CITY OF INDUSTRY, CALIF
. — Eight-year-old
has copped its second Retail Excellence Award within the consumer direct channel.
Despite exponential growth that has catapulted it to 12th place on TWICE’s Top 100 CE Retailers rankings, the company still operates with the zeal of a start-up, and continues to engender a passionate following of registered users that has now hit the 13-million mark.
Like most successful businesses, Newegg’s guiding principles are easy to delineate but difficult to execute. Founder Fred Chang’s goal in creating an e-commerce site for IT enthusiasts in January 2001 was, and remains, to “exceed expectations” on service, ship time, assortment and pricing.
Newegg continues to do so by shipping 99.9 percent of all orders within one business day of purchase, and by offering a dramatically expanded assortment of more than 34,000 products that has moved beyond computers, peripherals and networking equipment to include a complete slate of competitively priced A/V, gaming, digital imaging, mobile, and other CE products and services.
Newegg achieves its stunning fulfillment stats with cutting-edge logistics and five company-owned distribution centers totaling 1 million square feet of space. Together they assure that 90 percent of all customers receive their shipments within two days of ordering, while nearly 100 percent of orders are delivered within 72 hours.
The latest, largest and most sophisticated warehouse opened in New Jersey in 2007 to accommodate the company’s rapid growth in the densely populated Northeast, and became the company’s second East Coast facility.
Also cementing consumers to the site is a sense of community that’s fostered by its user product reviews. Newegg was one of the earliest e-tailers to encourage customers to post their feedback, and the company has since compiled an accessible database of 1.8 million reviews, many in video format. Besides providing purchasing guidance, the forum allows enthusiasts and newbies to share insights and other information beyond the how-to guides and detailed product descriptions presented by Newegg.
“Customer satisfaction is among the highest company priorities,” the e-tailer cites among its core values, “combining superior service with a ‘customer is always right’ philosophy.”
Newegg apparently practices what it preaches. Last year it bested 10 other leading consumer electronics e-tailers in a study of customer satisfaction and future purchase intentions produced by ForeSee Results. The company rose 1 point from the prior year to score an 81 on the 100-point American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). “A score of 80 is considered excellent,” said ForeSee president/CEO Larry Freed, “so Newegg. com should be proud of their accomplishment, especially during a recession.”
This year the online merchant tied BestBuy.com and Dell.com for third place behind Apple and TigerDirect with another score of 80. While still outstanding, the lower score may be attributable to sharper competition and the addition of Newegg Marketplace, a platform for third-party sellers offering everything from jewelry and diving gear to plumbing fixtures and pet apparel.
Chang chose the egg as his company’s namesake because it is symbolic in China of birth and unlimited potential, while “New” was added to signify “new hope” for e-commerce at a time when the tech boom had gone bust.
Today the business remains one of the few and most successful survivors of that early era of e-commerce, turning a profit every year since its launch and generating about $2.1 billion in revenue in 2008, according to last year’s filing for an as yet unrealized initial public offering.
More recently the company expanded its B to B website, NewEggBusiness.com, through a foray into the office supply category, and used its selection of printer ink, toner, CE and paper products to create a new Home & Office store that also sells small and major appliances, furniture, lawn and garden products, tools and housewares.
Newegg also extended its role as an authorized Vaio PC dealer to encompass all Sony CE categories including home and car A/V, digital imaging, mobile communications and gaming last year, and continues to expand its private-label Rosewill line of IT products and accessories.
Chang resumed his former role as chairman and global CEO of corporate parent Newegg Inc. following the departure of chief executive Tally Liu in August, and the company is currently searching for a successor to the CEO slot.