Industry Eye: Case Study - The Pashmina Store Grows via SEO, Cart Abandonment Upgrades
Problem: The Pashmina Store, an online retailer of luxury pashmina scarves, wraps and shawls, sought a more robust e-commerce platform to reach its goal of $1 million in revenues.
Solution: Hired an e-commerce solutions provider.
Results: From 2005 to 2007, revenues increased more than 60 percent year over year; in 2008, revenues increased 25 percent year over year. Traffic to the site has more than doubled, and conversion rates hover around 4 percent — significantly better than the apparel industry's average of 2.3 percent.
For internet-only merchants operating in niche marketplaces, $1 million in revenues is still a lofty target. For The Pashmina Store, it was a bull's-eye. But it took an upgraded e-commerce platform to make this goal a reality.
The Pashmina Store was founded in 2000 as a supplier of pashmina products to select retailers. In 2003, it began selling direct to consumers via its website. While it enjoyed moderate success in its early years, it hadn't reached its potential due in part to an unsophisticated e-commerce platform exemplified by poor search engine rankings, high shopping cart abandonment rates, poor navigation and a lack of reporting tools.
So in 2006, The Pashmina Store contracted with Volusion, an Austin, Texas-based e-commerce solutions provider, to help grow its business.
"It was a moderate-size business, but in order to start taking advantage of economies of scale and turn it into a real business, I had to find a better technological solution," says Blair Rhodes, president of The Pashmina Store.
Improved Rankings Yield Profits
With Volusion's search engine optimization template used on each page of The Pashmina Store's website, the company's search engine rankings have soared. Through the use of meta tags, meta descriptions and keywords, The Pashmina Store regularly appears on Google's first page. The improved search rankings have created a domino effect.