I’ve owned my own retail establishment for over 20 years. I ended up starting it up with my wife, after we got married, on one of the prettiest little streets in town. For years we had business just flowing in. Passer-byes would end up walking in and strolling around until they found something that they liked. It was a great start, almost too good to be true, and it landed me in a sense of security that I never should have had. The antique world is an established one but it is only applicable to a small niche of people. When my home town started to shrink, as factories nearby closed down, we started to lose more and more customers. Eventually business slowed to almost a standstill. That’s about the time when my daughter approached me with the idea of going to a digital storefront.
She said that we could ditch the brick and mortar shop and instead store everything in a facility. We’d save on some stuff and be able to work more efficiently. She said that we could start up an e-shop and use SEO services to get more attention to it. I was obviously pretty leery about the whole ordeal. How could I give up my livelihood, potentially, for something I didn’t fully understand?
Well, she wouldn’t give in and the thought of closing my doors forever was too much for me. We ended up calling an SEO company we found through the phonebook and we had a sit down with them. They explained that SEO marketing was reliant on good technical writing and an understanding of the internet. They made some rather bold claims about increased traffic and revenue and before I knew it I was looking up SEO firms to sign up with.
The e-shop launched within a year. The SEO company handled all of the textual input and my daughter helped photograph all of our antiques as a backlog to put on order. We ended up launching smoothly. Through a monitoring tool we were able to watch traffic to the website as it skyrocketed and, believe it or not, sales began to follow through. So now, instead of working 9-5 from my little sh op, I spend those same hours looking for antiques. It’s so much more enjoyable, and less stressful. I spend my time enjoying the hobby that I’ve always loved, and I haven’t had to sacrifice a dime in order to do it.
I know now that if I had never been pushed to go digital, to employ SEO practices, that my business would probably have failed. I was always a bit scared of the internet. Older people are always scared of newer technology. It turns out that the internet is bringing us together. My antiques are finding their way to homes all across the country and my wife and daughter haven’t been happier. I’m pretty glad about it too.