Interior Define began as an online retailer offering customers upholstered furniture, customized online, fabricated in China and delivery factory to door. Interior Define’s online success ran contrary to “custom upholstery wisdom” which historically believed that customers would want to see, feel, sit and lounge in physical samples of their chairs and sofas prior to placing their custom orders.
Referencing the success of retail companies Apple, Warby Parker & Bonobos, Interior Define set out to open their first physical storefront location.
The conceptual question entertained at the start of the project was how the physical shopping experience could be simultaneously complementary and unique to the Interior Define customer’s online virtual shopping experience?
The virtual online shopping experience was built around the sequence of how an upholstered piece of furniture is fabricated start to finish, i.e. select the size and style of frame, suspension system, cushioning composition, fabric/upholstery, stitching, leg style and leg finish.
The physical storefront shopping experience was designed to move customers along a similar design path giving shoppers the sensation of being on the floor of the factory touching & testing with their eyes and hands each component that would eventually make its way into their custom sofa or chair.
The physical shopping experience was reinforced with wall painted graphics/instructions and in vignettes displaying each of the upholstered pieces components and construction methods in a sequence reminiscent of the fabrication floor of a furniture factory.
Revealing what is normally hidden in an upholstered furniture piece was a strategy for reassuring customer confidence in the Interior Define brand, i.e. we have nothing to hide, its all here for you to see, touch and physically experience.