5 Vital Tactics for Wayfair’s Marketing Success

by Grace Miller |

5 Vital Tactics for Wayfair’s Marketing Success

wayfair's marketing

Wayfair isn’t yet a household name like Walmart or Amazon, but it looks like this scenario is rapidly changing. As per Internet Retailer, the web-only furniture store saw 770,000 new customers last quarter—the most in any quarter to date. Sales on Wayfair’s websites increased 85.5% to $2.04 billion, up from $1.10 billion. Not just that- for the five-day holiday period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, its gross revenue from online orders increased 130% year over year. Wayfair’s marketing strategy has five actionable steps that can be implemented by any business. Apart from Wayfair’s marketing strategy, it includes logistics, business model, and more.

To reap such awe-inspiring results, it’s quite obvious that Wayfair must have planned and executed many things with the precision of a surgeon. Then be it quality products, supply chain, good and robust business model, or a technical decision like merging their over 200 websites into one…the list can be long. But despite all, this success story was impossible without the support of marketing. Let’s take a look at how exactly Wayfair’s marketing strategy has helped them achieve such tremendous growth.

Wayfair Marketing Strategy Uses Various Social Media Platforms

Pinterest Prowess
Wayfair currently sells more than 7 million items from over 12,000 brands. How can one make all these products easily discoverable? Well, Pinterest–which has become the de facto social channel for home decor–helps a lot.

wayfair's marketing

Wayfair’s marketing team is using Pinterest to enable people to share and comment on the content, which obviously raises engagement and brand visibility. Though it’s very common nowadays to see the “Pin It” button on many retailers’ pages, Wayfair was one of the first retailers to use this feature on its site. Each pin includes a direct link to the product on Wayfair.com.

Since its inception, Wayfair has always been overly visual and image-driven. That means it was a snap to promote its wares on Pinterest. Today it is the most active company on the social site, with the highest number of boards. What is noticeable in Wayfair’s marketing on Pinterest is their sound understanding of target customers. Most of their sales come from middle-aged women…and Wayfair is pitch-perfect with related boards. Boards about after school snack and other recipes may not directly relate to their products, but they are unavoidable in generating engagement of this category of women buyers. Wayfair is wise enough to figure out that sales will not be in sight without this sort of engagement!

Similarly, Wayfair devised a Thanksgiving contest for their Pinterest followers. They asked their followers to create a Thanksgiving table board and repin at least 5 pins from Wayfair. The winner was rewarded with a $100 Wayfair gift card.

wayfair-2

The results of these efforts were more than satisfactory.

  • Wayfair found that Pinterest referrals are 10% more likely to make a purchase and they also spend 10% more on average.
  • The Thanksgiving contest resulted in a 5x increase in sales, a 60% increase in web traffic, and an 89% page view increase.

Excellent SEO optimization
The massive reach and monopoly of Google have made one thing clear: If people can’t see your website, you are out of their sight. Just recently Wayfair announced the launch of a proprietary search engine marketing platform in Europe. Known as Athena, it has been the axis around which Wayfair’s search engine marketing success in America revolved. Needless to say, it has brought significant revenue growth for the business.

Ed Macri, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, Wayfair, commented, “With the development and deployment of Athena in the U.S., Wayfair has dramatically improved its ability to reach customers across a long tail of search terms, bring those customers to the products they are searching for, and, as a result, drive greater revenue and profitability”.

The gist is, with more than 7 million products, Wayfair was in a dire need of a customized approach that could have enabled them to connect effectively with people to achieve the long-term goal of customer acquisition. As Athena is built on Wayfair’s big data expertise, it allows Wayfair to increase return on ad spend, streamline workflows and improve overall marketing campaign performance. And this is exactly what is needed to create, manage, and monitor marketing campaigns.

Add More Advertisements
Wayfair’s marketing team has always relied heavily on display, retargeting, and search ads. As of June 2015 they were spending at least 50% of their monthly display budget on programmatic ads. They’ve also seen great results with Google’s In-Market Audiences. Not long after the launch of Athena this year, the furniture giant leveraged its in-house engineering, data science, and marketing teams to launch Magellan, a proprietary display ad platform. According to Marketing Dive, “Magellan will deliver highly relevant product recommendations across Wayfair.com and within advertisements, leveraging consumer data insights to enhance the personalization.”

On-Site User Generated Content
Wayfair’s on-site marketing is highly dependent on several forms of user-generated content (UGC), including idea boards, questions and answers, and ratings and reviews. These tactics make use of customer curiosity and passion to inform and inspire other shoppers. UGC can increase site revenue by up to 20%, and Wayfair’s idea boards drive 31% of mobile app revenue.

Superstars as Brand Ambassadors
Wayfair really exhibited its spark of innovative marketing skills when it collaborated with both Ashley  Monroe, country singer-songwriter and interior designer, Brad Ramsey, to redesign her Nashville-based writer’s room—the place where she gets her creative vibes. The idea was to redesign it with a variety of Wayfair products. The choice of celebrity was just right for Wayfair’s target audience, and it was a slightly more subtle promotion than many types of ads and endorsements. Plus, to add the element of attraction and exclusivity, Wayfair.com was the only place where fans could have listened to Monroe’s new track, for an exclusive 24-hour period before the song was officially released elsewhere.  Wayfair’s marketing team has worked with other celebrities, too, like HGTV stars Joanna and Chip Gaines.   Indeed, not the marketing plan, but innovative and interesting marketing plan is going to save you. The tried and tested methods will be as successful as your competitors’. Because they are implementing the same methods and you will lose the essential element- brand differentiation.

