On Oct. 20, AndMakers co-founder Lily Chan joined Wayfair’s Michael Zhang and Payoneer’s T. J. Hyland for a free webinar on helping eCommerce brands launch on Wayfair. Attendees got a ton of insights on how to break into the U.S. market, grow sales, cut down on returns, and more.
Here are our top 7 takeaways from the event:
COVID-19 is accelerating eCommerce growth.
Michael estimates that COVID-19 has accelerated the eCommerce growth curve by five years, with reports showing that eCommerce has made huge gains in its share of the retail market. He also forecasts that many new online customers will continue to shop online in favor of brick-and-mortar purchases.
Home furniture is booming.
With much of the world working from home, the home office furniture business is booming, especially online. Michael foresees online home office sales continuing to grow as the pandemic persists into 2021, which means furniture suppliers have an opportunity to capture major demand.
Change brings an opportunity to pivot.
While the commercial furniture industry is struggling, Lily said COVID provides an opportunity to pivot. Commercial manufacturers should use marketing and merchandising to make it clear that their products can work for home use as well and re-think ways they can alter production and design to make home-friendly products.
Shipping speed has huge top-line implications.
Michael lists shipping speed as a major factor in conversion rates. With customer expectations sky-high for quick shipments of online orders, even for large pieces, the ability to advertise fast shipping leads to higher conversion rates – and higher revenue.
In dynamic times, warehouse partners are even more important.
COVID-19 has led to big fluctuations in product demand across categories. As Lily says, big demand swings make reliable, communicative warehouse partners critical; they can convey crucial information about inventory and sales velocity and help production keep pace with demand as it speeds up and slows down.
Better product info and images cut down on returns.
Michael listed normal return rates between 1-6%, depending on category. Accurate product info and high-resolution images can cut down on returns up front by helping customers understand exactly what they’re ordering.
Don’t let returns stop you from promoting your brand!
Single returns usually go back to warehouse partners and can be re-packaged to be sold again. Lily suggests adding extra branded boxes to shipping containers to make sure any returns that are ultimately re-sold will still carry supplier logos.