DFS x Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology x Contentsquare

Contentsquare helps DFS avoid eCommerce replatforming pitfalls

The Company

DFS is the UK’s leading sofa retailer, and manufacturer focused on developing quality furniture and delivering a great customer experience by using data insights and technology to power growth. Today, its eCommerce channel accounts for approximately 25% of total company sales. Leading digital sales growth is James Vernon, Head of Online at DFS, who is responsible for optimizing customer experience, site performance, and supporting omnichannel objectives.

The Challenge

Having recently migrated its back-end platform to HCL v9, DFS needed to build a headless front-end to further improve its website performance and user experience.

The project was launched with an iterative approach involving three key steps: 

  1. A design phase covering technical implementation and UX 
  2. Rebuilding over 20-page templates and 100 components in the front-end 
  3. Re-integrating third-party tools providing features for the website

With such a complex project, DFS needed a way to ensure a frictionless shopping experience for its customers throughout the migration. 

The Solution

DFS turned to their long-standing partners, Contentsquare and global eCommerce consultancy Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology (Wunderman Thompson). 

Wunderman Thompson led the redesign and technical implementation of the new front-end, bringing best practice knowledge to ensure a high-quality outcome. Contentsquare's expertise and Digital Experience Analytics cloud played a crucial role in de-risking the replatform, providing speed to insights, and improving mean time to resolution. 

Teamwork makes the dream work

DFS, Wunderman Thompson and Contentsquare worked closely throughout the project to ensure a seamless transition to the new site. “We worked collaboratively,” shared James Vernon at DFS. “There was a good level of trust and focus on achieving joint goals, and the partnership feels easy and natural—which is important when working on a big project like replatforming.” 

Contentsquare and Wunderman Thompson had daily meetings with and without DFS to make sure we were delivering the best solution, and efficiently identifying, prioritizing and fixing the right issues."

Adam Burton

Director of Client Services at Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology

Prioritizing a critical API error at the checkout 


Within the first few hours of going live with the new site, a significant API error in DFS’ checkout was flagged. CS Find & Fix not only helped the team quickly spot the issue but also allowed them to understand its significance and prioritize resolution by quantifying the impact on conversion rate. 

“Having CS Find & Fix in place meant that we could identify the error immediately and get it fixed within a few days,” says James Vernon at DFS. 

In total, the team identified and quickly fixed x9 API errors post replatform. 

Quickly identifying and fixing errors 

During the replatform, the teams used CS Find & Fix in conjunction with New Relic to identify errors, quantify their impact, and prioritize resolution. The platform provided both technical and business teams with greater visibility into how errors were impacting DFS’s customer experience and key business metrics.

The teams used the following CS Find & Fix capabilities during the replatform: 

  • Error analysis flagged issues quickly and empowered teams to prioritize the right technical errors based on their impact.
  • Experience Search allowed teams to monitor how many visitors saw an error message—automatically alerting teams when abnormal message views spiked.
  • Session Replay helped business teams with less technical knowledge understand what exactly caused the error.
  • Speed Analysis allowed teams to monitor and quantify the impact of the improvement in Core Web Vitals. 

We’ve used Contentsquare’s Customer Journey Analysis, Zone-Based Heatmaps and Session Replay for a while, but for our front-end replatform, implementing CS Find & Fix was crucial. It gave us the confidence to know we could quickly identify issues or opportunities and fix site errors."

James Venon

Head of Online at DFS

The Results

Thanks to joint efforts, DFS was able to significantly increase the speed to insights, reduce mean time to resolution and, most importantly, provide a seamless customer experience throughout replatforming. Analysis in Contentsquare showed that post-migration, DFS’s site performance across both mobile and desktop improved significantly:

  • -20% reduction in site load time
  • -9% reduction in bounce rate sitewide 

This partnership has given us invaluable insight to help us solve problems and identify opportunities faster. As a result, we now have a modern-looking website that’s quicker, more reliable and appeals to more customers, which has improved our brand consideration scores and helped business growth."

James Vernon

Head of Online at DFS

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