28 Temple & Webster
Brian Shanahan, Adam McWhinney, Conrad Yiu, Mark Coulter
- Head office
- Year founded
Retail and consumer products
This is online homewares retailer Temple & Webster’s first entry in the Smart50, although it has received numerous accolades in SmartCompany’sWeb Awards in the past.
Co-founder Brian Shanahan started the business with Adam McWhinney, Conrad Yiu and Mark Coulter after realising Australians were increasingly resorting to mass-market players for homewares to avoid the time involved in locating suppliers and shipping products themselves.
The group’s vision, to provide Australians with one convenient online location to shop a huge variety of homewares and furniture, has been a huge success.
The pure play retailer has experienced incredible growth since it started in 2011 and the last financial year saw it turn over more than $26 million.
Shanahan says Temple & Webster was the first to launch the “flash sales” model online in the furniture and homewares category in Australia.
“The model is based around presenting our members with daily sales events from a wide range of emerging and established Australian and international homewares and furniture suppliers,” he says.
In the past 12 months Temple & Webster has partnered with more than 750 Australian suppliers and launched six to 10 new sale events every day.
Shanahan says one of the challenging experiences in the early days of the business was thinking the best way to service customers was to aggregate their purchases from multiple different suppliers into a single delivery.
“We quickly realised this created enormous complexity in terms of fulfilment and delays in customers receiving their purchases. We responded by re-engineering our back-end processes so that we can split shipments and improved our communications to our customers,” he says.
After acquiring Wayfair Australia in August this year and rebranding it to ZIZO earlier this month, the next big move for the retailer is already underway, Shanahan says.
“Our focus is to build this out and provide customers with experiences and products that they are asking for; we have plans looking at underserved product categories that we can fill through direct sourcing or opening up physical showrooms for customers who wish to experience our products in a tactile way,” he says.
“We’re riding the wave of a great category moving online, and we have a mission that when Australia’s think of homewares and furniture they turn to us first.
“To do so means reaching new customers and engaging our existing customers with what we do and what we’re offering in a great experience.”