The award-winning Houseology.com website is the UK's leading online interior design store, disrupting the way customers design and shop for their homes online – and the way designer brands reach a unique target audience.
Everyone loves interior design – but shopping for your home can be a daunting experience. Working with clients around the world, Kate Mooney (CEO and Founder) experienced the uncertainty people felt when it came to making design decisions about their homes and she set out to demystify the process, opening up the design studio and making the ability to source and buy beautiful homewares available to everyone.
Established by interior designers with a heritage in global hotel and residential design, Kate’s team at Houseology.com have created an exciting and dynamic digital emporium of interior design, designer furniture, lighting and home décor, presented in a rich, editorial & educational, click-to-shop style. Our Houseologists source the most coveted items from some of the best design houses in the world and bring them together in an easily accessible, easy to navigate, online store.
Is there anything worse than trailing around furniture showrooms on a wet Saturday with children at your feet and salesmen in your ear? How much more enjoyable is it to relax with a coffee or a glass of wine and browse an extensive collection of click to shop lifestyle looks, brought to you by a professional interior design team in the comfort of your own home?
Houseology.com is like having a trusted interior design studio at your fingertips. From our curated designer collections to our practical design tools, how to guides, videos and interviews, we give our customers a bespoke experience that fills them with inspiration and leaves them feeling excited about their design journey and choices – as we say at Houseology, we’re here to make amazing interiors, amazingly simple.
By putting our customer at the heart of everything we do, we know the challenges they go through and exactly what services and technologies will make their lives easier. Our designers and tech team are continually developing a suite of tools that solve these issues and make shopping for the home online effortless.
Our customers tell us how much they love the diverse breadth and choice of products on offer. They are inspired by the wealth of content, knowledge and tools in the Houseology Masterclass and empowered to become more confident about designing and shopping for their home online.
Professional interior designers and architects trust and love the Housoelogy.com platform too, as it consolidates their highly fragmented supply chain and provides a one-stop shop that not only makes their professional lives much easier, but empowers them to take on projects and designs that they otherwise wouldn’t be equipped to do.
Substantial accomplishments to date
With over £8.9m of sales to date*, and existing investors including Sir Terry Leahy (former CEO, Tesco) Bob Willett (former CIO, Best Buy), Bill Dobbie (Founder, Iomart), Jill Little (former Strategy Director, John Lewis Partnership) and The William Currie Group among others, we’ve proven our model over the past three years and made significant investment in establishing a highly scalable platform, integrating all the infrastructure needed to enable the business to focus on accelerating growth going forward.
Having delivered a CAGR of 91% over the three years*, the business has served over 30,000 customers in over 90 countries. Home to over 200 designer brands and 20,000 products, Houseology.com has become the platform of choice for many designer brands, showcasing a dynamic mix of homewares and tools that customers – both retail and trade – love, in a convenient and customised buying experience.
*source: unaudited management accounts.
Turnover was £3.7m in FY14-15*. Revenue is generated primarily from the B2C ecommerce of products and services on the website.
Houseology.com has a data driven, analytical and performance based marketing approach at the heart of the business working across key acquisition channels to optimise traffic, conversion and ROI on marketing spend.
We both drive traffic and retain customers by providing access to unique and valuable tools and design information as well as making an unparalleled breadth and depth of luxury interior design products available to everyone. Leveraging curation skills and our hotel design background, we source, manufacture and ship highly desirable products on a global basis.
While the majority of our revenue is from selling B2C, a fast growing portion of our business comes from B2B trade customers, such as other professional interior designers, architects, developers and hoteliers, using the platform to complete high end residential projects, hotels, offices, bars and restaurants.
15%* of revenue is generated in international territories, serviced from our UK hub - achieved without significant marketing and a huge opportunity for significant growth.
The original Occa-Design studio continues to underpin everything we do at Houseology, earning professional design fees from architectural and interior design projects for established global hotel clients including IHG, Hilton, Wyndham and their franchisees.
In a £11.7 billion UK homewares market, Houseology attracts a higher valued consumer with greater disposable income, higher average spend and higher repeat orders than the mid-low end online retail aggregators.
