Made.com: fabricating a new approach to furniture
Made.com was founded in 2010, as an online retail enterprise. As a product of recent times, it exhibits the same entrepreneurial culture, a desire to innovate, and an appetite to disrupt the traditional way of doing things in its own sector, as other digital-first businesses.
Imagine a furniture concept that throws out the baggage of the traditional ways and re-invents the whole process from the perspective of the customer and the designer, and you can imagine Made.com. Its disruptive thinking encompasses every aspect of furniture design, production and sales.
The ‘design side’ of things
Let’s take the design side of things. Made.com is a conduit for designers, both new and established, who complement the Made.com aesthetic profile, and its take and philosophy on what we should all fill our homes with. It has collaborated with a number of designers including Nina Campbell, Philip Colbert, Ilaria Marelli, Genevieve Bennett, John Stefanidis and Alison Cork. It is a celebration of good taste.
The philosophy is taken to its extreme with the ‘Made Talent Lab’ where potential designers meet crowdfunding investors and final customers in a process that rewards talent, foresight and the love of an idea. New designers pitch their product, with design drawings and prototypes to the Made.com public. The public votes and invests in the products they like.
Their investment will be financial if the product proves popular enough to make it to market. If support is sufficient, the customer receives a limited edition piece of furniture or interior design, the product of their taste and commitment.
Made.com customers also have their moment in the sunshine. ‘Made Unboxed’ is a clever thing that indulges those proud of their home-made places and helps customers to see their potential purchase in the full glory of a real-life setting.
The way it works is that existing customers create profiles and post images of their purchases. But not in cameo isolation but in splendid context, with buyers showing how they brought together their Made.com furniture with additional interior design touches and decoration. The idea is a source of inspiration for potential buyers, stimulation and re-assurance to purchase, whilst the platform also propels the proud ‘posters’ into the role of design gurus. This is self-perpetuating, self-fulfilling marketing of the most stylish kind.
Prioritising customer experiences
Nor is the practical process of product selection ignored in this new way of buying. The cunning ‘Sofasizer’ is another work of genius. It is a single click and drag tool that instantly reduces the sofa assortment by size and dimension to fit your available nook or cranny. It then modifies the search by colour and price and presents the perfect possibilities with videos, reviews and, of course our Unboxed heroes.
The sensible inclusion of a search by delivery time filter pacifies the most impatient. It cleverly defines the customer journey and experience for either those that are willing to browse, enjoy and wait for a unique piece of design, from those who need something for visitors to sit on by the weekend.
A breath of fresh air in a stale and sedentary sector, Made.com is combining a passion for style and an acumen for business for the benefit of both furniture designers and homeowners alike.
That’s putting on the style.
‘’Made.com: fabricating a new approach to furniture’ is an extract from the book ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness: How to be an Essential Retailer.’ by Tim Radley.
If you would like to read more about the new ways that retailers are working with internal buying processes, how to develop different kinds of inventory, the importance of a ‘passion supply chain’ and how supply chains should be determined by product role, then you can find all of this and more in ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness.’
Available worldwide across all amazon platforms and popular online booksellers from Waterstones, Blackwell’s & Foyles to Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository.