Digital Advisor magazine - Summer 2022 | Retailer Web Services

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NEWS It’s a Fast-Paced Digital Advertising Battleground What you need to know now PAGE 5 FEATURE Too Many Digital Marketing Options to Choose From? RWS responds with ‘Just Say Yes’ PAGE 6 CASE STUDY AdRocket™ Ignite Case Study: Beta Test Proves Advertising Versatility, Increased Conversions PAGE 13 SUMMER 2022 ExperiencetheOptimizingFurniture PAGE 8 RWS automatic upgrade delivers website hyper focused on furniture shopping

As you focus your content and campaigns around great deals and discounts on coveted home items, allow RWS to deliver the elegant online experience consumers have come to expect.

When it comes to the many digital touchpoints of the modern consumer, you can be rest assured knowing that your RWS team is hyper-focused on advancing the customer experience so you can compete despite market headwinds.

In a recent Think with Google article on the Future of Marketing/Digital Transformation, Carvana Founder and CEO Ernie Garcia said it best when discussing the art and science of building new customer experiences: “...Each touchpoint on the path to purchase is an opportunity to build excitement around the brand someone is engaging with and the product they are buying. Since people expect more from brands and technology than ever before, the way we show up in those touchpoints must be innovative and convenient.”

We’re pleased to share how RWS is optimizing the customer-facing furniture experience on WebFronts® (pg. 8). The automatic upgrade delivers a key consumer expectation in spades: Personalization along the shopper’s path to purchase, providing answers to their questions, awareness of their needs and preferences, and relevant recommendations and offers.


As the sun sets on this edition of Digital Advisor, summer is here and the search for online sales is in full swing. Consumers are eager to take advantage of long weekends to shop their hearts out, particularly for deals on mattresses, appliances and furniture—with “deals” being the operative word here.

RWS Executive Leadership Team (L to R): Jodie Pierce, Jeff Dezso, Adam Gilbert, Kristen Pietragallo and Genna Majuta.

Advancing the Customer Experience

For RWS retailers, it’s a chance to pull out all the stops on your Level 4 WebFront and allow AdRocket™ to help you put your best sales forward.

On behalf of the RWS leadership team,

When working with your Digital Advertising Advisor to create holiday campaigns and content this summer and for the remainder of 2022, here’s a crucial piece of data to consider: Nearly nine in 10 (89%) of consumers feel that inflation will impact their holiday shopping, according to a Numerator survey of more than 11,000 consumers. The survey focused on consumers’ shopping and spending plans for key holidays in 2022.

CONTENTS Digital Advisor Magazine is published bi-annu ally by Retailer Web Services, Inc. All content, copyright © 2021, Retailer Web Services. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content in this publication; however, Retailer Web Services will not be held responsible for omissions or errors. The material herein is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing here in is to be considered the rendering of advice for specific cases or circumstances. Please address all editorial inquiries to Sierra Cre ative Group, LLC at If you are receiving multiple copies of the Digital Ad visor or wish to receive more than one copy, please contact Sierra Creative Group and Retailer Web Services will not give nor rent your name, mailing address or other contact information to third parties. Subscrip tions are complimentary for qualified individuals. MANAGINGGRAPHICPUBLISHERDESIGNEDITORCONTRIBUTORSPHOTOGRAPHY Retailer Web Services Sierra Creative Group Kim PatrickGennaCecereMajutaMcAvoy Jodie Pierce All images sourced from Retailer Web Services or unless otherwise identified. RETAILER WEB SERVICES (800) digitaladvisor@retailerwebservices.com417-27993219E.CamelbackRd.•Suite279Phoenix,AZ85018(800) COVER FEATURE Optimizing the Furniture Experience RWS automatic upgrade delivers website hyper focused on furniture shopping 8 CASE STUDY AdRocket Ignite Case Study: Beta test proves advertising versatility, increased conversions 11 FROM THE NETWORK Level 4 + AdRocket Boost Consistently Amplify Retailer Performance Across the RWS Network 15 TESTIMONIALS What Retailers are Saying About RWS 15 FEATURE Too Many Digital Marketing Options to Choose From? RWS responds with ‘Just Say Yes’ 6 WELCOME Advancing the Customer Experience 2 3 4 NEWS It’s a Fast-Paced Digital Advertising Battleground What you need to know now

The stakes are high with more than $320 billion in global digital ad spending in play.2 The companies involved are some of the largest and most valuable in the world, including Apple, Meta/Facebook and HowAlphabet/Google.importantisdigital advertising to these Big Tech behemoths?



