Episode 4 of the Ecommerce Growth Stories showed us Miruna Mitu’s way in eCommerce and boy, isn’t it fascinating!
Being part of Mobexpert’s marketing team is one hell of a ride and Miruna is on top of everything. Why so? Mobexpert is the largest furniture and accessories manufacturer and retailer in Romania, with 26 stores and an online store. Working for one of the leading furniture brands in Romania is for sure a deep challenge and the level of knowledge and dedication for such a job must be top-notch.
Let’s embark on Miruna’s journey with Mobexpert and maybe learn a thing or two!
Who is Miruna Mitu?
Miruna graduated from an Executive MBA program at IEDC Bled School of Management in Slovenia, in 2019.
Miruna has been part of the Mobexpert team for 7 years and she contributed to the company’s online communication & marketing strategy development by exploring all digital areas, social media, email marketing, PPC marketing, inbound marketing.
She started her career with WebDigital and MSL Group The Practice, where she built her knowledge of the digital domain by working for brands such as Samsung, Avon, Fashion Days and Redd’s.
The furniture industry: Romania versus the United States
I will give you some numbers to make the audience understand how big our market is. The furniture retail industry in Romania is two billion euros versus 250 billion euros in the US.
Again, the whole eCommerce industry in Romania was six billion euros last year and the home and garden category is after FMCG, after IT and electronics, after fashion. So we are there on top. But I couldn’t say that it’s like in the US. Also, about eCommerce in Romania, we are at 10 percent from the whole retail versus twenty-two percent from the whole retail in the US.
Regarding the specification of the industry and the furniture industry? Home and garden in Romania is populated by a large number of international players. Of course, they are able to offer consumers a greater range of products at lower prices., so that makes it difficult for the smaller domestic retailers to compete. They are coming to Romania with big marketing budgets, with new product development resources and expertise to maintain and grow their value, basically.
Our main objective is to adapt and to somehow compete with them. Romania is one of the highest countries in Eastern Europe regarding export and production ratios. Also, we as Mobexpert export most of our Romanian products to Germany, France and other countries. We actually have some special brands that are preferred, for example, in France and some other products that are preferred in Germany.
In Romania, as I see also in Europe, people are still looking for the chain specialist retailers regarding this furniture industry. So they are still looking for these experiential and physical stores. This is very important for the consumer and for them to come and have an experience in the store.
And yes, I can understand, because when we are talking about furniture, it’s not like with fashion. It’s not like you can return the sofa easily.
In Europe, in comparison with the US, we are still looking for these experiential stores – the human touch.
The transition from offline to online
First of all, it’s super, super challenging to transform and to put the experience that the client has in store online. It’s super hard to make them feel, touch and do all these things online. But we tried and are still trying to do our best.
We started first with photos. We put a lot of photos of our products. At the moment, we are at around 35000 products on the online store. So it’s a huge, huge work there regarding materials and photos. We had a special studio where we put in place our furniture and our products.
Then we realized that videos also help, then we realized that augmented reality will also help. So we basically focus a lot on content and then on inspirational material, like we tried with a lot of articles on our blog. We also put some ambient photos with our products to give the users the experience from the store somehow.
Also, using social media, we ask our clients to give us photos from their homes to see how they arrange the furniture, how they use it at home. We try to also ask them what they expected to receive from us, what they needed from us to help them make the decision faster.
Collecting proper feedback from customers according to their journey
The answer very shortly here is using technology, we have technology in our hands right now. It’s super, super easy to do whatever we want to do to collect NPS, to make tons of surveys, to ask them questions via Instagram stories, via Facebook posts, via LinkedIn. So we had a lot of places where we could collect feedback from our customers. Using this technology today is really important.
Then, to put everything in one pot – here is the challenge.
It is also my challenge because we are a company that is also focused on this offline experience and it’s super hard for me to somehow convince my colleagues from the stores to collect feedback, to use technology. But you could do this with incentives, with objectives, setting the right objective and make them understand that the NPS, for example, which showed us the satisfaction of our client, is hand in hand with the revenue and put it on a plate in front of them and explain not once, but twice as much as you can.
I think at some point they will understand and they will understand that without technology, it’s impossible to grow a business today.
This podcast is sponsored by VTEX.
VTEX is the first and only fully integrated commerce, marketplace and solution that offers the fastest time-to-revenue, without the need for additional updates. Ever.
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