We went from being buried in the search engines to being ranked #1 to #3 on Google in all of our relevant categories. I’m sure it’s because of our
web site’s new structure.
—Scott Thomas, AirGunDepot.com
Remember that Daisy BB gun the boy wanted in the classic movie “A Christmas Story”? You can find one at the airgundepot.com. But you can find much, much more. “Air guns don’t really have too much in common with our father’s bb guns,” laughs Scott Thomas of airgundepot.com. “The modern air guns are much more powerful than in the old days. In style and function, they’re very much based on the real thing.” That means real business for airgundepot.com, which now carries more than 1300 products including pellet guns, air rifles, air pistols, bb guns and bb gun accessories, as well as airsoft guns, blank guns and paintball. The air gun industry has many devotees. They include pest shooters, target shooters and even top competitors who want to practice their craft at a high level without the danger, noise and expense of powder-based weapons.
Airgundepot.com came online in 2003, just Scott and a partner. They knew they wanted to be in e-commerce and did months of research before deciding on air guns. “It was a business decision,” says Scott. “It was really a matter of supply and demand online. We weren’t what you’d call devotees. We went live with a website designed by a guy from India for five hundred bucks. By 2006 we knew we needed more flexibility, more scalability and a site that was easier for us to manage and easier for shoppers to navigate. We called Solid Cactus.”
Airgundepot.com incorporated lots of bells and whistles into their new redesign. Multiple Add to Cart was added to promote cross selling and increase ticket size. Dynamic Navigation made it easier for Scott to add sections and products. The new menus enabled shoppers to more quickly and easily navigate the site. Rotating best sellers kept the top selling airgundepot.com products in front of customers. They upgraded to a new cart integration to improve the checkout process and cut down on cart abandonment. Rotating testimonials were added to increase customer trust.
Airgundepot.com made a significant investment in upgrading their site. The results? “The first thing was, the site became much easier to manage,” says Scott. “That was huge for us. It was easier for us to add new products and other content to the site, like customer reviews. Our ticket size increased by 20%, our order value is up and our search rankings are way up. We went from nowhere to the top of the Google ratings and I believe it’s because our site is more readable by search engines. The bottom line is we’ve gone from 2 people to 10 and we’ve just moved into a new 10,000 square foot space.”
Airgundepot.com and Solid Cactus are teaming up for their next step in e-commerce marketing, interactive video. “Our new video platform has increased conversion rates between 50% and 100% when employed,” says Scott. “Next we’ll be doing interactive video. We believe this is the next step in marketing and it is particularly effective with our products. People who think that bb guns are like they used to be only have to see our products in action right on the home page. It is very compelling and really helps to promote the authenticity of our products. We think this will make a huge impact on our sales.”
The changes airgundepot.com has implemented have changed the look, sophistication and nature of the business. But beyond that, Scott Thomas says he’s happy to finally have a partner. “Before, we were on our own,” he says. “Now, when we have a problem, we have someone we can trust. The people at Solid Cactus have a genuine interest in airgundepot.com and our success.”