In case you missed it, click here to read Wayfair Part 1!
We received numerous communications from Wayfair about our e-commerce order.
The first was an order confirmation/receipt.
This was followed by a shipment notification and then a notice that delivery was made. Screen captures of the communications are shown here:
Figure 1 Wayfair Order Emails
Finally, we received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) type survey. Learn more about Net Promoter Score surveys – in case you need a refresher.
Delivery was actually a business day late – October 30 instead of the promised October 27. No notice was sent regarding the delay.
Before we received the box in the mail, there were questions about how the table would be shipped as we were not actually sure how much assembly was required for a little side table.
When the box arrived, you can see in the picture below, the table was a manageable size.
Figure 3 Box As Delivered
Figure 4 Opening The Box
The following figures show the results as we took the pieces from the box, laid them out, and assembled them. The table parts were manageable, and yet felt really good to the touch. We must confess that the level of sturdiness in the top and legs came as a surprise. The biggest fear many people face when buying furniture online is knowing the quality.
Figure 5 Parts Layout
The table assembled easily using the supplied hex tool and 8 hex-head machine screws.
Figure 6 Wayfair Table Assembly
The result was a sturdy and pleasant table that certainly met our expectations and felt like a good value.
So how did the advanced visualization features from Wayfair work in reality? On the left is the picture we created using the app. On the right is reality.
Lessons Learned & Implications
We completed this purchase to better understand how online furniture purchases work, and to understand the pros and cons when talking to our clients in the retail furniture business.
- Wayfair is a tremendous threat, especially to our core, the mid-size retailers. The combined offering of value and time savings is tough to overcome, especially for less urgent, low cost items.
- The visualization (both 2D and 3D) is not a game changer – it feels more like a whizzy marketing tool. 3D is pretty hard to use, and it would take a lot of time to switch between different products. In this particular case there was only one option for 3D so it didn’t really have an impact anyway. The 2D visualization tool was also a nice to have, but had little bearing on the outcome.
- Conversely, there is absolutely no way to gauge heft, touch, or quality of the furniture on the Wayfair site. The reviews are somewhat helpful, ut when spending some hundreds of dollars on a piece, are you really going to trust an online review? Maybe.
- If we were not replacing a previous piece of furniture, and if we hadn’t already spent a lot of time understanding what our tastes were, we don’t believe the discovery process in Wayfair would helped save any time at all compared to the experience of being in a store and being able to talk to someone with some ability to help you figure it out.
- The number of products out of stock is quite remarkable, and can lead to customer disappointment.