The American e-commerce market has been booming in recent years. Online sales revenue will exceed $1 trillion later this year and marketplaces like Amazon and Wayfair bring opportunities to companies like Falkk Furniture to sell furniture in the US.
The company has been in the home appliances business in the US since 2020 and is currently consolidated in the country’s market. Edson Finger Júnior and Ellen Thays Finger, brand partners, tell more about the experience of internationalizing Falkk.
Read on to learn about American e-commerce opportunities and how to open your business in the US.
How the idea of taking the furniture brand to the US came about
Falkk came out as an arm of a traditional B2B Brazilian furniture brand, Indústria de Móveis Finger in 2012. The company continued to operate only in Brazil until 2020 when the opportunity to start selling furniture in the US direct-to-consumer came up. “We were challenged to take the brand to the United States, the idea came from the company’s board of directors. So, Thays and I started to bring this project to life”, says Edson Finger Júnior, a partner at Falkk.
With the decision made, the next step was to develop the business plan and understand the process to make the American company viable. “It was something very interesting because, in a matter of 30 days, we had a meeting with Globalfy. In 60 days we had the company ready and the container was on board. So, it was very quick.”
The journey to start a D2C brand in the US
Falkk’s US operation started in late 2020, in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, at this time many digital businesses were boosted due to the need to shop online. “The pandemic, in fact, greatly accelerated our growth, both for Falkk here in Brazil and for Falkk in the United States. So, I usually say that we saw the opportunity amid difficulty”, explains Ellen Thays Finger, partner at Falkk.
Regarding the process of opening the company, Ellen Thays says that she did not experience any difficulty: “It was not difficult, especially because we are used to the bureaucracy here in Brazil, where simple things drag on for months”.
However, in early 2021, the first challenges of serving a new market began to show up, when it was necessary, in addition to adjusting internal processes, to understand the preferences of the American consumer. It’s important to mention the majority of experience in Brazil (primary Falkk market) is business-to-business, more than selling in the American market they needed to understand a new way to do business: how to start selling furniture directly to consumers in US marketplaces.
“The hardest part was when we started sales and started receiving some negative reviews because our packaging was not prepared for the US logistics.” At that moment, it was necessary to readapt the packaging for the American operation, “an issue that we managed to get around with some adjustments”, he adds.
The beginning of selling furniture in the US
Falkk Furniture chose to be on two marketplaces: Amazon and Wayfair. “We entered and started to gain relevance in these two platforms”, says Ellen Thays.
In the beginning, it was necessary to deal with situations of stockouts: “I believe that these situations harmed us a little because we needed a few days to make the replacement, counting the days of production, which is made in Brazil, plus the transport until it arrives at the Globalfy’s warehouse in the United States. When that happened, we felt it difficult to regain relevance within the marketplaces”.
Edson says that 2021 was a challenging year, but with many positive results, “we were adjusting internal issues, such as packaging, photo of products in marketplaces, manuals… But we got around these difficulties and could see great results”.
Next steps for Falkk
For 2022, Falkk plans to expand its American operation by selling furniture designed for the American client, “2021 was a year of much learning, but 2022 we can already see with different eyes. We are developing a whole line of furniture designed for the American consumer, thinking about taste, style, what they use the most”, explains Ellen Thays.
“We are a young company, but we have been able to see the results we have achieved so far, which are very good. The volume we have already shipped to the United States and sold is very positive”, completes Edson.
Tips to start selling furniture in the US
For Edson and Ellen Thays, the important thing for entrepreneurs who are starting – or still thinking about going international – is to take the first step. “If you wait for the perfect business plan to get off the ground, you never will, so the message is: face it. Don’t stop at the first hurdle.”
For them, the issues to be improved appeared while they were already selling furniture in the US and got to be adjusted during the operation. “We learned it’s possible to make adjustments during the process: you improve and see what needs to be improved. The positive results will show.”
“We lay love on the product, on Falkk Furniture. We grew within the company and with the company. Having this opportunity is fantastic!”
Falkk’s international journey was made possible with adjustments, hard work, and trusted partners. After opening the US business, Globalfy continued collaborating with the business to ensure that all fulfillment operations ran according to the company’s needs.
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