206: A Deep Dive Into OneShop, NMG’s Simplified Digital Solutions Platform

Written by Rob Stott

March 19, 2024

Unveiled during PrimeTime in Las Vegas this week, OneShop is Nationwide Marketing Group’s revamped and upgraded digital solutions platform that’s tailored to the needs of the independent retail channel. To get a better understanding of what’s involved and the platform’s future potential, we sat down with NMG’s Aaron Bundschuh, Chief Digital Officer, and Taylor Ansley, VP of Product Management.


Rob Stott: All right, we are back on the Independent Thinking Podcast. This might be it for me, y’all. It might be helping bring it home, you know? For all of us.

Taylor Ansley: The closers. Yeah, we’ll see how much voice we have left, Rob.

Rob Stott: Closing it at the show, but I think it’ll actually be as we’re debuting these or publishing these, the first one we want to go with because the news is that important coming out this prime time. So Mr. Aaron Bundschuh, our Chief Digital Officer, and Taylor Ansley, VP of Product Management here at Nationwide Marketing Group. Appreciate you both, everyone sees what shape we’re in, if you’re watching the video version of this, appreciate you both.

Taylor Ansley: A lot of teabags.

Rob Stott: The coffee’s on, we’ve got tea on the table, right? It’s been a heck of a show, but hey, that’s a sign of a good show, right?

Aaron Bundschuh: That’s absolutely right. Yeah, it’s been a lot of energy. It’s been really good.

Rob Stott: So a major milestone on Sunday afternoon as we’re getting into the general session and a name scrolls across the screen, people see it, it kind of flew under the radar at first, One Shop. A lot of work went into this, to see the name on the screen finally had to feel good for y’all and to see it just really come to fruition.

Aaron Bundschuh: That’s a hundred percent true. It was a couple of deep sighs of relief when we finally got that launched. That’s been about two years in the making from the inception when we first started thinking about really simplifying digital, developing a new platform that we thought was really going to help drive our retailer’s business. So a lot of things went into it from the architecture to features that we wanted in there, all the way to the branding and how we wanted to think about positioning this with our retailers and getting the things that we’re really going to drive their business out there.

Rob Stott: People that have been following the story, they might’ve heard Platform 2.0 a lot, so talk about that in relation to OneShop.

Taylor Ansley: Sure. So I mean, the short version is OneShop is now the website platform that was formerly known as 2.0, on top of the digital offering on top of the rest of the services we’re providing. And so really it’s sort of the unveiling of that as an actual brand instead of the internal working title 2.0.

Rob Stott: Awesome. So getting here, you kind of talk about that feeling on stage, but to see it now and have the members come swing through the booth, what’s the reaction been like or what are you hearing from them just about the launch of OneShop?

Aaron Bundschuh: The sentiment has been kind of overwhelming. One of the core principles that we had in this, we were trying to simplify digital for our members and we probably did them no favors, we had a bunch of different solutions, Chatterbox, WebFronts, multiple different, what we call point solutions. So just the simplification of getting all those solutions under one brand in OneShop, I think made a lot more sense to our retailers.

So we’re getting a lot of feedback around that. And then just as we talk through how we’re using data to really help drive their business, and that’s really kind of the core underpinning of the platform. We’re getting a lot of excitement about that. And again, helping them drive that without them having to be high touch, they can allow us to be the experts and the platform can learn and adapt.

Rob Stott: That’s the whole thing, is that we have our members, retailers wear so many hats, it feels like that one more thing that they have to concern themselves with and really be involved with and understand and try to get a grasp of. And just me talking about it, I don’t run a retail store, I’m feeling overwhelmed. So for them, this is all about simplifying that and making it happen simply, for lack of a better term.

Taylor Ansley: It is. And we had so many teams under different umbrellas. You had a sign on time team, the RWS team, et cetera, and it’s the kind of thing that in retrospect makes all the sense in the world and it made sense to us too, but getting there operationally took a minute. And so I think we’re really aligned, we’re ready, set up for operational excellence really in all these areas and to kind of align around the technology, around the services, around the digital side is really helpful. And so yeah, I’ve been getting the same reaction from folks. It just makes a lot of sense.

Rob Stott: I have to think too, internally to have a team that now can rally around this as well, it has to feel just as good as a Nationwide team and a OneShop team to be able to have this simplified message and organized team to go attack this product.

Aaron Bundschuh: Yeah, it really did. I mean, working under different digital brands, there’s just kind of this forced separation that we were trying to get around now that we can kind of coalesce around this OneShop brand, it’s really allowed us to come together as a team. We actually, with the launch of this, we did some reorganization internally to just be more aligned to the platform, more aligned to the needs of the members. So it’s been really good. That’s only been about a month that that reorg has been in place, but people are feeling really motivated. Everybody feels like they’re moving in the exact same direction, which is great.

Rob Stott: A member comes over, no idea at all what OneShop, our digital solutions, anything like that. So what’s kind of the pitch to them? How are you talking to them about this?

Taylor Ansley: Yeah, so I mean, I think I see it as a comprehensive suite to succeed online and to succeed in marketing. So really we’re starting with the website. Out from there, from digital, we can kind of piece that together, but it really works better as a comprehensive package. So we’re trying to identify and address all those needs throughout that customer journey, from awareness to engagement to trial and conversion and loyalty and beyond. And so just trying to really stitch all those pieces together under one umbrella so it’s not three different teams you talk to, two different account managers, whatever, just one kind of centralized place for all that.

Rob Stott: And it hits on everything. And when you say end to end and all the pieces that come together in this, I mean there’s website… I won’t try to explain, I’ll let the expert try to explain it. Tell us what all is entailed and involved with that from a product standpoint.

Taylor Ansley: Sure. So I’ll start with the website front. So we’re really excited with the OneShop platform, seeing some great early results on that from an SEO perspective, engagement perspective with the users on the site, seeing good results in transactions as well. We’ve really designed it from the ground up and we’ve tried to put in front of a lot of the members here at the show and it’s really resonated well, this kind of product philosophy/.

That’s kind of new for NMG. We’ve been very responsive to our members for many years, but being really more proactive, looking at the data, seeing where that leads us to drive their businesses and these members is a new thing. It’s a new discipline for us. And so I’ve been trying to articulate that and it’s resonating really well in the sense that we’re following data, we’re looking to see where our results are. We’re trying to drive action, trying to drive traffic online and off, all those things, through a platform that’s going to be really fast, really perform it from an SEO perspective and really manageable in terms of self-service by the retailers and their account managers to update things. So that’s kind of the core on the website side and then we have the digital side as well.

Aaron Bundschuh: Well, and it’s kind of the logical progression for retailers. Generally, they’re coming in for a website and then over time, generally the next thing they’re going to opt into is the digital advertising. So the artists or priorly… Formerly known as AdRocket, it’s been a long four days — so they’ll start getting in that and really start competing online for those eyeballs, which as we know in today’s real tale environment is really, really critical that you do that. From there, there’s a marketing automation aspect that kind of bridges both of those, but it’s what are all those behind the scenes automations that are helping them close the sale, like cart abandonment emails and vendor content syndication for promos and things of that nature.

Then we’ve got additional solutions around sales enablement. So think about being able to get additional intelligence in store, whether you’re on an iPad as, “Hey, I’ve got an appliance here, what’s a competitive price on a Best Buy or a Lowe?” So it gives a sales person on the floor the ability to kind of close that sale. And then something that not a lot of people talk about, but is reputation management. So today’s consumer, when they’re looking for a place to shop, they want to know, “Is this legit? How are they going to treat me when I’m in store? What’s that experience going to be like?”

So giving them the tools to be able to monitor their star ratings, be able to respond and really stay on top of that, that’s becoming a really critical part of that shopper journey. So the full suite kind of encompasses that from I’m entering in market and probably entering in a near me search in Google all the way through, Taylor mentioned loyalty and staying in front of them with emails and texts and things like that. We’re trying to play along that whole continuum for them and then we’re going to keep evolving the platform is the shopper journey changes and we see new behaviors there. That’s what we’re going to be bringing to market.

Rob Stott: Yeah, a couple things stand out to me from that. I want to start with the tailor of the websites and you mentioned the performance upgrades, that’s I imagine a part of this as well. So talk about that a little bit as far as what that means.

Taylor Ansley: We’re coming from a strong foundation, but an older foundation on both the RWS and the site on time sites and technology’s evolved quite a bit and we took, in the tech world, you’d call it green field development approach. You’ve got this nice green field, it’s world’s your oyster. We started with the technology stack that you would use in 2023, 2024 to build a platform that is intended to scale from the start.

Our technology stack is the same types of tools and technologies and infrastructure that walmart.com is using and Amazon and those sorts of services because we want to be best in class. It’s important for us that our retailers, even our single shop family- owned businesses can stand toe to toe with Lowe’s and Home Depot and Wayfair and all these big box retailers and e-commerce retailers. And so that’s a huge piece of it, and it’s something that will drive every decision we make on the platforms. He is really at the forefront. We’re seeing great results there.

Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome. And then on the digital side, the breadth of tools that are available that I feel like it’s one of those with lots of untapped potential. So retailers that probably aren’t thinking about it aren’t forefront, but going back to the beginning of the conversation and simplifying and having the team to support them, I have to imagine that’s something that on our end, the close for the retailer that’s interested in this is that we’re here to support you with all of these services along every step of the way.

Aaron Bundschuh: Yeah, I mean, kind of the unhidden truth around the platform is it’s making us more efficient. There’s a lot of custom work we’d have to do that required lots of hands on keyboards. We’re really trying to have a philosophy of let’s try and get as much of that off of people’s plates so that we can be more consultative. I would say it’s very easy to just be reactive and kind of understand what a concern is or a request, and we just go fulfill that. Now, we can actually be proactive and be taking these ideas and taking these opportunities and strategies to our members. So I think you’re just going to see the strategic value that we bring really go up because we’ve got more time and availability to do it, and then we’ve got the tools to be able to bring it to market, which we didn’t necessarily have before.

Rob Stott: No, it’s incredible. And I mean, it kind of full circle conversation, just the importance of having and maintaining these websites and knowing what customer journey has been like today or is today with so many shopping experiences starting online, the fact of just having a store or having that digital storefront to be that first touchpoint for the customer and how important it is. Awesome to see just all of this come together and become this platform that is a simple sales pitch to the retailer or simple to understand, rather, that we’re here to support and kind of look forward to seeing where… Well, maybe that’s the natural next question. We just wrapped up OneShop so it’s fresh, but I know you guys on either the tech and digital side of the world, you’re always thinking about next iterations and what’s coming. Short of giving me trade secrets you’d have to cancel the podcast over, what are you thinking? What are sort of those next steps in mind that you’re already working on?

Taylor Ansley: Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, this is really just the start for us. It feels like an unveiling, but it’s also just the launching point for a lot of really exciting things. For me, it really comes down to data and leveraging data at scale. I mean, I’ve been telling retailers this week, Home Depot’s getting 150 million to 200 million visits a week. None of our retailers can compete on that by themselves, even the largest retailers in our group and so we need to combine that kind of purchase power in the buying group sense on the data side as well and when we have access to that data, we can do some amazing things and optimizations and drive their business forward and have the data to back that decision making up.

Aaron Bundschuh: That’s exactly right. I think the other piece here is we’ve got to be active listeners. We need to be talking to our retailers all the time. What are the challenges that they’re facing? I think it’s very easy to have a roadmap driven by technology. That’s not really the route we’re going. We want to be driven by business needs. So Taylor and his team have done a great job on the foundation. We’re going to always have that data there, but now we need to point it in the direction of what’s the biggest need, what’s the biggest opportunity for the members? So I think it’s kind of a new mentality that we’re taking around increasing performance that’s just now kicking off with the unveiling right now is where the fun stuff happens and start building some new capabilities.

Rob Stott: Kind of the way both of you answered that speaks to the future potential of this, right? Because we’re going to see, just like everything here, the power of data and the power of these tools being out there and in use, able to learn from and continue to evolve from, so I’m sure certainly some exciting times ahead.

Taylor Ansley: A hundred percent. I think we’ve got a long list of desires on that roadmap that we’ll be working to fulfill, working closely with vendor partners to build more robust data in and things like that as well along the way. So yeah, just really exciting to see where it goes.

Rob Stott: Sure. Well, I see where the time’s at. I feel like I made you guys talk long enough.

Taylor Ansley: We still have some voice left.

Aaron Bundschuh: I don’t know that we’re showing the enthusiasm with no voice, but it’s there.

Rob Stott: I believe you. Listen, I saw you on stage. I know mean the fact that you got up there and threw a Price’s call out on it, that made my week.

Aaron Bundschuh: The only thing I was missing was the stick mic that Bob Barker had, so that would’ve made that perfect. But yeah, that was a lot of fun.

Rob Stott: Incredible. But hey, we appreciate the time and I’ll let you get back out there and use what you have left of those voices to continue to pump the OneShop noise.

Taylor Ansley: Thanks so much.

Aaron Bundschuh: Thanks. Keep doing what you’re doing, man.

Rob Stott: You bet.

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