Meet David and Lisa Paley
Posted on 15 December 2013
David and Lisa Paley are well ahead of the game.
The husband and wife team behind Interiors Online are not Gen Y entrepreneurs born into a world of iPads, apps and SMS. But they know more about e-commerce than many of their younger counterparts and when it comes to recognising the importance of the digital age for retail, David and Lisa Paley are well ahead of the game. This is coupled with their decades of experience in furniture and home wares, having run many bricks and mortar stores, and Lisa’s time as an interior decorator.
While Interiors Online just relaunched its new all-singing all-dancing site after a major refresh, they’ve been selling online (as the name suggests) for four years already, and that followed at least a year of research and development. When they first decided to retail furniture online, people thought they were crazy. While they admired their enthusiasm they were sorry, but they just didn’t think it would work. People want to sit on lounges and touch things, and they just won’t buy this kind of thing over the internet. How wrong they were!
Lisa wanted to bring an interior decorator feel to the shopping experience. “I was seeing so much fantastic product every year and I wanted everyone to be able to see it, whether they happened to live near one of our shops or not. At the same time we were always being restricted by space.”
When the pair realised they could tap in to the warehousing, logistics and freight of their suppliers, going online was a no-brainer.
“Going online gave us the ability to have this amazing, endless inventory,” says Lisa, “There were a lot of hurdles and people needed convincing.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing though. Back then, many wholesalers didn’t have a website, let alone half-decent photos of their stock.
These days, with a highly successful business selling thousands of product lines, many of the skeptics have seen the error of their ways and now approach them, asking to get involved. The new website continues Lisa’s original vision for a shopping experience with a decorator feel, just with more features. “It isn’t a click and buy site, it has a certain ambience. People can choose pieces which are grouped into 15 different styles and they love that and find it really helpful. When we started that four years, ago we were the first website in Australia doing anything like it. There was a lot of innovation. I also wanted to pass on knowledge so people could make an informed decision about their purchases.”
The Paleys aren’t resting on their laurels however. “This industry is moving so quickly,” says David, who attends all the online marketing conferences. “We have learned so much about social media and the importance of quality images. We knew it was time to update our whole presence and we thought it was better to start from scratch, not try and keep adding to what we already had. We are really excited about the future.”