Exclusive interview of Ashish Goel, CEO & Co-founder, URBAN LADDER
Modern Woodwork: Your Company has changed the traditional furniture marketing methods to online marketing. Please tell us about the journey of your e-commerce platform. What were the challenges that you faced while dealing with delivery system in a big country like India?
Mr. Ashish Goel: When we launched, we started pan India operations and worked with third party logistics teams to deliver furniture across the country. However, we set up our own delivery team in Bangalore. Soon we realized that customer complains about product damage were increasing in other cities but customers in Bangalore were very satisfied with the product quality and service. We realized that a category like furniture needs special care during transit and assembly and installation are critical post delivery services. We decided to take the tough call of rolling back from all other cities and re-launching only with our trained delivery and logistics teams due to unavailability of a reliable 3rd party logistics provider. We did not want to compromise on the service or product quality and we were sure we wanted our customers to have only the best experience shopping with Urban Ladder. This tough call helped us a great deal in establishing a brand that stands for quality and great customer service. We are now present in nineteen cities and will launch in other cities only with our trained delivery and logistics teams.
Modern Woodwork readers are aspiring furniture manufacturers in India who are seeking new avenues to succeed in better marketing of their products. They would like to know about the advantages of selling through your Company over the traditional methods of marketing [i.e.:via Showrooms / Dealers/ Expos etc.]
Mr. Ashish Goel: Over 85% of the furniture industry is unorganised, with no one brand that can give customers good design and service. Urban Ladder is a curated destination for home solutions, with the aim to help customers build well-furnished, beautiful homes. We control the entire chain right from design to delivery and assembling of the product in the customer’s house. We bring the best in quality and design to our customers with a seamless shopping experience.
Modern Woodwork: On line marketing is the order of the day. Our readers would like to know What are the current trends in terms of online furniture sale i.e.: what kind of furniture is selling more on online portals – solid wood / panel furniture or modular furniture? Can you please elaborate?
Mr. Ashish Goel: Solid wood furniture has been one of our biggest strengths and continues to be our best-selling furniture. This is followed by fabric and upholstered products. We launched our modular solutions last year and are seeing significant traction for wardrobes and kitchens as well.
From a category perspective, Sofas are the top selling category followed by a growing demand for solid wood dining sets, coffee tables and storage units.
Modern Woodwork: How do you bridge the gap between supply and demand that is between ordering the furniture & delivery of furniture?
Mr. Ashish Goel: Our planning team keeps a close eye on sales patterns along with changing consumer trends which determine demand and supply. The right balance of these two helps us keep our demand and supply in check.
Modern Woodwork: What is your message to Indian Furniture manufacturers?
Mr. Ashish Goel: Our vision is to make a million homes beautiful. We want to do this by making the most beautiful and good quality products available to customers. It is important to understand consumer needs and keep the customer interest as top most priority whenever one is thinking about building great products.