Success case Kees Smit

Kees Smit Tuinmeubelen has been innovating for 75 years


About Kees Smit Tuinmeubelen

Kees Smit Tuinmeubelen is a real family business that has been running for three generations. While Grandpa Henk and Grandma Corrie started selling household items in 1942, Kees Smit specialized in the sale of garden furniture after the takeover. When his son Henk took over, the online sales also continued. Today, more than 400 employees are ready to offer the best customer advice in one of their three locations or on the webshop. Kees Smit has based its business operations on the ancient principle from the very beginning: the customer is king.

Going next level

Because the customer is king, they are always working on a way to positively surprise customers. As a result, they have developed themselves at a rapid pace into an organization that is driven by data. In addition, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) is an indispensable part of staying ahead in the future when it comes to applying innovation in practice. It is important for Kees Smit to be able to understand how the software works, and to build up knowledge in order to use it optimally. Spotler Activate’s CDP offers an open and transparent data infrastructure. In addition, Spotler Activate has proven to be an ideal partner to implement insights into practice together with Kees Smit and to positively surprise the customer throughout the entire customer journey.

“With Spotler Activate, our organization no longer has to rely on gut feeling or a black box solution. This ensures that our teams can make data-driven decisions. In addition, the advice we were able to give to our customers also became much better. Independent of the moment and channel.”

– Jan Karel Ekkel, E-commerce specialist Kees Smit Tuinmeubelen

Pitfalls CDP selection

Kees Smit previously opted for a Customer Data Platform (CDP) where the transparency of the data was lacking. The CDP was a real ‘black box’. Internal teams encountered operational limitations. Result was difficult to measure and data was very error-prone. This meant that we were unable to optimally fulfill our customer promise. By opting for a transparent, open infrastructure, we were finally able to take steps. This created a central point of contact to build on, containing data from all our systems. Because the base was not good, it prevented us from moving forward. Now that that hurdle has been overcome, we can quickly continue innovating. Implementation of the CDP in the organization Kees Smit.

Before the implementation of the CDP could start, the objectives of the organization were first clearly formulated:

  • Open and transparent infrastructure aimed at continuous innovation;
  • Providing customers with the best advice in every situation;
  • Always an item ‘you may like!’

In order to ensure that all customers could be provided with the best advice at any time, the optimization of the data infrastructure was started. In the CDP, data from various sources was brought together to form a central customer view. For example, we look at the way in which visitors use the website. A profile is created in the CDP based on click behaviour. The click behavior of this profile is then combined with the product range of Kees Smit. This calculates product recommendations directly in the CDP. As a result, visitors to the website are approached with a relevant selection from the 4000 products based on their displayed orientation behavior and purchase intention.

When a customer makes a purchase, this data enters the CDP in real-time, after which an appropriate recommendation can again be calculated. The more information that is collected in the CDP, the better and more targeted the offer can be tailored to the customer. The strategy for this is further refined by adding external data sources. This includes additional information on the CRM data.

“The open, transparent set-up of the CDP gives us a lot of clarity about how data flows in the organization.”

– Jan Karel Ekkel, E-commerce specialist Kees Smit Tuinmeubelen

The step towards data-driven decisions

With Spotler Activate, Kees Smit realizes a continuous feedback loop that influences the involvement and decision of customers. An external BI platform is fed with the same source data as the CDP, here additional insights can be obtained from the data. In Kees Smit’s team, the conversion specialist switches with the marketing team about insights gained from the data. This provides insight into the gut feeling and enables the team to make transparent decisions based on accurate up-to-date data. It thus became clear that, after a certain number of sessions or interactions, the probability of a purchase improves significantly. But also that certain traffic sources convert less or respond less quickly to social retargeting. Because it is clear and insightful where the data comes from, decisions are now based on facts.

Suggestions for search result not found

Customers sometimes conduct searches for products that are not in the range. These signals were an immediate opportunity for Kees Smit to display items related to the category. For example, if there were no orange sunbeds, a different color was shown.

The translation to the customer journey

With the CDP, Kees Smit is in charge of taking action from a central point. Customers are thus positively influenced in various ways and places. Various product recommender algorithms are applied on the website to show ‘items you may like’ that match the search behavior and the context of the customer. Application of persuasion techniques on product pages and in the shopping cart help visitors to remove uncertainty and make the right decision. This significantly improves the customer experience.

The CDP also has a link with the email platform Copernica that Kees Smit uses. In Copernica, based on data from the CDP, content and images are adapted to better match the customer’s experience. Website behavior of the visitors drives automatic abandoned site campaigns and user generated content from a Flowbox solution is used to also show how a certain article looks like at other customers in the house. Here too, Kees Smit is able to easily apply innovations that provide the customer with surprising advice regarding the next purchase.

“The CDP enables our departments to make a direct impact on the customer experience. Marketing can test adjustments on the website or use data in various tools without the intervention of development.”

– Jan Karel Ekkel, E-commerce specialist Kees Smit Tuinmeubelen

By making smart use of the search behavior of the customers, the website of Kees Smit adapts automatically. In Susan’s case, the homepage shows a selection of dining sets that exactly match her search behaviour, but Tom’s shows lounge sets that are perfect for his newly landscaped garden. The barbecue can handle it!

Better conversion and customer satisfaction go hand in hand

Another major advantage of the new transparent data structure is that the ROI can be measured much more accurately. Any personalization can be measured and verified for success. Kees Smit is also able to make increasingly better choices, based on past results. It can be seen, for example, that all used influencing techniques result in significant conversion improvement. This indicates that customers gain confidence in their decision-making process and are more likely to make a purchase remotely.

Use of external segment data

By linking the use of external segment data with information about housing types to customer profiles, the conversion of an email based on this segment data increased by 300% to 500% compared to the non-personalized control variant. By providing customers with the right advice in every situation, not only does conversion improve in the webshop, but it also contributes to the customer rating of a 9.4 for the service provided by Kees Smit. By serving the customer as well as possible, both customer satisfaction and the conversion of the website increase.

Sight set on the future

Kees Smit always has their sights set on the future. Spotler Activate offers Kees Smit the flexible data infrastructure needed to innovate at a rapid pace. With this, Kees Smit does everything to exceed the expectations of their customers. Behavioral data is used in real time to match the product range to the needs of the customer. External data sources are consulted to ensure that the offer is also in line with the living situation and also to show how products are in other people’s homes. This, combined with positive influencing techniques and continuous A/B testing, ensures that customers shop with confidence at Kees Smit, both in the store and remotely.

After 75 years of innovation, Kees Smit has become an organization where it is very ‘normal’ that the business operations are always based on data. This enables the company to continuously innovate with technology that actually contributes to positive customer contact. The overall goal of the organization is therefore: to provide customers with the best advice in every situation. The collaboration with Spotler Activate ensures that both companies will continue to achieve this with great pleasure without much effort.

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