Many entrepreneurs are inspired to start companies because of their own real-world experiences. Kyle Hoff co-founded Floyd after living in a number of places after college – Ann Arbor, the Bay Area, Chicago – and going through cycles with furniture. He bought his fair share of IKEA pieces, threw them away, moved and bought them again. The impetus for Floyd came after realizing how much furniture he had wasted.
The company started with its first product – a set of table legs – and today, Floyd is driving innovation with “thoughtful products that have a great experience,” Hoff, who is also the company’s CEO, told PYMNTS in an interview. Floyd delves deep in on product per category of the home – a bed frame, sofa or table, for instance, “focusing on each of those products and coming up with a really great solution” for a quality piece, Hoff said.
The aim is not to offer a thousand types of bed frames like many furniture companies, but instead to provide one high-quality, thoughtful option per category. The sofa, the company says on its website, was made “with an emphasis on quality and honest materials. Soft, cozy fabric in colors you actually want. A place for conversations with friends and binge-watching Netflix.”
Consumers can purchase products through Floyd’s website. The company accepts credit cards and also offers Affirm as a financing option, allowing shoppers to spread out their payments over time.
When it comes to delivery, the company offers same-day shipping for some key markets. Where available, shoppers can order by 4 p.m. to receive their products by 9 p.m., eliminating common shipping and delivery frustrations.
Homeshares and Pop-Ups
Floyd allows customers to preview its offerings firsthand in homeshares. With its StayFloyd program, for instance, the company selected its favorite Airbnbs and outfitted them with Floyd products, so consumers can visit and test out the pieces in a home setting.
The company has also opened pop-ups in San Francisco, Los Angeles and SoHo, where it outfitted living spaces with its products and opened them up to the public. Hoff said they were successful because they allowed people to see and feel the products while visualizing them in their own spaces. Floyd also has a showroom in Detroit called The Floyd Shop, where consumers can place orders and participate in hosted company events.
Showrooms (and Neighborhood Showrooms)
Floyd is hardly the only direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand to let shoppers check out its furniture in real life. Outer, which focuses on outdoor furniture, has neighborhood showrooms that are hosted by actual customers, enabling shoppers to experience its products in real life. “You have an opportunity as prospective customer … to book and schedule a visit at one of these hosts’ homes,” Outer Co-founder and CEO Jiake Liu told PYMNTS in an interview about the concept.
Consumers use the company’s website to find neighborhood showrooms in their areas. As of February, Outer had spaces in the Los Angeles area, including Woodland Hills and Long Beach. Shoppers can not only engage with their five senses at those locations, but can also chat with actual customers instead of just sales associates. The hosts are compensated for their time as well as the use of their space, but the company doesn’t give commissions on successful sales.
Another D2C furniture brand, Yardbird, has a showroom in Minnesota. “It’s very minimalist,” Jay Dillon, the company’s co-founder, told PYMNTS in an April interview. The 3,500-square-foot space has concrete floors and white walls. It is set up with 10 furniture sets placed on rugs, with throw pillows adding pops of color. Shoppers can browse the space or interact with representatives.
From Yardbird to Outer and Floyd, DTC furniture brands are letting consumers experience their furniture offerings in real life through showrooms and experiences, beyond the world of web browsers in the digital age.