Niche Marketing: Gothic Catalog Uses Better Content to Enrich the User Experience

Roger Sherman realized in December 2006 that his Yahoo store, www.gothic-catalog.com, was “stale.” Gothic Catalog had a lot of hard to find choral and organ recordings, but it lacked many key SEO features and was not easy to use. His customers didn’t like the way the site looked, there was too much information to skim through on his product pages, and he could not offer downloadable tracks on his site. On January 1, 2007, he decided to switch to Volusion’s ecommerce platform.

Roger decided that unlike shopping on larger sites like Amazon, he had the unique ability to offer valuable insight to customers as they shopped. “When you shop on Amazon, they don’t give you a lot of information about the music you buy. You have to know what you want before you shop. When we set up our Volusion store, we set up categories to explain the different organs and musicians. Categories allow us to make many associations within the site to provide a rich browsing experience for someone who wants to learn and discover our music.”

Roger and the staff at gothic-catalog.com not only improved the quality of the content on the site, they improved the usability of the site by separating categories by artist and organ. “On our web site you can browse ‘Featured organs’, find a specific instrument, see a picture and essay describing it, and then see a list of all the recordings made there. You can do the same thing for an organ builder (“All Schnitger organs”), and of course, for all artists. Previously, we would include detailed information on the organ in the printed booklet for every CD we recorded there. This bloats CD booklets, and cost. Now, with each organ having its own home page, we simply point to that page in our booklet.”

Roger has received considerable positive feedback from customers since making the switch to Volusion. He attributes the success to starting simply. He began by setting up better categories, and his next step is to set up downloadable tracks on gothic-catalog.com, an option he did not have as a Yahoo store owner. “Implement one new feature at a time and do it well before going on to the next. Volusion is a rich environment, and no web site I know could possibly use them all.”

You can find Roger’s store of choral and organ recordings, including holiday recordings, at gothic-catalog.com.

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