How to Create an Online Vinyl Store With Perfect UX Using Just One App

Case Study
Time to read
5 min to read
Dec 02 2022
By Stacy
Anastasia Bezuglaya
Shopping online is an absolutely different type of customer experience compared to retail shopping. And, frankly speaking, online shopping loses a lot. In brick-and-mortar stores customers instantly gasp available products, they can actually touch and feel them – this is like a ritual and all about aesthetics. Besides, this experience strongly drives shoppers' motivation to purchase.

Colin Davenport, the Founder of Classical33, a vinyl e-store, has faced this issue. He wanted to deliver stronger emotions to his customers, creating a similar user experience online. And here's his story.

All-Time Classic

Despite the popularity of online music broadcast platforms, many people across the world still prefer to actually own the music instead of just streaming it. They want something tangible, an album with the original artwork or a record they used to listen to before bedtime when they were kids. It's about owning it and actually having something to touch and feel and pass on to your family members as well. Colin, the Founder of Classical33 vinyl store, believes that. That motivated him to create Classical33 – a UK-based store selling new and second hand vinyl records both on the home market and globally.

But that was just the beginning. Colin had an ambitious task in mind. He wanted not just to build a website with quality user experience, he wanted to create on the website similar experience customers could get in brick-and-mortar record stores. When you go into a record store you can flick through the records very very quickly, exploring some old vinyl, enjoying the covers, and searching for immortal gems.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Site search powered by Searchanise
Here's how convenient and user-friendly the search results powered by Searchanise look like
However, this was easier said than done. Classical33 is based on WooCommerce. And the owner found out that the native search facilities are quite cumbersome and slow. It could not offer a slick service for the customers. They could not find what they wanted quickly and were not satisfied with the search results.

One more limitation was that the WooCommerce search did not allow searching against various attributes, such as catalog numbers, release years, and so on. Customers often tried searching records by release year or label, landing on the "no results page" instead. It was a huge disappointment.

And last but not least issue to address was the speed and scalability. got thousands of items loaded onto the website. And when they got a lot of traffic, it was draining the resources, slowing down the loading speed. And the founder wanted the website to load fast no matter how many users are browsing it simultaneously.

The result of all these problems was a high bounce rate, which was at a striking 70%!
The first experience that you deliver to the customers is absolutely critical. If you frustrate people they leave and we see that they don't come back.

Colin Davenport, the Founder of Classical33
Check out our article on Behavioral Marketing to discover how to deliver a more satisfying user experience.

Don't Stop Believin'

Colin tried lots of different bolt-on search routines to create the user experience that he wanted. But these attempts ended in vain: these solutions did not deliver quality UX. To the top of it, they were unstable, difficult to configure and quite expensive. They also didn't offer the scalability the founder and the team were looking for.

After many unsuccessful attempts to find a suitable solution, they've finally come to Smart Search & Product Filter by Searchanise. It helped Colin and the team to solve all the issues they had with the default WooCommerce search and other plugins. Here is how:

  1. First, it delivered a sleek user experience
Searchanise gives customers instant results as soon as they start typing. And that's like walking into a store. When customers walk in they are immediately hit with all the items. This makes them more motivated. And users might tangentially go off onto something else that they weren't originally thinking about doing.
How site search works
2. Second, Searchanise allowed customers to search by attributes.

Now, when customers search for a record from a certain year with a certain kind of grading they get relevant products instead of the "no results page".
Searching by attribute
3. Third, it allowed for growth and took the load off the server.

Searchanise is based off-site, that's why no matter how much traffic gets through the website, it doesn't slow down.

The Winner Takes It All

The result was not long in coming: the bounce rate dropped by 30%, from 70% to 40% in a short time!

The average time spent on the page increased too. Customers now visit something about five pages, instead of one, and that's actually a great result. Even though Google accounts for over 50% of traffic, visitors still rely on site search heavily to find what they want.
Right at the start of our retail story our website was kind of a trickle of sales. And now we've got to a point where our website is between 30% – 50% of our business. It's a big part of what we're doing now. And Searchanise has helped us in achieving these results.

Colin Davenport, the Founder of Classical33
By the way, the shop's team got even more value from Searchanise than he initially expected. That extra value is search analytics. It uncovers the customer story: what they're looking for, what they find, and what they don't. And this information is driving the store's strategy.

Another amazing situation was that rather often Colin got very specific customers who were looking for a certain genre, for example, organ music. At some point, the team started seeing customers search for that in analytics reports provided by Searchanise. They would never say that was gonna sell but decided to give it a try. They bought some of those records and sold them immediately!
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Some Shocking Customer Stories from Classical33 Experience

Vinyl is all about emotions.

Once Colin had a customer who's been suffering from a family bereavement. He has been looking for a record that he used to listen to as a child with his parents. And he has finally found that record with Classical33 using a site search!

Another case was a customer who was looking for sound effects records from the British Seaside from a certain area. And he found them using Searchanise. The funny part is that Colin didn't even know he had such a record on his website!

In both cases, customers would hardly find what they need with the native WooCommerce search. But Searchanise has helped them to do it.

    A Love Ode

    Frankly speaking, Searchanise almost offers our customers a better user experience than you would get on Amazon or eBay. It's very very quick. It offers instant suggestions. And customers can quickly dig down the particular record they need on the search results page.

    We are a small business, an independent retailer but Searchanise gives us the appearance of not being small. It makes us look big and very professional because it gives a better experience than you would get from a bigger business, a more specialist retailer.

    Colin Davenport, the Founder of Classical33

    Let's Sum Up

    With the help of Searchanise Classical33 team has managed to:
    ✔️ Build on their website a similar user experience customers get in the brick-and-mortar store with the help of instant search, suggestions, and product filters;
    ✔️Took the load of the server, ensuring high loading speed no matter how much traffic increases;
    ✔️Improved the bounce rate by 30%;
    ✔️Provided useful customer behavior insights: the store added new products they were not selling before with the help of Searchanise analytics.

    From the Searchanise Team: We are sincerely grateful for this interview and the great feedback we got from Colin, the founder of Classical33. We wish Colin and his team further business growth! You can always rely on us.
      Anastasiya Kupriyanova - Content creator
      Stacy is a content creator at Searchanise. Her professional areas of interest are SaaS solutions and ecommerce. Stacy believes that quality content must be valuable for readers and achieve business goals. When she is not busy writing, which does not happen often, she reads passionately, both fiction and non-fiction literature.

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