Experimenting with mDesign Business Variables
mDesign Home Decor‘s founder and Chief Innovation Officer Bob Immerman decided to experiment with his business. For 40 years prior to his founding of mDesign in 2015, Immerman would pitch his decor-designing ideas and products to larger retailers. After much deliberation from these retail stores, about 3% of his originally designed products would make it to the retail floor with the chance to even be seen by the consumer. Immerman’s experiment was to adjust the formula a bit by throwing out a key variable: the retailer. The constants in the formula remained the same: smart, innovatively designed products that consumers needed, a price-point priced for every buyer, and you, the consumer. The variable taking the place of the retailers was the online marketplace. Amazon’s US marketplace was the first new variable and after five years of accelerated sales growth, hitting the fourth position on Amazon US Marketplace’s top seller list, it is safe to say that the new variable in the mDesign equation to success was uncovered.
The History Book: Interdesign and mDesign
mDesign’s goals are simple: Make life easier for people by offering simple and functional design solutions with unique, smartly-designed products for your home at a price you can afford. Personal aesthetic is just that, personal to each one of us and what you find fun and inviting, another may not, and vice versa.The very same issue plagued retailers who were filling out their showrooms with products from third party designers. Which products retailers chose every season were based on many variables including retail space, retail buyer taste, and other companies providing products to those retailers that would somehow need to merchandise together into one palette to create the retailers specific aesthetic for every season. So many variables; so few that Immerman could control in order to grow his business.
So many of his products were not reaching the consumer. Immerman long believed that the other 97% of what he produced each season that retailers did not use were also of value to so many people, and with a space to advertise his complete collection, Bob Immerman knew that growth would be imminent and quick. In 2015, Bob Immerman, after noticing a distinct shift slowing taking place and more and more people utilizing Amazon Marketplace and others like it to purchase so many different types of products, Immerman launched his digitally-native and direct-to-consumer home decor solution, mDesign. mDesign products were created, designed, and built every single season and now every single product would have a space in the digital world to be discovered by consumers.
The Online Marketplace: Amazon and mDesign
The ability to promote products through this digitally focused strategy has already resulted in tremendous growth and expansion, just a short five years since mDesign’s launch in the online space. mDesign’s growth has caused and is also a direct result of its top-tier status on the Amazon Marketplace. Although competition is high on the Amazon – with more than 3 million sellers offering their wares on it – mDesign home decor and their trendy storage solutions became a huge hit with consumers from the beginning which has led to sales figures skyrocketing.
Only a small percentage of sellers on the Amazon Marketplace reach $1 million in sales each year. Impressively in 2020, mDesign took a seat amongst the US Amazon marketplace’s top five sellers, ranking fourth in August. Amazon certainly may be the bread and butter of mDesign’s business, but it is far from the only online retail outlet that mDesign uses to reach prospective customers. eBay, which is expanding its own reach to a more international audience in the coming years, is another digital marketplace that has always been a staple for American consumers who do all of their shopping from home. eBay’s growth is exciting and particularly the company’s focus on prospective customers in European marketplaces. Target and Wal-Mart are both American brick-and-mortar mega-retailers who have begun to create a digital footprint in recent years and are additional platforms that mDesign utilizes to sell their product.
As far as the future goes, mDesign has plans to launch its product lineup with Sears and other American-specific digital marketplaces. The international marketplaces are the real concentration for the mDesign business team at the moment. In relation to the Amazon Marketplace, mDesign has already begun to reach further into new European marketplaces, as well as marketplaces of our geographical neighbors, Canada and Mexico, and other regions – e.g. Australia and the United Arab Emirates. mDesign seems poised to eventually land in all 16 worldwide marketplaces that Amazon has built to date; and it probably will not take them long to get there.
