Smart online marketers are always looking for new ways to grow and influence incremental sales. Ecommerce media and flash sales, for example, are two avenues of growth to consider. After you are done pioneering new ways of selling online, stealing market share, and building your brand, how do you continue to innovate in ecommerce?
The answer to this question was a hot topic during Brand Innovators Ecommerce, Part 2, held in New York earlier this month. Each panelist shared their response:
Mike Beaulieu, Director of Media Sales, Wayfair – There are a few interesting ways that Wayfair.com drives incremental revenue. One, the “Get It Near Me” program, allows smaller furniture and home good vendors to target potential customers who are actively researching and shopping for the kinds of items they offer. This tool caters to shoppers that need to see and feel the product before they buy. For high consideration purchases such as furniture, this makes a ton of sense. The furniture vendors in the program pay Wayfair a cut for this added exposure, and in the end, shopper, vendor, and retailer all reap the benefits.
Wayfair also uses its HomeProductAds program to generate additional revenue. HomeProductAds is a performace-based media product, powered by HookLogic, that allows the manufacturers and vendors who sell on Wayfair properties to grow exposure and sales by putting their product on the top of the search results. Wayfair’s partners have access to the detail they need to see their performance and tune their spend directly against the results they want to drive, and shoppers see a more of the types of product they are searching for. Yet again, everyone benefits.
Katherine Wu Brady, VP, Operations, vente-privée USA – For this retailer, it’s whole business is essentially a “new revenue stream.” Flash sales is the vice that vente-privee chooses to use. But unlike other sites, vente-privee creates custom boutiques with original photography and video that breathe new life into excess inventory, offering a beautiful and enjoyable experience for its members and brand partners alike. For brands, partnering with vente-privee to feature their products not only leads to revenue and sales, as expected, but also generates consumer insights. Brands can gather post-sale data that offers quality insights across a spectrum of filters and consumer trends – such as popularity of a certain item by region.
vente-privee aims to ‘”surprise and delight” its shoppers to keep them engaged. They consistently strive to maintain the brand integrity of their partners by consciously limiting the amount of pre-promotion or product previews, as is the case for many other flash sale sites. And because they choose to work with brands their members truly desire, they have created a strong loyalty and excitement at 10 AM ET every day to see what new brands and products have made their debut. vente-privee also manages its own shipping and fulfillment, offering brands additional ‘parceling’ opportunities to reinforce their connection with shoppers via samples, designer lookbooks or retail offers exclusively for members. This is another great added value that ultimately benefits all parties involved while “surprising and delighting” customers.
Adam Stave, Director of New Business Development, GSI Media, GSI Commerce, an eBay company – At GSI, Adam is responsible for leveraging media to tap new revenue streams for hundreds of retailers including Ace Hardware, GNC, Radioshack, and Quicksilver. One tactic he utilizes is opening up premium advertising inventory on retail websites. During the panel discussion, he mentioned that one of the important things for brands to remember when entering the ecommerce media realm is that the content should be custom. For example, the ad that brand places on GNC.com should not be the same ad they use on a site like that of CNN. It should fit into the look, feel, and overall tone of the GNC website.
Adam shared an entertaining example with the audience, involving KY Lubricant products being advertised on 1800Flowers.com. Although this may sound like a strange fit at first, the media placements ran within the ‘Guy’s Guide to Flowers’ microsite, and performed well in this relevant context. 1800Flowers was able to generate additional revenue from KY, KY drove a high return on ad spend (ROAS), and men shopping for flowers were exposed to ‘complemetary’ items that might be of interest.
Special thanks to all of our panelists for sharing their stories, and to our moderator, John Haake, for keeping the conversation flowing.