Williams-Sonoma Sees Strong Ecommerce Growth in Q1

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Williams-Sonoma continues to grow share of ecommerce in its overall sales, increasing from 52.2% in Q1 of 2017 to 53.7% this past quarter, while growing online revenue by 11.2%. Total net revenue was $1.2 billion, up 8.2% from last year.

“The growth was a significant acceleration over the last year, as well as sequentially with all brands delivering net revenue growth,” said Julie Whalen, Williams-Sonoma’s CFO in an earnings call. “In our retail channel, net revenues increased 4.9%, which reflects our ongoing focus on our retail transformation and the continued success we are seeing across our various retail initiatives to elevate the customer experience.”

In an effort to make online shopping more convenient, Williams-Sonoma has added PayPal and Venmo as mobile wallet options. It has also introduced online self-service scheduling for home delivery, giving customers more visibility and control over the process.

“This new feature has already reduced care center calls and hold times at our distribution hubs,” said Laura Alber, President and CEO of Williams-Sonoma. “In Q2, we’ll be launching SMS notification of order status to further improve customer visibility at all stages of the stages of the shopping experience.”

Williams-Sonoma will also roll out buy online pickup in store for its West Elm and Pottery Barn brands in the second quarter.

The company also launched the next phase of its loyalty program, enabling customers to view and manage their rewards on any brand website. Since the launch, the company has seen a threefold increase in the pace of customer enrollment and more frequent engagement.

“Combined with our leading-edge customer data and analytics, we are able to personalize our marketing efforts more efficiently and reinvest in other brand awareness activities,” said Alber.

Alber said Williams-Sonoma has developed an integration roadmap for its newly acquired 3D imaging and augmented reality platform, Outward, over the next two years.

“We are deep in the process of loading all of our assets, with over 85% completed,” said Alber. “This will allow us to introduce more design tools in the coming months to support our customers with their home decorating needs, including digital room planning and new product visualization experiences.”

Alber said the company is also leveraging these same digital platforms to support associates and provide design services in store.

“Combined, these initiatives will enable us to deliver our new standard of photo-realistic, content rich online experiences,” she said

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