Needless to say, shortly after Immerman‘s entire product line was made available to consumers digitally, mDesign’s sales outpaced those earned from InterDesign, its brick-and-mortar home decor companion company and the rest was digital history
Background Check: mDesign Home Decor
mDesign products prove to impress those looking to enhance the ambiance of their home or business. Moreover, customers are thrilled with the design and love that their pieces are good to declutter problem storage areas and add a sense of calm organization to any space in the home. mDesign’s built-in marketing strategy has proven dividends, but the most important factor to mDesign success is in the consistency with which the team led by CIO Bob Immerman offers the highest-quality products on the market that stay on-trend, and a smart choice for customer’s pocketbook.
Obviously, customers are more apt to purchase what mDesign has to offer if they have had positive experiences in the past. More importantly, mdesign customers love to leave reviews when they have had positive experiences with mDesign-purchased products. Encountering positive recommendations and affirmations on a product you’ve never used before is necessary for a new customer to take the leap and purchase. Positive reviews are also necessary for a business to continue to grow their brand and client-base digitally. mDesign customers on Amazon are leaving good reviews every hour of every day for others to read and understand the benefits of using their product.
Here is just a few remarks out of thousands of positive mDesign reviews on Amazon:
Mary H. reviewed the mDesign Plastic Spinning 2 Level Lazy Susan Turntable Storage Tray
“I saw this on tik tok and had to order it!! So glad I did too! Holds every face cleaning product I’ve got……. and I have a lot! Have room for some more stuff too. I’m sure that’s not what my husband wants me to say, but it totally cleaned up our vanity and there was even room for a few of his items too.”
Felicia reviewed the mDesign Tall Dresser Storage Tower
Fabulous Product for the Price
‘I love this dresser! We wanted something affordable for our soon-to-be second child, and it matches our crib, too.
My husband was skeptical with the price and quality initially, but once we put it all together (took maybe 10 minutes if that–we had a toddler interfering with the process also lol) he really loved it, and so did I!
It has feet that you can adjust by loosening or tightening to manage any lopsided issues, which is great.
The quality of the fabric boxes is wonderful! Very sturdy and heavier material than what I was expecting.
Overall it looks very sleek and will be great to use for our baby.”
Sarah J. reviewed the mDesign Bedside Storage Organizer Caddy Pocket:
No more clutter
“My nightstand was getting too cluttered and I couldn’t stand it. This is great! I have 2 remotes, my glasses, a tablet stand and my Paperwhite. The bottle holder is a great bonus. The pockets are a little stiff, but it’s brand new and everything fits anyway. It seems pretty stuck between the mattress and box spring. Overall, I’m very pleased with this product!”
With four and five star reviews across the board for all mDesign products on Amazon, it makes perfect sense why the business has continued to progress and at such a roller coaster’s pace. When you create products that are in need, on trend, and consistent, good reviews will follow. Period.
New Faces: CEO Stacey Renfro joins mDesign
The future looks even brighter at mDesign these days since they welcomed new CEO, Stacey Renfro, in August 2020. Renfro brings tremendous e-commerce experience to the mDesign team from her time at Pier One Imports. In her five years at Pier One, she helped grow their e-commerce site from $30 million to $450. She has promoted digital sales and led teams with proven growth at Sears, OshKosh B’Gosh, JCPenney, HSN and Old Navy. Renfro is known for leading fast-paced digital revenue growth businesses inside large established brick-and-mortar brands.
Immerman knew Renfro offered new skills and past digital success that would be “pivotal and essential” to what mDesign is looking to achieve in its own e-commerce ventures. Renfro added that she has been so impressed by the growth that mDesign had already achieved and was happy that she and the rest of the management team “share the same vision of the future.” mDesign’s leaders are ultimately excited to have Renfro leading their company through the next phase of growth into the international marketplace worldwide.
With rocket-like income growth year over year and the quick pace at which they are adding new marketplaces to their sales roster, mDesign has shattered expectations over the five years they have been in business and have become a brand worth watching if you ever wish to succeed in a digitally-native and direct-to-consumer retail sales environment. mDesign now stands on the precipice, with a new CEO at the helm, of another big growth opportunity that will continue to make them more and more of a household name in more and more households in every part of the globe.