Williams-Sonoma keeps 75% of Capex to drive e-commerce leadership

Williams-Sonoma, which is following digital-first channel strategy, will spend $225 million in capital expenditures. Williams-Sonoma will keep 75 percent of the capital spend to drive its e-commerce leadership and supply chain efficiency.
Williams-Sonoma store digital transformationWilliams-Sonoma, which has reported revenue of $1.66 billion in the first-quarter of 2024, earlier said approximately 66 percent of revenues were generated by e-commerce sales in 2023.

Williams-Sonoma earlier this year launched a mobile app in order to bolster its e-commerce presence and improve customer experience. Williams-Sonoma has 625 stores in 60 countries. There are 152 Williams Sonoma stores in the United States as of February 23, 2024.

CRM supplier Salesforce in 2023 said it is working with Williams-Sonoma to help the company get a 360-degree view of customers across its diverse portfolio of brands, including Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, West Elm, Williams Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation, Mark and Graham, and GreenRow.

“AI is changing everything – customer experiences, company operations, and work itself,” said Brian Millham, President and COO, Salesforce. “Williams-Sonoma team is at the forefront of the industry, using data in a way that builds trust, understanding, and elevates the entire customer experience.”

In 2017, Williams-Sonoma acquired Outward, a 3-D imaging and augmented reality platform for the home furnishings and decor industry.

Williams-Sonoma is utilizing its digital transformation initiatives to bolster its focus on innovation in its product line. Williams-Sonoma’s in-house design capabilities and integrated sourcing organization allows it to offer this design innovation at compelling price points.

Williams-Sonoma’s in-house digital marketing optimization, backed by customer analytics, and its first-party data collection serves as a competitive advantage for the home retail company. Williams-Sonoma increased ad spend and invested in both paid marketing and social media strategy. Williams-Sonoma incurred advertising expenses of approximately $502.2 million that includes digital advertising in 2023. This compares with $618.5 million spent on advertising in 2021.

This investment allowed Williams-Sonoma to drive sales improvement to acquire new customers and to gain market share.

Williams-Sonoma is in the process of enhancing online experience through investment in a proprietary e-commerce technology from product discovery and selection to personalization to concept to customer care and to the final mile.

“Our team is constantly thinking about how we can improve our best-in-class e-commerce experience, and one way we do this is through AI. We believe our leadership in AI will be another competitive advantage,” Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura Alber said.

Williams-Sonoma, which is stepping up digital capabilities, has improved its in-store experience with inspirational products, improved in-stock inventory levels, and next-level in-store services. Williams-Sonoma’s retail optimization efforts are transforming its business.

Williams-Sonoma aims at reducing costs by limiting out-of-market and multiple shipments, fewer customer accommodations, lower returns and damages, and reduced replacements. “These improvements will continue to contribute meaningfully to our profitability in 2024 and beyond,” Laura Alber said.

In March, Williams-Sonoma launched its first-ever global collaboration with international icon Deepika Padukone. Her popularity drove 1 billion impressions for the Pottery Barn brand thanks to improved digital shopping experience. Customers also utilized the launch of Coastal Lookbook, and they positively engaged with its newly developed app.

Baburajan Kizhakedath

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