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Gallery Furniture utilizes AI to create demand for Made-in-America Furniture

Published 09 November 2017

Houston-based retailer Gallery Furniture is using autonomous marketer Albert to bring its unparalleled in-store experience online, and drive traffic into stores.

Houston furniture chain Gallery Furniture has been on the cutting edge of customer service since the early 80s, when it began offering same-day delivery to local customers before leading national brands. 

This legacy of innovation and world class customer service is the driving force behind its recent foray into artificial intelligence. Today, Gallery Furniture announced the results of its first two months working with AI marketing platformAlbert , which has resulted in a 6,897% increase in leads, a 4,710% increase in conversions, a 96% decrease in cost per lead, and a significantly more personalized experience for online customers.

Albert is now responsible for perpetuating Gallery Furniture’s unparalleled in-store experience online and then driving the online world back into its iconic Houston stores.

“He” is achieving this by autonomously executing key components of the retailer’s social media and search engine marketing efforts (including audience identification and segmentation, real-time budget allocation, creative optimization, keyword identification and management, and more). Gallery Furniture’s in-house team of over 20 dedicated marketing personnel and its external agency Thrive continue to handle organic social media efforts and customer service across online channels, as well as all creative strategy and production.

In July 2017, Albert’s first month working with the retailer, Gallery Furniture attributed a 22% increase in revenue to Albert, as well as its own successful efforts to refine its lead response methodologies.

In the same month, Gallery Furniture saw $23.75 in revenue for every $1 spent on Facebook (as compared to $4.80 per dollar spent on Facebook without Albert). Campaign-wide (Facebook and Google), Gallery Furniture’s campaign produced $11.36 for every $1 spent.

For the first two decades of Gallery Furniture’s existence, its founder Jim McIngvale, aka “Mattress Mack”—a local, and now national, hero, having sheltered hundreds of Houston residents during Hurricane Harvey—prioritized two things: the customer’s experience while in the store, and sourcing the highest quality, American-made furniture. To drive in-store traffic, he invested heavily in print and television advertisements.

In 2009, the retailer set out to extend the unparalleled in-store experience to online customers with the early adoption of Facebook and Twitter “help desks.” Gallery Furniture’s customer service team began engaging daily with its large and active community, responding to 100% of interactions in under three hours. (To this day, the team responds to thousands of comments each day.) From 2011 on, Gallery Furniture experimented with various methods of attribution to determine exactly how many in-store sales originated from its social media efforts.

Now, in 2017, with nearly 400 employees, Gallery Furniture has introduced artificial intelligence into its sophisticated marketing mix. It adopted Albert to introduce scale and precision to its ongoing efforts to drive high quality and highly qualified leads, while maintaining its high customer experience standards. Albert works across channels to drive customers either directly into stores or to one of six highly-optimized and incentivized landing pages, segmented by campaign or product category, on Gallery Furniture’s website. Customers are encouraged to fill out an information-request form, which Gallery Furniture’s customer service team responds to personally and quickly.

“When a customer walks into our flagship showroom, I make a point of shaking their hand and showing them that we appreciate them. It’s important that whatever marketing approach we take online lets us reach out to the customer and shake their virtual hand, too. Albert has helped us to do this,” said Jim McIngvale, Founder and President of Gallery Furniture. “Albert’s ‘thoughtfulness’ creates a more delightful experience for the customer and has produced great results for Gallery Furniture. Coming up to Christmas, the next 90 days are going to be tremendous now that Albert is onboard.”

Gallery Furniture now has six full-time employees responding to leads, seven days/week. Albert has not only driven exponential digital growth, but has also standardized AB testing, providing quick automatic analysis and acting on the results, as only a machine could do. Albert’s work has scaled Gallery Furniture’s efforts exponentially and freed the team to focus on what earned Gallery Furniture the title, “every person’s furniture store”: personalized, one-on-one interactions and customer service.

Source: Company Press Release