How Pixel Empire Increased Sales and Loading Times Massively with Searchanise


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"A new powerful search bar was definitely a game-changer. The numbers for the revenue generated from Searchanise results are staggering," Dylan West, Pixel Empire's owner and founder

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About Pixel Empire

Pixel Empire is a website owned and operated by a single artist - Dylan West. Founded in 2014, the company's HQ are located in Miami, Florida. Pixel Empire offers thousands of designs, empowers 100+ independent artists, and is the official merchandise provider for dozens of prominent YouTube video Channels. We've had a chat with Dylan about Pixel Empire and Searchanise's role in its success.

Dylan, how did you come up with the idea for Pixel Empire?

Dylan: "I originally was the owner of a humble little Etsy store. I sold various art prints that I created in Photoshop and printed each design myself out of my college's printer.

"After my business grew beyond the scope of Etsy I decided to migrate to Shopify where I quickly found that running a professional-looking website was far easier than expected.

"After figuring out the distribution side of things I quickly expanded my site to sell designs from artists all over the world. And thus, Pixel Empire was born."
Featured collections

How do you manage to sell your art all over the world?

Dylan: "My print company is from my home town. I partnered with them early on and kept them afloat. They are my base, they do the actual printing and shipping. Little by little I've just reached out to other artists on Instagram, who had great designs, and offered them a place on my site.

"It's easier and easier to sign up artists via social media. I have 100+ artists. Now I focus on partnering with YouTube influencers, I design products for them and I have an official storefront with these designs.

"They have their own merchandise and I design it for them, open up the storefront and they'll promote it - which basically means promoting Pixel Empire too."

How many people are involved in the project?

Dylan: "Technically it is still a one-man operation run by yours truly. If there is an obstacle I can't overcome or do not have time for I hire freelancers to do so. I have dropship companies handle each order so I don't consider their team as my own, though I definitely couldn't run without them.

"Since its inception, I have been a part of every responsibility needed to run the company until I have expanded to the point where I can find freelancers to do the job."

What is your target audience?

Dylan: "I'm leaning towards 90s nostalgia, which is exactly my target audience. I count myself in that, so it's easy for me to come up with designs and sell them. That's the demographic that's responsive, one I work with, one I reach out to.

"Because I view the world through the same prism, I understand what my target audience wants. Statistically, my largest group of recurring customers are male, aged 18-26."
Gaming arts
Pixel Empire posters

How is your store doing right now?

Dylan: "It's good. I would call it the calm before the storm, just spreading all my eggs in November and December basket when it comes to advertising. I'm working on a lot of things behind the scenes and I'm 100% confident it's going to be our best holiday season ever."

Were the sales affected by COVID?

Dylan: "In a positive way. I started selling facemasks. Every Monday we would roll out a new design, available only for a week. For 8 months, from last July to probably around April this year, we were selling masks - and then we slowed down. I've got some messages asking for the masks to come back but honestly, I'm focusing on what I know will be a bigger seller for the holiday season

"Facemasks were fantastic though. Everything worked out: my target audience had disposable income and they were buying masks. Last year was amazing in terms of sales and my biggest concern was how I would be able to top it - but I think I'll do it this year."

How did Searchanise impact your business?

Dylan: "A new powerful search bar was definitely a game-changer. When I look back at the statistics for the default Shopify search results from the holiday season 2016, I see so many missed opportunities for conversions.

"The default search bar was terribly slow, didn't have predictive search, or so many other features I have come to expect in a search bar since I installed Searchanise. The analytics for the revenue generated from Searchanise results were staggering.

"Since installing Searchanise I've added thousands of new designs, hundreds of artists, and dozens of influencers - and so the search has become even more important when people come to the site. We have 60 thousand different variants and with these huge numbers, I feel I can only trust Searchanise to go through the products, filter them."
Sales data with and without Searchanise
Sales data before and after installing Searchanise

What was your biggest struggle when you installed Searchanise?

Dylan: "My site's biggest struggle was its speed, it was the biggest hindrance to a higher conversion rate. At one point it was taking up to 12 seconds to load. It was a miracle customers were still purchasing from my site with speeds like that.

"Luckily, Searchanise's Smart Navigation, which I implemented into collection pages has been a literal game-changer. Not only are the biggest collection pages now averaging about 1.5 seconds to load, but the filter system also rivals that of industry-leading sites."

Which other tools do you use?

Dylan: "My rule of thumb is trying to do as much as I can through the theme instead of having to rely on too many apps - Searchanise being one of the few exceptions.

"One of the great things about it is that, for collection pages, I was able to completely overhaul what the search results page looked like to match the style of my website. I did all the design how I wanted it to look like and my developer just implemented it through custom CSS.

"But, as I said, I've generally limited the number of apps I use. I do a lot of things through my Shopify theme right now. Having too many apps was probably slowing my loading times."
Alexey Baguzin
Senior copywriter at Searchanise

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