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Wayfair pins hopes on social offering


Online home furnishings retailer Wayfair Inc. is having success with a proprietary feature that may have been inspired by one of the hottest emerging social platforms.

According to Wayfair, its Idea Boards feature is growing rapidly in popularity, especially among users of the retailer’s mobile app. Idea Boards is an online tool that enables customers to save and organize their favorite Wayfair products in one location.

Idea Boards recently surpassed 4 million users across desktop, mobile browser and mobile app users, with more than $3.8 billion of products saved in January 2016 alone. On average, shoppers save four to five items per Idea Boards visit

In addition, Wayfair data shows that 31% of mobile app revenue originates from items saved on Idea Boards. To add a product or photo to an Idea Board, shoppers click the heart at the top right section of the image or by click on the “Save to Idea Boards” button on the product details page.

“When shopping for furniture and décor, customers are often in discovery mode, looking for ideas, inspiration and lots of options,” said Steve Oblak, senior VP and GM, “Wayfair’s Idea Boards make it quick and easy for shoppers to tag favorite products and organize them in a way that fits their unique needs, whether by room, product, color or style, and even share their discoveries with friends and family to help with the decision-making process.”

It is fair to say that Wayfair’s proprietary Idea Boards feature sounds more than a bit like the popular Pinterest social network. Considering Pinterest’s continuing rising popularity, especially among crucial millennial and female shoppers, it may be wise for Wayfair to try to keep some of that traffic on site.

This allows Wayfair to capture customers earlier in the shopping and discovery process, both providing more consumer data to analyze and lessening the chance of a customer finding an item at a competing website. In addition, Idea Boards may help promote repeat business. In the fourth quarter, repeat customers represented 54% of Wayfair’s total orders, while the number of repeat orders grew 96%.

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