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PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE FOR APPLIANCE, ELECTRONICS, FURNITURE AND MATTRESS RETAILERS

Attention, WebFronts® Shoppers: The RWS Data Center is Ready for You PA G E 8

On Deck: Liddiard Home Furnishings PA G E 5

Learning Academy Lowdown:  Top 10 Takeaways to Up Your  Online Ad Game PA G E 6

AdRocket Boost: One Retailer’s Story PA G E 1 1


Your Digital Playbook

2019 marks 10 years since the Great Recession ended — according to Wall Street at least— and we’ll undoubtedly see the same rapid evolutions in the retail sector we’ve seen since the Great Recovery began a decade ago.

E A S Y STEP

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Today’s Digital Playbook is built around three distinct platforms, working together on your behalf:

Select the models you want to include.

Your website and landing pages: Mobile-first, fast and easy to use, your website is the absolute cornerstone of your digital presence, supported by a family of purpose-built landing pages.

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Online reputation monitoring and management: Your customers are talking about you and your prospects are listening. Online review sites can be a powerful marketing advantage — or a major liability—depending on how closely you monitor and manage your store’s presence there.

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A digital advertising platform: Advertisers—including your competitors—are expected to spend nearly $61 billion with Google and Facebook this year. Are you missing out? It’s not easy to dive in, but we’re excited to share how RWS is making this easier than ever for retailers like you. Read on for more!

• Fill in the customer’s info.

• Select manufacturer documents to attach such as installation instructions.

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Enter your details. • Set quantities and prices, expiration date and add a special note.

STEP

In order to succeed as an independent retailer this year, you’ll want to make sure to bring your “Digital Playbook” with you, allowing you to compete against the national big box chains and even other digital-savvy independents in your area.

As Digital Advisor begins its second year of publication, we hope it continues to be a valuable source of practical and actionable advice for you, the independent retailer. Here’s to your success in 2019!

Generate and send your professional quote. Sending your price quotes is quick and easy. You don’t have to open your email or have access to your phone. RetailDeck® does it all!

Jennie Gilbert & James Kane, Jr. DECEMBER 2018

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Learn more: RetailerWebServices.com/Price_Quotes.html


CONTENTS

PUBLISHER

Retailer Web Services

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Sierra Creative Group

MANAGING EDITOR

Kim Cecere

CONTRIBUTORS

Jennie Gilbert Jim Kane Patrick McAvoy Jodie Nesta

PHOTOGRAPHY

All images sourced from Retailer Web Services or stock.adobe.com unless otherwise identified.

W E LC O M E

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Your Digital Playbook NEWS 15615 N. 71st Street Suite 205 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (800) 417-2799 Info@RetailerWebServices.com

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New Year, New Look for RetailDeck®

RetailerWebServices.com

ON DECK

Digital Advisor Magazine is published bi-annu-

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Liddiard Home Furnishings: The Path to Purchase is Paved with a Good Website

ally by Retailer Web Services, Inc. All content, copyright © 2019, 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

F E AT U R E

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Learning Academy Lowdown: Top 10 Takeaways to Up Your Online Ad Game

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 herein is to be considered the rendering of advice for

C O V E R F E AT U R E

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Attention WebFronts® Shoppers: The RWS Data Center is Ready for You

specific cases or circumstances. Please address all editorial inquiries to Sierra Cre-

CASE STUDY

ative Group, LLC at pmcavoy@sierracreative.com. If you are receiving multiple copies of the Digital Advisor or wish to receive more than one copy,

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Stine Home & Yard and AdRocket™ Boost: Reaching the Right Consumers on All the Right Channels

please contact digitaladvisor@retailerwebservices. com.

FROM THE NETWORK Sierra Creative Group and Retailer Web Services will not give nor rent your name, mailing address or other contact information to third parties.

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Black November 2018 At-a-Glance

Subscriptions are complimentary for qualified individuals.

