist who writes primarily for trade and business publications. Her specialties include food, hospitality and emerging social/business trends.


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