One Kings Lane: Content That Sells
posted by Stuart Cumming ~ 09/02/14
Category: Retail
If you want a great example of content marketing you need look no further than US online furniture and homewares retailer pure-play One Kings Lane.

A startup only 5 years ago, it has grown so fast it is tipped to soon become part of the fabled "Billion Dollar Club" after it recently completed a $USD112 million capital raising to value the company at $USD912 million.

They use styled, well-photographed shots rather than deep-etched/silhouettes

While not a "flash sale" site as such, One Kings Lane ("OKL") regularly tempts its customers through daily emails with styled, well-photographed shots rather than simple deep-etched/silhouettes that seem to be almost every CFO's brief to Marketing these days.

According to CEO Doug Mack in "Stores Magazine", their 10 million members seemingly have no ceiling when it comes to what they will buy.  "They'll buy anything from a $150 lamp to a $30 pillow, or they'll buy a $20,000 collector's piece of art..."

Chosen by industry contemporaries as one of the top five "Most Admired Online Retailers," OKL launches a staggering 18,000 new products each week. 

"Customers and contemporaries are drawn to our combination of content and commerce" says Mack, "the site combines great stories with inspiration and curated products - and we are providing exceptional values. It's a way of doing business that's meaningful to today's shopper."
"we mailed them a printed magalogue to really get them thinking"

In addition to their daily emails, they have a suite of content channels which help to create a special place in their customers' minds, "...a combination of their favourite shelter magazine and their favourite boutique every single day of the week... We communicate with our customers through the mail - we send look books and preview books... Recently, we mailed our top customers a printed "magalogue" to really get them thinking about decorating for the next season."

OKL's blog "Live-Love-Home" is a rich resource with videos covering the inspirational ("One Kings Lane Shops Tuscany With Thom Filicia") to the practical ("How To Store Your Linens"); Decorating and Entertaining Ideas give exactly that to complement the purchase or make the most out of it and Meet Our Tastemakers helps build the authority of the site in matters of style.

"All Things Vintage" is an OKL Pinterest page; a wonderful exercise in merchandising restraint, it features minimal vintage-inspired products from their collection sprinkled amongst iconic imagery of, amongst others, Liz Taylor on the set of "Suddenly, Last Summer."

As you might expect, OKL also uses Instagram to great effect and Facebook, the latter with a terrific speed-motion video of stylists in the studio creating a tumbling block wall art.

Sales growth of near 50% in the last 9 months

No wonder so many customers have fallen in love with the concept! 

And with sales growth of something near 50% (from $USD200m to $USD300m in the last 9 months) it looks like continuing at a rapid pace into the future.

Which leaves the final question - what about OKL bricks and mortar?"...down the road, would we evaluate pop-up stores or in-store shops? Absolutely," Mack says.
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