• What’s changed since last summer’s Digital Advisor issue?

Alphabet/Google generates 81% of its total global revenue from digital ads. For all the talk about the metaverse, the reality is even worse for Meta/Facebook, which depends on digital ads for 98% of its total revenue.3

These seismic events have the potential to impact every digital marketer’s strategies and tactics, so let’s get you up to speed quickly on:

• What these changes mean to you, the independent retailer.

ow quickly are things changing in the digital advertising marketplace? Fast enough that Facebook estimated it would lose $10 billion in revenue this year1, based on actions that took place since last summer when “The Cookie is Crumbling: What RWS Customers Need to Know about Big Tech’s Privacy Push” ran in our last issue of Digital Advisor

It’s a BattlegroundDigitalFast-PacedAdvertising you need to know now H

What these changes mean to you

1 Facebook says Apple iOS privacy change will cost $10 billion this year ( 2 Digital advertising revenue of leading online companies 2021 | Statista 3 Facebook and Google’s Ad Addiction Can’t Last Forever Thanks to TikTok, Web3 - Bloomberg 4 Why Apple’s Privacy Changes Hurt Snap and Facebook but Benefited Google - WSJ 5 The Battle for Digital Privacy Is Reshaping the Internet - The New York Times ( 6 Inside Facebook’s $10 Billion Breakup With Advertisers - WSJ 5

This model has been referred to as “surveillance advertising” and, not surprisingly, most consumers don’t like it. Since the prompt to stop third-party tracking appeared last summer, 84% of Apple users have blocked their apps from gathering information about them outside of the app itself.4

AdRocket Base and Boost rely on digital advertising placements on both Facebook and Google to generate traffic and demand for RWS customers. So, dedicated digital advertising experts at RWS are continually scanning the landscape for changes—working in concert with the AdRocket platform’s built-in AI capabilities—to dynamically shift spending as needed to maximize returns.

RWS customers who rely on WebFronts®, WebFronts® Review™ and RetailDeck® all rely on first-party cookies and information—data gathered about retailers’ visitors by RWS on your RWS platforms and products—to power the industry-leading features and functions you rely on to compete and win in your local markets.

“The development of AdRocket Ignite has added a whole new promotional aspect to our retailers' WebFronts websites,” said Jodie Pierce, RWS chief operational officer. “Ignite is a cross-over media type that ties a retailer’s third-party advertising strategy to their WebFront website; this means the ads that consumers may no longer be seeing across the Google or Facebook networks can now be seen while shopping the retailer’s site. This allows retailers to showcase what is most important to their business to consumers that are advertisement adverse and privacy savvy.”

Other small businesses saw their cost-per-click for Facebook ads increase significantly, while conversion rates dropped—which led many to shift spending to Google’s keyword-driven model instead.6

This had an immediate impact on small businesses that rely on Facebook ads in particular. “Everything came to a screeching halt,” for Seven Sisters Scones, a mail-order pastry shop in Johns Creek, Georgia, which saw revenue drop from $40,000 per month to $16,000 almost overnight.5

“This means our AdRocket™ retailers can rest easy, knowing we’re always working in the background to help them maximize the effectiveness of their digital advertising spending.” What’s changed since Summer 2021?

“Retailer Web Services is a Google Premier Partner, which means we’ve been recognized as one of the top three percent of all Google partners in the United States,” said Jodie Pierce, RWS COO. “That status means we have unprecedented access to Google’s own digital advertising plans and roadmaps, which allows us to anticipate any changes that might be coming well before they impact the market.

The biggest change since last summer was a subtle one. For iPhone and iPad users, they started to see a popup window like this one (left): The “Allow ‘Facebook’ to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” prompt lets users decide if they want to allow apps on their devices to track their behaviors after they stopped using the apps themselves.

This “third-party tracking” capability is the heart of the massive digital advertising industry, since it allows advertisers like Google and Facebook to serve up highly targeted ads based on personal information gathered while you’re using their services—and what you do the rest of the time you’re online, too.