RETAILER WEB SERVICES

TESTIMONIALS

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What Retailers are Saying About RWS

(800) 417-2799 digitaladvisor@retailerwebservices.com

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NEWS

New Year,

New Look for RetailDeckÂŽ The industry-leading sales enablement app used by thousands of independent retailers just got better. RetailDeckÂŽ has a new design that is fully mobile optimized, a first for the flagship product launched by Retailer Web Services (RWS) more than a decade ago.

Development of the clean, new design began in the fall of last year at RWS and included in-depth beta testing by retailers. Beginning in early spring 2019 through June 30, 2019, RetailDeck users will have the ability to use the new RetailDeck, switching back and forth with the former version of the app.

We are so excited for our customers to experience the new RetailDeck. The new design is fresh and even more user-friendly than before. Our goal was to take a customer favorite and make it even better!� NICK RANDALL front end web developer

In July, it is anticipated that all users will have transitioned to the mobile-optimized RetailDeck, further improving upon the experience as well as the benefits delivered by the ultimate sales enablement tool to retailers and their staffs: Track the market, including all manufacturer and Big Box pricing; create Price Quotes to drive additional sales; track all rebate opportunities from buying groups to manufacturers at a glance; and print professional price tags quickly and easily.

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ON DECK

Liddiard Home Furnishings: The Path to Purchase is Paved with a Good Website Since 1955, the second-generation family-owned business that is Liddiard Home Furnishings has been many things. Brothers Ray and George Liddiard opened the store in the ’50s as a TV repair business then eventually started selling TVs. Over time, the TV store evolved into a record store, then the record store into an appliance store. It wasn’t long before the appliance store started selling furniture, then mattresses and flooring. Fast forward to 1998 when Ray’s son Frank took over the store after his dad passed away. “I came to the business to help my dad during his illness, and I’m still scratching my head as to why I’m still running it today,” said Frank, who worked retail to put himself through college and after graduation, worked as a tax accountant. “Running it” is an understatement. Since taking over the store in Tooele, Utah, in the late 90s, Frank grew the business, requiring the need for a larger space. He built a 70,000 square-foot facility for Liddiard Home Furnishings in 2006—then came the Great Recession of 2008.

Liddiard’s is more than a recession survivor. The physical store that opened more than six decades ago is thriving in today’s evolving retail environment. Here, Frank shares insights on keeping up with the consumer’s path to purchase, even in the most complex of times.

Digital Advisor (DA): With Liddiard’s location in rural Utah, give us a sense of your market share. Frank Liddiard (FL): Tooele is about 30 miles west of Salt Lake City. A mountain range separates our population of about 60,000 with Salt Lake’s (the largest city in Utah) of 2 million. While we maintain market share by using traditional marketing— we still do direct mail to 19,500 households in our market—we use digital to increase market share, reaching millions more potential customers every day by being competitive online. DA: How do you stay competitive in an online retail world? FL: By being progressive and continually improving the customer’s path to purchase. The first step is having a good website with competitive online pricing. Everything else is a moot point until that happens. I knew this back in 2008 when I started working with RWS (Retailer Web Services) on our first WebFronts® site. I started pricing based on my online competitors, particularly appliances, three years ago and haven’t looked back since. Independent retailers are still trying to figure out how to reach the consumer in these constantly changing, complex times. Amazon and big boxes are so much more advanced, it can be overwhelming and depressing, but if I can be competitive online, I’ve got a leg up. I can be a facilitator, pursuing customers digitally and bringing them into the store. DA: What RWS software can’t you live without? FL: Beyond WebFronts Level 4, RetailDeck® makes it seamless to import pricelists in all the multiple categories. Our Google Shopping ads are powered by AdRocket™ Boost.

To RWS’ credit, they do a great job with content, and their landing pages are phenomenal. DA: What opportunities exist for independent retailers? FL: I’ve gone from “scared to death,” to “excited for the opportunity.” Eventually Millennials are going to want a personal experience, so if independents can hold on long enough…Doing the right things now like having a great website with competitive pricing and using technology to improve the in-store experience. It’s a struggle every day. When you think about your in-store vs. website traffic—it’s staggering. There’s so much emphasis on the floor. All retailers need to give the website 90 percent attention since it’s what people see first before walking into your store. DA: What advice would you give other independent retailers to maximize their online presence? FL: Online chat. It’s a great way to increase conversions, which is the main goal of the website. When we get messages through online chat or calls to the store through the website, it’s like someone raising their hand in the store. I was raised in this business and love talking with customers. I received a call on a Sunday from a mom in Florida who was on the website. She needed furniture for her son who was moving to Salt Lake City. After talking with her, she came in the store the following week and made a significant purchase. I knew at that moment how important it was to get my act together online.

