• Saturday, April 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

HOG Furniture offers e-commerce platform to furniture vendors

HOG Furniture offers e-commerce platform to furniture vendors

HOG an acronym coined from ‘Home Office Garden’ is a company brand which is now referred to as Nigeria’s favourite retail online furniture, furnishing & décor accessories platform. HOG furniture was incorporated in January 2009 as it journeyed into the furniture & furnishing business with only 5 staff selling Home and Office furniture and bespoke furniture pieces with a physical store situated at Otta, Ogun State.

The company however expanded into the e-commerce space in 2015 with over 25 staff and has metamorphosed into a marketplace by giving other merchants in the furniture and furnishings industry an opportunity to sell their products online. It has now grown to accommodate dealers in appliances and home improvement services.

As a marketplace, there was the need to fill the vacuum created as a result of a massive shift to the online community as convenience became the driving force for many people in the cosmopolitan city like Lagos and its growing neighbouring state, like Ogun State as they shop for their choice of products with less stress. Currently, we now ship nationwide.

This online strategic decision was to improve on what we do and help others in our industry sell more through technological innovations that have made life easier with internet-enabled gadgets and devices as furniture consumers are always searching for ways of getting their choice furniture items regardless of their locations. Hence, numerous sellers who recognized our value found it soothing to subscribe to our platform as they meet the needs of these furniture consumers in the country.

Taking into cognizance the e-commerce terrain in the face of strong competition, HOG remained unswerving in its purpose and not only creating a niche for itself in the furniture ecosystem but sanitizing the system with standardised practices as every seller portfolio is checked before onboarding which is towards ensuring customers satisfaction with quality products and an eventual delivery

Notable brands are now receptive to HOG – Home. Office. Garden services as the company keep getting the required attention every growing business is expected to have.

On hogfurniture.com.ng online marketplace we offer products and services such as;
Home. Office. Garden furniture, furnishing, interior décor items and Appliances
HOG Easy Pay service for those interested in Buy Now Pay Later
Auctioning of priced furniture items
Artisans maintenance service
Cleaning Service packages

Our Vision:
To be a leader in the e-commerce business with a touch of world-class standards.
Through our Value Added…Uncommon corporate philosophy, which stands out as the basic strategy of our marketing and customer relations, offers incomparable and unique service.

Our Motto
Your imagination…our creation!

HOGFURNITURE.COM.NG PROFILE
Ivara Enya an accountant by training Since venturing into furniture retailing in 2009 and seeing the challenges in the industry, he changed his value proposition to bridging the gap between customers and business owners in the furniture and interior designs industry.
This gave rise to HOG furniture online Marketplace- www.hogfurniture.com.ng. The biggest online platform for selling furniture in Nigeria.
HOG is pronounced as a hug – /hʌɡ/, an acronym for Home. Office. Garden is the name of the company and incorporated as HOG Furniture Limited with a domain name registered as hogfurniture.com.ng. It is a Nigerian e-commerce company founded on Jan.22, 2010, with an office in Ota, Ogun State. It offers a third-party online marketplace and first-party direct retail spanning various categories including furniture, furnishing, home appliances, décor items, auction, cleaning and maintenance service packages. The company also has an in-house logistics service which enables the timely shipment and delivery of packages to customers.

How it started
Upon graduation, I worked with several companies learning the art of business management. I officially started running a retail outlet in 2005 that retails Office supplies with my wife Mrs Omoyemi Ivara. We felt the need to diversify into the office products ecosystem: Stationeries, Computers, Gift items and Furniture. As a result, we introduced office furniture as part of the products we sell under Vanaplus ventures. The business grew and we decided to split the business by allowing for specialisation as a result we established HOG Furniture and B&M ventures.

Challenges experienced Starting out
The first 5 years upon branching out fully into the furniture business were quite challenging. Since we are located in Otta – Ogun state, this limited our growth as we were running a brick & mortar shop. Aside from that, we experienced a shortage of skilled staff because it is a specialised industry and also capital intensive.

Opportunity
After several attempts to find a way to grow the business, in 2015 we decided to list our products on Konga.com as it just opened its portal for outside Lagos vendors. Instantly we saw a breakthrough as it came with new opportunities and challenges never experienced before, in that we were shipping nationwide. We strive on that platform and won the best merchant award on August 24th 2017.

As a result of this feat, we now invested in creating our own platform which was launched in 2016, tagged www.hogfurniture.com.ng

Challenging economy affecting the e-commerce sector

The sector is still in its infancy. However, the sector succeeded overseas because it leveraged on already established and striving sectors like haulage, cashless payment system and stable power supply. These issues are bedevilling our economy, as a result, it has not made the e-commerce sector to be vibrant. We have to create our own logistic arrangements, and power and most Nigerians have trust issues due to fake online sites. As a result, we experience quite some declined or fake orders to defraud. Another issue is our bad roads, coupled with all kinds of agencies from Area boys to Local Govt task force, Nigeria Legion, Lastma, Police, VIO, and Road Safety Corps all frustrating vehicular movements. Interstate movement requires different vehicular permits which are not known and it changes at random until you find yourself arrested and made to pay exorbitant fines without documentation. The e-commerce sector is not recognised by the Government, as a result, it is difficult to get funding like USD to pay for services and also incompetent unskilled artisans flood the e-commerce space with poorly made furniture products thereby giving room for imported products to strive. Last but not the least, the importation of substandard engineered wood boards and accessories overlooked by SON( Standard Organisation of Nigeria)

Advice to the Government of Nigeria at all levels
I would recommend the following;

Tax incentives to aid the growth of the sector
Access to the official forex
Access to loans or grants from the Bank of industries
Regulate the Agencies on the road
Create a good road network
Stabilise power supply
Regulate importation of furniture products by encouraging local investment
Ban importation of foreign furniture.

The future for HOG – Home. Office. Garden
We are at the stage of seeking investment to expand our operation by creating a clearing and manufacturing hub for ourselves and our merchant’s products, then acquiring new vehicles to improve our delivery systems. This will improve our reach Nationwide then ultimately take advantage of the Ecowas trade agreement by shipping to other west African countries,