Retailer Web Services Announces Investment Partnership; New Digital Ad Platform

Retailer Web Services (RWS) has announced that the company is receiving an investment from Nationwide Marketing Group that has accelerated the release of RWS’s new digital advertising product along with the adoption of RWS’s existing website, reputation management and in-store sales app offerings.

The investment in privately-held RWS will tightly integrate RWS’s solution suite with Nationwide’s digital platform to provide independent retailers with a complete digital marketing toolset that allows Nationwide retailers to compete in the digital age.

“We have been part of the Nationwide Marketing Group family for over 15 years, working closely with Nationwide to drive the adoption of new technologies focused on the needs of independent retailers,” said Jim Kane, founder and chief executive officer of RWS. “Nationwide’s investment in RWS will enable us to better equip Nationwide members and vendors with the digital marketing tools and technologies they need to succeed in today’s retail environment.”

Building on the recent merger between Nationwide and MEGA Group USA, RWS and Nationwide will be looking to replicate the adoption rates for RWS’s software solutions—WebFronts, RetailDeck and WebFronts Review—previously achieved through RWS’s partnership with MEGA alone.

“RWS has been MEGA Group’s most trusted digital vendor, and we worked together on many exciting projects that helped our members stay relevant as the internet radically changed the retail environment,” said Rick Bellows, executive vice president of Nationwide Marketing Group and former chief executive officer of MEGA Group USA. “We’re excited to continue this important work with RWS within the expanded membership of what is now the largest group of independent retailers in the industry, serving more than 5,300 members and 14,000 storefronts.”

“Nationwide’s investment in RWS does not require any exclusivity and everyone involved is dedicated to lifting the entire independent channel through these technological advances,” Kane said. “So even as we look forward to adding more Nationwide members, we remain committed to the digital marketing tools and technologies they need to succeed in today’s retail environment.”

Along with the investment from Nationwide, RWS has announced the launch of AdRocket, a digital promotion placement solution built to serve the specific needs of independent retailers.

“There are many companies that run digital ads today, but the quality, execution and reporting vary dramatically,” said Jennie Gilbert, RWS chief operating officer. “With RWS’s experience automating promotions across a network of hundreds of retailer websites, coupled with Nationwide’s expertise in vendor promotions and retail analytics, we are uniquely positioned to buy and execute more effective digital campaigns for our retailer customers.”

The new AdRocket software automates the placement of ads—a process most providers still do manually—both increasing efficiency and decreasing human error. “Because RWS hosts the websites these digital ads are driving traffic towards, we have the unique ability to deeply integrate the ads with the destinations,” Gilbert said. This integration provides consumers with a more useful and intuitive experience, creating additional and easier paths to conversion.

AdRocket will expand and integrate with the market leading product offerings RWS already provides to over 2,000 independent retailers of appliances, furniture and mattresses including RetailDeck, an app that helps retailers build customer relationships and drive sales at the store level; WebFronts, a product-rich, mobile-friendly and secure eCommerce website offering; and WebFronts Review, an online reputation management solution.

AdRocket will be available in two editions: AdRocket Base allows retailers to leverage manufacturer and buying group promotions without any monthly minimum commitments while AdRocket Boost allows retailers to promote their store’s unique brand with custom created search, social and mobile ad campaigns.

RWS will be accepting a limited number of advance signups for the AdRocket waiting list at the Nationwide PrimeTime show to be held Feb. 25 through March 1 in Orlando. The first AdRocket campaigns are scheduled to launch in May 2018.

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About Retailer Web Services: Founded in 2006, Retailer Web Services (RWS) is a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based provider of proprietary e-commerce, web design and other high-performance software solutions to help independent retailers achieve success. A champion of independent retailers, RWS is an authoritative source on durable goods product data and consumer purchasing habits. RE:THiNK: 11 surprising things you should do now to win retail customers in the digital age (RWS, 2015) provides actionable advice grounded in the way consumers shop for durable goods. RWS serves more than 2,000 independent durable goods retailers across North America.

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