(L TO R) Liddiard’s Customer Advocate Shelly Anderson with customer and General Sales Manager JR Loertscher

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F E AT U R E

Learning Academy Lowdown: Top 10 Takeaways to Up Your Online Ad Game Through a series of educational presentations at Nationwide’s PrimeTime show and NECO’s Fall trade show event, the Retailer Web Services (RWS) team had an opportunity to hear directly from independent retailers about their top frustrations with digital advertising: It’s both time sensitive and time consuming. It requires many different people/companies working together to execute. It’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t.

While retailers understand digital advertising is a critical activity to reach today’s mobile-obsessed consumer and encourage in-store traffic, many are feeling the burdensome task of reaching—and winning—online shoppers. Through a series of educational presentations at Nationwide’s PrimeTime show and NECO’s fall trade show event, the digital marketing experts at RWS shared knowledge and timely, practical tips for understanding and navigating the world of online advertising as we know it today. Specifically, advertising on the primary platforms, Google and Facebook. Keeping up with changes to Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) can be overwhelming as new features are announced regularly across search, display, analytics, remarketing and more. Further, Mark Zuckerberg announced last year that Facebook would be changing its feed algorithm to prioritize content from friends, family and groups over brands. After the incident involving Cambridge Analytica, changes to the ways Facebook handles data are also underway, including removing household income as a target demographic.

So if you missed a buying group show last year or were unable to attend our educational sessions, here are the top 10 takeaways from the highly attended session, “5 Steps to Better Facebook & Google Ads.”

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Based on presenter material and retailer engagement, the following takeaways are intended to shed light on the state of digital marketing and provide pragmatic tips despite the evolving landscape:

The current state of digital marketing

64 percent of people find most online ads annoying and intrusive. Popup ads lead the way with a 73 percent disapproval rating.

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To cut through the clutter, focus on making ads that are professional, engaging and timely.

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Ad blocking is real

26 percent of users have ad-blockers on their computers; 15 percent have ad-blockers on their smartphones. Google Chrome launched a new feature that will block ads that violate guidelines published by the Coalition for Better Advertising. From RWS experts’ perspective, this means three out of four PC users DON’T block ads, and more than eight out of 10 mobile users are able to see your advertising as well!

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Traditional broadcast TV ad spending is declining in the U.S.

These ad dollars have shifted to digital channels. In 2017, the total U.S. TV ad spend was approximately $70 billion, the digital ad spend was $90 billion.

Given the rapidly-escalating volume and complexity of these markets, placing, monitoring and optimizing these ads manually is no longer a viable option for independent retailers. You need software, machine learning and artificial intelligence to continually experiment, monitor, adjust and optimize ads so your dollars are used in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Mobile has taken over the state of digital marketing

44 percent of all U.S. browsing is done on mobile devices; 48 percent of consumers start searches on their smartphones.

The big boxes, still reeling from Amazon, are engaging consumers across more mediums

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These include Google Display, Google Remarketing, Google My Business, Instagram, Facebook and more.

To compete, independent retailers need to rely on experts. That’s exactly why Google has their Premier Partner Program: They know small businesses struggle to keep up with best practices, and Google prefers they work with experts for a better experience and ROI.

The top five steps you can take to run more effective Google and Facebook ads are:

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• • • • •

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Use humor Use video Use compelling creative Understand your audience Grow your store’s brand affinity

Know your goal for each ad This typically falls into three categories: awareness, engagement and traffic.

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If your goal is awareness:

If your goal is engagement:

If your goal is traffic:

For people to see your brand over and over to stay top of mind, watch number of impressions, views and cost per view (CPV). Ignore cost per click (CPC) and click through rate (CTR).

