- Along with other retailers experimenting with digital content and subscription services, Williams Sonoma launched a shipping membership program, William Sonoma Reserve, the company announced on Wednesday.
- For $99 per year, the membership program provides customers free shipping on certain items for a year, a subscription to the Williams Sonoma recipes app and access to four of its online cooking classes, according to the announcement.
- The Williams Sonoma Recipes app lets subscribers view exclusive content and how-to videos as well as find recipes ideal for specific seasons, ingredients, holidays and kitchen appliances.
Besides Williams Sonoma, more retailers, including Walmart and Whole Foods, are experimenting with digital content to reach customers.
A lengthy list of retailers such as Best Buy, Tractor Supply, Claire's, Gap Inc., Nike and Dick's Sporting Goods have turned to both subscription services and loyalty programs to entice and retain consumers. Even Walmart got rid of its $35 minimum requirement for its two-hour Express delivery service and now shoppers who subscribe to the Walmart+ membership don't have to pay a delivery fee.
Last year, Walmart teamed up with Tastemade to create shoppable streaming content that allowed shoppers to text an on-screen number to add the featured ingredients to their online Walmart shopping cart. The retailer tapped interactive video startup Eko earlier this year to create shoppable videos featuring celebrities like singer Patti Labelle and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. In a similar move, Whole Foods collaborated with the meditation app Headspace in March on an IGTV video series called Food for Mood.
As Williams Sonoma joins other retailers in enhancing digital content and adding membership programs, the retailer has also recently made additional operational changes. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would expand its manufacturing and distribution capacity by up to 30% over the next year, including adding roughly 2 million square feet to its distribution network. To attract workers during the labor shortage, the company raised its minimum hourly wage to $15 per hour.
"The addition of both the Williams Sonoma Reserve membership program and the Williams Sonoma Recipes app reinforces Williams-Sonoma, Inc.'s on-going strategic initiative to develop and deploy additional digital channels for content distribution," the company wrote in a statement.