During a time when the chaos of appliance shopping was exacerbated by pandemic-driven hurdles, shopping behaviors were changing and the appliance category was slow to adapt. Shoppers didn’t have a way to navigate changes to the shopping dynamic and were alone in dealing with the chore of re-orienting to the category. They needed a solution that would help them digest the information they uncovered during research and remove all the shopping barriers standing in their way from making a confident, seamless purchase. Whirlpool sought to provide a solution that would ease the chaos of the shopping journey, getting consumers to their criteria faster while driving both consideration for the brand among in-market shoppers and boosting retail sales.
Stuck in Criteria Chaos further from purchase
We knew that shoppers were swirling in the Criteria Chaos stage of the appliance shopping journey feeling hesitant to land on a decision that would lead them on their way to a confident purchase. The longer they stayed in this phase, the further they were from purchase. Whirlpool needed to find a solution to connect with shoppers as soon as their journey began to ensure they re-oriented to the category fast.
Fast-tracking to clarity and confidence
The question was: how? How could Whirlpool help appliance shoppers navigate Criteria Chaos so their journey is quicker and simpler? The appliance category wasn’t fast to adapt to meeting shoppers’ needs amidst the chaos of digital shopping. And on top of that, shoppers were dealing with a number of lingering pandemic-driven landmines that made shopping the category even more chaotic like access to retailer showrooms to experience the product first-hand because of in-person restrictions and supply chain disruptions limiting availability. Whirlpool needed to step in with a solution, so we looked outside the category and borrowed from an industry flipping in-person experiences on its head: real estate. Like the digital touring of real estate properties, Whirlpool curated a 360-degree immersive virtual, photorealistic replica of an appliance showroom. The entirely immersive shopping experience helped shoppers to feel informed without feeling overwhelmed because they were guided to an appliance that best fit their needs, leading to greater clarity and more confidence.
Finding the right partner to tap shopper behavior
The next step was to find the best partner in bringing the idea to life. Pinterest was a no-brainer. With online research being the first action shoppers take when they enter the appliance shopping journey, Whirlpool looked to the top destination where they sought appliance intelligence: Pinterest. With researching on Pinterest a behavior already happening among appliance shoppers and immersive, shoppable experiences being native to the platform, we partnered to create something that didn’t exist. Whirlpool’s virtual showroom brought shoppers actively searching for appliances on Pinterest into a digital world unlike they had ever experienced to deliver on their immediate needs and help them navigate to a confident purchase decision. It took the chaos out of shopping for an appliance in a way that no other competitor in the category was doing.
In a category where the shopping journey is chaotic and shoppers are overwhelmed with options, research has shown that guidance and support drives consideration and purchase intent. As chaos in the appliance shopping journey was exacerbated by pandemic-driven challenges, shoppers needed more support than ever before and the category was unable to keep up. Other categories simplified the transition to shopping entirely online with more seamless experiences that replicated what it was like to shop in person. By acknowledging the appliance category’s inability to quickly adapt to the new shopping landscape, Whirlpool was able to meet shoppers where they were on their journey (researching on Pinterest) while giving them an improved shopping experience that felt as if they were on the retailer showroom floor. Showing up for shoppers and offering them support in a time of chaos and frustration by giving them a solution no other brand could put Whirlpool at the top of the consideration list among a crucial audience shopping for a new appliance. As a result, Whirlpool increased Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) by over $5 per dollar spent on advertising, increased Consideration by 4% with a key audience, and nearly tripled engagement rate benchmarks. Sales revenue from Pinterest grew 773% totaling $5.2M. Among Whirlpool’s core older Millennial target audience nearly 6 in 10 exposed to the showroom PinX units noted they would consider Whirlpool for a large appliance purchase. The showroom captivated shoppers driving an Engagement Rate of 60%, exceeding Pinterest benchmark by 22%.