Using technology to place a big order


Have you ever heard of an early adopter?

Wikipedia describes them as an early customer of products, technology, politics, fashion or art.

You probably know them as trendsetters or the cool kids on your block. Maybe you are even one yourself. They are the people who wait in line overnight outside an Apple store for the latest gizmo. They rock out to music by unknown artists and they tend to dress themselves in clothes that aren’t sold at the local mall.

While I totally admire early adopters, I am definitely not one of them. I admit to having once said, half-kiddingly, that I was hoping that the Internet wouldn’t catch on. “What’s wrong with a library and some friends with Siri-like smarts?”

Another sign of my sluggish adopting skills is that most of the music that I listen to is sung by dead people. Put all those facts together and I think you can see that I am not quick to leap on the newness train.

Of course, those of us who are slow to change are not blind to the conveniences of the world’s advances. Certainly using an ATM versus going into a bank is kinda awesome. You have to love being able to download a book from your airplane seat, as if you have your very own story tech angel. Not to mention the countless apps available on your phone that can tell you next week’s weather in Mumbai, name a random star over your head and translate a text into Norwegian. All good stuff — way to go world.

With that said, this year marks a first for me. I ordered a large piece of furniture (a dining room table) online for myself. I read the reviews, studied the image from my 15” screen and plunked down my charge card.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not naïve to online buying. I have ordered up an Amazon Prime-worthy amount of goodies over the years. It’s just with furniture, big furniture, I tend to want to touch what I buy.

The Magnussen Home (Karlin) dining table was totally off my radar. I had never seen this 54-inch big boy before. So this purchase required a little motivation, which for me was being tired of asking my company to sit on the floor at dinnertime.

As you know, buying online has some serious perks. When you are ready to shop, you only have to lift the lid of your computer rather than score a parking space. You can hunt for a specific item for as long as you plug words into a search bar. You don’t get any buying pressure from any commission-starved sales consultants. Plus you can wear a T-shirt and fuzzy slippers while you shop.

So, are you wondering how many people are taking the plunge and buying furniture online? Let me share a little inside scoop with you.

The current titan of e-commerce home shopping is Boston-based Wayfair. They have proven that it is pretty enticing to access a ginormous furniture store on your laptop that is open 24/7. Not to mention that they will deliver to you for free. That’s right: They deliver for nada, zippo, zilch. No delivery charge at all.

Perhaps you have trolled one of Wayfair’s other four popular e-commerce sites (Dwell Studio, Joss & Main, All Modern and Birch Lane.

Four million customers toss something into their cart from their online stores and proceed to checkout each year. In 2014, they reported a whopping $1.3 billion in net sales and, as of June 30, they are reporting a staggering 53.5 percent increase in revenue. Snaaap!

So, should conventional furniture stores be scared? I don’t know, yet.

Here’s what I do know ...

For a trend laggard like myself, to own an e-commerce table that is now parked in my dining room is certainly a leap of Internet faith, and I like it.

Amy Archer

Amy Archer is owner of Sarasota-based Creating Inspired Design and writes the Barefooted Designer blog. She can be reached by email.
Last modified: December 11, 2015
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