Wayfair is ready to go to The Inspired Home Show, and Paige Kelly, director of housewares and more, took some time to discuss its approach to the event and the retail marketplace with HomePage News.
HomePage News: It’s been almost two years since COVID-19 really struck the United States. How has Wayfair’s housewares business changed the past two years?
Paige Kelly (Wayfair): Our core housewares strategy has remained consistent as we focus on offering our customers the best possible shopping experience in home. We continue to focus on key categories in this space and on developing strong relationships with our supplier partners to ensure that we are offering a robust selection while providing great value for our customers.
HPN: What has Wayfair learned about the sector and how it wants to approach housewares sales?
PK: We are focused on creating an exceptional shopping experience for our customers from beginning to end. In addition to searching for just the right product, we also know that our customers are looking for inspiration across every room in the home, and we are focused on making it easy for them to find and discover products across a variety of categories.
For the kitchen, that means making sure we have a strong assortment of tableware, small appliances and cookware, as well as storage and organization products for multiple rooms across the home.
We also remain focused on continuously enhancing our merchandising with rich content and inspiring visual imagery, as well as detailed product information to give our customers the utmost confidence in their purchase.
HPN: As you approach The Inspired Home Show prepares, what do you expect to see from vendors going forward?
PK: We expect to see more new introductions this year compared to the last two years where supply constraints led to a focus on top-selling items. We will also likely see more line extensions, such as new colors, as well as a wider variety of styles among our customers’ favorite products.”
HPN: How do you hope to work with suppliers, and what can they do to help Wayfair succeed in the housewares sector?
PK: We are committed to helping brands build awareness among our millions of customers, and we are fortunate to have developed strong partnerships with top housewares brands as we help them to grow their businesses on the Wayfair platform. We work closely with our brand partners to offer the best products and deals for our customers, as well as fast, seamless delivery.
In addition, we are always looking for innovative ways to showcase our partners’ products. For example, rich visual imagery and videos highlight product features and benefits and provide the information customers need to feel confident in their purchase. We look forward to building upon these partnerships as we work together to create an exceptional shopping experience for the home.
HPN: Is Wayfair set on a whole-home strategy going forward or does it want to focus on certain segments of housewares?
PK: We remain focused on further strengthening our current housewares offering and personalizing the shopping experience for our customers. We want to make it easy for our customers to navigate our vast housewares selection and move from room to room for all of their home needs.
HPN: In what ways have Wayfair customers been particularly responsive to Wayfair’s housewares merchandising/promotion?
PK: We have seen consistent growth within the housewares category, as well as a growing awareness with our customers.
As consumers have spent more time at home and are looking to get back to entertaining family and friends, the kitchen continues to be the heart of the home for many of our customers.
With millions of options, we know it is important to help shoppers find the exact product that fits their needs. From offering rich visual merchandising and robust product details to offering fast, seamless delivery, we continue to see our offering resonate with our customers who continue to come back again and again for all of their household needs.
HPN: Is a particular shopper set buying more housewares than others, such as Millennials setting up homes; or urban customers who don’t have convenient access to physical stores with wide ranging housewares choices?
PK: Our housewares offering is resonating across all aspects of our customer base, and we remain focused on helping our customers find just the right products that meet their unique needs.
When shopping for housewares, our customers are continuously seeking ideas and inspiration for their kitchens, whether upgrading their appliances to the latest models or freshening up their tablescapes with new styles each season.
Many of our customers are also building their housewares collections from scratch. Through our Wayfair Registry, we are introducing newlyweds and Millennials to our vast housewares selection and all that Wayfair has to offer across every room in the home.
HPN: What of Wayfair’s strengths do you think will be most applicable going forward in building the housewares business?
PK: At Wayfair, we have created a platform that is purpose-built for the home category. The long-term investments we have made to address the unique pain points of our category are changing the way people shop for their homes and helping our supplier partners effectively reach our millions of customers.
Our proprietary, end-to-end logistics network enables fast, seamless delivery. In addition, through our deep network of supplier partners, we are able to offer one of the world’s largest selections for the home while providing great value and a seamless shopping experience to our millions of customers.