By Megan Harman
Canadian-based e-commerce retailer Simpli Home is seeking to revolutionize the furniture retail space, with a high-tech business model that is growing rapidly.
The company specializes in affordable, fashion-forward furniture, which is sold in Canada and the U.S. through major e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart, Costco and Home Depot. Simpli Home also recently launched its own e-commerce website, which allows consumers to buy products directly.
The company is growing by between 25-35% per year, according to Yoram Weinreich, chief growth officer at Simpli Home. Currently, the company sells approximately 400,000 pieces of furniture per year, and Weinreich expects that volume could double in the next two to three years.
“We’ve experienced very, very rapid growth,” he says.
Simpli Home caters primarily to consumers between the ages of 25 and 54 who are in search of stylish home furnishings at an affordable price. The company focuses on casual contemporary furniture, with styles that evolve as trends change. Currently, industrial and mid-century styles are among the company’s top selling items, Weinreich says.
Although the vast majority of consumers buy furniture in stores, Weinreich says consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable buying items online. As that trend continues, he says demand for buying furniture online is “unlimited and growing.”
“You still have 90% of the population buying furniture in stores,” he says. “But, the advantage online is you have unlimited variety, whereas in stores, you have very limited variety.”
In fact, Weinreich notes that Simpli Home currently has 1,200 different products available. Next year, the company intends to increase its selection to 2,000 products. The online sales channel makes it easy to continually release new products to gauge consumer appetite, Weinreich says.
“It’s easy to experiment online,” he says.
Weinreich believes that the digital transformation currently underway in the retail business is only just beginning. As e-commerce companies embrace tools such as augmented reality to support the online shopping experience, he suspects that a much higher proportion of consumers will eventually make purchases online rather than in stores.
Retailers that fail to keep up, he says, could find themselves out of business.
“E-commerce is a massive transformation that’s happening in the retail marketplace,” Weinreich says. “Either retailers are going to adapt and change, or they’re going to lose giant market share.”
Simpli Home has embraced technology into nearly all aspects of its business and supply chain in order to provide rapid shipping turnaround and responsive customer service. Utilizing technology has also helped the company to run an efficient global operation, with offices in Canada, U.S., China, Macau, Vietnam and India.
“We take every technology available to us and apply it in order to automate,” Weinreich said.
“We work as a global operation in the real sense of the word, utilizing people in remote locations, using technology to work together.”