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Bob’s Discount Furniture Saves by Reducing ‘Frankenstacks’ and Increasing Automation

Furniture World News Desk on 8/11/2023

by Jeremy Swift, CEO and co-founder of Cordial

Case Study: How Bob’s increased its ability to leverage digital channels to engage potential customers.

By shifting to a more comprehensive solution with a robust & flexible non-relational data structure, Bob’s Discount Furniture found that it reduced the number of technology vendors it relied on by half and saved roughly $3 million in customer support.

Bob’s Discount Furniture knows firsthand the need to streamline the customer journey. In late March 2020 when stores temporarily closed due to the pandemic, customers that once preferred coming into stores had to shift to e-commerce, and online sales more than doubled. The steep increase in cost to Bob’s customer support and the uncertain supply chain made communicating the status of orders and shipments via email and text more important than ever.

Before implementing Cordial, Bob’s used multiple platforms for its messaging activation, including four separate platforms to send transactional messages, promotional emails, promotional triggers, and SMS and MMS text messages. The company wanted a more unified customer experience and a simplified tech stack. Bob’s implemented Cordial as a cross-channel marketing platform to organize, understand, and activate their data, and in doing so, created better connections with its customers. The platform better equipped Bob’s marketers to orchestrate marketing campaigns, engaging customers at every point in their buying journey (from browsing through delivery and beyond).

By incorporating the platform, Bob’s Discount Furniture upleveled its transactional messages and support, inviting customers to self-service orders and accounts. This improvement reduced inbound contacts to customer support. Bob’s and Cordial built out near real-time API integrations to allow for a two-way conversation between the Cordial data platform and in-house fulfillment data, enabling every communication to include the most up-to-date customer and product information.

Bob’s saw success by adding these transactional messages promoting its new self-service capabilities. Customers could track the delivery truck directly from their email or text. They could also view what was arriving in each shipment. Every email and text included actionable links driving customers to the company’s newly launched BobBot, a virtual assistant that enabled self-serve scheduling, reporting of product issues, real-time delivery tracking, and more. Overall, Bob’s Discount Furniture reported:

  • 2.4 million customers using self-serve options instead of calling support
  • 25% reduction in call center volume
  • 33% chat containment (that did not escalate to an agent)

Simultaneously, Bob’s marketing team made its overall production process more efficient. The team built a universal template within the Cordial platform for promotional, transactional and triggered emails. The team’s extra-lean staff needed to streamline its campaign creation, approval and execution process to save time and money.

Bob’s eliminated its previous highly manual creative design process and assembly line for campaign development, starting directly in the Cordial platform to mock up campaigns, share screenshots for quick feedback, make any necessary modifications and send the campaigns. Then Bob’s repeated the process — with great success. Further, Bob’s introduced more & more personalized modules into marketing emails, driving performance & efficacy. Plus the team’s increased agility meant a sudden change like a shipment delay no longer derailed its messaging plans. They could decide what they should communicate and to whom, dive into Cordial and send the updated messaging to relevant subscribers.

With faster and more data-driven campaign orchestration, Bob’s harnessed all of the channels its customers have grown to rely on for retail discoverability, purchases, loyalty and repeat purchases. The ability to send personalized texts, coordinate links and provide customers with near real-time updates on their orders transformed how Bob’s approached audience-based marketing, online sales and its customer base.

Consolidate ‘frankenstacks’ to save time and money

After competing in an economy that drove “growth at all costs,” marketing leaders working with leaner teams are looking to trade in their overly complicated tech stacks for a consolidated answer to their data and automation needs. These clusters of point solutions have cost marketers money while hindering their ability to create high-impact campaigns efficiently: 80% of marketers report encountering hurdles when sending personalized texts and emails.

Rather than juggling clunky integrations, “frankenstacks” and delayed data sharing, marketers need a way to save time, money and resources while still making a meaningful connection with customers. A solution that integrates with existing systems and provides opportunities to make more connections allows marketers to remain competitive while embracing a “do more with less” mentality during continued economic uncertainty. When marketers can ingest, integrate and analyze data from all sources — with zero latency — they can unlock the potential of their customer data and make a connection with every message they send.

Consolidating technology not only gives marketers a more streamlined experience as they build and execute campaigns — it also saves money. Marketers get time back to spend on high-value work, enabling greater agility as they rely on smaller teams and encounter budget constraints.

Incorporate automations to personalize at scale 

Today’s brands feel greater pressure to demonstrate ROI. The challenge of scaling automated messages has left many teams to rely heavily on generic promotional messaging — a “spray and pray” endeavor that’s as ineffective at increasing CLV (customer lifetime value) as it is frustrating to consumers.

A robust cross-channel marketing platform automation strategy empowers brands to:

  • Prioritize personalized, real-time cross-channel messaging (email, SMS and mobile)
  • Respond to consumer behaviors via automation in the moment
  • Increase CLV, unit margins, & offer thresholding with inventory awareness

While many marketers limit their vision of automated messages to welcome emails and cart abandonment messages, modern platforms offer far more precise touchpoints, including:

  • In-app behaviors
  • Browse events
  • Past-purchase data.
  • Real-time purchase data
  • Email interaction
  • Inventory and pricing changes

When marketers have access to all of their data, they can offer customers messages that reflect their latest activity and invite them to continue on their buying journey.


About Cordial
Cordial is a marketing platform that empowers brands to fully automate their marketing strategies. Future-thinking brands such as Revolve, Eddie Bauer, and Adore Me choose Cordial to deliver high-conversion messages—across email, SMS, mobile app, social media, direct mail, and more—that drive record-breaking customer engagement and revenue growth. Cordial was named a Fastest-Growing Company in the 2022 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, and won Business Intelligence Group’s Best Places to Work award in 2023. Connect with us at www.cordial.com.

About Bob’s Discount Furniture
Founded in 1991, Bob’s Discount Furniture is one of the fastest growing furniture retailers in the country. Keeping true to its founding principle that everyone deserves quality furniture, Bob’s provides unsurpassed value with honesty and integrity. Through all the work that happens behind the scenes, Bob’s engineers this value, offering its discount on a wide variety of stylish, quality furnishings, mattresses, and home accents.

With 166 furniture stores across 24 states, the Manchester, Connecticut-based company has become the 8th-largest U.S. furniture chain. The company also offers a unique and enjoyable shopping experience, featuring cafes in each store with complimentary gourmet coffee, ice cream, cookies, and candy.

Bob’s is committed to supporting local communities through a variety of charitable giving efforts. Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation has anchored the company’s philanthropic work for more than 20 years. Additionally, the Bob’s Outreach program was created as a separate entity to help schools and children-related charities. In total, Bob’s and its Foundation donate more than $2.75 million to charities through these programs each year. For more information on Bob’s charitable programs, visit Bob’s Cares, and follow Bob’s on Twitter @MyBobs, on Facebook, and Instagram.


About Jeremy Swift
Jeremy Swift is founder and CEO of Cordial. Cordial is a cross-channel messaging platform that is changing the way marketing & technology teams engage their customers. Before founding Cordial in 2014, Jeremy was a founding member of BlueHornet, a first-gen email marketing SaaS company that he sold to Digital River in 2004. He has spoken at leading industry events including DMA, eTail, Shop.org, OMMA and Mediapost.

Jeremy attended Point Loma Nazarene University and lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and four children. He's an avid Husband, Dad, Entrepreneur, Runner, and Advocate of Mental Health. His other career ambitions involve supporting anti-human trafficking organizations & creating sustainable work in Africa through the use of technology, as well as helping other entrepreneurs successfully navigate the mental health journey of building a company.