6 TooFEATUREMany MarketingDigitalOptions to Choose From? RWS responds with…

• Integrated “buy now, pay later (BNPL)” partnerships with Synchrony and Wells Fargo

“Just Say Yes+” is an all-in-one digital marketing bundle that allows retailers to ensure they’re everywhere their prospective customers are, and for a fraction of the monthly expense these services would cost individually.

“Just Say Yes+” includes immediate access to all these industry-leading digital marketing tools:

“Just Say Yes+” also features these bonus offerings from Nationwide to make it more economical than ever to start and maintain effective digital advertising campaigns that deliver results:

Automated Marketing Digital Tag Manager

On their own, this powerful suite of platforms, tools and digital marketing expertise would cost more than $5,859 per month with a $1,999 account startup fee. But with “Just Say Yes+,” it’s available for just $3,999 per month with $0 due at startup. To take advantage of this limited time offer and find out more about a “Just Say Yes+,” contact us.

“The question for retailers today isn’t whether to invest in digital—an online presence is now table stakes,” said RWS CEO Genna Majuta. “The biggest challenge now is understanding how to distribute their digital marketing investment in a way that delivers the most business, without feeling like they need to get a marketing MBA to manage it all.”

• Includes free Nationwide dues for one full year for new members!


To address this sticking point for many retailers, RWS launched the “Just Say Yes+” promotion at Nationwide’s February 2022 PrimeTime event.

• Bonus digital advertising dollars from leading manufacturers, accounted for and applied automatically to stretch your search advertising dollars even further

• $550 per month in Digital Rewards credit, which can be applied directly to paid digital advertising through Google and Facebook

“Retailers no longer have to pick and choose what digital tools to invest in, then try to tie them all together on their own,” Majuta explained. “With ‘Just Say Yes+,’ they can get all of them for a flat monthly fee with intuitive dashboards and expert digital marketing advisors to bring it all together and show exactly what’s working.”

• Accept payments with PayPal and receive volume rebates


etailers today understand the importance of having a digital presence; the pandemic restrictions made that clear. But as the shopper’s journey gets increasingly complex—including websites, social, search, video, pay-per-click advertising, real-time inventory, email marketing and more—the dizzying array of options is leaving many retailers frozen in place, wondering what to do next.

“We rolled out ‘Just Say Yes+’ at Nationwide’s February 2022 PrimeTime event, and we were blown away at the response we received from retailers at the show,” Majuta said. “So we’re extending this opportunity to all Nationwide members to ensure everyone has a chance to meet all their digital marketing needs with one simple solution, savings thousands each month in the process.” Sales Enablement App

In-store Marketing Price Quote Builder Lead Generation Live Inventory Integration Dedicated Experts Fully Enabled E-commerce Website Paid Digital Advertising Reputation Management Online Chat

COVER theOptimizingFEATUREFurnitureExperience RWS automatic upgrade delivers website hyper focused on furniture shopping riven by e-commerce giants the likes of IKEA, Amazon and Wayfair, eight out of 10 consumers have bought furniture online, according to Emizentech. And when you consider online furniture sales represent more than 90% of the growth in the industry overall, opportunities abound for independent retailers! D

Enter the new RWS furniture experience, rolled out as an automatic upgrade to all WebFronts® levels and announced at Nationwide Marketing Group’s PrimeTime event in February.

Liberty Furniture Vaughan-Bassett Majuta credited the teams: “The past year of work and countless hours from our data platform team, data teams, product owners and strategy team was brought to life with the help of our WebFronts development team. They took the data in its new form and crafted a new experience to tie a bow on this initiative and deliver a website that is hyper focused on furniture.”

And the list goes on. She notes, when the information a shopper wishes for isn’t at their fingertips, they lose patience and will move on to another source that has the answers; excuses for lack of information are often not tolerated, no matter the size of the business.

A multi-team effort First things first, a new development team was tasked to create a product management system (PIM) capable of housing the new data concepts and relationships that were needed as the foundation of the furniture shopping enhancement. Alongside the work of this team, another RWS team spent hundreds of hours on market research, talking to vendors, retailers and consumers to ensure the vision was possible and would prove effective for all stakeholders.

