Online furniture retailers like Urban Ladder and Pepperfry have started providing interior design services for free.
The idea is that if consumers avail free interior design services they will purchase furniture from them which will increase their average order value. Urban Ladder, has launched Urban Interiors to help customers furnish their house with the help of interior design services. With Urban Interiors, an Urban Ladder designer will assist customers to choose products from Urban Ladder’s catalogue, and design a home free of charge. The online retailer has also initiated a Design Partner Network programme through which the company will collaborate with leading interior designers from across the country. The design network will help scale Urban Interiors to different parts of the country.
“Urban Interiors is expected to drive an average order value of R600,000 and is projected to contribute 15% to the company’s revenues in FY17,” said Ashish Goel, chief executive officer and co-founder, Urban Ladder. The next phase will see the launch of Urban Interiors app, which will help customers design their home within a few hours using augmented reality. This app will create virtual rooms (wall colours, floor materials, doors, etc) and will help select and place furniture and decor in the virtual space. A complete 3D visualisation of the home will be available, Goel said. Urban Ladder, reported revenue of R19 crore and a loss of R58 crore in FY15.
Another online furniture retailer Pepperfry.com has also partnered with 50 certified interior design specialists as consultants. The team of Bespoke, its interior design vertical will advise and recommend consumers on designing their home interiors.
Sonali Mitra, head, Pepperfry Bespoke, said, “We are offering free home design services to customers and are sure this would boost sales going forward.”
Pepperfry reported a revenue of R25.3 crore in FY15 and a loss of R88 crore.
According to Anurag Mathur, partner, PriceWaterhouse Cooper, “This initiative of providing free interior designing to customers will definitely help the companies improve their sales as the average ticket size would go up. If customers are buying one or two furniture now with the interior designing services they may look at purchasing furniture for entire house. So the average ticket size of purchases will definitely go up. Right now the average purchase of furniture is around R10,000 to R15,000 which will go up to a few lakh as customers may look at purchasing furniture for entire house.”