July 9, 2014, 12:33 PM

Wayfair boosts web traffic via an alliance with home improvement channel HGTV

The online home furnishings retailer’s advertising response rate doubles during the HGTV shows compared with advertising during other primetime programming.

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Wayfair LLC sells home furnishings online, and cable network HGTV is all about home decorating. An alliance between the two seems to be a natural fit, and indeed Wayfair com is drawing more traffic to its e-commerce site since reaching an agreement to feature Wayfair products on such HGTV shows as “Brother vs. Brother” and “Flipping the Block.”

“Brother vs. Brother” features two brothers teaming up with homeowners to redecorate their homes. The team that adds the most value to the home wins. “Flipping the Block” features four couples that renovate their homes as part of a competition. Both of the shows feature new home and décor products. HGTV features Wayfair.com products in a pop-up shop and on a design truck as part of the Design Town on “Brother vs. Brother,” where contestants shop for products to redecorate rooms.

"We have partnered with HGTV to close the gap between content and commerce in the home design and renovation category," says Niraj Shah, CEO and co-founder of Wayfair. "It's the perfect marriage of brands as we match popular HGTV programming with Wayfair.com's online shopping experience to bring inspiration to life for all shoppers. Together, we are addressing the mass market with design ideas and home solutions that span all styles and budgets to make great design accessible to everyone."

The integration goes both ways: On HGTV’s web site, featured products are listed in the photo galleries from the episodes of the shows. For example, in a photo of a redecorated living room from the third episode of season two of “Brother vs. Brother,” a grey and yellow Ikat pattern rug sits on the floor. If a consumer click the “Featured products in this gallery” options under the photo, the consumer can find the rug, click on a link and be taken to the product page on Wayfair. Wayfair’s web site also features a dedicated HGTV shop, where consumers can browse through specific room that were redecorated on the shows.

“Wayfair.com fits naturally within the context of our programming, so we were willing to deliver a more in-depth integration," says Donna Stephens, senior vice president of ad sales, HGTV/DIY Network. "Like HGTV, Wayfair.com addresses the entire spectrum of design styles and price points so it is uniquely positioned to help our viewers bring HGTV ideas to life in their homes."

And initial results show the integration is paying off for Wayfair. Its advertising response rate—the rate at which consumers respond to TV ads during a given time—doubled during “Brother vs. Brother” compared to ads run during other primetime shows. The show ranks within the top five performing programs for Wayfair in terms of driving traffic to its web site.

"We have already seen an unprecedented spike in web traffic that correlates directly to our HGTV program integration," says Nancy Go, vice president of brand, Wayfair. "The ‘Brother vs. Brother’ premiere was a home run for us and we look forward to further success throughout the season and with the debut of ‘Flipping the Block.’ The synergies between Wayfair's family of brands and the HGTV brands are incredibly strong and together we can deliver relevant and timely content to program audiences in a very complementary way."

Although rare for online-only retailers, Go says Wayfair spends $20-$25 million on TV advertising every year across more than 60 networks, including HGTV.

Wayfair.com, No. 45 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500 has projected it will soon exceed $1 billion in annual web sales. Wayfair, founded in 2002 and originally called CSN Stores, offers 7 million products from more than 12,000 suppliers.

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