Dreaming can lead to sales. At least, that’s the case for home décor retailer Wayfair.com Inc.
It recently reported that its Idea Boards, an online tool that enables customers to save and organize their favorite furniture and décor products in one location, surpassed 4 million users across its mobile app, mobile web and desktop site. And, it adds the boards are a major source of mobile revenue for the retailer as 31% of sales from Wayfair.com’s mobile app in January came from purchases of items consumers had saved to their Idea Boards.
In total, shoppers earmarked more than $3.8 billion worth of home furnishing and décor products on Idea Boards in January, Wayfair says.
To add a product or photo to an Idea Board, shoppers click the heart at the top right section of the image in category results or click on the “Save to Idea Boards” button on the product detail page.
Consumers most often post sofas and sectionals, comforters, bedding and accent chairs to their boards from Wayfair’s selection of more than 7 million products, Wayfair says. Shoppers that use the feature save on average four to five items to their Idea Boards each time they visit Wayfair.
Wayfair, whose selection includes sofas, beds and patio furniture, says more of its shoppers are purchasing big-ticket items from mobile devices today. “People are just as comfortable making a purchase on a smartphone as they are on a desktop,” says Bob Sherwin, Wayfair’s senior director of marketing
Sherwin leads Wayfair’s marketing efforts during a pivotal moment when many of its customers appear to be changing the way they shop online; even a year ago a large share of the retailer’s customers would research prospective purchases on their smartphones, but go to their desktop or tablet to buy. But that’s no longer the case, he says, despite Wayfair’s sizable $150 average ticket. The rapid shift in consumer behavior is forcing Sherwin’s team to rapidly adapt its marketing strategies.
As the retailer has seen a sharp uptick in the willingness of mobile consumers to buy furniture on smartphones and tablets, Wayfair has adjusted its marketing spend. Over the past year Wayfair’s mobile advertising spending has increased faster than desktop advertising spending in every significant channel.
“We have to ensure that we’re pulling the right levers when it comes to mobile advertising,” Sherwin says. “That means we have to constantly test new ads, new platforms and new ways to drive people to buy.”
Sherwin says consumers still often research a potential purchase on one device and buy on another. About one in three omnichannel shoppers research products on their mobile device before buying on a desktop or offline, according to a recent Facebook IQ report. The different ways consumers are using their mobile devices to shop are driving marketers to shift their marketing dollars to mobile channels—market research firm eMarketer Inc. reports that last year, for the first time, mobile marketing spending outpaced desktop spending. Mobile accounted for 52.4% of digital advertising dollars last year, a sharp increase from 38.5% in 2014, eMarketer says. And that percentage is expected to rise to 62.6% this year and 69.9% by 2019.
In addition to Wayfair.com, parent Wayfair Inc. operates e-retail sites including furniture site Joss & Main; AllModern and DwellStudio, which specialize in modern décor; and Birch Lane which tells traditional home furnishings.
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