To get prospects to interact with ads, monitor cost per engagement (CPE) and unique views. Ignore number of impressions.

If getting people to your website is the primary objective, watch CPC and CTR. Ignore number of impressions.

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C O V E R F E AT U R E

A Hybrid IT Approach Blends the Best of Server Modernization with Cloud Technologies If there’s one thing we learned from the 2018 holiday season, retailers must be ready for a rollercoaster traffic ride across e-commerce and mobile commerce sites. Seasonal, online traffic started early in November and steadily climbed, surging across Black Friday weekend through Cyber Monday and a few days beyond. Then, traffic dipped during the final days of the month. Retailer Web Services (RWS) has seen online traffic and mobile use more than double year-over-year during the month of November, dating back to 2015 when it began tracking comprehensive Black Friday stats on its network of retailer customer sites. In 2018, “… retailers began offering deals earlier and consumers stretched their spending over a longer period,” according to a Black Friday consumer spending report in the Wall Street Journal in November. Despite last year’s rollercoaster activity and extended surges in holiday traffic, RWS retailer customers rested easy knowing their WebFronts stayed open and secure 24/7. That peace of mind is due to a dedicated data center team that understands the specific business continuity challenges holidays such as “Black November” can bring; the team works year around to ensure RWS customers websites are ready.

Enter the Data Center The RWS data center is housed in a “co-location” facility in Phoenix, one of the most desirable data center locations in the U.S. based on Arizona’s lack of seismic activity and disaster-causing weather. The hosting facility itself is a trusted partner in data security for the world’s most heavily regulated organizations, and it’s located just minutes away from RWS offices as well. According to RWS Director of IT Scott Gilbert, the RWS data center team recently consolidated and modernized its IT architecture to:

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Double capacity, allowing RWS to stay ahead of the data flow across the more than 2,700 content-rich and image-intensive websites the company currently supports.

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Improve backup and disaster recovery capabilities, ensuring that every server has a backup server. This includes a dedicated server for the 2,500 unique users who log onto RetailDeck® every day (not including holidays). According to RWS Chief Technology Officer Jeff Dezso, “The live data is synced within 24 hours or less, so even if the primary server were to disintegrate, we would be able to just turn on the backup server. From a continuity standpoint, the amount of time it takes to turn that on is measured in minutes.”


AdRocket™ Up in the Cloud

Scaling for the Burst Economy

But what if something worse than a server outage happens? In the event of a worstcase scenario, the RWS data center team syncs all core business data to the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS), the market leader and gold standard in cloud technologies.

Partnering with AWS also allows RWS and its customers to tap into the cloud’s unmatched ability to scale with demand, particularly during critical times like Black Friday, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends when retail websites hit peaks of activity.

“We use a lot of cloud technologies in very tactical ways—very surgical—for certain services. And we’re starting to move towards using the cloud as our full hosting platform,” said Dezso. AdRocket, RWS’ smart digital advertising software that launched last spring, is the company’s first service to be hosted entirely in the cloud, which comes with a host of benefits. No. 1: Amazon Web Services has built “their entire business model” on its core cloud platform strength. “They (AWS) have really sophisticated tools for dealing with common problems along with an infinite place to store any number of files,” said Gilbert. “I can’t replicate that. I can buy a bigger disk, but it will eventually become limited and if that disk fails, than I need a backup strategy. For AWS, when the service goes down, it comes back up automatically so our customers aren’t affected by any down time.”

Independent retailers in particular rely on several key holiday weekends throughout the year to meet their annual sales goals; their digital service providers have to be ready to handle whatever spike in activity they may bring. RWS knows this better than anyone, so the data center team works closely with AWS to ensure RWS retailers and their customers don’t miss an opportunity. “AWS can track our needs minute by minute, dynamically allocating more computing power as our customers need it,” Gilbert explained. “On a day like Black Friday we might burst up to say, 20 or 30 servers based on demand. Then overnight when it slows down and everyone’s asleep, our allocation might collapse down to something like four servers.” That kind of partnership ensures that RWS systems will be ready to support the needs of RWS customers 24/7, 365 days a year.

