How IV-EL Became the Largest Furniture Material Supplier on the Balkans

IV-EL have been in the furniture material industry since 2000. We had the pleasure of making a short interview with them about their story, products, progress and the technologies they used to achieve their growth.

Here it is...

Introduce your business with a few words

We are among the biggest wholesalers of materials for the furniture industry on the Balkan Peninsula. Our main distribution centre and headquarters are located in Dobrich, Bulgaria. Our main customers are furniture manufactures, DIY shops and furniture vendors.

However a few years ago, we decided to approach a different segment - DIY enthusiasts and end customers by developing an online store with the help of our friends from iSenseLabs.

Tell us about your website and the tools you are using

Our website is built on the OpenCart platform. The purpose of the website is not solely an online shop but it also serves as an online catalog in which our customers can browse for products.

We have just finished the complete redesign of our website and updated it to the last version of OpenCart. The platform is very easy to work with and also very flexible.

Our customer support team have been able to work with the platform day-to-day despite their lack of advanced IT skills. The tools we are using are ExcelPort, iBlog, iSearch, AdminRename, BirthdayReminder, ComparePrices, LabelMaker, LastViewed, PopupUpsell, PriceAlert, as well as a few custom made modules.

What has been your growth for the past few years?

We have experienced a steady growth of about 5% per year after the initial launch of the store. In the beginning it was just an idea to approach DIY enthusiasts who might need a single hinge to repair the broken door in the kitchen or housewives that need a new accessory for their kitchen.

However, we are now observing that there are even some small carpenters making their purchases through the online store.

How did you promote your products online?

We have been promoting our online store through mass media like specialized furniture magazines, DIY magazines, radio etc. We are an exhibitor at a specialised furniture exhibition in Bulgaria at which we have been promoting the website as well.

What’s your advice for new entrepreneurs and future store owners?

You should always consider how new technologies could benefit your business whether by reaching new segments of the market or improving internal operations. Developing an online store could take your business somewhere where you though is unreachable. Never stop being adventurous and optimistic.

Conclusion

Their last advice saying “Never stop being adventurous and optimistic” is what every entrepreneur needs to turn into their own motto. Running your own business may be as simplified as possible with all the newest technologies, but the real engine driving your success is your own determination and approach.

 

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