Since their launch in 2015, Australian online marketplace for furniture and the home, House of Home, has offered a curated online solution to local bricks and mortar retailers to support and expand their business.
House of Home marketplace is filling a gap in the e-commerce industry by offering a platform for local, independent furniture and homewares retailers to advertise and sell their products and to increase foot traffic in-store without the hassle of setting up and maintaining their own website.
“We know that customers are researching and discovering online more and more, but they are still heading in store to actually purchase, particularly with the larger furniture items like sofas and coffee tables. House of Home makes it easy for the retailers to have their products found online, and even easier for the customer looking for that perfect product. “, says the company’s co-founder and joint CEO Stephen Jones.
Jones prides himself on the passion that he and his fellow co-founder and joint CEO, Carlinea Williamson, have for furniture retail in Australia, and the curated online marketplace and furniture ecosystem it has created.
The marketplace currently offers more than 100,000 products from 400 retailers around Australia. It employs an unique ‘enquiry’ model presenting four options for customers to connect with retailers including phone, email, in-store enquiry or online purchase. The company’s focus is to offer a one-stop-shop to make it easy for shoppers to find furniture and home products and link them to a local brick and mortar provider.
“Not many retailers understand the impact moving their business online has on meeting customer needs. About 93% of people still make their purchase for furniture in store but are spending large amounts of time researching products, ideas and inspiration online. House of Home helps these businesses bridge this gap by connecting customers with great products from great local retailers. This really is at the heart of what we do,” says joint CEO and co-founder Carlinea Williamson.
House of Home’s plan for the future is to make its e-commerce platform the most relevant destination for retailers and consumers for browsing and buying home and furniture products.
“We are where fashion was 5 years ago. So in five years time, the landscape of e-commerce transactions in particular will have changed dramatically and we hope to play a role in this evolution,” says Jones.
About the Founders
Before joining forces, Jones started his career in accounting, working for KPMG, Macquarie Bank and Australia Post. After reconnecting with long-term friend and founder of online platform BikeExchange, Jason Wyatt, they decided to set up the marketplace Furniture Exchange in 2013. Not long after its launch, Stephen partnered with Carlinea Williamson, founder and director of Reno Exchange, an online marketplace for renovation products. The two marketplace platforms were merged to form House of Home in July 2015.