Boston-based home decor company Wayfair sells hundreds of millions of dollars worth of product each and every year, with Forbes forecasting the company to close in on the $1 billion sales mark in 2013. Clearly, the company knows how to sell products online.
Wayfair turned "webrooming"
into a revenue stream.
However, it had a unique problem. While many brick-and-mortar retailers are concerned about customers going to stores to size up potential purchases and then actually buying the item online, Wayfair experienced the opposite. Calling it the "webrooming" effect, many customers wind up doing home decor research on Wayfair's website before making a purchase in a physical location.
However, Wayfair is strictly an online player, so it doesn't benefit from webrooming like other multichannel retailers would. Determined not to let this potential go to waste, Wayfair's Vice President of Business Development Mike O'Hanlon devised a referral program
that charged other retailers for the leads. Consumers could browse products on Wayfair's site and then Wayfair recommended nearby stores where shoppers could find the specific item. In turn, these retailers pay Wayfair for the lead afterward.
"The program serves up 25 million ad impressions each month, up from 15 million last year. With 10 million monthly unique visitors, Wayfair charges a cost-per-click of 75 cents," Forbes reports. "The company expects to increase CPCs in the coming year, but for now they're keeping the cost down to expand the program. Advertisers can target Wayfair's visitors based on geographic radius, product category, brand and price point."
Making omnichannel shopping habits work for, not against, the brick and mortar retailer
So many merchants are concerned about potential profits lost by showrooming and other omnichannel shopping habits, but few actually work to understand how they can put those practices to work for them. Omnichannel shopping has become so prevalent in today's society because consumers want the convenience to shop when and how they want, and effective merchants who embrace this behavior instead of fighting against it can stand to secure more sales.
By implementing the right eCommerce platforms and order management systems
, merchants can unite offline and digital channels like never before. This allows retailers to generate a better customer profile and effectively serve the needs of their best patrons.