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Wayfair Professional: How Wayfair courts business customers, seeds future growth

Wayfair Professional, the online furniture retailer's B2B play, is about 10% of sales.

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(Image: Shutterstock)

Wayfair rapid expansion as an online furniture retailer shows no signs of abating and future growth is going to have a good dose of business customers. 

On the company's second quarter earnings conference call, Wayfair executives highlighted Wayfair Professional, which was 9% of overall sales for the quarter ending June 30 and hovers around 10%.

Wayfair Professional launched in 2017 and now has about $1.5 billion in annual net revenue and a 30% compound annual growth rate. Margaret Lawrence, vice president and general manager of Wayfair B2B and Perigold, said the goal is for her unit to service more than 45 million businesses in North America and 30 million in Europe.

Lawrence said Wayfair Professional is focused on 7 verticals. She said:

While we serve businesses across many industries, we're currently most focused on 7 verticals: interior design, commercial office, contractors, property management, accommodations, education and food service. To date, the main thrust of our efforts has been on the first 3, which cover more than half of the TAM, but we also already have meaningful offerings across the remaining verticals and are actively expanding our coverage there. Some verticals, like interior design, skewed towards core Wayfair assortment. While others, like commercial office, need distinct suppliers, products and merchandising.

Wayfair said it adjusts its technology and approach based on roles and business. Order management and logistics are leveraged across the company. Wayfair Professional then adjusts personalization based on interior designers, contractors and other businesses.

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Lawrence added:

Though each set of B2B customers is unique, it should perhaps come as no surprise to you that professional customers as a whole have a very different profile than our B2C shoppers. For instance, the average professional shopper visits more frequently, buys more often and spend more each time they purchase than our B2C customers each year. Over the last 12 months, 80% of Wayfair Professional orders were placed by business customers who have already placed 4 or more lifetime orders. We have designed a unique funnel for our B2B shoppers that showcases the best ways that Wayfair can help them. It begins with customer acquisition where we operate with the same data-driven payback minded marketing philosophy as the rest of the business, while optimizing for B2B reach through some unique business-oriented channels.

Wayfair can also recognize a business user that enters through its B2C channels and then move them into the Wayfair Professional ecosystem, which supports project management tools to complete entire jobs as well as self-service options. Wayfair also has 500 business account managers to help with orders, sourcing and delivery, said Lawrence.

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Over time, Wayfair expects its Wayfair Professional unit to have tighter relationships with business customers and higher lifetime value. Lawrence said:

Now that macro conditions are normalizing across the U.S., many of our business customers are in the midst of a meaningful refresh cycle. Hotels, restaurants and schools are all reopening and adopting to new norms, while contractors and interior designers are busier than ever. We are focused on making Wayfair Professional their one-stop solution and have a long road map of new initiatives ahead, such as offering even more project financing options to help many of our small business customers get started.

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