Founded in 2005, Linen Tablecloth is a leading provider of table linens, chair covers & other celebration supplies for special events such as weddings, VIP entertaining, & corporate gatherings.
Founded in 2005, LinenTablecloth.com began with a relatively limited assortment of tablecloths and chair covers. As the years went on, inventory expanded to include charger plates, table runners, chair sashes, and a variety of other items designed for group events such as weddings and corporate meetings. The company also has a vast selection of napkins and tablecloths of varying sizes, fabrics, colors, and quality levels. Providing a selection of higher margin items is key as competition has increased in the low-price market.
Hosted on Magento for eight years, Linentablecloth.com had individual pages for each of the company's thousands of SKUs, making it laborious and confusing to navigate the site. Drawn by low prices for simple white polyester napkins, brides and party planners usually bought the loss leading items before discovering the site's more interesting options. Linen Tablecloth also offered rental items, but customers had to go to a separate site to see inventory and book the transactions.
Over time, Linentablecloth.com grew increasingly sluggish. It was a bad user experience for customers and expensive for the company to maintain, requiring five full-time developers working out of the company's headquarters in suburban Portland, Oregon.
But the worse was yet to come. After an upgrade to Magento 2.1, inventory stopped syncing. The site was so broken Linen Tablecloth turned off their phones. Revenue dropped by half. Within three months, a decision was made to move to a new platform. The company was in crisis mode.
Linen Tablecloth moved to the Miva platform, creating an elegant and easy-to-navigate site that showcases their entire product range. The site launch included a variety of new features and functionality that is native to Miva's fast and stable platform. With Miva, new features are being regularly added, despite the fact Linen Tablecloth no longer employs in-house developers.
Now instead of having customers scroll through dozens of pages to see individual colors, product listing pages help Linen Tablecloth display items by size, fabric and print, with swatches triggering live previews of color options available for each. The newly reorganized navigation makes it easy to browse by fabric type, showing how pintuck fabric products look as sashes, tablecloths, and overlays. If an item is out of stock, a Pre Order feature allows planners to make sure they're the first to get the product when it hits the warehouse.
It was a Miva solutions architect who suggested combining sales and rental products on a single site, something Linen Tablecloth execs didn't know was possible in their time frame and budget. With Miva, it was. Customers can now browse thousands of items, and easily toggle between 'Purchase' and 'Rental' to view each price. If 'Rental' is selected, they can then add their event date to check the item's availability before booking.
Miva has also incorporated iParcel into the site, opening up international sales.
Year over year comparison for monthly sales since Miva site launch
In a highly competitive marketplace, Linen Tablecloth's business objective isn't just to sell more products – it's to increase margins. Before Miva, some 90% of napkin and table cloth sales were white – that's dropped to the 70% range. Charcoal and navy are two of the top sellers. Sales of decor items have tripled.
But it's the uptick in the rental business that has Linen Tablecloth's owners particularly excited. Only a few months after launching on Miva, sales from the rental business now represent 20% of business – up from 3% before. When rental and purchase were on separate sites, customers got confused and conversion rates plummeted. Now rentals are a highly profitable part of the business, with consumers thrilled to choose higher-end products at half the price. Since the tablecloths can be used up to 20 times, it drops the cost of goods for the company. It's also better for the environment since customers used to throw or give away old items. Excited by the new rental opportunities, the company has invested $400,000 in new industrial laundry equipment.
The polished new site is already attracting some new customers, including PrimeSports, which books corporate and VIP parties for sporting events such as NASCAR, NBA and the Rose Bowl.
Within weeks of moving to Miva, customer service query and complaint calls dropped – in part because Miva automated the process for sending out tracking numbers and shipping notifications. Customer service reps now have more time to spend on a new company priority: offering event planning skills to customers in free 20-minute sessions that will guide them through products and resources on Linentablecloth.com. On the Miva platform, the company is planning many internal celebrations in the years to come.