E-retail’s future is about branding – CSN Stores became Wayfair

Shrikar Khare Posted On - April 9, 2014

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If you are running a business quite successfully and reaping the desired fruits usually you will not be bothered to make a new move which demands changes. This was common for all e-Retailers even till few years back. But as the market grew more complex with tougher competitions, the retailers also started concentrating on evolving innovative measures to establish their brands to sustain in the challenging market scenario. A similar situation motivated Wayfair, then doing business as CSN Stores LLC, to begin on a major branding and design effort to consolidate its many sites under the Wayfair.com banner.

The background

The modern trend of consumerism has a special feature. Consumers are more inclined towards the brands that the products. Wayfair could also assess that shoppers were increasingly searching by retailer name, rather than by product. This created the background for the change in strategy.

During the keynote address at the IRCE Focus: Web Design + Mobile Commerce event in Orlando, FL., Mike O’Hara, vice president of engineering at Wayfair.com said that  change is a lot more easier task to make when the situation is forcing to make it, but it is not that easy when the situation is not actually forcing you.  He also added that Wayfair realized that in near future, brand will play a major role in online retailing and consequently took the decision of making the change.

New challenge

O’Hara also observed that this brand-focused redesigning and consolidation was implemented by engineers who had also focused on the technical aspects and this was a special challenge for the e-retailer.

Hence, to put a roundup effort in establishing the brand the company took special drive by hiring a creative director followed by a team of marketers, copywriters, product managers, and other professionals. The decision to consolidation the sites under the Wayfair banner also demanded the groups to reorganize under a centralized system. It was quite difficult to conceptualize for the present day multidisciplinary teams and give up to a central authority.

New benefits

The consolidated site under the Wayfair.com banner was officially launched in September 2011 after lot of researching and experiments.  O’Hara said, Google initially dinged Wayfair.com for all the site redirects from its former URLs, which took about 18 months for the e-retailer to regain its ranking in organic search. He also  emphasized  that with the current all inclusive and unique content Wayfair has become, much better in search than before the change. Consumers online are increasingly looking for Wayfair as a brand while searching for home goods.

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