Retrosnapshots

E-Commerce : design & Management

Overview

Creating an Online Store from Scratch

About 12 years ago, I moved my products of vintage prints and posters to a self-managed e-commerce platform. I was looking for something that was well supported, stable, and met the needs of my specific requirements.

Goals & Strategy

Turn a Hobby into a Hustle

For years I had been touching up and re-printing old photos and vintage posters and art using my large format Epson printer.

First, I sold them on eBay but after seeing how much I was losing to fees I started working on my own platform.

For years I had been touching up and re-printing old photos and vintage posters and art using my large format Epson printer.

Since I could not advertise my own website on eBay directly I slowly began sending customers to my website for additional prints I didn’t have on eBay. 

I also ramped up my SEO game using many of the tools and tricks I have learned over the years as a web designer and coder.

adding value

Showcase Photographers

A feature that added a few years after launch was the ability for photographers to create their own microsites and market their own photographs.

Retrosnapshots would provide the production and fulfillment to allow photographers to easily get their art into the hands of their fans.

Methods | Research

Using Old and New Technology to Attract Customers

Social Media Campaigns

I mostly used Facebook to drive more traffic to my site but had also trying out Twitter and Pinterest. 

Email Marketing

I used Mailchimp to send out periodic emails to my customer list with specials and featured products, then use social media to amplify my reach with additional offers and interesting articles.

Outcome

Steady Growth Allows for Other Interests

The new website was launched in the summer of 2012, shortly after I moved back to Louisville. Sales rose methodically and it allowed me to continue doing contract and freelance work remotely. 

By 2018 I was averaging about $60k/yr in sales but things had kind of plateaud and I just didn’t have the time to give it the attention it needed so I shut it down with the idea that I would revive it at some point.

"My biggest lesson in this venture was that while I had the knowledge to do the designing, marketing, fulfillment and maintenance, I did not have the time. I had created a monster that only I could feed."

post script on retrosnapshots