Rolling into composable commerce with Ruggable

Using Contentful, Ruggable is a prime example of how to evolve a digital storefront to attract new customers, enter more markets, and expand its offerings.
Published
June 18, 2024
Category

Insights

Kids, cats, canines, and klutzes. You probably have one (or several) of these living in your home, putting your flooring at risk of scratches and soiling. While any rug can stave these off, only one brand is in it for the long haul — Ruggable

I wish I had known machine-washable rugs were around when I owned two dogs and three cats, but it wasn’t until 2019, when the company adopted Contentful that I got up close and personal with the brand, its use case, and product team. Until then, Ruggable was using Shopify to run its digital storefront and manage content. While powerful for ecommerce, the tool locked content into a rigid template, dictating how creative Ruggable marketers could get and delaying production speeds. This inhibited the company from remaining competitive and effectively preparing for campaigns and big events (like Black Friday), which inspired Ruggable to move from using a single technology suite to a technology stack comprised of Contentful, Next.js, and Shopify. 

Since adopting Contentful, Ruggable has become a prime example of how to continuously evolve and expand a digital storefront to attract new customers, enter more markets, and expand its offerings — which I recently sat down with Daniel Graupensperger, Associated Director of Product Management at Ruggable, to discuss. 

Although Daniel joined the company after Contentful was adopted, he has led the effort in getting the tool fully implemented, optimized, and expanded its use case (he’s also amassed no less than eight Ruggable rugs during his time with the company). Here are the highlights of our conversation

How did Ruggable approach its migration to Contentful? 

Jim Ambras: Instead of a single big release, you decided to slowly and incrementally migrate content to Contentful — which often feels safer.

Daniel Graupensperger: Yeah, we started out by identifying each type of content we had — one might be a landing page, for example — and then we identified what components we needed to build that page. This became our content model. After building the page, we’d implement the code base and repeat it for each entry. Then we would do the same process for the next type of content — our blog, product pages, navigation, and so on. By 2023, we were able to officially call our website “headless.” 

How scalable is Ruggable’s tech stack and architecture? Have you made a lot of changes to your original Contentful setup? 

Daniel: We were very deliberate with how we onboarded Contentful. We’re still using a lot of the content models to structure our website which we built two and a half, three years ago. We based them on Contentful-led best practices which enable nontechnical team members to go in and say, “I want to build this page, with this content here,” and they can snap a page together pretty quickly.

Our approach to Black Friday illustrates the before and after pretty well. When we were just using Shopify, we would QA the theme, hoping and praying that when we hit publish for real, everything would work. We always had a bunch of people on call just in case. In migrating to Contentful, we can draft, preview, and schedule content well in advance, removing the stress altogether. 

What has Ruggable’s approach to entering new, global markets been? Have you run into any challenges with localization?

Daniel: The biggest challenge with expanding internationally is that we wanted each experience to look and feel like an authentic, native website — not just an arm of our original U.S. experience. So for Ruggable, that meant creating a fully translated site first and then going a step further to offer different content. Launching in Germany was our first stab at this. We had to be really strategic about not just text, but images. A California home filled with sunshine wasn’t going to resonate with that audience. 

Today, we use Contentful for everything across our eight different storefronts, in five different languages, all through the same Contentful space. It’s exciting, we can spin up an entirely new international website in under a month. Most of that time is eaten up by our translations, which we do manually to maintain quality.

Tailored experiences are on every company’s to-do list. How can companies carry out personalization efficiently?

Jim: Five years ago, personalization was idealistic. It fell short in practice and wasn’t scalable. Contentful technology partners have sort of changed this perception. Ninetailed, for one, is incredible. It has a proven track record of increasing conversion rates.

Daniel: When I joined Ruggable, we had established data on new and returning customers and were ready to begin targeting these customers with different content and experiences so they could find the “right” rug. Ninetailed helped us segment these groups further and develop more granular journeys, boosting conversion rates by around 25% — and we’re always making adjustments to improve that.

We also use personalization to build trust with customers. If they’re served an ad and click on it to visit our site, we make sure the imagery from the ads to the site they arrive at when they click on them is the same. It builds a sort of psychological connection for a more cohesive browsing experience.

Jim: I’ve also noticed that Ruggable sometimes utilizes UTM parameters to trigger some of those more personalized experiences as well, such as personalized landing pages, which is pretty inventive.

How much time and effort should retailers invest in experimentation? Is there a sweet spot?

Daniel: This is a hot topic at our company. At Ruggable, we like to measure the impact of everything but we have to be somewhat selective if we want to move faster and scale quicker. Having the right tool helps, we use Optimizely for web experiments and then Ninetailed for AB testing content — which makes the process relatively simple. It takes less than 15 minutes to set up a test. We can personalize everything from a single banner on the homepage to the entire webpage. 

Jim: And to do all that, you never even have to leave the Contentful app. They are all integrations/extensions that exist within the platform itself. Contentful is the core of our platform but the real value often comes from how customers leverage our ecosystem of pre-built integrations. 

Daniel: Totally, we’ve relied on the ecosystem a lot to enhance our capabilities. Outside of Optimizely and Ninetailed, we’ve integrated Heap as well as Google Analytics.

What’s the SEO secret to achieving desirable search rankings?

Jim: When I bought my first Ruggable rug, I was doing searches of things like “dog-friendly rugs” and “machine-washable rugs” and I noticed that Ruggable was consistently in the top three organic search results. How do you achieve such impressive SEO?

Daniel: We have a lot of competitors, so much so that if you search for “Ruggable,” there are about four others bidding on the term. Staying competitive for these key terms stems from having a properly structured page that Google can digest. The other contributor is site speed. When we went headless, our page load speed got four times faster and Google recognized that immediately. 

The final bit of the equation is the content. We’ve been very deliberate in building pages that target certain terms and highlight specific collections. With Contentful, we can update the content as needed for optimization or test a change before pushing it through. 

Generative AI is on everyone’s roadmap — where is Ruggable with it? 

Daniel: We haven’t launched it on our site just yet, but we’re close. We’re working on this AI-powered decorating assistant or virtual designer. The idea is that customers can upload an image of their room and they’ll receive rug recommendations that go best in that space.

The stand-out piece of this is that the assistant can provide an explanation of why the rug goes well in that specific room, pulling in details about the room’s ambiance and color palette. 

Rolling up the webinar

As our discussion came to a close, Daniel shared that Ruggable has been able to effectively scale its content production with a team of just three creators and little to no developer support. According to Daniel, Contentful is the key tool enabling this. 

Before closing out the session, we hosted a brief Q&A — which touched on everything from how Ruggable approaches creating promotional content to managing digital assets, such as videos. To check out the full Q&A or learn more about the topics outlined above, watch the webinar recording.

For even more insight on how Ruggable uses Contentful’s different features and functions, read the full customer story

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