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Jess JacobsDirector of MarketingWayfair
To stay a step ahead of competitors, home goods-focused online retailer Wayfair experiments with social media features that could drive purchases. Jess Jacobs, Wayfair’s director of marketing, spoke with eMarketer’s Tricia Carr about the company’s success with Pinterest buy buttons and using Like2Buy on Instagram.
eMarketer: For Wayfair, what are the most important platforms for social commerce?
Jacobs: We want to be where our customers are. Our customers are typically 35- to 60-years-old. That means Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are three of our biggest platforms. Pinterest is super important due to the endemic nature of the platform.
eMarketer: Wayfair partnered with Pinterest for the release of its buy buttons. What drove you to use them then and now?
Jacobs: Pinterest came to us with an early concept and wanted us to help them launch the product. We were excited to be on the ground floor with them exploring buyable pins. We had a seat at the table early on in the product development phase and are able to provide feedback as the product grows and develops.
It has been a success for us in that it has driven incremental traffic on top of what we’re already doing through our organic presence and promoted pins. The quality of this traffic has been quite good.
eMarketer: How many transactions occur on Pinterest, and how many users eventually click to Wayfair to complete a purchase?
Jacobs: The majority of transactions that we get from the buyable pin program occur on Wayfair, not through the buy button on Pinterest. We invest a lot of time and resources into building out a great web experience, so we’re happy that people come to us to get more information on a given product and ultimately check out our platform.
The value of buy buttons is that they make pins actionable. When someone sees a buy button, it clicks in their mind that this is something they can purchase. It helps consumers understand that it’s not just a piece of inspiration—it’s something you can take action on.
eMarketer: What’s your view of social buy buttons in general?
Jacobs: We take a customer-first orientation. We are happy to use buy buttons as long as it’s what the consumer wants and it’s a good experience for them. If our customers browse for inspiration on Pinterest, we want to allow them to transact if they want to.
eMarketer: On Instagram, Wayfair uses the Like2Buy platform to allow users to shop the products featured in images from a link in your profile. How effective is this effort?
Jacobs: The greatest value is allowing customers to get answers to their questions immediately. We see a lot of comments that say, ‘I love this product. Where can I get it?’ Rather than waiting for our response, users can find it themselves and go directly to our site. Like2Buy has removed that friction for the customer.
eMarketer: What are your thoughts on the new shopping features that Instagram is testing?
Jacobs: To date, the Instagram experience has not been action-oriented—it’s not something that you can click to learn more. We see a lot of value in showing an inspiring image, and then allowing people to bring that inspiration home.
eMarketer: What else is Wayfair testing in the social commerce space?
Jacobs: This year we started experimenting with how to make video content shoppable. We started off by leveraging Facebook’s video carousel ad unit to put a video in the first position, followed by the products featured in the video alongside it. This has been effective for us. The next step is figuring out how to merge video content—which is so engaging—and the shoppable aspect.
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