By Aimee Chanthadavong

Melbourne digital agency Inlight has launched an e-commerce platform that enables shoppers to customise and order bespoke furniture to reflect their own style

Nomi is an online furniture store that stocks its own range of locally made and designed furniture by designer Tome Archer. Each piece of bespoke furniture ranging from coffee tables, dining tables to chairs is handcrafted in Melbourne from American oak.

Inlight strategy director Ben Howden told RetailBiz the new store draws on inspiration from successful Australian online retailer Shoes of Prey that enables customers to customise and personalise their products.

“Shoes of Prey was started by couple of ex-Goolges who obviously had quite a lot of skills in engineering an online that would provide a good customer experience. So leveraging off that and noticing that customisation of products is an overall trend in retail we thought it’d be a successful business.

“The desire from people at the moment is to customise products and services to suit their on individual style.

“Another example is Nike who allows people to log on their online store and design their own shoes through Nike ID. It is no longer the one size fits all approach; everyone wants to have their own product that is unique.”

Using the Nomi design tools, customers can customise the size, shape, material and colour of their furniture. Designers are handmade within 28 days, flat packed and delivered free to most Australian metro areas.

According to Howden, the entire ordering process from delivery to accounting is fully automated as it leverages cloud based technologies to help the business run more efficiently.

“This makes us quite unique as we are a lot more efficient in every part of our business from receiving orders to delivering and tracking them,” he said.

“Using a cloud service was a time and cost saving decision that all online retailers need to take advantage of.”

As for whether Inlight is concerned that consumers would be hesitant to purchase big ticketed items, such as furniture online, Howden said given other success stories there is certainly a market for it.

“There are local examples that have shown people are more than willing to buy furniture online, such as Milan Direct,” he said.

“Clearly this shows there is a large percentage of the market who are willing to shop online. But that’s not to say everyone will as some people still like to touch and feel products. But there are ways to overcome situations like this like by offering free delivery and returns.”