How Good West Elm is for Customer Relationships


Welcome back to our weekly analysis, where we grade a major brand’s basic CRM tactics according to the seven commandments of CRM for a post-COVID world.

Today, we’ll rank West Elm, the modern furniture and home décor shop that was founded in Brooklyn, New York, in 2002. With over 100 stores worldwide, the company owned by Williams-Sonoma Inc. offers trendy home accessories that appeal to various types of audiences.

This is the 5th brand we’re analyzing in Batch #2. That’s on top of the ten we looked at in the first batch. So make sure to scroll to the bottom to see how West Elm ranks against the rest.

(In parenthesis: the average category score among the ten brands in Batch #1)

1. Be Transparent 10/10 (7.9)

It’s no secret that the home décor retailer is environmentally conscious, eco-friendly, and supports sustainability initiatives.

On their website, for instance, they’re very clear about how they create and what they put in their products:

In addition, West Elm is committed to curating “ethically-sourced, and Fair Trade Certified products available online and in stores worldwide,” according to the company.

All in all, they get the perfect score for being open, honest, and 100 percent authentic about their techniques, values, and overall product offering.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10 (5.4)

West Elm suprised us, in a good way, with their offers and promotions.

Throughout our entire customer journey, we were offered something in some way as a gesture of appreciation from the brand. Promotions that make sense are especially appreciated by customers right now – but they’re also great CRM and retention practices that every smart brand and marketing team should offer (smartly).

The banner below and the “Shop on Sale” category are clearly visible when roaming around the West Elm website.

We also received this discounted offer when adding a coffee table to our cart:


And this cashback offer, for West Elm credit cardholders:


3. Be Relevant 10/10 (8.1)

In the news, West Elm, Designtex, and Crypton recently banded together to launch a line of fabric for the age of COVID. The idea is to help reduce the risk of spreading the infection and to help combat the coronavirus.

The products are not only durable but also easy to clean and disinfect, which is timely – and generally helpful.

“The collection is especially perfect for this moment, mixing residential luxury with high performance for cleaning and disinfection,” says Susan Lyons, the president of Designtex.

As for their website, the first banner with the most prominent positioning on their HP is this curbside pickup option:


4. Be Helpful 6/10 (8.5)

According to its website, sustainably sourced furniture is top of mind for the company. Other recycled and upcycled initiatives, including using organic fibers to create healthy homes and to produce less waste – are also among the brand’s top values.

According to its website, 60% of West Elm products support at least one of its sustainability initiatives, and the company offers “handmade and one-of-a-kind discoveries from around the world.”

We have deducted some points here because we didn’t see the brand “giving back” to society like some of the others we have recently graded. This is not a nice-to-have anymore. Scroll down to the bottom to check the top brands that scored highest due to this.

5. Realtime Personalization 5/10 (4.7)

“Related products,” “people also viewed,” as well as “you may also like” banners were all present on the site and suggested to us in realtime when adding items to our cart.

In addition, when adding items to our cart, the brand has a “pair with” option, a solid upselling technique that’s both seamless and smooth.

The only thing we can take off points here for is the fact that we didn’t receive any targeted ads from the brand when logging off their website and hopping onto our social media accounts. Besides, we didn’t notice any cross-selling techniques implemented by the brand when looking for less costly items and then adding them to our cart, like entrance rugs.

6. Master UX 9/10 (8.1)

Overall, very good use of different components on the site.

The following filtering options were so specific – they really helped us understand what it is that we’re looking for: category, product type, color, material, features, and price range.

We also found this message, that popped up when we added an item to our cart, very informative:

The free “Design Questions” chat for shopping online is super helpful for users, too:

Another unique feature that was great for the user experience is the below fabric filter which allows you to read the exact details on each of the fabrics you’re considering to buy at the click of a button:

A few points were deducted for the newsletter registration popup as it immediately appeared when entering the company’s homepage – a bit disruptive to the UX in our opinion:

7. Leverage Social Media 7/10 (8.1)

With over 1.05 Million likes on Facebook, the brand posts content that includes promotions, events in the world, BLM support, COVID relaxation tips, and more.

The first post we saw when writing this was the fantastic Mexican getaway promotion:

Just when it seemed as if the brand is following the exact rules by the book, the first reaction we noticed was this:

On Instagram, the brand has localized accounts that cater to their customers’ style in their country of origin. Also, they post in high frequency.

On Twitter, the brand posts less often.

Here are a couple of interesting Tweets we saw when entering their profile:



Overall, West Elm is getting a 57/70 here (81%), putting them 4th just before Best Buy.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date.

  1. Lowe’s 90%
  2. Petco 90%
  3. Uniqlo 86%
  4. West Elm 81%
  5. Best Buy 78%
  6. Etsy 76%
  7. The Body Shop 74%
  8. Gymshark 73%
  9. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  10. Walgreens 70%
  11. Fiverr 67%
  12. Next 63%
  13. Patagonia 61%
  14. Burberry 60%
  15. COS 57%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!

Previous analyses:

The post How Good West Elm is for Customer Relationships appeared first on Post Funnel.


Online enterprenuer. Lean leadership consultant.

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