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• Where furniture.com was a failure, the furniturefind.com is actually doing ok.

• They obviously tried to learn from furniture.com’s mistakes.

• Instead of trying to eliminate all furniture retailers by being an online store, they actually ARE a traditional retailer, with a store.

• Instead of trying to eliminate the retailer markup, they looked for a way to sell more of their furniture. That’s how they go started. They were just looking for a way to sell MORE furniture, and set up an online store to be able to sell not just in Michigan, but also all across the USA.

• But then, when they started focusing on selling furniture over the internet, they realized that they could sell it for cheaper (they didn’t have to cover their store overhead if they were selling to clients in Florida, for example).

• But, from the suppliers point of view (the manufacturers), how could they allow one retailer in Michigan to sell the same furniture in Florida for a cheaper price than the retailers in Florida could? If they allowed that to happen, then the Florida dealers (such as Rooms to Go) would drop that supplier, and go with one that protected their territory.

• The obviously had to find a way to get around this conflict. How did they do it?

• From what I can tell….It appears as if they sell only a small portion of particular lines.

• For example; the company “Powell” shows only 30 products on furniturefind.com, but they have 1000’s of sku’s. Why aren’t the rest of the products sold here? My guess is that Powell only sells older models, or else they specifically designed a line for the online retailer, so that the exact same products can not be found in their traditional dealer stores.

• Another company “Lexington” is one of the largest furniture companies in the world. They have 10s of 1000’s of skus in their entire collection. But on furniturefind.com, they only list 97. Where are the rest? I'm guessing that they are not here because Lexington is “protecting” their traditional dealers.

• www.furniturefind.com – Who are they? What market are they trying to serve?

• What segment of the market are they after? Popular. Furniturefind.com is for popular furniture, by mass producers. The brands they carry are mostly mid level. With very few high end products (they do have some).

• They are not a manufacturer of furniture themselves. Instead, their background is as a traditional retailer that later went online. They sell furniture from local US based dealers of furniture.

• Here is an interesting article from the wall street journal that talks about furniturefind.com http://www.domainmart.com/news/WSJ_ecommerce-stories.htm

• Note: They do not import directly themselves (but instead just buy from other importers). I imagine that they are very careful about only listing items that importers guarantee will be in stock (or restocked in very short timeframe). I doubt it very much that the online buyer will wait 6 months for a container to be filled, and shipped.

• Note: They do not warehouse furniture themselves, but instead rely totally on their suppliers to warehouse everything.

• Are they profitable? Not sure. In the interview with WSJ, the management at furniturefind.com was proud that they were “cash flow positive”. They would probably not use such conservative wording if they were more profitable.

• Some of the key issues that they bring up: what do online furniture stores do with the returned and damaged items? Answer: if you have traditional stores or discount outlets, its much easier. Another lesson: the companies that are successful at online retailing are ones that have previous brick and mortar stores. Places to train the sales staff.

• Interesting article: http://www.internetretailer.com/internet/marketing-conference/321161239-furniturefindcom-finds-move-online-sales-easier-than-expected.html

• What is this “Affiliate Marketing” that they talk about?:

• The process of “Affiliate marketing is an online advertising channel in which advertisers (online merchants that sell products or services) pay publishers (independent parties that promote the products or services of an advertiser on their Web site) only for results, such as a visitor making a purchase or filling out a form, rather than paying simply to reach a particular audience. This “pay-for-performance” model is in essence the modern version of the “finders’-fee” model, where individuals who introduce new clients to a business are compensated. The difference in the case of affiliate marketing is that advertisers only pay their publishers when the new client introduction results in a sale or a lead, making it a low-risk, high-reward environment for both parties.”

• How does affiliate marketing work?.... “Advertisers in our network, the CJ Marketplace, populate their ad links in the interface, making them available for placement by publishers. Each link is assigned a commission, such as a fixed amount per lead or a percentage of a resulting sale on the advertiser's Web site. Publishers looking to monetize their traffic apply to join an advertiser's program. Upon acceptance, the publishers select and place the advertiser's links on their Web sites, in their email campaigns or as part of search listings. When a consumer clicks on a publisher's link, a cookie is set on the visitor's browser that identifies the advertiser, the publisher, and the specific link and payment rates. When the visitor makes an actual purchase online or fills out a form, that transaction is tracked and recorded by Commission Junction. Upon recording the transaction, Commission Junction handles all of the collection and processing required to ensure fair and timely commission payment for the publisher, and all of the administration and verification necessary to ensure quality sales and leads for the advertiser.”

• Learn more: https://www.cj.com/about/cj_marketplace.html

• What furniture retailers are currently using affiliate marketing? See this site: http://www.affiliatefirst.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?g=txt%2FHome_and_Garden%2FFurniture%2Findex.shtml&d=1

• Note: there are many other furniture retailers offering a similar deal (Rooms to Go, for example).





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