Italian design furniture retailer Viadurini expands to US
Viadurini is an Italian ecommerce company that sells designer & trendy furniture from Milan online. It has announced it will open an online store in the United States. The company is already available in many European countries. We interviewed Gianni Gozzi about the online furniture store.
The most famous street in Milan is probably Via Montenapoleone. But if you are a design lover, the answer might be Via Durini, which translates as Durini Street. Here you can find famous and luxurious design furniture stores. But online there is also a Via Durini, founded by two entrepreneurs from the North-Italian region Emilia-Romagna.
At first, ecommerce company Viadurini focused on the Italian market but it has now been translated into six different languages and it currently covers 16 countries. We interviewed Gianni Gozzi about this Italian online store and the fascinating world of design furniture.
You and your co-founder grew up in the world of marketing and design. How did this experience help you with being a successful ecommerce player?
“My working experience of 22 years in the “classical distribution” in a company with over a hundred designer furniture showrooms has helped me to understand the online market rules. The main difference from the classical sale is that we are used to promote – with the web specific marketing – the product immediately to the end customer. In this way it is possible to cut through any intermediate steps. The classical marketing experience has allowed us to understand the full force of direct online sales.”
You use the “Made in Italy” logo a lot on your website: could you tell us more about this and why you firmly believe in it?
“While I worked as a buyer in Milan, I realized that all international customers want Italian products because they are easier to sell abroad. In fact, today the sales of Viadurini are concentrated mainly abroad (90%). Foreign customers especially appreciate the taste, finish, high quality and fashion trends when buying Made in Italy directly in Italy.”
Your customer care is in six languages. How big is your Polish audience, as you offer customer service in Polish? Are other languages to be included in the future, if so: which ones?
“Our major clients are French and German. A big surprise for us was to note Poland as the third selling country. This is why we have included a Polish native speaker in our customer care, who is having a major success in this country. We are growing a lot in Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium too. We have just recently enabled strong web marketing campaigns in England but the most important objectives are the North America and China’s market for which we are now organizing customer care with native speakers.”
You’ve got a big building in Milan, do you also store the products there?
“Currently, our priority is to not have a warehouse or showroom. As soon as they are ready, the goods leave the Italian manufacturer and will be delivered to the whole world. In our building we only have offices: our customer care, the production division for product placement and product updates, our SEO division, contracts, the press office, our transport management and administration.”
On your homepage you say “Viadurini is one of the few Italian ecommerces with SSL certificate”. That’s a good unique selling point for you, but it also says something about the Italian ecommerce industry, doesn’t it?
“It’s true, the Italian ecommerce industry is out of step with other countries in Europe. We have the EV SSL certificate; the maximum level that we can have for a certification. As for the other Italian companies, some have the basic level of SSL certification and that’s not totally safe.”
What tips can you give to other European retailers who sell furniture online?
“Find a niche market and specialize on that.”
What is the most important thing a European online retailer must know if he decides to sell online in Italy?
“Italian people used to buy online only low average products up to a maximum of 200 euros. There is still no culture of doing higher online purchases.”