Image Server Migrates to ‘Infinite Storage’ and More The AdRocket and cloud experience is also paving the way for the team’s next planned migration to the cloud: the WebFronts image server. The large images on consumer-facing websites are notorious for taking up bandwidth. When you stop and consider there are 3.4 million unique products in the RWS catalog, that equates to an infinite number of large images that are searched and grabbed by users and cached by browsers. The Cloud’s Infinite storage capacity is one critical advantage; so too is the flexibility to scale up and scale back down seamlessly during high-volume traffic times like the month of November. And improved speed and performance is essential, particularly in mobile environments where consumers expect lightning-fast page load times. In December, the RWS IT team began the image server migration to the cloud; it’s due for completion during the first quarter of 2019. “At the end of the day, RWS isn’t an IT company,” Gilbert said. “We’re a software and services company so our core strengths are in software development and serving our customers. IT is a critical piece that enables us to deliver the industry-leading software and services our customers rely on. Our team is focused on this so our customers don’t have to. They can rest easy knowing our systems are ready to respond and perform, no matter the situation.”

RWS Data Team: Two Sides of Every Story To understand the big-picture data team and all they do, it’s helpful to first think of the RWS product catalog: The largest and most complete digital product catalog available contains more than 3.4 million unique products! Next, consider there are more than 2,700 appliance, electronics, furniture and mattress retailer customers; on any given day, the websites RWS operates for these stores are used by more than 1.2 million consumers across the U.S. The data team is comprised of two distinct, yet collaborative teams »

The Programming Team (AKA: “THE SPIDER TEAM”): The Spider Team of five programmers is responsible for using automation to “crawl the web,” essentially scanning and collecting product information from all relevant website pages to support search engine queries for RWS retailer customer sites. In 2018, the RWS Spider Team crawled more than 1,000 brands a combined total of 5,500 times. This resulted in 8 million updates to individual products across retailer sites!

The Manual Team

(AKA: “THE DATA BLASTERS”):

The Data Blasters are a manual data team of three immersed in spec data. They scour core data from manufacturer websites, user manuals and more to find facets of supplemental specifications data that can only be gleaned by a human. They’re responsible for classifying items and adding any additional feature tags to it. The team currently maintains more than 250 different facets of supplemental spec data. In 2018, they entered a total of 11 million individual updates for 2.3 million different products in the RWS catalog!

(L TO R) Tony Odisho, data catalog specialist; Scott Gilbert, director of IT; Clayton Latz, data catalog specialist

In addition, the Data Blasters are responsible for two missioncritical activities: rebates and pricing. They turn all the rebates “live” and handle all pricing updates to retailer sites.

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CASE STUDY

Stine Home & Yard and AdRocket™ Boost: Reaching the Right Consumers on All the Right Channels Stine Home & Yard has a storied history of facing competition head on. Since the 1950s, the second-generation familyowned retailer based in Louisiana has had its share of tough competition, market downturns, changing consumer behaviors and even a devastating natural disaster. Despite it all, founder and centenarian J.W. Stine, a decorated World War II combat pilot, always embraced change by investing in the business, its people and the communities it serves. A brief history:

In the 1970s, when small town lumber yards were being replaced by home centers to attract more consumers to supplement the builder trade, Stine responded by building a new 10,000-square-foot showroom, replacing its original 2,500-square-foot builder yard. In the 1980s, as big box competition reached Louisiana, Stine evolved with a new format of its own: A larger showroom floor, garden center and a new drive-through lumber yard, the first of its kind in the South. By 2000, Stine’s expansion efforts grew from three to 10 stores. In 2005, Stine would rebuild three stores in the wake of Hurricane Rita as well as construct two new ones. Then came the Recession of 2008, which necessitated efficiency and accountability. This paid off for Stine Home & Yard as did an unyielding entrepreneurial spirit and eight core values set forth by J.W.: Faith, Family, Community, Integrity, Passion, Service, Accountability and Safety. He instilled these in his six sons, who have been at the helm of the business since he retired in the early ’80s. Today, Stine Home & Yard comprises 11 large-format stores—10 in Louisiana and one in Mississippi—six of which have drive-through lumber yards. Combined, the stores total more than 550,000 square feet of space for home improvement merchandise, building supplies and appliances. Stine ranks in the top 50 of the “Top 200 Pro Dealer Industry Scoreboard” produced by HBSDealer Magazine, which awarded Stine the Retailer of the Year Award in 2014 for its “ability to grow sales year after year in competitive markets with a strong customer focus.” According to HBSDealer, the Retailer of the Year award recognizes “a retail company that has shown strong performance, embraces industry best practices and holds ambitious plans for the future.”