However, it’s imperative to deliver on the dramatically increased shopper expectations set by the e-commerce pioneers of the furniture industry. The result of this evolution is a self-sufficient online shopper that expects a more personalized experience and to find the answers they want, all without having to interact with a human, according to Retailer Web Services CEO Genna Majuta. “Shoppers want to feel unique, so personalized recommendations and marketing along the entire shopper journey are in high demand,” said Majuta.

When RWS teams set out to enhance the customer-facing furniture experience on WebFronts in March 2021, their vision was to create an intuitive user experience that makes it easy for shoppers to find and purchase their dream furniture. This is made possible with more robust and complete product data that’s highly accessible, Majuta explains. “We’ve increased the amount of data we’re collecting and molding the new furniture experience around it; shoppers can see applicable product options such as sizes and colors and create their own packages of related items from a single product page.

“From this initiative, retailers can expect an increase in conversions, including more store visits, more phone calls and, of course, more online orders,” adds Majuta.

“There’s also a need for websites to proactively answer important questions a shopper may have: What colors does this couch come in? What are the upholstery options? Is there a matching recliner? Is assembly required? Is it in stock? When can I get it?”

Catnapper • Coaster • Flexsteel • International Furniture Direct • Jackson Furniture • La-Z-Boy

In addition to the vision and infrastructure, an RWS data team rebuilt web crawlers to gather new information, and the manual data entry team helped curate data to achieve the desired end result. This continues to be an ongoing process as RWS looks to move more brands into the PIM and maintain the brands that have already migrated. Among them, here are some of the furniture brands housed in the PIM: Ashley Furniture Best Home Furnishings

Industries •

Considered a 2022 trend for furniture e-commerce brands, personalization in marketing has rapidly become a customer expectation. According to Accenture, a whopping 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.

The new furniture experience delivers personalization throughout the shopper's path to purchase in several ways: A WebFronts Level 4 website creates a consumer profile when a shopper first comes to an RWS website. The products they view during their session are tracked, and after they share their name and email, the system sends them highly targeted emails to keep them engaged.

Personalization fulfills shoppers’ expectations


• Wishlist*: Shoppers can build a Wishlist for every room and access it on demand

Majuta added, “As we rollout new features and improve the system, we want all our customers to benefit from these advancements and be confident that we’re helping them to compete at the highest levels online.”

• Filter by rating: Shoppers can filter by star rating and product reviews

• Select a perfect item: Shoppers can select their perfect item on a single product page when multiple options, such as colors, exist.

As part of the new furniture shopping experience, recently viewed items are tracked and displayed to shoppers as well as recommended similar items and the items “Customers also viewed.”

• "Recently viewed": Shoppers can see a list of products they personally viewed

*The Wishlist feature is available and rolled out as an automatic upgrade only on Level 4; all other features apply to all levels at no additional cost to retailers.

Retailers with existing RWS websites will continue to notice additional enhancements as more brands are migrated into the new PIM. For new RWS subscribers, Majuta said a new website with all the latest features and data can be up and running within 30 days.

Also, the system allows consumers to create an account where they can access their Wishlist, which can be curated for every room in their home; it also tracks cart activity and sends friendly emails to remind shoppers of items they left behind, linking directly back to their cart so they can easily complete their purchase when ready.

However, personalization doesn’t just mean starting your promotional emails with a first name à la “Hi Jordan!” It means reaching out to your customers with the right message, at the right time, and in the right place. It’s about building a connection over time by showing that you’re aware of a customer’s needs and preferences—and have the right answers to their questions.

• Custom sidebar filters: Retailers can choose filters to include on their website, making it easy for shoppers to search by criteria such as "on sale," "clearance," "best seller" or other preferred data points

• Product quick view: Shoppers can click the "quick view" button to open a modal with key product data and either access the product page for that item, or close the modal so they don't lose their place in their search

Features such as Wishlist and “Customers also viewed” join a robust list of features that includes: • Furniture sets: The ability for a shopper to create their own package from a product page

• "Customers also viewed”: When a shopper is on a product page, they'll see what other shoppers who looked at the same item also viewed


• Just Beds,

• Woodcrafter’s Galleries,

• Hawkins Home & Lawn,

• Strassner Furniture, HERMANN,


with paid advertising.