Design Your Own Marketing Strategy Just Like Wayfair

Wayfair has certainly infused new and exciting blood in the veins of marketing and its superiority is proven by the overwhelming results. No wonder that Wayfair was ranked as North America’s Best E-Retail Marketer this year by Internet Retailer.

Maybe that’s what has boosted the confidence of Niraj Shah, co-founder of Wayfair to say, “You can’t build a consumer brand overnight. But in a year or two, if you ask people where the best place to shop online for home goods is, can we get them to say, ‘Wayfair’? We think that’s very possible.”

Design Your Own Marketing Strategy Just Like Wayfair

Since every business is different, Wayfair marketing strategy must be optimized for every business. If you are looking to implement Wayfair marketing strategy to your own business with precision, or just want to know more about the marketing strategies to grow your business, contact our experts at Annex Cloud now!

The Biggest Holiday 2016 Retail Trends

Biggest Holiday

We are heading towards the holiday season slowly but steadily, and markets are buzzing with the excitement. To really win this upcoming holiday season, it’s a must to know how and what customers are buying, what their preferences are, what sort of personalization and messaging they like, and more. Without further ado, here are our picks for the biggest holiday 2016 retail trends.

A) Arrival Of Single’s Day In America:

Single’s Day is an entertaining festival widespread among young Chinese people, to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single. This day already been considered as one of the largest online shopping days in the world, with sales in Alibaba’s sites Tmall and Taobao at US $5.8 billion in 2013, US $9.3 billion in 2014, and over US $14.3 billion in 2015. Considering the total number of Chinese people living in America, more retailers will focus on Single’s Day, which falls on 11th November. Besides, it also opens up new opportunities for retailers to target a diverse market along with the expansion of international sales and Single’s Day is a perfect platform to do that.

Alibaba's Single's Day 2015 sales counter, courtesy of Forbes
Alibaba’s Single’s Day 2015 sales counter, courtesy of Forbes

B) Shopping Starts Earlier:

Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have long been considered as the crowns of holiday sales, there are signs of a shift in holiday 2016 retail trends.  As per a Google/Ipsos Media CT study, shoppers are starting earlier. In 2014, 61% began gift research before Halloween and 48% completed shopping by Cyber Monday. It’s a reflection of a fragmented shopping behavior which is the outcome of digitalization. Now, people can browse the product categories and decide on a whim what to buy…but when to buy depends on multiple factors like needs, store vicinity, waiting for more discounts and sales. We can say that, in 2016, retailers will have to think about year-long strategies to capture more of those shopping moments.

Selfridges opened their Christmas 2016 shop on August 1. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Selfridges opened their Christmas 2016 shop on August 1. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

C) Social Commerce May Flourish:

Brands and well as social media platforms are under the pressure to find new ways of monetization. Though 2015 saw a push in social commerce efforts as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest promoted their respective “buy buttons” and some brands did experiments with social media buying activity, they didn’t yield a massive response which could have been noticed. This holiday season may change it. But its success will depend lot on how easily users in a social mindset can be converted to buyers, but brands (and the platforms that support them) are motivated to monetize these critical channels.

D) Mobile Mania:

4 in 5 smartphone holiday shoppers used their phone during spare moments or while doing other activities last year, and 43% of mobile shoppers in consumer electronics have purchased products on their phones while looking at those products in-store. Given stats like these, it’s not even a question whether mobile will hold a key in holiday 2016 retail trends. The question is how much impact it will exert on holiday shopping. Of course, we’re not just talking in terms of plain buying and selling activity. Mobile plays an important role in promoting your products and deals, and the “anywhere, anytime” shopping access that mobile guarantees affects the buying decision of customers in different ways. The following chart shows a relationship between phone-viewing and shopping decisions during the holiday season. statistics   With enhancements in mobile use due to apps, beacon technology, SMS, mPOS, and click-and-collect, an unprecedented rise in m-commerce will be one of the key holiday 2016 retail trends.

E) Omni-Channel Shopping Experiences:

The success of retailers during this holiday season will be tied up with the mechanism that focuses less on the transaction and more on the interaction.  Nearly 7 in 10 holiday shoppers say it’s important that a retailer offers multiple ways for customers to interact with it. Again, it is not just related to the core and cold buying experience across all the channel. It deals with uniform and unique brand promotion, communication and transaction experience across your website, social media page, emails and print material.

The wholeness of this approach goes beyond seasonal holiday shopping. It serves as an important raw material in building brand loyalty and great rapport with your customers, which ensures that your holiday shoppers will stick with you after the season is over. This is primarily because stores aren’t just places that sell products. They sell a customer experience too!

F) Technology Upsurge:

Many online businesses have grappled with a weak link of being not able to give customers a full view and feel of products that they sell. This holiday season may see technology doing its best to overcome this hurdle through experimentation with VR, which will move beyond gaming and into other territories such as virtual social gatherings, data visualizations and even entirely new ways to experience ecommerce, as stated by Brent Shroyer.

Wrapping It Up:

What customers want for this holiday season is very clear. They need seamless, simple, super-interactive ways to purchase what they want. But there is not one or a perfect way to do it. The answer lies in the customized combination of the above-mentioned trends that suit your business, product segments, and target customers such as customized referral programs or contests for Instagram just to name a few. Regardless of whatever strategies you devise, the common denominator will always be there–mobile.  It lets marketers be everywhere at every moment. It can become your lucky charm this holiday season!

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