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MebelOK is both a furniture retailer and a furniture manufacturer. Interview with co-owner Svyatoslav Amelin

Success stories of UAFM 🎉

 

MebelOK has not ended any of its nine years of existence, which is called “in the red”, each time taking a step in its development and establishment in the domestic furniture market. And even in the current quarantine and crisis time, he feels quite confident. This alone is enough for the company to be considered successful, but we still asked its co-owner Svyatoslav Amelin to tell the story of its success in more detail.

Today, MebelOk is truly one of the leaders in the e-commerce segment, in online furniture sales, which also has a network of retail stores in several cities (their total exhibition area is within four thousand square meters). Its range includes more than 50 thousand products. These are furniture of different function and different price segments – from “economy” to “average plus”. At the same time, MelelOK is a direct furniture maker, not only sells furniture from other manufacturers, but also produces its own to order, having the appropriate production capacity. Of course, you can’t be a successful salesperson without having your own well-established logistics service. In the company it provides both high-quality service address delivery of the sold furniture, and delivery of furniture from the companies-suppliers, in particular and for timely and sufficient replenishment of warehouse stocks. Thus, MelelOK is a trade-production-service company, and such diversity, we can say that universality is also to a large extent a guarantee of its success.

MelelOK sells furniture mainly from domestic manufacturers (suppliers for this retailer are more than two hundred furniture companies). Imported furniture is a small share, because the best domestic ones, as practice has shown, are quite acceptable for most Ukrainians in terms of quality, and even more so in terms of price.

MelelOK is a multi-channel retailer based on its business model. Prices are the same – in online and offline stores. And in this way, potential customers are offered a choice: to make a purchase without visiting the store on the basis of an electronic catalog (which is becoming increasingly popular) or traditionally.

As an experienced and successful online retailer, MelelOk attaches great importance and pays great attention to the content offered to customers on the site. Here and detailed descriptive characteristics of the product, and its high-quality photo-visualization. Since last year, professional video recordings of goods have been posted on the website. The demand for video materials was especially in demand during the period of coronavirus quarantine, when remote purchases dominated, and buyers had an urgent need to obtain comprehensive visual information not only about the furniture in general, but also about its individual details – in particular finishes: upholstery fabrics, their textures, surfaces, color shades. The video method of conveying such nuances in combination with a text description is more perfect than a photo. From now on, such video presentations will become part of the daily practice of online sales.

– As an experienced and reputable online retailer on the market, MeleLOK probably felt more confident in quarantine than its “offline colleagues”, who, like your retail stores, had to completely stop trading or try to establish remote sales from scratch?

– In fact, quarantine restrictions have proved painful for online furniture trade. And more painful than for online stores that sell other goods and products. First of all, because the supply of furniture from supplier companies was limited, some of which either stopped altogether or significantly reduced their production activity. In particular, due to the lack of offline trade, which still remains the main means of selling ready-made furniture. And it happened that even it was physically difficult to take away from them what had already been produced. When there is nothing to sell, there is still nothing for stationary outlets or for online stores. It was that the delivery service could not sometimes serve customers at the pre-quarantine level in conditions when the closure of stationary stores began to grow online sales. Largely due to the fact that the delivery process was complicated by the need to provide our logistics daily with fresh protective equipment. They came to clients not only equipped with no worse medical workers, so that they would not be afraid of their arrival and temporary stay in their homes, but also before leaving checked for health directly in the company. Largely due to the fact that we managed to meet quarantine requirements quickly and flexibly, trade continued, customers were generally properly serviced, and the company went through the most difficult period of quarantine restrictions with almost no staff losses and no irreparable economic failure.

This was facilitated by the fact that many of our furniture partners and landlords have not lost their partner qualities and values ​​in difficult quarantine conditions. They made concessions, compromises, showed loyalty in search of business mutual benefit, and even mutual survival. In this way, I managed to agree with almost every partner individually – I will say without exaggeration – that MebelOk has a good reputation and a good name.

      – The constant expansion of the range of furniture offered to potential buyers – the main condition of the furniture trade?

“I wouldn’t say.” For more than a year now, MebelOk has not relied solely on expanding its range, focusing on “honing” its quality. For three years, we abandoned furniture products that did not live up to the quality bar that we set for ourselves and our partners.

Pricing is a process that we not only constantly monitor, but regularly work to find opportunities to reduce costs on the way from producer to buyer, which allows us to offer customers more competitive prices.

Our third obvious advantage is our presence in the regions. So far in three – the capital, Kharkiv and Dnipro. We plan to have our representative offices in Odessa and Lviv. This is important and that’s why. In practice, most online stores require a prepayment for a customer’s chosen product, which strains and undermines the credibility of such merchants, which has further deteriorated due to several recorded cases of fraudulent transactions, so given the presence of the online retailer regional offices contact and communicate with its employees, strengthens trust in him.

 

We are creating a better furniture environment in Ukraine! 💛💙

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