Wayfair is building a new branch of business for itself. The fast furniture brand is now offering sponsored products and is hiring a director of product management for media. Already a dominant disruptor, Wayfair’s newest developments could indicate a refurbished reality of brands transforming into full-on media platforms, following in the footsteps of Amazon.
Wayfair is already a category killer, with the third-fastest desktop site out of all brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box. The label offers best-in-class product pages rich with information including fulfillment times, ratings, reviews, and complementary products. Additionally, it leads in both Text ad and Shopping ad visibility against decor and furniture category keywords, increasing spend since 2017. Wayfair also had some wins on social media, with more annual community growth on Instagram than 85% of brands and the third highest community growth on Twitter. Its Showcase Shopping ads also appear against nearly 50% of mobile searches for unbranded decor keywords, solidifying its spot as a Gifted brand in Gartner L2’s ranking.
Despite a slew of news articles reporting Amazon’s departure from Shopping ads in May, its revamping of investment in Shopping ads in the following months has gone largely unreported. After initially withdrawing from Shopping ads, the company has scaled up campaigns, even surpassing previous investment levels and ad visibility in certain categories. As such, other retailers should be wary of creeping competition, including Wayfair, which is still susceptible to the wrath of Amazon. This makes its advance into media all the more sensible, though it is unclear just how well the move will fall into place at the moment.