Although we are strong advocates for local furniture stores, and brick and mortar retail, the team at Flonomics did some research to understand the “Wayfair phenomenon” – browsing, virtual testing, and purchasing online, all from the comfort of your home.
The experiment began when the need arose for a small table, and we used this is as an excuse to test out the app and the service provided at Wayfair.
This is part 1 of the experience.
Charles’ mother had a side table that had been destroyed by her dogs. He wanted to replace the table with one somewhat like it. After measuring it, the details are as follows: a half-circle, 30” high, 33” wide, and 14” deep, and a walnut color. It goes against the wall shown here.
Wayfair App Test
Using Wayfair’s search feature, he entered “Side Table” and had over 14,000 hits. His first inclination was to try the 3D feature, so he filtered for a half-circle, the dimensions, and available for 3D. There was exactly one choice, shown below, left.
We should point out that with the image there you can move around the object and see what it looks like from various angles. The furniture image can also be rotated and placed so that it is about right. Note that all this has to be done live, so this is actually at the office and not at Charles’ Mom’s house.
With the only 3D table being too small, he then expanded the search by removing the 3D constraint and only looking at tables with a half circle shape. This gave a selection of 64 tables, of which 21 were out of stock. Of these he picked out the following table:
By clicking on the “Show In Room” button he was able to superimpose it on a photo of the wall where it goes. Less glitzy than the 3D feature, but still useful.
Wayfair Purchase Process
The purchase process was painless – especially with Apple Pay. Another surprise was to see that they offered free shipping. In fifteen minutes flat, you can work through a catalog of tables, find one that worked, place it where it might go, and execute an order. Other than the waiting for the actual product to arrive, this process was painless and really convenient.
In Part 2 we will unbox, and talk quality, buying process, and implications for brick and mortar retailers.