After several years working as a building envelope consultant and structural analysis engineer, Liz Lohman co-founded Cubicle.com, the first online store for office cubicles. Cubicle.com offers free shipping nationwide in 10 business days from the date of your order. It’s is a new and rapidly growing ecommerce business. Liz took time out of her busy schedule as Partner of Cubicle.com and mother of a new born to answer questions on the power of this domain name.
Mike: Liz, how does Cubicle.com differ from how businesses normally furnish their offices with cubicles?
Liz: When Cubicle.com was founded, the typical cubicle purchasing process could take weeks or months because there was no easy way for a customer to find and specify the products that they wanted for their space. It often involved the customer contacting an office furniture dealership, having them come to the customer’s facility to measure, and then designing the space…all before getting to a quote. Cubicle.com makes the cubicle purchasing process SIMPLE! We provide the customer with a quick and easy way to find the cubicles that best fit their needs, and they are able to purchase directly via our website!
Mike: How did you come to own the domain name? Can you walk us through how you searched out and acquired the name? Can you share what you paid for the name?
Liz: We really wanted a name that established instant credibility with customers….which is how we got to Cubicle.com. In terms of acquiring the domain, we contacted the owner (based on the domain’s WHOIS information) and negotiated a lease (with an option to buy). We wanted to start out with a lease so that we could test our business model before incurring the sizable expense associated with the domain name purchase. Once we saw that the business model was a success, we decided to purchase the domain outright. In terms of cost, the lease rate was under $1000/month, but the option price was over six figures.
Mike: How has owning the keyword name “Cubicle.com” impacted the business? Could any other name have delivered the same results from type in traffic and Google searches?
Liz: Owning the keyword name Cubicle.com has definitely positively impacted the business! The largest benefit has been that it provides the business with instant credibility. Customers are often weary of making large-ticket purchases online, so having the Cubicle.com domain name provides them with a higher level of comfort and trust, which leads to a higher rate of conversion.
Of course, the Cubicle.com domain name has also helped with type-in traffic and Google searches. We think that it is the best domain to have if you are in the office cubicle business!
Mike: How much of your traffic do you attribute to type in traffic?
Liz: A fair amount of our website traffic comes from type-in-traffic. But, we are finding that the vast majority of this traffic is from our past customers, who are remembering our brand and want to order more cubicles!
Mike: What have you found to be the biggest surprise when it comes to running an online business? What is one thing you encountered that you hadn’t anticipated?
Liz: The biggest surprise to me has been the large percentage of our revenue that comes from past customers who return again and again to purchase more workstations. It’s a good surprise for sure…it means we are doing our jobs and the Cubicle.com customers are happy!
Mike: Aside from having a great domain name, what are some other important factors in running a successful site?
Liz: One very important part of running a successful e-commerce site is responsiveness. I know that our customers appreciate the fact that we respond quickly to any questions that they may have and are able to provide cubicle quotes in a very short period of time. It gives them more confidence in the online buying process.
The other factor I think is very important is the ability to set expectations regarding your services…being very clear with your customer about what you provide and how you provide it. For instance, when a customer places a Cubicle.com order, we send an order confirmation that states exactly what they ordered, an estimated ship date, and how it will be delivered…that way we are all on the same page regarding the details pertaining to each order.
Mike: There is a competitor with the plural of your domain name and another with the dot net version of your name. How are you able to differentiate and stay ahead of your competition?
Liz: We attribute a large portion of our success to the fact that we have simplified our business model and focus on doing one thing very well…offering a very high quality, low cost cubicle solution with unmatched customer service!
We are one of the few cubicle sites out where you can actually purchase cubicles online without having to wait for a quote. This allows our customers that know exactly what they want to go ahead and purchase…no delays waiting for someone to get back to you!
For our customers who do want a quote, we are able to get quotes put together for customers in a matter of hours (often within the same hour) from when our potential customer contacts us.
We are always striving to meet the expectations set with our tagline: Quick & Easy Cubicles for Less!
Mike: What methods do you use to promote the website?
Liz: We are constantly working to maximize the quality and quantity of our site traffic. This work is a combination of organic optimization, PPC, and always being on the lookout for new digital marketing technologies that will provide a benefit to our customers and lead to more sales for Cubicle.com.
It’s always nice to read about success stories. I think you may have plugged their website in the interview a bit too many times, but other than that, great interview. 😉
Noted. As I re-read, I can see what you mean. Thanks for the feedback. It’s a great domain being leveraged well by it’s owenr.