• Marsen Furniture Outlet, VERNAL, UT • Mattress Land, GRANTS

• E-Z TV & Appliance,

• Nick’s Furniture, PHOENIX,

Beta Test Proves Advertising Versatility, Increased Conversions

• Hamilton Bryan Furniture & Appliance,

AdRocket Ignite Case Study: or independent retailers looking for hyper-focused advertising that reaches every potential customer on their websites, an AdRocket Ignite beta test conducted by Retailer Web Services in Q4 2021, proved to be a versatile way to increase customer conversions and much more. Ignite, develop by RWS to expand its AdRocket smart digital advertising software, is a bundle of advanced technologies designed to achieve increased consumer acquisition and drive more conversions than traditional digital advertising can alone. As the largest online retailers in the world engage in AdRocket Ignite-style advertising, RWS is the first and only provider to bring this capability to the independent channel: AdRocket Ignite brings retailers’ paid advertising to life on their WebFront, made possible by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Ignite has undergone a series of beta tests since its early development in 2020, when the technology was tested alongside AdRocket Base campaigns, featuring vendors like Whirlpool, LG and Maytag for hundreds of RWS customers over Presidents’ Day weekend. At that time—before the effects of the pandemic had taken hold across the U.S.—Ignite outperformed the same AdRocket Base campaigns for dealers who didn’t take advantage of the purpose-built technology by increasing: products’ page views 96% Mobile calls to stores 92% Rebate form downloads 98% • Website visits 92% By the second quarter of 2021, this powerful feature was paired with AdRocket Boost for those dealers employing custom advertising to dramatically increase their website traffic and conversion rates. The Ignite beta test that took place in November to December 2021, proved successful for a select group of AdRocket Boost customers that included: Bernie’s, KETCHIKAN, AK D.T. McCall & Sons, CARTHAGE, TN ALAMOGORDO, NM WICHITA FALLS, TX MOUNTAIN MO AUGUSTA, GA PASS, OPELIKA, AK AZ VT MO MIDLOTHIAN, VA MURRAY, KY F Ignite consumers who have not—or will not—engage

• Promotional

OR • Mr. Mattress,


• Rutland Appliance, RUTLAND,


• The Appliance Place,

Ignite draws attention to personalized advertising through custom landing pages, product flags, banners or rotating promotional images—all of which can be integrated in any Ignite campaign and displayed on the dealer’s website.

Challenge She continued, “We have to be mindful of the limitations, however, because Ignite doesn’t have those restrictions, it’s truly an opportunity for premier, custom advertising that can be anything the retailer wants because it lives on their WebFront.”

Here’s how it worked for Nick’s Furniture, a retailer in Phoenix that participated in the beta test: A consumer in the Phoenix area searches for “furniture sale” in their search engine of choice. Because Nick’s is an AdRocket Boost customer and has Google Display ads running, the furniture ad appears in front of this shopper on a website they’re visiting. But for whatever reason, they don’t click on it and close their browser session. Later on, they decide to continue their search and type in “furniture sale” again. Instead of serving up another display or text ad, Nick’s Furniture appears as the first organic listing in their search results. (According to Google, search users click the first result 28.5% of the time, and it drops quickly after that, with 15.7% clicking the second result and 7.2% clicking the fifth.) The prospect clicks the link and goes to Since Nick’s is an RWS WebFronts Level 4 customer, the retailer’s AdRocket account talks directly with their website and serves up the same display ad, using familiar imagery and offer, the prospect saw earlier. This time, it’s more relevant since it appears atop the page that offers the products applicable to the promotion offer.


Solution 04030201

“For our retailer-customers looking to showcase their five-year financing or their new, niche brand of appliances, Ignite goes hand in hand with AdRocket Boost advertising they’re already doing on Google Display or Search,” said Goret. “The ability to display these types of ads on the retailer’s website removes the barriers the new policy entails.”

As a Google Premier Partner, the RWS team of digital advertising advisors is ahead of the game when it comes to Google’s latest policy changes. (See "It's a Fast-Paced Digital Advertising Battleground" on pg. 4) So, in Oct. 2020, when Google announced a new policy to ensure targeted consumers were being protected, RWS set out to help dealers overcome a new set of restrictions that had surfaced for businesses.

