After layoffs, Wayfair’s path to profitability remains unclear

In 2020, e-commerce startups are facing a greater sense of urgency to turn a profit, and furniture company Wayfair is no exception. Earlier this month, the company announced that it was cutting 550 jobs, or about 3% of its workforce. In an email to Wayfair employees obtained by the Boston Globe, CEO Niraj Shah said that "We find ourselves at a place where we are, from an execution standpoint, investing in too many disparate areas, with an uneven quality and speed of execution."

Latest Stories

  • FEB 11, 2020

    Birchbox’s latest sweeping layoffs show early digital brands struggling to survive

    Birchbox is laying off a quarter of its global workforce. It's a last-ditch effort to keep the 10-years-old business afloat -- and shows just how difficult it is to be a business that relies mostly on subscription sales. Despite numerous attempts to reinvigorate the brand, things seems especially bleak for Birchbox right now.

  • FEB 03, 2020

    Retailers begin to see e-commerce gains from Pinterest

    Retailers are now gravitating toward Pinterest’s shopping-friendly features to add another source of e-commerce revenue. The platform has added more social commerce tools in an effort to pitch retailers on how being on the platform can help actual conversions. These include the ability to build custom shopping catalogs, product pins and improved retargeting.

  • JAN 27, 2020

    Why grocery stores are all in on pick up

    Both retailers and service providers alike are investing heavily in pickup services. To consumers, it's billed as a way to buy groceries online and have them ready to be picked up while driving home. But for the grocers, it presents heightened costs and new logistical issues. How long will this fad last?

  • JAN 22, 2020

    Despite losses, Walmart’s e-commerce strategy is taking shape

    Over the last six months, Walmart has made many changes to its leadership. While some of these changes are natural to growing multinational businesses, they also hint at the retailer's evolving and more cohesive online strategy.

  • JAN 20, 2020

    Cookiepocalypse: What the death of the third-party cookie means for retailers

    Google is phasing out support for third-party cookies within two years, a move that has major implications for how some retailers advertise -- and may also be a boon for retail media operations at major companies like Target and Walmart. Third-party cookies are pieces of code that track what a user or their device does across different websites, and help retailers figure out when to serve an ad to various groups of users. They're most commonly used for ad retargeting and behavioral advertising. As such, as Google prepares to phase out support for third-party cookies, it could limit the number of ways retailers can target and advertise to users across the web.

  • JAN 16, 2020

    As it transforms into an e-commerce company, Food52 revamps its customer service approach

    After starting as a media company, Food52 is transforming into a commerce company -- and learning the ropes for dealing with customer service hurdles.

  • JAN 08, 2020

    Why wine retailers are fearful of a proposed European product tariff, explained

    The Trump administration has proposed a 100% tariff on all European wines. This has caused the wine industry to go into panic mode. While importers would be on the front lines of this change, a whole slew of wine-adjacent businesses stand to be adversely impacted by these new duties.

  • JAN 03, 2020

    As CCPA takes effect, retailers are adopting a wait-and-see approach to their loyalty programs

    On January 1, the California Consumer Privacy Act went into effect, the latest new piece of regulation that's meant to give customers more control over what companies can do with their personal data. While some industry groups have expressed concern that the legislation as written could hurt retailers' ability to offer loyalty programs, so far companies aren't planning any drastic changes to their loyalty programs as they wait for final clarification on the rules.

  • DEC 23, 2019

    Why online grocery growth remains a retail mystery

    The headlines for the last few years have insisted that grocery e-commerce is on the verge of hitting the mainstream. Right now, however, it only represents about 3% of overall sales. Is a change really on the horizon? Or are estimates over-indexing for a few of the biggest players?

  • DEC 20, 2019

    ‘A solution for nothing’: EBay faces fresh competition from secondhand marketplaces

    After years of having its lunch eaten by Amazon, eBay is trying to fend off new competition from a new crop of secondhand marketplaces. Startups from StockX to theRealReal to ThredUp have been able to grow quickly by focusing on specific verticals like luxury handbags or sneakers in which there's historically been a lot of demand for resale, as well as by promising to authenticate goods before shipping them to buyers as a way to win over customers who have been skeptical of buying secondhand goods over the internet. Now, eBay is trying to take a page or two from their playbook. 

  • DEC 19, 2019

    How Google’s commerce ambitions could impact online retail

    Google is slowly but surely expanding its commerce features. Whether or not companies want to participate, there's a good chance Google will try to insert itself into the transaction. The question remains: How far will Google go and what will the collateral damage be?

  • DEC 18, 2019

    Explainer: How Amazon’s massive logistics network works

    With the holidays fast approaching, Amazon's massive logistics network is being put to the test.In order to get those packages to customers on time, Amazon doesn't just rely on third-party carriers like the USPS, UPS and FedEx. Since building its first fulfillment centers in 1997, Amazon also now has its own fleet of trucks and cargo planes rushing to get customers their delivery time. It's also constantly adding new types of robotics to its warehouses, looking for ways to speed up the picking and package sortation process.

  • FEB 21, 2020

    How subscription-based business models powered a retail revolution

    As brick-and-mortar businesses struggle to stay competitive in the Amazon era, a retail revolution has occurred.

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