Incidentally, Home Depot and Lowe’s won the same award in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

Stine Home & Yard in Broussard, La.

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A Digital Deficiency Digital had been on the low end of the ad spend, according to Jeremy, who pointed to the “Facebook only” approach as a deficit in their digital ad strategy. “Facebook and Google control close to 70 percent of the digital ad market share, and that’s where our customers are,” said Jeremy.

“We knew we were missing a big slice of the market.” He continued, “We needed to be on that channel (Google) to gain exposure to our relevant customer base with frequency.”

In-Step with Customers, In-Line with Competitors As Stine Home & Yard has faced-off with a bevy of market forces over the years, one thing has remained constant: Stine has stayed in step with customers not only by upholding their core values, but also by keeping up with the customer journey. As the retailer has grown, so too have the channels by which they have reached consumers with their “Better brands, lower prices guaranteed!” message. According to Marketing Director Jeremy Stine, J.W.’s grandson, the store has seen—and experienced—the evolution of marketing, particularly in advertising, dating “back to the days when ABC, CBS and NBC were the only channels.” The primary digital presence for the retailer today consists of its two websites: stinehome. com, built in-house for its lumber, home improvement and building supplies; and stineappliances.com, built by Retailer Web Services (RWS) for its appliance brands. As part of digital marketing efforts over the past eight years, Jeremy has “personally placed” various types of Facebook and Instagram ads for the independent home improvement retailer. The Stine marketing team of four had been determining the campaigns, setting the objectives, selecting the audience targeting criteria, creating the ads, selecting imagery, writing messaging, monitoring the campaigns and measuring analytics—not a small feat, considering they also manage advertising for Stine on traditional channels such as TV, radio, billboards and direct mail (39 circulars per year). Why such a robust ad plan? “We stay in line with where our competitors are,” explained Jeremy, “so our ad budget is around 2 percent of our annual gross sales ($200 million) in terms of how that gets spread out among broadcast, print and digital advertising.”

But running ads on Google would require an outside provider. Running the Facebook ads alone was already taking “an inordinate amount” of Jeremy’s time. Creating just one carousel ad (which allows for multiple images and/or videos with headlines, links and calls to action) could take hours. Also, knowing the time and attention it took to ensure Stine Home & Yard showed up on people’s news feeds consistently throughout the year, Jeremy knew he didn’t have the internal staff to manage advertising on Google, calling it “an impossibility.” He knew he needed an expert, preferably a Premier Google Partner with a deep understanding of what he was trying to accomplish given Stine’s year-round ad strategy. The answer became clear when VP of Marketing David Stine, Jeremy’s dad, attended an AdRocket™ presentation at Nationwide’s PrimeTime event in August 2018. During the presentation, RWS COO Jennie Gilbert discussed the merits of the new AdRocket Boost program for retailers: Much like a digital ad agency, the RWS team of Dedicated Digital Advisors works with retailers to develop and execute custombranded campaigns for their stores on Facebook as well as the Google Advertising Network, which includes Search and Display. Digital Advisors provide retailers with ad strategy and design, as well as monitoring and expert analysis throughout the campaigns. Soon after the show, David connected Jeremy with RWS for more information.

