Wayfair image

Wayfair is right at home with Slack

‘Slack is so much more than messaging. It’s a platform that brings automation and AI together with messaging.’

Taylor KeckSenior Engineer, Enterprise Solutions, Wayfair

The past few years have fundamentally rewired our understanding of what houses are. They’ve become hotels, restaurants, cinemas, creches, offices and more. But one thing remains true: whatever function your four walls serve, you deserve to be comfortable within them.

As a global leader in home retail, Wayfair helps people to create a home that is just right for them. In 2016, the company chose Slack to replace its messaging software and help its 11,000 employees serve more than 22 million customers. Slack quickly became integral to Wayfair’s processes, and now the company relies on the AI-powered platform to help its IT team resolve tech incidents at lightning speed.

Slack’s impact at Wayfair goes far beyond incident management. Teams there save valuable time by using no-code workflows to automate tasks, and integrations with their most-used tools, letting them focus on higher-impact work. As part of the Slack AI pilot programme, Wayfair is also exploring how generative AI can summarise information and enhance its employee experience.

Asad Rahman at Wayfair

‘As Wayfair scales globally, we want to find information quickly so people can spend less time catching up and more time delivering. With Slack AI’s compelling features, we’re empowered to do just that.’

Asad RahmanDirector of Employee Tech, Wayfair


Reducing technical outages by 65%

Incident resolution is all about speed, and any inefficiencies can slow down the process. That’s why Wayfair manages IT issues with Slack’s Workflow Builder and connectors for third-party apps. Slack helped Wayfair’s IT teams to significantly reduce technical incidents by 65% – from 17 per month to just six.


‘Slack’s Workflow Builder helps teams streamline processes, enhance collaboration and boost productivity. With automated tasks and seamless integrations, Slack helps us focus more on customer and supplier experiences and less on administration,’ says Asad Rahman, the director of employee technology at Wayfair. ‘In our analytics, we’ve noticed that Workflow Builder is the most demographically diverse, equitable and inclusive tool we have because absolutely anybody can use it. You don’t have to have a computer science degree; you just have to have some curiosity.’

Workflows are central to Wayfair’s incident management. The #major-incident-updates channel is a hub for automated, real-time updates during critical incidents, and it keeps everyone on the same page while IT specialists coordinate to resolve incidents promptly.

Slack makes creating custom bots a breeze. The Wayfair team made one called WOCbot to share service information and a meeting link so that technicians can talk through incidents in real time. Even though some of the action might take place via video, it’s all initiated directly in Slack.

But here’s where the real magic happens: Wayfair has connected the PagerDuty and Datadog integrations to its workspace so that the IT team can spring into action at a moment’s notice. Datadog is set up to create a PagerDuty incident depending on priority: P1 for broad, severe incidents and up to P5 for more specific issues. From there, engineers can summon PagerDuty with the slash command /pd and use workflows to create a dedicated channel for each incident – automatically adding people when they are paged.

The team can also trigger an automation that updates a Google Sheet and compiles all relevant data on each incident from the Slack channel. As a result, Wayfair has a centralised and easily accessible spreadsheet with direct links to each Slack report, removing the need to scroll and search through multiple threads in a channel to piece information together. This incident response process is efficient and well documented, eliminating tedious and error-prone manual data entry.

‘We’ve been able to effectively create a problem-reporting template that ensures we receive all of the necessary information the first time – and tracks the exact message in which the issue was reported,’ says Taylor Keck, a senior engineer for Wayfair’s workflow solutions.

As a result, Wayfair’s IT team has reduced the mean time that it takes to resolve end-user incidents by 20% (from 27 to 21 hours) and is achieving a first-assignment resolution of more than 85% with quick interactions, such as calls and chats. Perhaps most impressively, it’s been able to accomplish this while reducing its spending on employee tech software by 7% last year.

‘Huddles have allowed us to have those quick one-off conversations. I don’t expect a meeting link; I just expect a huddle in a DM. It’s just a thing we do now.’

Taylor KeckSenior Engineer, Enterprise Solutions, Wayfair

Saving employees valuable time with automation and integrations

Wayfair needed a way to navigate its complex organisational needs. As Slack’s solution for ​​large organisations, Enterprise Grid makes it easy for Wayfair’s Slack workspaces to serve different personas, including:

  • Commercial: Marketing and sales teams
  • Operations: Fulfillment teams
  • Enterprise: Legal, talent, finance, communications and real estate teams
  • Tech: IT teams that maintain shopfront, supply chain and collaboration tools

Outside the IT department, teams across the company use Workflow Builder and templates to automate repetitive tasks. Whether for onboarding thousands of employees, resolving help desk requests or quickly signing off on approvals, Workflow Builder has become an indispensable tool that allows anyone to create and customise a workflow, regardless of their technical experience. In fact, Wayfair employees have created 2,300 of them to date.

