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Wayfair’s Joss & Main prioritizes apps over mobile Web to drive sales

August 16, 2013

Joss & Main on mobile

PHILADELPHIA – A Joss & Main executive at eTail East said that as the company has built up its mobile strategy over the past year to encompass 40 percent of business, applications have played a key role for the online brand.

During the keynote “Applying the Appropriate Resources to Implement an Effective Mobile and Tablet Site Strategy” session, two executives from Joss & Main spoke about the different steps that the brand has taken since launching on mobile in 2012.

“As we thought about the upstream when we were making a decision, we said, ‘Well, Android is not a big part of our user base,’ so we made a decision upfront to go with iOS and let’s go with native,” said Paul Toms, general manager at Joss & Main, Boston.

“That might not be the right decision for everyone else, but in doing so it really deprioritized mobile Web for us because on day-to-day, 10 percent of our visits are from mobile Web, they are devices that generally indicate to us that users are lower quality than the average, so while we want to eventually get to it, it’s just not as high of a priority,” he said.

Buy on mobile
Joss & Main is a home-focused private sales site that mixes content with commerce.

The combination of content and commerce is key for the brand’s mobile strategy because consumers are looking for inspiration to trigger furniture sales.

Joss & Main rolled out its mobile app in May 2012 and then rolled out an iPad app four months later.

The iPad app gives a more comprehensive shopping experience that plays up content to again inspire consumers with home furnishings.

Unlike other online retailers, Joss & Main rolled out a mobile site after developing apps. The site rolled out in July.

According to Mr. Toms, the mobile site does not reinvent the wheel, but instead provides the basic features that consumers want to complete on a smartphone or tablet.

The next area of focus is around Joss & Main’s tablet Web experience. According to Mr. Toms, tablet users are more valuable than desktop consumers, but the experience is not up to par.

The Joss & Main session

Picking a focus
Creating a seamless experience was critical to Joss & Main’s mobile experience.

For example, instead of redeveloping the checkout process for the tablet app, the company ported the same functionality from its mobile app because consumers liked how simple it was to checkout.

“It’s the one area of our shopping experience that we fundamentally went back and redesigned, and the results were exactly what we were hoping for,” Mr. Toms said.

“We pushed up funnel progression on our event and product pages, and we had an extremely dramatic improvement in our purchase rate on the phone,” he said.

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