More than half of Williams-Sonoma's (NYSE:WSM) sales are now made through e-commerce, announced Laura Alber, the company's CEO and president, during a quarterly conference call with analysts. Displaying a strong multi-channel model, the company delivered an 8.7 percent revenue growth across all brands.
In addition, Alber mentioned the company had upgraded distribution and delivery networks in the months leading up to the holidays. In May, a new distribution center opened in Dallas, allowing brands to shorten delivery times. "We are enabling next day service on all but large key orders," she said.
Alber also talked about improved customer visibility through technological investments. In the fall, the company introduced "where is my order," an interface for customers on smartphones. Williams-Sonoma has also improved online visibility through adding product recommendation features and optimizing them for the holiday season.
"With the customer as a center of everything we do, we are confident in our competitive advantages including our great brands with their innovative products and outstanding service as well as our multi-channel platform with more than 50 percent of our business coming from e-commerce," said Julie Whalen, CFO, executive VP, William-Sonoma.
E-commerce grew 14.7 percent to $587 million in the quarter. Well ahead of competitors, online purchasing only accounts for 10 percent of the home furnishings market, according to a recent report by Fluid and Wells Fargo.
"In terms of the interplay between e-commerce and our stores. We really believe that when you go have a great experience in one of our stores, you are going to be more confident shopping online. And that's something that people who don't have stores, [they] don't have the same advantage particularly during the gift-giving time of the year, when you want to be sure that you are really buying that thoughtful gift for the people on your list.," said Alber.
Last year, Williams-Sonoma reported its best holiday season in five years, thanks to strong online sales and social media programs.
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