Innovation That Matters

Furniture shopping with the crowds


Crowd clout has already wreaked havoc on industries far and wide, and now it appears the home furnishings industry could be among the next to get transformed. French site lets consumers collectively tell manufacturers which furniture items they want produced and then purchase them direct at near-factory prices. Each week Paris-based Myfab posts a catalogue of items that are available for voting, inviting members of the site to indicate the ones they like best. Those that win the most votes get put into production by one of Myfab’s factory partners and become available for purchase through the site. Whereas many major furniture brands carry prices up to 10 times what it costs the factory to produce them, the site says, Myfab’s prices can be as much as 70 percent lower since no middleman is involved. Consumers who voted for an item during its pre-production phase get an additional 10 percent off. All factory partners must adhere to the site’s charter of quality, and consumers are given a one-week trial period to decide if they’re satisfied. Myfab ships to France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and the UK. Delivery takes 9 weeks on average, and consumers can follow an item’s progress online each step of the way. In addition to furniture, Myfab also offers products in fashion, accessories, sports equipment and watches using the same crowd-based voting model. The lesson to be learned? Between transparency tyranny and crowd clout, companies are running out of places to hide. Better listen to the crowds, or risk getting crowded out! 😉 (Related: Shoppers team up for better dealsReverse-boycotting: crowd clout meets eco-persuasion.) Spotted by: Lamia Aloui & Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye



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