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The ‘Turnkey’ Solution By early October, the Stine team made the decision to move forward with an ad budget of $20,000 to promote their appliances during November and to have AdRocket Boost run the majority of the campaigns in Google (Display and Text); 5 percent of the budget was allocated to Facebook remarketing. Up until then, Jeremy hadn’t utilized the Facebook remarketing feature which retargets customers that have already visited a website directly on Facebook. “The way it (AdRocket Boost) was presented to us and the fact that they’re a Premier Google Partner, we knew right away RWS had the knowledge base we were looking for,” said Jeremy. “When we talked with our RWS Digital Advisor, it was ‘tell us what you’re looking to do, and we’ll create all the copy and creative.’ It was turnkey. I didn’t have to go out and hire a whole team. “Not only is RWS well versed in Google advertising, they know the appliance market inside and out. They know our products so well, they were able to grab all the URLs and images needed for the campaigns.

“We could’ve gone out and looked for another Premier Google Partner, but none have the deep product knowledge that RWS does.” Prior to the AdRocket Boost ads going live on Oct. 31, RWS upgraded stineappliances.com to Level 4 and migrated the site to “Socrates,” WebFronts® latest design platform, for a best-inclass user experience and optimal return on the new traffic the ads would bring to the site. “One planning call and our ads were live in a couple of weeks—and they (RWS) rolled out a new site before we even went live. It’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had working with them,” said Jeremy. “We love working with RWS. They made it stress free during the chaotic selling season.”

Ad Inventory More than 40 ads—triple the amount that ran on Facebook in November 2017—and their corresponding landing pages were created by RWS’ AdRocket Boost team based on the circulars Stine was running for Black Friday. This also included the creation of holiday packages on the Stine site for the ads promoting the packages to link to for detailed information. In addition to the various Black Friday appliance ads, Stine and RWS worked together, brainstorming the “Top 5 Reasons Why” consumers should choose Stine instead of their competitors: 1

APPLIANCE REPAIR

2

OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK

3

EXCLUSIVE REBATES

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PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

5

SPECIAL 12-MONTH FINANCING

The reasons were turned into evergreen ad inventory that also ran in November, maintaining a strong brand presence for Stine during the holiday season. It was a first for the retailer to advertise their exclusive rebates offering. The evergreen ads also ran in December alongside that month’s special promotions and will run as part of Stine’s 2019 digital ad strategy as well.

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Reporting Tool Results Concluding on Nov. 30, the ads generated nearly 20,000 visitors to the site, approximately the same amount that the 2017 Facebook ads generated for the same cost, according to Jeremy. However, the important difference between the November 2017 visitors to the site and those in 2018: The 2018 users were more qualified. They came from (clicking on) the AdRocket ads to stineappliances.com from different channels. “Coming from both Google and Facebook resulted in a better mix of customers spending more time on the site,” said Jeremy. “We feel a more qualified customer is a more engaged customer on our site, which ultimately results in more sales.”

$15, 213.08

2,684,986

19,896

0.74%

$0.76

TOTAL SPEND

TOTAL IMPRESSIONS

TOTAL CLICKS

AVG. CLICK THROUGH RATE

AVG. COST PER CLICK

Google total spend: $14,443.91

Google total impressions: 2,655,989

Google total clicks: 19,506

Google average CTR: 0.73%

Google average CPC: $0.74

Facebook total spend: $769.17

Facebook total impressions: 28,997

Facebook total clicks: 390

Facebook average CTR: 1.34%

Facebook average CPC: $1.94

A campaign goal for Jeremy was for Stine Home & Yard to appear when people searched competitors. In the first week of the November ads, results from the AdRocket Boost Reporting tool were already showing Stine’s top keywords and search terms; “lowes black friday

TOP KEYWORDS

TOP SEARCH TERMS

black friday offers

search promo blackfridaytvdeals1

lowes appliances

lowes black friday

lowes home appliances

lowes black friday 2018

best buy home appliance

sears

best buy appliances

black friday

2018” was in the top 10 search terms. At month’s end, it was No. 3.

Also, the report showed the traffic the ads were generating to the site were additive, i.e., new and additional, not consumers who would have gone to their site otherwise. Traffic before and after the Oct. 31st campaigns began showed a significant uptick. The AdRocket Boost Reporting tool itself also received accolades from Jeremy, who monitored the campaigns every few days and appreciated having “everything available at our fingertips in one click.” The tool aggregates data from the campaigns in real time on one page that’s “easy to consume.”

