Imagine shopping for a new couch or — this time, let’s get crazy — an entire furnished apartment. You could choose your floor-to-ceiling windows and kitchen countertop, too. Rather than visiting a showroom with displays and samples, you could envision everything you wanted in your new home. And that’s just the start.
You could even ‘preside’ online, room by room. And then you could order what you liked all at once, custom-made for you, from one platform. This is how we envisioned the future of furniture shopping!
From the dawn of time, the most common complaint about furniture shopping is “It’s so hard! Different stores sell different stuff, and even if you do find a store where you like everything, it’s so hard to buy it all from just one place.”
We launched kemitt.com in early 2019 with a mission to solve this and since then we have been changing how people shop for furniture online.
A $20Bn industry: The Untold Story Of How Online Furniture Marketplaces Are Taking Over
For a huge market like the MENA region, the furniture market was un-digitized and highly fragmented, with extremely heavy operations and poor infrastructure. It seemed extremely challenging, but the only thing we saw was a green field ready for disruption.
When we decided to create a marketplace we started onboarding well-known furniture brands, although most of them weren’t very accepting of the idea of selling anywhere other than their offline stores and the ones who did, didn’t sell very well.
We thought that customers weren’t ready for online shopping, and that the convenience aspect alone wasn’t quite an incentive to change consumer behavior. As the customer was still able to buy the same product from the brand they trust and get the same product for the same quality and the same price.
We shifted our perspective towards a different view on the supply chain: to onboard the manufacturers and factories. This is to help them refine their product catalog and enable them to sell directly to the end consumers online through Kemitt with the commission-based business model.
This changed everything. We had an average of 40% lower than any traditional furniture store for only getting directly from the manufacturer and removing all the retail compounded mark-up.
Only getting this done required heavy optimizations in the logistical and operational models due the industry dynamics and product nature that normally requires installation and very specialized treatment while shipping.
That was the main reason why achieving operational excellence in this model was the hardest compared to other verticals. At the same time, it was the main barrier of entry against horizontal marketplace giants like Amazon, Jumia, and etc.
Giving every manufacturer and designer a chance to have a channel to showcase their products and reach hundreds of thousands of customers online was the turning point.
I always identify that at Kemitt our three pillars of success are: convenience, variety, and affordability. By offering our customers an unparalleled selection with the most affordable prices and the most convenient shopping experience available.
Completing The Furniture Loop
We have also expanded to various business units alongside our B2C platform, we have recently launched KemittBusiness which is basically the first B2B marketplace in the region built specifically for bulk furniture and raw materials orders capitalizing on our supply power. The platform is tailored to serve real estate developers, contractors, interior designers, and furniture retailers with large quantities targeting the local and international markets.
In addition to launching Kemitt Design, we partnered with Moodfit.com to offer interior designing services online to our users to be able to close the furnishing loop in one place, from design to furniture purchase and delivery.
Egypt has an undeniable huge supply available, with estimated 8,000 furniture factories across the country and the continued growth in e-commerce sales the model was ready to scale.
Today, 800+ manufacturers from all over the country list and sell their products through Kemitt, representing 45,000+ SKUs across 22 categories, utilizing on our logistical network to serve thousands of customers to shop for furniture items online and get everything they need to be delivered directly to their doorstep.
What the future holds!
• The continuous advancement in technology will make shopping online for furniture even more seamless, from the product search and filtering of hundreds of categories and sub categories to having a complete home service covering every aspect of furnishing.
• Furniture e-commerce infrastructure will be even stronger at scale, enabling next-day or same-day delivery, doing shopping for bulky furniture items as easy as buying groceries online.
• Already 48% of the consumers in the MENA start their purchase journey online, we estimate that by 2025 over 50% of the consumers will be completing their entire purchase journey 100% online.
The online furniture market is growing substantially in Egypt, witnessing the interest of international investments from reputable VCs across the globe making huge investments in this type of business looking for the next wayfair.com of the east that will bring this technology and solution to cover the whole MENAP region in the next four years.
Also read: Kemitt, Egypt’s furniture e-commerce, partners with Beirut’s Moodfit
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