Workflow Builder templates

Leaning into automation hasn’t just improved efficiency – it has also fostered a culture of innovation and continuous improvement within the organisation. ‘Slack has enhanced our approach to employee engagement through dynamic features like Workflow Builder, which lets us embrace new possibilities and collaborate in exciting ways,’ says Samantha Simmons, a senior manager of training, communications and engagement strategy at Wayfair. ‘Among other things, we’ve used workflows to drive a culture of recognition among our teams.’

‘Slack’s Workflow Builder helps teams streamline processes, enhance collaboration and boost productivity. With automated tasks and seamless integrations, Slack helps us focus more on customer and supplier experiences and less on administration.’

Asad RahmanDirector of Employee Tech, Wayfair

That recognition plays out both publicly and privately. At an organisation as large as Wayfair, tracking down a colleague’s manager to sing their praises can be tricky. That’s where Slack Atlas comes in. A reimagined employee directory, Atlas is more reliable and dynamic than an org chart. It shows the relationship between people managers and their direct reports and other valuable context about colleagues.

Another game-changing feature for Wayfair is Slack huddles. Instead of scheduling formal meetings or searching for contact information, employees can initiate an instant conversation by starting a huddle in Slack with a single click. ‘Huddles have allowed us to have those quick one-off conversations,’ Keck says. ‘I don’t expect a meeting link; I just expect a huddle in a DM. It’s just a thing we do now.’

This streamlined approach to communication has reduced unnecessary back-and-forth, allowing teams to quickly make decisions and act on them in minutes. ‘Even though we use meeting software officially, I find myself using huddles and clips prolifically because they make sense to me,’ Rahman says. ‘They’re much more personalised and human.’

Empowering employees to work smarter and faster with Slack AI

Wayfair is further amplifying its team’s productivity by exploring generative AI features in Slack. As part of the Slack AI pilot programme, Wayfair has been testing three powerful features:

  • Search answers help you to instantly find answers from data in Slack, whether you use keywords or ask in your own words
  • Conversation summaries catch you up on key highlights from your channels and threads in one click
  • Recaps deliver a personalised daily digest of what’s happening in selected channels

Slack AI is helping Wayfair distil its collected data more efficiently. Instead of relying on specific keywords in the search bar, employees can now ask questions conversationally, making information retrieval a breeze. This is particularly valuable in support channels, where employees can find answers to their questions without having to go on a wild goose chase through lengthy message threads. For example, instead of searching ‘annual leave’, employees can ask, ‘How do I find how much annual leave I have left?’ and get the most relevant information faster.

‘Slack AI gets people accurate information quicker, from any channel. When employees don’t have to do as much tedious research, it translates to a happier and more productive workforce.’

Taylor KeckSenior Engineer, Enterprise Solutions, Wayfair

Similarly, conversation summaries in channels and threads hold immense potential for conducting postmortems and sharing knowledge within the organisation. Slack AI helps team members to quickly understand the context of incidents and contribute to the analysis. In particular, it could speed up incident resolution by extracting key themes and lessons from conversations.

Institutional knowledge can be difficult to preserve in a company over time. It’s not always easy for people to locate historical information, especially when the surrounding details are nuanced, which is why Slack AI is so valuable. Here’s an example of how Wayfair’s IT teams used Slack AI to help its people better understand the context surrounding their work. Keck was navigating a time-sensitive contract renewal with a vendor – a process that usually involves meticulous reviews of lengthy documents and lots of questions between colleagues – and he asked Slack AI, ‘What’s the latest on the contract?’ He got the information that he needed immediately, without having to rely on others for basic details.

Slack AI demo

‘Slack AI gets people accurate information faster, from any channel,’ Keck says. ‘When employees don’t have to do as much tedious research, it translates to a happier and more productive workforce.’

In the future, recaps – a new feature that summarises multiple channels in a daily digest – will make this process even more powerful by keeping people aware of crucial information in spaces that they might not visit every day.

Furnishing the future with Slack

Slack helps Wayfair’s IT teams to streamline their incident response process, reduce downtime and drive employee productivity at scale‌ with the help of no-code automation. Being a part of the Slack AI pilot, Wayfair has already seen the power of generative AI to further increase teams’ productivity.

‘Slack is so much more than messaging,’ Keck says. ‘It’s a platform that brings automation and AI together with messaging.’