First year of Vintage Galleria
The story of starting up a vintage furniture store from my perspective.
Roughly a year ago we launched Vintage Galleria, a second hand furniture store strongly based on it’s online presence. My role has been to provide the visual identity, product photography and technical platform for the website.
The online store that isn’t an online store
We always promote the website as an online store although that is not really what it is. Since all the products we sell are practically unique and we don’t have a stock of them, the conscious decision was not to have online payment methods. Instead we just provide individual contact forms for each product.
Reaching the people
With a minimal marketing budget the traffic to our website has grown to around 4000 monthly visits and 3000 unique visitors. In the early stages the key to growing the traffic was distributing press releases and acquiring traffic and SEO rank through other websites and blogs that present links to vintage furniture sites. We have also made small Google Adwords campaigns, which have increased the daily traffic by 5-10%. The role of social media and Facebook is steadily growing as well. At the time of writing this, our fan page has 227 likes all of which have been acquired organically.
We (or I) have a fairly streamlined process for producing the product photos. The photos need to be done with limited time and effort so that their production costs are in proportion with the prizes and margins of the products. Still the photos need to give a representative and selling impression of the products. The “studio” we have is very ad hoc, but it does the job for the time being. Surprisingly I have also discovered that we are ranking very well as far as Google image search goes. Thereby we are getting a good deal of traffic from people who are looking for photos of famous design furniture pieces.
The platform of choice was Drupal. Previously I had made a couple of commercial sites with it while working at Bolder and had found it an ideal solution for this type of structural and frequently updating content. At least as far as free open source systems are concerned. It is a bit of a pain to setup, but in the end it is very flexible and reliable.
We’ll see how it goes, right now it’s looking promising.