These days, discount art supplies come a dime a dozen. But back in 1968? They were expensive. Art teachers struggled to find decent prices on classroom materials, and the options were limited for budding artists in search of materials they could actually afford. So when Jerry Goldstein decided to open a discount specialty store, it was an instant success.
For more than 50 years, Jerry’s Artarama has been providing colored pencils, paints and sophisticated art supplies to amateur and professional artists alike. The family-owned and operated retailer was among the first of its kind and has experienced tremendous growth over the decades. Brick-and-mortar stores in the 1970s gave way to mail-order catalogs in the 1980s, and a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in the 1980s was replaced by a facility nearly triple that size in the 1990s.
By the time e-commerce burst onto the scene in the 2000s, the pioneering company was in a position to take full advantage of online selling opportunities. There was just one issue — and it was a significant one.
The team at Jerry’s Artarama understood from the start that selling online would be an important step for the business. The company had been growing its mail-order business for decades, and was eager to connect with consumers through other avenues as well.
The only problem? With such an enormous catalog, the merchant told ChannelAdvisor listing and promoting products on e-commerce channels was sure to be a tedious, time-consuming task. The company reports loading data and keeping track of 50,000 SKUs on Amazon was going to be overwhelming enough — not to mention all of the additional steps it would take to get those products in front of purchase-ready shoppers.
“The hardest part is product visibility and standing out among other sellers,” says Dan Stawicki, the company’s e-commerce marketplace specialist. “It’s a challenge to get your products out there in front of the consumer on Amazon, and to be the one the consumer clicks on.”
So Jerry’s Artarama set out in search of a better solution — one that would not only streamline the process of marketplace selling, but help make its products more prominent, too.
For a while, the in-house staff at Jerry’s Artarama handled all of the work associated with online selling. There was a lot of manual work and hands-on labor. So when the company discovered ChannelAdvisor, it was truly transformational for their operations. Suddenly, with the e-commerce platform’s Self-Service Marketplaces solution, getting up and running on marketplaces was no longer an overwhelming endeavor.
“It’s the most robust offer out there,” Stawicki says of the decision to use ChannelAdvisor. “The amount of services offered, and the ability to add new marketplaces, is huge. Having everything under a central hub rather than finding different solutions for different needs is the biggest selling point.”
Stawicki says Jerry’s Artarama is ready to adopt the next best strategy. Which means it wasn’t long before the company graduated from Self-Service Marketplaces to ChannelAdvisor’s Managed Services for Amazon Advertising.
Today, the retailer works with ChannelAdvisor’s Amazon Advertising specialists to fine-tune a mix of Sponsored Brand, Sponsored Product and Sponsored Display campaigns. In addition to designing highly targeted advertising and keyword bidding strategies, the ChannelAdvisor Managed Services team works with Jerry’s Artarama to segment products, optimize data, set goals, track performance and more. Along with weekly reporting and status updates, ChannelAdvisor’s digital marketing experts frequently provide strategic guidance on new opportunities and ideas.
According to Stawicki, putting trust in ChannelAdvisor’s Managed Services was the best decision his business could have made. Year after year, the retailer reports ChannelAdvisor takes the company’s Amazon presence to new levels of success — both for items sold through Jerry’s Artarama, and through their additional brand known as the Art Materials Company of America.
Advancements on Amazon have led to additional listings on eBay and Walmart, where the ability to simultaneously simplify and strategize has led to some remarkable results.
“We’ve been able to expand all of our listing capabilities, including adding different attributes and customizing listings,” Stawicki says. “It’s such a boon.”
With ChannelAdvisor by their side, employees can quickly gather up sales data, identify top performers and develop strategies to push sales even higher. They’re able to make updates across multiple marketplaces fast, without the need for manual input.
“We have a lot of variations in our products, such as individual paint tubes, so being able to make the parent-children relationship in ChannelAdvisor and then push that over is beyond what anyone else could do,” Stawicki explains. “It’s been so much easier to click on a label and add marketplaces rather than manually adding data.”
Without ChannelAdvisor, he estimates it would take three times as long to look up SKUs and make changes across each marketplace.
Moving forward, the company plans to work with the ChannelAdvisor Managed Services team to create Amazon Brand Stores for all 14 of the company’s sub-brands.
“The system is very robust,” Stawicki says. “There are so many things you can customize and so many things that make it so much easier to find all of your product data. ChannelAdvisor is truly a one-stop shop.”