May 31, 2024 | Spotlights

Alex Seaman, Furniture.com

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Connecting Shoppers and Retailers For Success

Alex Seaman, co-founder, Furniture.com

Since its launch in 2023, Furniture.com has grown rapidly as a technology business with the goal of streamlining the shopper experience in the furniture industry. In just a little over a year, the business has hired 60 folks fulltime and has 45 partners in different regions throughout the U.S. Senior Vice President and Co-Founder Alex Seaman sat down with us to talk about the rapid growth and where they see their unique model going next.

Alex grew up in the furniture industry; her family owns Rooms To Go, a household name in the industry. Before helping with the launch of Furniture.com, she worked in retail, got her MBA and spent time working in the consumer technology space, priming her for her current role. She just recently joined the WithIt community to build even more connections in the home and furnishings industry, and we’re excited to welcome her to the WithIt family!

Q&A

What’s the goal of Furniture.com?

The reason we launched Furniture.com is because we really saw an opportunity to serve the furniture industry as a whole to improve the shopper experience and benefit retailers as well. We’re streamlining the shopper journey online and driving in store. We’re ultimately a technology business that’s in service furniture. I think what’s kind of special is even though we are a technology company, we have the furniture retailer DNA at heart. We’re coming with that perspective, which allows us to understand furniture shoppers more deeply and create close partnerships with our participating retailers.

What’s your background in the furniture industry?

I briefly worked at Rooms To Go in my 20s and then I went to get my MBA at Wharton School of Business. When I graduated in 2020 I worked at a few startups in the consumer tech space in New York City. The decision to lead the re-launch the new Furniture.com business is what brought me back to the industry. The stars kind of aligned because my background is heavily in e-commerce and consumer, but of course I’ve grown up in furniture my whole life, so it was the right skill set to come in and help run the business. I’m only 32 and it’s been an amazing personal growth and professional growth experience for me.

The Furniture.com growth journey has been fast and exciting: We’re 60 FTEs strong, we have 45 retail partners and we’ve been live for just 13 months. I think the trust we’ve been able to cultivate with the retailers who have joined up early has been crucial. That’s been a product of the warm relationships that are fostered in this industry. Of course competition exists, but it’s friendly. Everyone wants to see the industry progress as a whole, which has stood out to me. Furniture.com is bringing all these retailers into one ecosystem, so it’s inherently a different model than traditional retail. Hearing so many of our retail partners recount stories about working with or adjacent to my grandfather, Morty Seaman, or my father, Jeffrey, has illustrated how much the family element of this industry comes into play – It’s a cool and unique industry that way. People really want to participate. A lot of the folks I work with are my generation in their own family business, it’s been a fun thing to drive forward together as the next gen.

The reason we launched Furniture.com is because we really saw an opportunity to serve the furniture industry as a whole to improve the shopper experience and benefit retailers as well. We’re streamlining the shopper journey online and driving in store.

Alex Seaman, furniture.com

Why do you think Furniture.com has been so successful so quickly?

We’re still so new, but there’s a clear product market fit. We’ve only really scratched the surface with the website and the technology capabilities, but we’ve identified the opportunity and proven that the business is extremely efficient as a high-intent customer acquisition tool – for both e-comm and stores. At the end of the day it’s (mostly) about getting more shoppers into stores. In a sense, part of what we’re doing is just creating a fresh approach to the age old goal.

What’s next for Furniture.com?

Year one was kind of our proof of concept. In April 2023 we launched, and as we come into year two it’s all about growth and scaling. We see now we can drive really efficient traffic – meaning high intent potential shoppers – to our retailers. Now it’s about scaling our presence and therefore scaling their presence. Actually, this past month we just launched our first full-funnel marketing test in 6 test DMAs, with plans to expand to another 3 DMAs in the coming weeks. We’ll continue to expand our reach as we learn and optimize the campaigns, and likely be running national media in 2025.

How did you learn about WithIt? I was introduced to it by my friend Sydney Harris from Furnitureland South. I trust what she’s involved in. Even more so than that, furniture has been such a male dominated industry for a long time. We’re starting to see more women who are leaders in the space, and I think that’s an exciting thing. I want to be a part of places or institutions that are supporting women and helping them grow professionally and personally. There’s a lot of awesome, successful women in this network and their involvement in WithIt is compelling.

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