AVB Marketing Heralds Next Wave of Digital Innovation

AVB’s John White hosted the group’s first ever “Full Stack” digital marketing showcase.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

In the first of a series of industrywide showcases, AVB Marketing presented an online rundown of its latest and greatest e-commerce and digital advertising initiatives for 2021 in an hour-long webcast yesterday.

The well-attended event, dubbed “The Full Stack,” was hosted by AVB’s chief marketing officer John White and his Sacramento-based development team, and also provided a live Q&A forum for BrandSource members, vendors, business press and retailers.

Taken together, AVB Marketing’s cutting-edge innovations helped spur BrandSource dealers’ dramatic sales growth during the pandemic, the group noted, driving a 718 percent increase in purchases from ads and positioning members for continued market share gains.

“We are on an unbelievable pace of new product and program releases this year, delivering more updates, upgrades and more digital programs in 2021 than ever before,” White told attendees.

Chief among AVB Marketing’s initiatives are a host of enhancements to its industry-leading Alta website platform. These include predictive search functionality to make it easier for consumers to find what they’re looking for; redesigned category pages to improve user navigation and engagement; an email cart button that allows customers and salespeople to share a shopping cart and price quote with up to five recipients; and payment gateway integrations including Amazon Pay and PayPal to make checkout a frictionless experience for online customers.

Also new is an enhanced user interface (UI) for LINQ, AVB’s online merchandising portal. Featuring a more intuitive and user-friendly look, LINQ UI 2.0 can also be customized to suit members’ individual needs. In addition, LINQ now offers a responsive layout that automatically adjusts to the screen size of whichever device it is accessed from, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. What’s more, AVB Marketing has upgraded its infrastructure to allow for increased speed and responsiveness, and to accommodate robust updates more quickly.

The Sacramento crew also provided a recap of the group’s in-store KIOSQ program, which bridges the digital and physical channels with LINQ-synched iPads or large touchscreen monitors that customers can use to peruse SKUs and promotions.

Also on tap for 2021 is an expanded Digital Strategy Playbook that includes a host of new digital ad tactics, with an added emphasis on Facebook. Among them:

  • Facebook Collection Ads: Directed at Facebook Feed, Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories to showcase a small collection of products such as kitchen packages or living room sets;
  • Story Ads for Facebook and Instagram: Disruptive single image, video clips, animations or multi-slide messaging placed in between members’ followed account content, for use as a supplement to any program, promotion or brand awareness campaign;
  • Shoppable OTT: Over-the-top (OTT) streaming ads have been made shoppable by adding a QR code that directs viewers to member websites;
  • Google Smart Shopping Ads: An “always-on” asset that presents recommended products to potential customers based on their recent interests;
  • Google Discovery Ads: Mobile-specific single-image or carousel image lifestyle ads for YouTube, Gmail and Google App Discovery placement, suggested for brand building and promotional outreach; and
  • Bing Search Ads: Available now for use on Microsoft’s Bing search engine, AOL and Yahoo!’s search engine results page (SERP).

“Advancements of this magnitude only come from making bold changes, and our 2021 planning tool is by far our most leading-edge digital strategy we have ever created,” White said. “We’re looking forward to the continued partnership and the feedback from all of you on these products so we can continue to improve, and in the months to come, bring even more amazing updates, upgrades and programming to you.”

For a replay of “The Full Stack” presentation and Q&A, visit avbmarketing.com/newsroom.

AVB Marketing is a unit of YSN publisher and BrandSource parent AVB Inc. BrandSource is a member-owned nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.