DFS Embraces Rackspace, Cloud And Virtualisation To Drive Digital Transformation And Suck-Up Sales

INTERVIEW: DFS discusses how Rackspace partnership helps it cope with sale demand and how mobile, VR and AR are the future of sofa buying

DFS has added webGL images to the site and is making serious inquiries into the use of virtual and augmented realities to help entice customers to part with their cash.

“We’ll always look at technology. We’ve looked at HoloLens, the work we’ll do with AR will last a few years.”

DFS Furniture Store Blanchardstown. Picture Fennells Copyright 2012 Fennell Photography.


Like other retailers, mobile is increasingly important. With sofa buyers spending so much time deliberating, the ability to access information on the go is clearly an advantage.

“We’re finding [that] mobile web traffic is just phenomenal,” confirms Harte. “One of things we’re famous for is interest free credit and when we opened that on mobile a year or so ago, it had a massive impact on the type of consumer checking that channel.

“Mobile is fundamental to our business.”

But unlike Amazon, eBay or other high frequency retailers, there could be a ceiling to what DFS can do with digital. Some customers will always want to come in store and see the product for themselves and unlike emergency toilet paper delivered via Amazon Prime, it’s highly unlikely sofas will be delivered by drones any time soon.

DFS Sofa 3

“Some customers will always come into the store and try the product,” admits Harte. “People will spend a lot of time on [the sofa].”

He calls digital signage one of the most exciting activities that DFS is doing, especially as it’s one of the hardest technologies to gain a return on investment on. But he thinks it’s worth it, especially if it improves the in-store experience.

“When you’re spending significant amounts of money it’s about making that connection. Retail at the end of the day is about giving customers what they want.

“We look at the car industry, where people don’t buy as often … We’re not quite as expensive though!”

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