*source: unaudited management accounts
Use of proceeds
With our experienced Board and passionate team of designers and web developers, Houseology.com has big ambitions and the timing couldn’t be better. Investment in the past 12 months has been used to develop the infrastructure and scale our systems, enabling the company to take advantage of the rapidly expanding homewares market at home and internationally.
In the same spirit of opening up the design studio to all our customers, with Seedrs, we’re opening up the opportunity for our community and supporters to buy shares in Houseology and participate in our success - giving them the chance to invest alongside Sir Terry, Bob, Bill and the others in this next exciting stage in our growth.
Funds will be used to:
The market for interior design products and services in the UK alone is huge and continues to grow. At £11.7 billion, Verdict  suggests that the UK homewares sector is set for a period of sustained growth, driven by the accelerated recovery of the economy and the housing market.
Our proven target market already consists of retail consumers, independent interior designers, architects and developers as well as hotel and leisure clients, global hotel groups and their franchisees.
Characteristics of target market
The three biggest players in the £11.7 billion UK homewares sector operate in the mid – low end of the market and only own 20% of market share between them:
Dunelm Mill 7.7%
John Lewis 7.6%
Subsequently we feel there is significant space in the market for a challenger brand like Houseology.com to grow and develop a sizeable and sustainable business in the sector.
Mintel forecast that the online share of this UK market, excluding click and collect is currently over 10% and is forecast to increase to £7.1 billion by 2017. [Buying for the Home Online - UK - February 2013]
The European homewares market is worth £69.3 billion with the UK making up 20% of that figure.
The international homewares market is currently worth £201 billion and is forecast to have an increase of 16.3% and a value of £235 billion by 2019. [Marketline 2014]
In our view, Houseology is a unique combination of art & science, fusing content & creative with retail & technology to deliver a highly engaging, easily monetised, world class interior design emporium.
While our heritage is firmly rooted in the design and retail world, our future is pinned to our passion and expertise in the digital world. With a talented team already established in house, our platform intends to deliver a highly appealing blend of ecommerce, online media, digital content and social interaction.
Our marketing plans and strategies focus on targeting key channels both on and offline, at home and abroad, working to bring our customers all the advantages and benefits of the Houseology.com platform.
Previous investment has resulted in a highly optimised, responsive website build, making the Houseology.com experience every bit as good on desktop, tablet and mobile. With the breadth of our offer, ease of use and the convenience of the platform, we’ve become our customer’s preferred way of shopping for the home.
Harnessing technology and taking time to get to know and understand our customers, finding out where they begin and end their interior design journey, gives us real-time insight into where they are, how we reach them and how they reach us.
With a 95% customer satisfaction rating on product and service on independent review platform Feefo, we are dedicated to providing the best customer service and experience in the industry.
There are a number of "me toos" out there, however at Houseology.com, we believe that there are no direct competitors with the same unique combination of heritage, tech and credibility – giving the business a significant point of difference and advantage in the sector.
Our proprietary technology and unique background creates a digital platform that brings together three key elements of the interior design industry – designer brands, independent interior designers and retail consumers – in a virtuous circle of value in a busy online world. Subsequently Houseology.com is the platform of choice for many designer brands considering going online.
With this dynamic platform, we’ve become the UK’s largest retailer of key designer brands such as Eichholtz, Andrew Martin, Heathfield & Co and many more. As a professional interior design practice and specifier of similar brands and products to the hotel and leisure industry too, we believe that we have developed a differentiated and defendable model, creating supplier loyalty and a significant barrier to entry for any potential new competitors.
Our customer centric approach, our design passion and focus on differentiation in the product and service mix, evolves from our culture of always innovating and never imitating - Houseology is committed to staying fresh, relevant and being the superior option for consumers in this space.
As Net-a-Porter and ASOS are leaders in the online fashion space, we believe that Houseology.com, with its experienced Board, knowledgeable & passionate team and unique design heritage, are better positioned than anyone to own the homewares space online.
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