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How one Wayfair app feature drives 31pc of mobile revenue

Home furnishings retailer Wayfair revealed that one of its digital tools, an Idea Board that enables consumers to create product wish lists and plan redecorating initiatives, is responsible for 31 percent of mobile application revenue.

The Pinterest-like feature has been a hit with mobile users actively planning to purchase home décor, as evidenced by the significant amount of app revenue generated from items saved on customers’ Idea Boards. This suggests that more retailers in the industry should focus on rolling out mobile tools designed to foster inspiration and long-term planning before hitting consumers with a strong call-to-action.

“Idea Boards are the ideal place for shoppers to share their favorite items or to compare and contrast products,” said Ed Macri, chief product and marketing officer at Wayfair. “Once items are saved in an Idea Board, it is incredibly simple to make that purchase on mobile.”

Inspiration-based commerce
Wayfair’s Idea Boards tool recently surpassed four million users across its mobile Web, app and desktop platforms, proving that consumers are hungry for organizational features that allow them to brainstorm new décor options. Last month, the brand’s customers saved more than $3.8 billion worth of items to Idea Boards.

Wayfair recognized that many of its visitors are typically in discovery and research mode, meaning they are on the prowl for new décor trends, staple pieces and complementary products before they decide to commit to a purchase.

Using the Idea Boards feature, consumers can quickly tag their favorite products upon first glance and later organize them in a way that makes sense. Items can be segregated by style, color, room or type of product.

Users can share their Idea Boards with friends and family for help with the decision-making process. The shareability aspect also ensures that Wayfair experiences positive word-of-mouth branding.

Social media is another top revenue-driver for the retailer, as many décor enthusiasts find themselves driven to Wayfair’s app or mobile site after spotting its artfully curated posts on Instagram or Pinterest.

“Social media is one of the many drivers that lead shoppers to our mobile experience,” Mr. Macri said. “We have a very engaged following across Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram and are focused on offering a seamless transition from ideas and inspiration on social channels to our retail experience on mobile.”

Targeting future-planners
Idea Boards have retained their popularity by coupling the constant connectivity and browsing potential on mobile with the ability to plan future purchases, a winning combination for many individuals. While some consumers may engage in impulse purchases when buying new items for their homes, a larger number of people prefer to mull over their favorite products and visualize how they might complement furniture they already have.

On average, Wayfair shoppers tag four to five products to their Idea Boards during each app visit. The most popular pinned items are comforters, bedding, accent chairs, sectionals and sofas. Top patterns include quatrefoil and chevron.

To add a photo to their Idea Boards, app users can tap on the heart icon located in a product photo’s top right corner, or press the “Save to Idea Boards” button on each item’s details page.

This strategy, which takes a leaf out of Pinterest’s book, is ideal for consumers in the early stages of researching. If shoppers are presented with this tool as soon as they open the Wayfair app, they may be less likely to conduct their browsing with several furniture retailers, and more likely to give their business to a single brand.

One of Wayfair’s home décor brands, Joss & Main, capitalized on the 65 percent of traffic it receives from mobile devices by redesigning its iPhone app last week, allowing users to create Idea Boards, check out via Apple Pay and track orders (see story).

Wayfair also bolstered its digital footprint thanks to the two million downloads its apps have received, with 35 percent of orders stemming from mobile in 2015’s third quarter (see story).

“While we are mobile-first as an organization, we continue to enhance our retail experience across all platforms,” Mr. Macri said. “Our goal is to meet our customers wherever they are with the most exceptional shopping experience for home.”