E-commerce Success Story: affordablefurniture.com
Interview with president Valerie Devine of http://www.affordablefurniture.com
Q: What kinds of products or services do you sell on your site?
A: We sell home furnishings and accessories, such as dining and bedroom sets, brass and cherry wood furniture, futons, chairs, and office desks and accessories. We also feature "Gifts Under $50" and "Closeout Specials" categories.
Q: Can you tell us a little about how your company got started selling over the Internet?
A: We started in electronic commerce back in 1995. Back then, we had been researching which markets might hold value to Internet users. We arrived at furniture and home accessories as being a viable market niche in which we could establish an online presence. From that point on, we have progressed steadily.
Q: Aside from your Web site, how else do you sell your products?
A: We are solely an Internet retailer.
Q: Can you give us a feel for the size of your business -- in terms of number of employees?
A: We're still a growing business, which means we have less than 15 employees.
Q: Which areas do you see your business coming from?
A: We do business across the 48 contiguous United States. We don't really have one particular region of sales concentration, although we do see a heavier polarizing on the coasts. At this time, we don't offer direct retail sales to international clients. We do offer volume services, in which we act as an intermediary between our suppliers and consumers. We offer this service to international as well as domestic clients.
Q: How much traffic are you seeing to your site?
A: We get 70,000 to 100,000 hits per week.
Q: What do you feel has helped make your site successful?
A: We'd like to think that the success of our site is two-sided. The first facet to our success is that we have an easy user interface, starting from the entrance to our Web site, through the purchase of a product. We have a very easy-to-manipulate Web site with consistent icons and buttons throughout. We have links back to the home page, as well as to help pages, on every page of site. We also take a lot of the shopper's guess work out of the online purchasing process by providing secure online transmissions, as well as including domestic ground delivery charges in all of our prices, so that there are no surprise charges for the customer after the fact.