Exclusive: Home furniture retailer American Signature syncs stores, site

Columbus, Ohio – As an omnichannel retailer of big ticket furniture items through the American Signature and Value City banners, 120-store American Signature Inc. knows its shoppers do their homework online before visiting a store. To link the store and digital experiences as seamlessly as possible, American Signature employs technology from Boston-based Blueport Commerce.

“We have a retail concept called Easy Pass,” explained Stephen Haffer, CIO of American Signature, in an interview with Chain Store Age. “It gives customers the ability to create a shopping cart either in-store or online, and seamlessly log in from any channel.”

EasyPass is American Signature’s branded version of Blueport’s Store-Sync solution. Customers can use Easy Pass on a home PC or mobile device, with full access to store inventory. Responsive design ensures customers can use any connected device they choose. Shoppers can continue their online activities when they reach the store, or vice versa.

The cart is also synced with store POS terminals and in-store tablets, enabling store associates to have immediate access to customer data including browsing and purchase history, as well as items they have saved in the cart.

“We enhance the store experience, rather than replacing it with the online experience,” said Haffer. “The customer journey has changed. E-commerce has gone from a side project to reinventing retail.”

American Signature uses a “tethered cloud” model to connect StoreSync in real time to its customized IBM AS/400 ERP platform and proprietary POS system. Benefits from the Store-Sync-based Easy Pass program include users being 50% more likely to shop, as well as a customer preference rating of more than 90%.

Internally, the retailer can compensate salespeople who otherwise would have lost commissions on sales that started in-store and ended online, as well as collect new data points on customers.

“Channel conflict is resolved,” said Haffer.  “And, we know that over 80% of people in our stores have been researching on the web.  Easy Pass brings them into our stores ready to buy, and allows us to provide them an easy, personalized shopping experience.”

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