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A Nod to the Nod

My day started like most weekend days … where’s the laundry basket? Can I fit in the grocery store before the gym? What’s for breakfast? Do we have light bulbs? Do I really have to go furniture shopping today?

Every day begins with a pummeling of internal queries, but the one that was really burning in my brain on this fine Saturday was about furniture. I had to buy my daughter a “big girl” bed and all the accoutrement necessary to change her nursery into an age-appropriate room for a fast-growing little lady. It was a milestone moment that left me riddled with anxiety and added exponentially to the ever present to-do list.

I hit about five different local furniture conglomerates that day. This took nearly an entire afternoon and ALL of my energy. These stores all had little nooks with “kid’s furniture.”  All of it ugly, over-priced and set up to look like miniature versions of mom and dad’s room, not like the little corner of kid paradise that I envisioned.  At the last store, I almost gave up entirely and decided to just close my eyes and pick randomly, but something in my mom-brain said, “No, wait!”  Or maybe it was just my stomach telling me to leave and go get a sandwich. I don’t remember which. But I hightailed it out of furniture town and headed home.

Once there I began aimlessly searching online for some help and inspiration and somehow landed on the Land of Nod website. I get their catalogs and knew they were owned by Crate and Barrel, but I had never purchased anything from them before. As I swept across their easy-to-navigate site I found EXACTLY what I wanted. A real kid-looking kid bed, with all the coordinating bedding and room décor I needed. I was three clicks away from turning my daughter’s nursery into her own secret haven. And I was so relieved.

I purchased everything in about 15 minutes, and even found a free shipping coupon. It was all coming to my house and they would schedule a drop-off time on a day that worked for me within a 45-minute window. That’s right, a 45-MINUTE window, not 4 hours like most other delivery companies. Before the furniture even arrived I was pretty much in love with this company.  And I’m not done yet!

As the furniture truck pulled up during the specified day and time, I expected them to simply drop the big boxes in my living room. I was hoping to sweet talk them into at least bringing it upstairs where my husband would spend the weekend swearing under his breath attempting to piece it all together. But a small miracle happened: They arrived and asked me where I would like the furniture set up! They proceeded to put together all the furniture for me; they even moved some other furniture out of the way to make it all fit. They were gone as quickly as they came, leaving me not only with the furniture I ordered but a wave of deep appreciation for a company I had never worked with before but definitely will work with again.

So what have we learned here today? I’ll tell you, when the dust settled and my little lady’s brand new room was all set up, I sat back and thought about the process. I realized, I just made a really large purchase with a brand I had only a limited amount of familiarity with (though I was comfortable with its parent company) and I did it all ONLINE. I didn’t even realize this was a new behavior for me until it was done. I mean, I shop online all the time, but this made me realize that since I have become a mom, I am relying more and more on this channel.  I went from buying t-shirts and shorts online to an entire room of furniture without blinking an eye.

Why? Two reasons:  1) Necessity. As a mom I don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to hours of browsing and driving from store to store, and 2) Companies are starting to get it. The Land of Nod not only provided an accessible channel with a great product assortment, but their service over-delivered to a target that really needs it the most.  So if you are a company that includes moms in your target and you haven’t really thought about your online channel lately, it might be time to put the thinking caps back on. Talk to your customer and find out how to make their online experience as satisfying as the one I just had. Who knows, maybe someone will write a blog post about you, too.

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