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eCommerce Case Studies

How Karton Embraced their Wacky Store Idea & Showed Customers They Were Legit

How Karton Embraced their Wacky Store Idea & Showed Customers They Were Legit

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

11 years ago

How Karton Embraced their Wacky Store Idea & Showed Customers They Were Legit

Most stores sell products that are familiar to customers. They’ve seen them in some shape or form before so it can be relatively clear-cut about to market these products. But what happens when your store is not like the rest? What happens if you are selling a revolutionary product that customers are unfamiliar with? Well, you have to think outside the box.

And that’s exactly what eCommerce store Karton have done. This furniture store realized they were different from the norm and have used their marketing to show customers what makes their product so awesome. 

What makes Karton so different?

Karton are a store that specialize in furniture which might make you ask “what’s so different about that?” Well… their furniture isn’t made out of wood or metal or plastic. Instead it’s made of cardboard. So yup, it’s different alright!

Founded in Australia by Ralph Wollner, this store is the world’s first that sells everything cardboard. The idea of the store is to provide furniture that works for modern life. The brand state “KARTON is affordable, durable and beautiful. It's also 100% recyclable.”  From beds to desks to bookshelves every piece of furniture is made from cardboard and you know what? It all looks pretty amazing. The store itself is build using Shopify.

But with such a revolutionary, wacky idea, Karton needed to prove to customers that cardboard furniture wasn’t such a crazy idea and they did it perfectly through marketing. 

Answer Customer Curiosity

Karton are aware that potential customers might be slightly perplexed about their cardboard furniture and may need to have a few questions answered. They even state it: KARTON totally gets that cardboard furniture is a totally new idea for most people.” To help people come around they have made a Q & A section on their website which answers inevitable queries that customers will have about cardboard furniture.

All of the questions are answered in a fun, playful yet persuasive way. They help appease customers who may be questioning cardboard and actually really lure a reader in. Here are some
Cardboard, really?
YES, really! You'll have to forget everything you think you know about cardboard, and discover that KARTON offers an impossibly strong and exceptionally handsome way to sleep, sit, store and live.
But, we’re talking about cardboard furniture here. Is it strong enough?
You will be blown away by the incredible strength of KARTON. Super high-grade corrugated paper board means that KARTON products are often stronger than you need them to be.
What if I spill something on it? 
Quick action and an absorbent cloth will solve most liquid disasters. However, left to absorb into the paper surface, a spill will penetrate and leave a mark. 

it might seem like a small thing but it's a simple, effective and engaging way to bring customers into the loop about their furniture. It really makes a reader think this cardboard furniture isn't as crazy as you'd think.  It takes the issue of cardboard straight on and makes a customer think "Hey, maybe this isn't so crazy of an idea after all."

Prove the Naysayers Wrong

Although Karton write some pretty convincing copy and answer customer’s questions about cardboard furniture with aplomb, customers can still have a niggling feeling about using this furniture in their lives. As it is so radical, there is inevitably naysayers who will need an extra bit of convincing to get them buying from the brand.

To counter this Karton use videos as a way to show off their products and what they are capable of. On product pages and on a page called “Watch It Fold” on their site, they have videos of how to build their furniture, how it can be styled and just how durable this furniture is.

Below is a video which shows how strong their beds actually are as they dare as many people as possible to get on it and see if it can hold their weight. It’s a clever way to confront people’s perceptions of cardboard and markets the product so well. 

Don’t Forget Style

As Karton are so different from the average, they work hard to prove their products are practical and actually work. But substance isn’t everything as furniture needs to both be practical and stylish and cardboard and style are not exactly synonymous with each other.

Karton recognize this need and they try to counteract it by proving that their furniture is actually stylish. They have beautifully designed rooms with their furniture included on their product pages that show off how chic and sophisticated cardboard can actually be. 
They also use social media to show off how beautiful cardboard can actually be. On Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram they show off art works made with cardboard, beautifully designed spaces and general inspiration for any home décor lover wondering how they could fit cardboard furniture into their lives. 

Take Inspiration from Karton

What makes Karton such a case study of note is that they were an eCommerce store that were self-aware and smart. They predicted customers may be confused or unsure about their product because it was so different from the rest and decided to tackle this head on. They marketed their brand with confidence and proved that you can win customers over by proving how great your products are.

Top Tips to Take from Karton:

  1. Don’t leave your customers confused. Answer their questions head on so they know what your brand is all about. 
  2. Prove that your products are everything you claim so that there is no doubt in your customer’s mind.
  3. Don’t be afraid to do something different!


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