Textile tiles of family business Van Heugten
Having invented carpet tiles during the previous century, the Van Heugten family is now using Shopify to reinvent their online retail business in this one.
CLIENTVan Heugten tapijttegels
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It all started with granddad
Tapijttegels, or carpet tiles, are as typically Dutch as windmills and bicycles; in fact, bicycle seats are even part of their origin story. “My grandfather originally made bicycle seat covers and carpet underlays in the late 1920s,” recalls Martijn van Heugten, owner of Van Heugten Tapijttegels. “His early experiments with fabric-backing were later optimised by my grandfather, PJ van Heugten, in the 1950s. He used bitumen as backing for carpet, revolutionizing the business in the process.” Suddenly, carpets not only became highly durable but also ideal for cutting into squares or tiles and packing flat in boxes.
The rest, as they say, is history. Carpet tile production has since gone global, yet the family’s original brand remains the first name in carpet tiles. Today, Van Heugten Tapijttegels continues to produce ‘made in Holland’ carpet tiles in the same small town east of Amsterdam, just as they have for centuries.
Life before Shopify
Fast forward to 2020. Van Heugten Tapijttegels is looking in new directions. The coronavirus crisis has hit their market hard: their core business is providing B2B carpet tiles for large projects and office spaces. “Carpeting for conventions and expo centres is also a big part of our business,” Martijn adds. “The corona-crisis hit that sector hard too.”
Martijn was now looking to add business-to-consumer or B2C to their mix, with an accompanying new webshop: “Our previous site ran on Magento 1, but Magento announced the end of that version, so our options were to move to Magneto 2 or consider alternatives.” He looked at Shopify, liked the initial “look and feel” and decided to explore it further.
“Code reacted quickly to our inquiry,” Martijn recalls. “Bob - Code's CCO - visited our office and production site and got to know our business first-hand, which we really appreciated.” Having decided to migrate to Shopify with Code, Martijn quickly compiled a wish list for the new webshop and Code got to work.
With Code there is just a good chemistry. We exchange ideas and they make it happen.
Customised carpet calculator
“Shopify was also a good fit for us because we don’t have huge numbers of products,” Martijn explains. “And Shopify’s desk and user interface are easy to use, easy to implement and upgrade quickly, so I can do lots of things myself. With Magento you always had to ask coders for help”.
Martijn describes the collaboration with Code as “a good click. We exchange ideas and then they make them happen.” Shopify’s customisability was also key. “A special, customised carpet tile calculator was an absolute must for us, so much so that it could’ve been a deal-breaker.” Code succeeded to build precisely what his new webshop demanded, a calculator that allows customers to calculate prices according to numbers of tiles, square meters and meters, as well as request offers and samples.
Going with the flows
As anyone who’s ever done so knows, choosing carpets can be an agonizing experience. So many style and practical considerations, measurements, deliberations…. Even Oprah Winfrey once complained that “it’s much easier for me to make multi-million dollar decisions than to decide on a carpet for my front porch. That’s the truth!”
For Van Heugten Tapijttegels, the truth is that many of the people visiting their webshop will leave undecided. Code however had the solution: bespoke Klaviyo email marketing flows. “The ‘abandon cart flow’ is fantastic!” Martijn exclaims. “It allows us to send mails to those who visited but abandoned their carts before buying, but now a remarkably high percentage of them ultimately return to buy.”
Code also developed a Klaviyo ‘welcome series flow’ and special ‘sample flow’ specific to his business. “We offer potential customers free carpet tile samples, which is an added cost of doing business, so it’s crucial that we’re able to successfully pursue them as well.” Martijn is happy with the new Shopify webshop: “It’s growing and evolving and really boosting our business,” he says. “”And as a matter of fact, we’re now working with Code to switch our outlet store - magic-carpets.nl - to Shopify as well!” But that’s a story for another case study….