E-commerce remained the big winner for retailer Williams-Sonoma last year, accounting for almost 52% of all companywide revenue.
Overall, Williams-Sonoma's revenue grew 2.2% in 2016, with double-digit growth across its brands West Elm, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham, said Laura Alber, president and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, during a quarterly conference call.
At that time, Alber also announced several leadership changes with the organization, starting with the news that Sandra Stangl, president of the Pottery Barn brand, has resigned and EVP Marta Benson would assume her spot. Other executive moves included the promotion of Jennifer Keller to president of Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen, and Jeff Howie has been promoted to EVP, chief administrative officer of Pottery Barn.
Alder thanked the company's catalog heritage for reaching the 52% mark in e-commerce revenue last year and said that the channel continues to be the highest growth area for Williams-Sonoma. In fact, in 2016, the company focused on improving the online shopping experience, particularly in mobile, and increasing online advertising spend across all brands.
Last year was also Williams-Sonoma's first stab at offering customers a cross-brand loyalty program. In Q4, customers who joined shopped more of the brands and with a higher average spend.
"We'll be implementing digital tools such as next-generation product information pages, 3D product visualization, and increase side personalization to deepen online engagement of both new and loyal shoppers and to further expand loyalty across our strong and diverse portfolio brands," Alber said.
The company will also invest heavily in digital technology and building digital campaigns across various social media platforms.
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Alber notes that in-store retail will also continue to be important. To enhance this experience, the company will invest in POS technology, scheduling tools and other in-store technology.
"We’re also addressing our customers' changing shopping needs and preferences with innovation of the retail experience. The role of retail stores continues to evolve," Alber said. "As an established multichannel retailer, we offer shoppers integrated experience across channels, all of which positively contribute to their perception of our brands and products. Our retail stores are our single best source of new customer acquisitions and are a meaningful advantage over digital pure-play composition."