How Wayfair uses search and native advertising to drive results

As Senior Director of Customer Acquisition at Wayfair, Bob Sherwin is responsible for acquiring new customers, as well as deepening the relationship with existing customers through paid and organic channels. With one of the world's largest online selections of furniture, home furnishings, décor, and goods, including more than seven million products from over 7,000 suppliers, Wayfair helps people find the perfect product at the right price.

To start, what’s been your biggest marketing challenge this year?

I’d have to say that ensuring our marketing approach keeps up with constantly evolving consumer behavior has been a big challenge. The most notable shift we’ve had to respond to has been the increasing time spent on mobile devices, which we have adjusted to appropriately.

Do you adjust your approach at all during the holiday season?

Our approach during the holidays doesn’t fundamentally change. We are just more prepared for increased competition, and higher intent customers who are in the shopping mindset.

What ad products have you used to address your challenges and how have you used them?

We work with a wide range of publishers and platforms. Both Yahoo Search and Native products are part of our marketing portfolio and have performed well for us. Display/Native is a great tool to build brand awareness and provide customers with a call-to-action to come to Wayfair and explore the store, whether or not they are ‘in-market’ for something today, or just want to casually explore. Search is better suited for people who are already ‘in-market’ and likely have a higher intent to purchase. Because the two advertising mediums serve customers at different phases of their purchase journey, each channel plays a large role in our overall marketing strategy.

What kind of success have you seen on Yahoo Gemini and how have you been able to achieve it?

As Yahoo continues to invest in the platform--improving the UI, reporting, and providing more transparency--we’ve seen an increase in ROI. It’s encouraging to see that Yahoo has aggressively improved the platform for direct response advertisers, so that’s enabled us to be successful. Staying hands on and close to the data has also been a factor in our success.

Can you share an example of your best performing ad creative? Why do you think it resonates so well with your customers?

This native ad has performed well because it is eye-catching and highlights our broad selection of products. We’ve taken the time to iterate and learn what works well. There is a lot of scale on Yahoo and we’ve invested the time to understand how to get the most out of it for our business.