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Dovetail opened its doors in 1992 in Culver City, CA. Over the course of 30 years, co-founders Ted Einstein and Charlie Shaw have transformed the business from a retail operation with a single location to a wholesale furniture business, supplying thousands of retailers and interior designers across North America. Their style is best described as refined, yet relaxed, and their pieces often utilize eco-friendly materials, including natural fibers and reclaimed or plantation woods.
That quality/speed balance also plays a part in another of the innovations Guidance implemented during the project – “infinite aisle” product landing pages. These allow Dovetail’s vendors – especially brick-and-mortar salespeople – the ability to offer their customers many more product options than they can physically stock. This also allows Dovetail’s vendors to better compete with online furniture retailers.
The entire visual presentation was implemented in an editorial style designed to match Dovetail’s philosophy about the furnishings they select: modern but unpretentious, elegant yet approachable.
“We are thrilled with the work that the Guidance team has done for us and would highly recommend their services to anyone looking for a top-notch web development agency. Their level of professionalism, skill, and dedication is truly unparalleled.”
The project rolled out in multiple phases. To make the initial transfer run as smoothly as possible, Guidance brought Dovetail from Joomla into an older version of Optimizely CMS and Commerce. From there, Guidance upgraded Dovetail to the Optimizely DXP environment, which included upgrades to .NET 6, CMS 12, and Commerce 14.
Further integrations were deployed to define an even more personalized experience for Dovetail’s vendors, and the vendors’ own customers. Optimizely Product Recommendations deliver tailored “You May Also Like” content based on user behavior. Their Service API was key for migrating Dovetail’s existing vendors, including all their relevant contact and historical data, into the new platform. Creating visitor groups helped to further personalize the experience of content pages, and SendGrid was utilized for emails and other notifications.
Dovetail supplies furniture to the full spectrum of retailers, from national chains and franchises to small local showrooms. Despite differences in the scale of these businesses, Dovetail needed to provide them all the opportunity to offer Dovetail products as their own. From a branding perspective, that meant designing a solution in which the Dovetail site could seamlessly integrate with any retailer’s branding assets. In effect, every retailer would have its own white-label site.
Guidance implemented a headless CMS, which comfortably houses other retailers’ assets while maintaining a polished look and feel. However, many small businesses – including some of the vendors supplied by Dovetail – haven’t invested in the necessary assets to professionally represent themselves online, which makes a white-label presentation more challenging. To solve for this, Guidance devised a flexible suite of headers which could display low-quality logos on a square white background as needed.
Additionally, every business can customize pricing of the Dovetail products they offer to clients and customers. Whether they want to add margin to certain items or offer discounts on others, this is another way Guidance’s approach enabled Dovetail’s vendors to make their white-label sites truly feel like natural extensions of their own businesses.
With thousands of retailers and designers inquiring about thousands of items, managing a product catalog efficiently is a business-critical function. Dovetail teams, including sales and customer support, also depend on a catalog that accurately reflects current inventory levels and pricing for wholesale and retail.
Dovetail’s PIM solution is PlumSlice, but there isn’t an app for that in the Optimizely Marketplace. So, Guidance developers created their own solution – a custom module for the CMS user interface. The new PIM integration allows Dovetail to manage their catalog in a single place. Updated inventory and pricing data flows freely between systems, reducing the risk of discrepancies and maintenance overhead.
Some of Dovetail’s clients, such as interior designers, manage multiple projects at once, and may need to coordinate product arrival times many months in advance. As such, the robust wishlist functionality inside Optimizely Commerce was a must-have. Paired with the ability to display shipping fulfillment directly on the product display pages, and the ability to add item notes for project documentation, the new wishlist system helps Dovetail vendors easily determine what pieces will or won’t work for their professional projects from a logistical perspective.
The improved user flow within Optimizely also allows Dovetail’s vendors to move some or all of their wishlist items into their cart, to streamline checkout when they’re ready to purchase. Individual item notes are preserved in the transfer as well.
Over the course of three decades, Dovetail evolved from a furniture retailer to a wholesale supplier, serving thousands of businesses and designers throughout North America. To prepare the next phase of growth, they needed to upgrade their brand presentation, CMS, and ecommerce platform.
Guidance partnered with Dovetail to migrate their website to Optimizely, and developed custom integrations for ERP, PIM, and DAM solutions. Their brand refresh included a reimagined user experience that also supports the creation of white-label sites for their vendors. These sites provide an infinite aisle product presentation, customer-specific pricing, and an intuitive site architecture.
With detailed style and images guides, a new analytics package,
and support for professional project planning, the new Dovetail site is responsive, streamlined, and fully prepared for future scaling and integrations.