Rather than mix and match a technology stack, Wayfair’s marketing team built a CRM from the ground up. During Advertising Week New York, Wayfair’s director of marketing Jessica Jacobs explained how doing so has eliminated silos while offering the brand a holistic view of the customer journey.
Jacobs explains that with a lot of companies, marketers spend an extraordinary amount of time and budget building and rebuilding a tech stack with technologies that don’t always mesh together in the end. This was the onus for Wayfair to build a technology that not only gained customers, but worked to keep the customers who had already bought a products from the company.
In fact, Jacobs has called Wayfair “a technology company that happens to sell furniture.” By not having to worry about things like replacing a part of the tech stack, they can be more mindful of strategy and build tools they need.
“Wayfair, from the beginning, has always had a ‘build it versus buy it’ mentality,” said Jacobs. “At the heart of the technology that we built is a single view of the customer that enables us to think about how we communicate in the most compelling way.”
Through its CRM, Wayfair enjoys a single view across touch points that bring adtech and martech together. This allows Jacobs and her team to custom-tailor a marketing strategy to each customer, wherever they are on their buying journey.
“We want to reach our customer wherever she is so we take a very broad approach to the marketing and media that we use,” Jacobs explained.
Having quick access to all touchpoints allows Wayfair to adjust its personalized marketing strategy on the fly. For example, if a customer is in the process of returning an item, Wayfair will turn down the frequency of its ads to that individual why they go through “high tension” moments.
Wayfair also uses traditional methods to reach consumers like TV, direct mail and email in addition to inspirational posts on Pinterest or Facebook. Post-purchase communication is incredibly important, Jacobs said, down to wanting to have the delivery drivers with knowledge of the products and consumers’ past purchases.
About 60-65 percent of Wayfair’s sales come from existing customers, so the brand uses this information on its quest for acquisition.
“I’d say that retention and thinking about customer lifetime value informs our acquisition strategy,” said Jacobs. “We use our existing customer data as a way to understand who the best people are, [as well as] the best combination of platforms and messages that we want to deploy in order to grow the highest quality customer base that we can.”
Wayfair doesn’t do everything on their own, however, leaning on platforms that allow them to use their own audience segments. For this reason, transparency is vital, letting Jacobs and her team get even more targeted about marketing investments.
The company has attributed much of their success to investing in technology in-house. Wayfair’s Q3 earnings will be released on November 1, but for Q2 they reported net revenue of $5.7 billion YoY.