How harmati Found Success Launching on Amazon—Before It Even Had Its Own Website by Tim Nelson at Architectural Digest
A unique launch strategy helped Harmati hone its design offering to meet customer demand. Is it an approach worth emulating?
While plenty of furniture makers with a strong e-commerce game made out like bandits during the pandemic, launching a direct-to-consumer offering from scratch in the midst of global upheaval and supply-chain snags is certainly no easy feat.
But that’s exactly what harmati, a brand that aims to “simplify and improve daily life at home” for those dwelling in smaller spaces, has done. The company bucked the conventional launch process by selling its midcentury-, modern-, and Scandinavian-inspired designs first through Amazon, months before launching its own website. So far, it’s working.
While Amazon might not be the first place one would think to turn to in search of a solid wood, tongue and groove coffee table, harmati brand director Marina Fernandez tells AD PRO that starting sales through Amazon functioned as a research and development shortcut.
“In developing the brand strategy for harmati, we wanted customer feedback to be at the center of our product development process, and we knew that being a part of the Amazon platform would allow us to get this feedback faster than within a brand-owned platform,” Fernandez says.
The results of this strategy speak for themselves. According to harmati’s proprietary data, the studio sold more than 11,500 products (at price points ranging from $59.99 to $219.99) within four and a half months of launching on the e-comm behemoth. By the time harmati was ready to launch its own website, that momentum translated to 93,500 site visits in its first month.
Though harmati’s e-commerce gambit may appear to be an overnight success, the brand laid quite a bit of groundwork behind the scenes. The idea for the Amazon rollout was inspired by the success of a similar effort undertaken by its sister brand Bedsure, which also refined its offerings through feedback from Amazon sales. And before harmati’s own Amazon launch, the company tapped a team of customer ambassadors to offer opinions in what functioned as a prelaunch.
The ambassador program, which Fernandez says is still active, is made up of “potential customers who get to test our current and future products every month [who] share their honest feedback with us in terms of overall value, quality, functionality, and even color options.”
The outcome is an affordable line that merges space maximization with clean, on-trend aesthetics—think solid wood and rattan, curved silhouettes, and more. From the contemporary look of the adaptable Viv Full-Length mirror to the clutter-concealing Monty storage bench and Marina Lift-Top coffee table, harmati’s inclusion of its customers in the process has helped the studio perfect the art of design that does more with less.
So, though some at the higher end of the market may find the idea of sourcing furniture from Amazon a bit gauche, the harmati model is one that upstarts might want to consider emulating. After all, from the seller side of things, getting marketplace exposure, sales, and customer feedback from Amazon as an upstart is a lot better than no sales or customer feedback at all.
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