WAYFAIR CASE STUDY - DEVELOPING SYSTEMS(1).docx - 1 Case Description \u201cTechnology combined with continuous testing and innovation allows us to

WAYFAIR CASE STUDY - DEVELOPING SYSTEMS(1).docx - 1 Case...

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Case Description“Technology, combined with continuous testing and innovation, allows us to constantlyenhance the shopping experience while quickly scaling our operations…we are redefining whatis possible in the home category.” Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair(Feb 22, 2018)Company BackgroundWayfair is a retailer founded by engineers Niraj Shah and Steve Conine (in 2002). So it is not hard tounderstand Wayfair’s dependence on information technology when it comes to selling its 10 millionproducts to 10 million customers. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with operations throughoutNorth America and Europe, the company employs more than 7,700 people and generated $4.7 billion innet revenue in 2017. Wayfair believes everyone should "live in a home they love." Through continuousdigital innovation, Wayfair makes it possible for individual shoppers to quickly and easily find what theywant from an extraordinary selection of items across home furnishings, décor, home improvement,housewares and more. Wayfair also provides B2B services to other firms - real estate developers,property managers, and interior designers (U.S. and Canada). Yet, Wayfair appears to be a technology company at heart - one that happens to be in the furnishingsbusiness. Much of their ecommerce and supply chain information technology is custom-built. Evenbusiness leaders recognize the critical importance of IT solutions. "Our culture is deeply rooted in data,in technology," said Ed Macri, chief product and marketing officer, during 2018 National RetailFederation's "Big Show." Macri continued, "With consumers searching for products on their phone,snapping photos of products and searching for them, it's making shopping for the home magical."Several critical technologies like mobile apps, artificial intelligence-enabled visual search, and virtualreality are proving to be "game changers" that are helping Wayfair "make shopping for the home easierfor everyone."Wayfair Next – the Innovation Engine Despite being over 15 years old, going public (2014), and more than doubling inemployees between 2015 and 2017, leaders and operational staff still describe theculture as "startup" oriented and staunchly customer driven. Sustaining this culturemeans encouraging bottom-up innovation through programs like product hackathons,and through rewarding problem-solving success with additional resources. One exampleof this allocation of resources is the establishment of Wayfair Next.
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