E‑commerce startup One Kings Lane, which specializes in flash sales of luxury home décor items, fashion accessories and more, rounded off last year with 25 per cent of its total revenue coming via mobile.
Funding in a cold climate
The company also secured a handsome $50 million in Series D funding in December. As any e‑commerce manager, web content manager or e‑commerce analyst could tell you, this was quite some accomplishment: venture funding for e‑commerce startups was far harder to come by at the close of last year than at the start. The latest round of funding, led by Institutional Venture Partners (with additional investment from Tiger Global Management, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and new kid on the block Scripps Networks Interactive), brought the firm’s total investment to date to $117 million.
The sheer range of products and discounted prices available are impressive: customers can purchase items for as low as $20 and, at the other ends of the scale, for as much as $20,000.
The company’s CEO, Doug Mack, believes that Scripps Network, a media company, invested because of One King Lane’s spectacular online sales growth. The firm concluded the year with $200 million in sales – twice the amount it bagged at the close of 2011.
Mack confirmed that a full 25 per cent of his company’s revenue — “not traffic, but revenue” – came from mobile in Q4. He added:
“On Thanksgiving Day itself, 40 percent of revenues came via mobile shopping, so this has gone well past the tipping point and now is a major, major part of our revenue mix.”
A growing army of loyal customers
Mack believes One Kings Lane will soon rival home furnishing Goliaths like Pottery Barn. In October, One King Lane was just a cat’s whisker behind Pottery Barn as the most visited premium U.S. home site.
He attributes the site’s success to high quality consumer experience. What persuades them to move up from a $75 decorative mirror to a sofa they haven’t physically tested worth $5000? Mack says that customers start small, like the uniqueness of what they can buy on the site, and then step up to more adventurous purchases like lighting, rugs and furniture. “Right now,” he says, “75 [percent] of our revenues are from repeat customers.”