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Learn how Apt2B uses a swatch sample program and timely follow up to help browsers turn into buyers.

About this episode:

Alex shares Apt2B’s marketing strategy on:

  • Using sample swatches to build customer trust and comfort
  • A timely follow up flow to provide relevant help and information to shoppers

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Full Transcript


Alex Back: Selling furniture online is not easy. In fact, in the beginning, when we started that was the hurdle. Nobody at the time was really buying furniture online in a meaningful way. I think people were just getting used to buying things on Amazon and things, you know, just for their daily life.

Since then things have changed. It’s been obviously a lot easier to convert users into customers. It’s still a difficult challenge to sell sofas and larger pieces of bedroom furniture online to people who’ve never seen them. Obviously, comfort is something people consider when they buy a sofa or a mattress and it’s our job to sort of, you know, make them feel as comfortable as possible, make sure the product is where it needs to be.

One of the ways that we do that for instance, with our sofas, is our fabric swatch program. So, we offer free fabric samples for all of our sofas, sectionals, upholstered beds, which are really kind of the bread and butter of Apt2B and, you know, our own proprietary merchandise and we’ll send these free fabric samples to the customer wherever they may order them.

Alicia: Can you talk a little bit about how you are helping the sales process with your emails?

Alex: Once somebody enters a sales funnel it’s really, really important to us to make sure that we are continually marketing to them because our purchase or purchases that customers will make with us generally take anywhere from, you know, one to three weeks to make the decision.

The name of the game is keeping them engaged, making them feel comfortable and targeting them with specific content that, you know, makes sense to them. 

Alicia: I know you’re doing something really interesting in regards to a follow up with someone who’s requested a swatch. Can you talk a little bit about that flow and what that looks like?

Alex: The flow we have that’s set up in Klaviyo is fantastic. It’s basically set up so that once somebody orders swatches and after they receive it, a few days later they’ll receive a follow-up email from us asking them if they have any questions, giving them something to engage with our brand again. We send along with it a little snippet of our factory video, which is a tour around our factory. Everything’s made here in downtown Los Angeles, made in the USA, so that’s a huge, huge value proposition that we like to push forward at all times. It’s interesting, you know, people really do engage with these flows. We see a lot of fantastic results.

Alicia: How many touches do you have in a flow? Is it a series or just one? How do you follow up?

Alex: Yeah. We follow up with two. We don’t like to be overly invasive. There’s a discount offer that we have accompanying our collateral when we send the fabric swatches that we back up with the first email flow and then sort of, you know, the first one’s sort of based around engaging with people and getting them interested in the brand and just getting them excited about their purchase, teasing this discount idea and then a few days later we’ll send them a reminder, your discount is about to expire. A typical sort of promotional email and it will be focused on that. I think we see great results from both.

Alicia: Have you done any testing on the flow or have you set up the two and just said, “It’s working really well, we’re going to back away.”

Alex: We’ve done some tweaking along the way. I think one of the things we’re focused on is the timing. That’s really the most important thing to figure out. You don’t want to send it too early. You don’t want to send the fabric swatch follow up email before they’ve received their fabric swatches obviously.

We have to time it just right. You also don’t want to send it two weeks later when the stuff’s in the garbage.

Alicia: And they already have a new couch.

Alex: Right. We did some testing with, you know, which day will be the best to send after the order is fulfilled. So, we have a flow set up, our website’s on the Shopify platform so it integrates great with Klaviyo and we have it set up so that five days after the order is fulfilled, since we have two day shipping, accounting couple days here or there, we will send our first flow follow up. Generally, we don’t see any … The first thing we’re looking for is are people saying, “No, I haven’t received my swatches yet” which wouldn’t be great, and we don’t get that, so that’s good. Secondarily we’re just looking for engagement and I think we found a pretty good sweet spot.

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