The Stine family (L to R): Matt, Jenny, Jeremy, David, Dennis, Katie, Garrett, Wendy and Josh

A Change in Ad Plan for 2019 For Stine Home & Yard, the 2019 advertising plan pulls additional dollars from print and allocates them to digital channels. As Jeremy sees it:

“If you don’t cut back a little on print and put it towards digital, you’re doing your customers a disservice.” His advice to other independent retailers sounds as if taken from the Stine Family Business Playbook: “Let’s face it, the vast majority of customers today have a smart phone in their pocket and they’re doing quick searches. Our competitors know this, too. You can’t afford to ignore the reality of the situation. Doing so will harm your brand and your business.”

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FROM THE NETWORK

Black November 2018 At-a-Glance How big was the largest retail shopping month of the year for RWS’ retail customers? Busiest Days of 2018, based on traffic, quotes and sales

1,861 Number of separate Facebook and Google ads placed by AdRocket Base the week of Thanksgiving, powered by automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

NOV. 23 NOV. 26

$26,000

Black Friday Nearly 2X the typical Friday traffic

Cyber Monday Not the most productive workday

Average daily spend on digital advertising by AdRocket Base the week of Thanksgiving.

8,688

48,319

Number of Black Friday omnichannel promotions run through our customers’ WebFronts websites.

Number of times WebFronts drove mobile users to RWS retailers via “click to call” or “click to get GPS directions” during Black November.

What Retailers are Saying About RWS Mary has always been a great help with any issue that I have had. She gets things accomplished in a timely manner and I appreciate the work that she does. It helps me to carry on with tasks in my day and she is great at keeping me posted and updated on what needs to be changed, added or deleted. Thanks Mary, for all that you do!”

“Jani has been a huge asset to me with this website. She is detailed and seems to know everything I ask her about. She keeps me on track, too. Thank you very much for sending her to us! I am slowly making headway with our site. It’s a time-consuming project and with the limited amount of time I have, it’s taking me longer than I’d like to get through it. Jani is making it easy.

Tiffany Harper

Carrie Williams

CLARK’S APPLIANCE AND TIRE GREENVILLE, KY

TRI-COUNTY FURNITURE COVINGTON, VA

The absolute best... Carrie Lee is a model of what an account manager should be. Her warmth, friendliness and competence are who she is as a person. She is a credit to RWS. I hope you appreciate her as much as we do.”

Jack Fast HALLOCK’S APPLIANCE-EXPRESS BRANFORD, CT

I could not be more thrilled to have Jose as my new account manager! He is friendly, knowledgeable and has a fast return on request. He rocks!”

Kim Faulkner

“WEBSITE IS AWESOME! Thanks Natalie to you and your team. Great Job!

Willie Lass WILLIAM THOMAS SLEEP CENTER COTTONWOOD, AZ

QUEEN CITY AUDIO VIDEO APPLIANCES, SIX LOCATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA

15


your store into the digital stratosphere with smart advertising AdRocket™ Boost is always-on, customized digital advertising for appliance, electronics, mattress and furniture retailers. AdRocket Boost promotes your store and builds your brand with custom-built digital campaigns. A Dedicated Digital Advisor will advise you every step of the way as our creative team builds ads to promote your store’s unique value propositions and events.

BOOST SIGNUP FEE

BOOST PACKAGES STARTING AT

$ 299

$ 1,299/month

Info@RetailerWebServices.com • (800) 417-2799 • RetailerWebServices.com

15615 N. 71st Street, Suite 205 Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Profile for Retailer Web Services

Digital Advisor - Winter 2019 | Retailer Web Services  

Practical knowledge for appliance, electronics, furniture and mattress retailers from the independent retailer digital marketing specialists...

Digital Advisor - Winter 2019 | Retailer Web Services  

Practical knowledge for appliance, electronics, furniture and mattress retailers from the independent retailer digital marketing specialists...