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Wayfair builds mcommerce strength with 35pc of orders on mobile

Home furnishings online retailer Wayfair is bolstering its digital footprint thanks to the two million downloads its applications have received, with 35 percent of orders stemming from mobile in 2015’s third quarter.

Wayfair’s splash in the mobile sector makes it apparent that consumers are increasingly shopping for décor and home furnishings products while on-the-go, highlighting why other furniture retailers must offer streamlined app experiences. The brand has also revealed that its mobile shoppers frequently transform into repeat customers.

“We are excited by the results,” said Niraj Shah, CEO and co-founder of Wayfair, Boston. “We believed there was a big opportunity [in mobile] to take care of the customers most interested in Wayfair.”

Nailing down momentum
Wayfair has experienced a surge in mobile activity as of late, no doubt helped by the two million downloads its iOS and Android apps have garnered to date. Both apps have undergone significant revamps in recent months, all with the ultimate goal of providing an easy-to-use, enjoyable mobile shopping experience.

IOS users can now conduct payments with Apple Pay, which allows customers to finalize secure transactions in a single touch. These customers will also not have to re-enter personal details and shipping information during each new checkout, making the process even quicker than before.

Wayfair app users are the first to receive glances at limited-time offers. Time-strapped consumers can opt-in for mobile notifications as well, which offer updates on placed orders and impending sales on favorite items.

One popular app feature allows customers to scan favorite products and quickly add them to an inspiration board.

“We have a feature on our site called Idea Boards, and they are fully mobile as well,” Mr. Shah said. “That’s been a phenomenal feature and it helps customers do their shopping and keep organized.

“On mobile, it’s helped them be particularly engaged.”

Wayfair also maintains mobile apps for its Joss & Main and AllModern retail brands, the latter of which has been selected as one of this week’s Stocking Stuffers in the iTunes App Store.

Scaling up mobile shopping
The third quarter of 2015 proved to be a strong period for Wayfair, with 35 percent of all orders placed coming from mobile devices. This statistic offers implications for other home furnishings and décor retailers, as it shows consumers’ willingness to purchase products without having to see them in-person.

Additionally, Wayfair’s mobile shoppers are proving to have positive experiences with the brand. A vast majority of its customers, currently standing at 67 percent, are repeat shoppers.

The retailer’s top-selling products within its app include home décor and bedroom furnishings. Mobile shoppers have also been readying themselves for the new year ahead, as evidenced by a sales surge of products such as area rugs and shelves.

This suggests that redecorating and organizing homes is a big goal for many consumers at this time of year.

Wayfair is not the only home furnishings marketer taking mobile to the next level.

IKEA Canada is extending the shopping experience with an in-store companion application to help consumers create lists, check off collected items and find product locations from their mobile devices (see story).

Ultimately, Wayfair believes its shining mobile statistics are due to the channel’s ability to instantly connect with on-the-go consumers, regardless of location or time of day.

“A lot of that is because of how convenient mobile is for the customer,” Mr. Shah said. “We cater predominantly to women, and the average age of our customer is 44.

“It’s someone who is on-the-go, and mobile provides that convenient access whenever you are, wherever you are. You see how folks find it very convenient.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York