DutchCrafters CEO Jim Miller first brought Amish furniture to the internet in 2003, during a time when the words “Amish” and “Internet” were still incompatible in the minds of many.
Millers move to put Amish furniture on the internet, both daring and innovative, brought the lifetime value of heirloom quality Amish furniture to thousands of new customers across the country.
Over the next decade, DutchCrafters.com enjoyed considerable success. By offering a high level of customer service that matched the quality of the products, Miller was able to differentiate his brand and DutchCrafters quickly gained recognition as a Gulf Coast 500 company.
But one aspect of online furniture sales constantly troubled customers, and in turn the staff of DutchCrafters: hardwood furniture isn’t cheap to ship.
Customers often found themselves in a position where their shipping charges were equal to the costs of their product, creating an uneasy purchasing feeling. While DutchCrafters sought to bring down the high costs of shipping over the course of a decade, networking with blanket-wrappers across the country at every chance, shipping coordinator Gwen Heaton explained, “We still have customers paying over $400 to ship a bed, and while it's necessary, it can still be a tough pill to swallow.”
So DutchCrafters set their site-programmers to work developing an algorithm that would enable customers to pay a flat rate $199. In mid-April 2012 the company, fed-up with unruly shipping charges and seeking to bring forth the highest attainable levels of customer satisfaction, implemented their $199 flat rate shipping program on select furniture collection.
The experimental program has now been implemented on over 500 products ranging across the board from hardwood king-sized beds to 1” thick hardwood dining room tables.
The program guarantees customers a flat-rate shipping charge of $199 regardless of product type, order size, or product quantity, a seemingly unheard of concept in the world of furniture delivery.
While this program may not seem too shocking from outside eyes, imagine this: a typical hardwood queen sized bed ships on-average for around $450 dollars, give or take $100 depending on your relative location to the original wood shop. Now consider ordering an entire bedroom set: two night stands, a male dresser, female dresser, bed, armoire, and hope chest. You’re looking at over a thousand dollars in shipping … easily. Under DutchCrafters $199 flat rate shipping program, you could have all this and more shipped directly to your home, collectively, for the flat rate of $199. One checkout, one shipping price.
While the company sacrifices profit margins on nearly every product, in turn they hope to see an increase in volume and customer satisfaction, and CEO Jim Miller places the highest value on customer satisfaction, explaining, “If customers like it, I like it.”
The program is still in the late stages of development, but DutchCrafters hopes to expand to more products and more collection as customers begin to recognize its value.
The program currently focuses on two primary DutchCrafters furniture collections: the Keystone Collection, and the Miller Collection. The Keystone Collection, boasting nearly 300 products, consists of the sites best-selling dining room furniture, including dining room tables, chairs, hutches, servers, sideboards, and nooks. The Miller Collection, with a focus on bedroom furniture and boasting nearly 250 products, includes beds, dressers, armoires, night stands, hope chests and vanities.
For a list of products qualifying for the $199 flat-rate shipping program please visit:
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