Wayfair, looking very Amazon-ish, has launched a new paid membership program called MyWay that for $29.99 a year gives customers access to benefits like exclusive sales, discounts on installation and assembly services, free shipping and next-day delivery with no minimum order threshold.
“At Wayfair, we believe creating a home you love should be easy, fun and affordable,” said Ed Macri, Chief Product and Marketing Officer for Wayfair in a release. “We are always looking for new ways to enhance the shopping experience and bring even more value to our customers.”
Eddie Yoon, author of “Super Consumers” and creator of Eddie Would Grow, a think tank and advisory firm said, Wayfair’s membership program is a good near-term move. Such programs, he said, resonate with finance and sales teams as they drive positive cash flow and share of wallet as members spend more than non-members.
“It will help them gather their own super consumers, who likely drive a disproportionate share of their sales and profits,” said Yoon. “However, it remains to be seen if it will be good for Wayfair in the long term. This will depend on how the membership program will evolve over time, which is a reflective of its broader growth strategy.”
Yoon said, the second lowest price player tends to always lose. As Amazon was forced to collect sales tax it made it harder to compete solely on price. It then increased benefits like streaming content and music. Amazon now wins on convenience and broader benefits vs. price, and Prime reflects that.
“Wayfair is far more similar to Amazon in its early days than Costco,” said Yoon. “If its membership stays static, it means Wayfair must remain the lowest cost player, which is very challenging over time. More likely their strategy and membership will need to evolve in order to drive profitable growth.”
MyWay is available to U.S. customers and includes access to deals on brands such as AllModern, Birch Lane, Joss & Main and Wayfair Professional. It is also available on Wayfair.ca with benefits exclusively for Canadian customers.
Two weeks ago, Wayfair announced it will open two pop-up shops in November, at the Natick Mall in Massachusetts and the Westfield Garden State Plaza in New Jersey, to drive more holiday traffic. They will feature customer service and home design experts on hand to answer questions, recommend products and show shoppers innovative tools like Wayfair’s e-design platform.