Monday, July 4, 2016

Is Williams Sonoma Amazon-proof?

This time a writer claims Williams Sonoma is Amazon-proof, implying that it has a online marketing program that counters any threat Amazon might pose:
Williams-Sonoma has differentiated itself from the sector with one of the most robust Internet operations in retail, a crucial advantage as brick-and-mortar stores struggle with an existential crisis. The company garners just over half its revenue online and has built a customer database of nearly 60 million households. It calls the stores “billboards for our brands” that inspire customers to shop online. Internet sales also carry higher margins than in-store sales and are growing faster—8.2% versus 4.7% in the most recent quarter.
What existential crisis?  If WS understands precisely the role of brick-and-mortar stores, then existential crisis it is not.

"Internet sales" is merely self-service checkout.  Since Amazon loses money on online marketing, I doubt it is much of a threat to anyone anyway.

Like Victoria Secrets, WS sends out millions of catalogs to drive "internet sales" which the writer does not mention.  If "internet sales" carry a higher margin, it is only because they are not charging off the cost of millions of catalogs to gain said sales online.

The big question would be what is the WS wedding registry book? WS provides a cachet of class when selling what you can get at mace's, so I bet that is substantial.

This is an example of social conditioning trumping analysis.  Since online marketing is 1/2 of revenue, therefore…  pure delusional results.

Just as it once gained over 1/2 its revenue from mail order catalogs.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.


Anonymous said...

The link is blocked, requires a subscription.

John Wiley Spiers said...

So copy and paste the title of the blocked article, google it, find an alternative link and read… it's what I did… gosh!

Anonymous said...

But John, isn't that illegal?! You're violating their IPR (copy right laws) right? You would be able to read the article for free then! We are not supposed to do that! Civilization will collapse and no body would ever write anything again ever if they could not legally "protect" their work and get paid for it! That would be anarchy and ruin all of humanity! LOL.