Essentially, the tech behemoth’s policy update prohibited custom advertisers from targeting users by age, gender, parental status, marital status or zip code for campaigns relating to credit, housing and employment. Emily Goret, digital advertising advisor and team lead at RWS, explains how this trickles down to independent retailers:




The beta test ads that ran during the holiday season 2021 included Black Friday and “winter savings” promotions on mattress brands such as Temper-Pedic® as well as appliance and furniture brands. The Ignite ads also included features such as: Results “I loved it!” said William Martin from Nick’s Furniture, discussing the results of the Ignite beta test. “Our numbers are up over last month. I also loved the way it (Ignite ads) looked on the website, particularly how all the different banners were placed!”

Average EngagementSession BEFORE IGNITE 3,924 DURING IGNITE 6,222 CHANGE 761%Users BEFORE IGNITE 66 DURING IGNITE 81 CHANGE 33%Conversions BEFORE IGNITE 4,995 DURING IGNITE 9,391 CHANGE 996%Sessions When a consumer goes to a brand or landing page, Ignite displays the top clicked products (stoves, for example) for that business with daily automatic updates. Google Shopping: If the shopper has been deanonymized (i.e., provided their name and email), they’ll receive an email with an offer 24 hours after visiting the website. For example, “We saw you were looking at stoves. Here’s a coupon...Look at our top products.” Email Marketing: “Ignite keeps you on task by delivering relevant and dynamic content that is fully integrated on WebFronts,” said Goret. “And because Ignite and your website are constantly talking to Google, it’s also good at bringing people back to the website.” So, it’s no wonder beta test results showed decreases in bounce rates and increases in session duration, according to Goret. ACROSS 14 STORES

For 14 participating retailers in the AdRocket Ignite Beta Test, Nov.-Dec. 2021, the results are in!

You (Jani Elliot) are the bomb-dot-com, this has been tremendously less painful than we thought it would be! You’re a ROCKSTAR." Mike Potts HEAVENLY SLEEP SHOPPE HURST AND GRAND PRAIRIE, TX Stan Flittner PEOPLE’S FURNITURE EVANSVILLE, IN Fast service. Very (Williamresponsive.”Allen)

"Nina (Long) has been beyond diligent and thorough with her work, and she’s clearly driven to provide the best customer service possible. She’s everything you could ask for and more when it comes to understanding WebFronts, listening to your website needs and filtering a solution to best fit our customers’ expectations.

I have done 100s if not 1,000s of online trainings. I would say Carrie Lee was the most thorough, precise and informative trainer that I have ever encountered. I could not be more pleased with her professionalism.” “Justin (Morneau) was great. Very nice and helpful. Thanks! Linda Bashner SLEEPY HOLLOW FURNITURE & MATTRESS MONROE, LA


Level 4 + AdRocket™ Boost Consistently


Nationwide members using a WebFronts Level 4 website won an average of 392% more online sales compared to members on Levels 1-3. When Level 4 was paired with the power of AdRocket Boost digital advertising, this increase soared to 558%! 2021 Holiday Shopping Season


What Retailers are Saying About RWS Amplify Retailer Performance Across the RWS Network


Nationwide members using a WebFronts Level 4 website won an average of 410% more online sales compared to members on Levels 1-3. This increase rose to 521% when Level 4 was paired with the power of AdRocket Boost digital advertising! ALL of 2021

15615 N. 71st Street, Suite 205 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 COVER FEATURE Optimizing the Furniture Experience NEWS It’s a Fast-Paced Digital Advertising Battleground FEATURE Too Many Digital Marketing Options to Choose From? CASE STUDY AdRocket Ignite Case Study INSIDE THIS ISSUE SUMMER2022 Optimizingthe FurnitureExperience PAGE8 NEWS It’saFast-PacedDigitalAdvertisingBattleground Whatyouneedtoknownow PAGE5 FEATURE TooManyDigitalMarketingOptionstoChooseFrom? RWSrespondswith‘JustSayYes’ PAGE6 CASESTUDY ™AdRocketIgniteCaseStudy: BetaTestProvesAdvertisingVersatility,IncreasedConversions PAGE13 RWSautomaticupgradedelivers websitehyperfocusedonfurnitureshopping