OGS gave us a very classy and professional website. Mark delivered everything he promised in a timely manner. We have received many wonderful compliments from our vendors and customers — we highly recommend OGS for your website build.Charlene Knode | VP, Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe, Inc.
So amazing that I almost got choked up. The lessons and repair package images look like they’re straight out of Fretboard Journal. The pictures are amazing, the navigation is amazing... it is exactly what your store is all about. It’s honestly better than the majority of sites out there.Aaron Dablow | Sales Manager, North America, Taylor Guitars
Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe has been serving the local music community with top-quality instruments, world-class service and professional music instruction — not to mention extensive community engagement and corporate sponsorships–since 1960, and they have seen more than a few musical, as well as design trends, come and go. In 2015 they contracted O’Dell Graphic Solutions to solidify their brand and to develop a new mobile-friendly online store.
Their existing logo from the late ’90s featured typefaces and vector images typical with the trends of the era and was in need of an update to increase readability and fit modern web and marketing applications.
OGS chose to use a clean, bold typographical solution reminiscent of the logo of guitar manufacturing legend, Martin Guitars, and couple that with a subtle graphic of two gauges of instrument string — the heavy side representing guitars, basses and the like, and the lighter side representing banjos, mandolins and fiddles.
The logo was used to define the overall look, typefaces and the color pallet that would be incorporated into the many applications and elements to come.
Responsive E-Commerce Website
To begin competing in the already-booming local and national online marketplace for stringed instruments, ABG came to O’Dell Graphic Solutions for help developing a modern, easily-navigated website that would not only feature their extensive inventory but just as importantly, convey the personality, values and history of their well-established business.
It was very important to the husband and wife team that their new site would not only be mobile-friendly and feature an extensive e-commerce section — one that integrated with their existing payment gateway — but just as importantly, it should make visitors feel comfortable sticking around and browsing for a while as if they were in the actual store.
These primary goals were met by designing a responsive WordPress website that incorporated a Woocommerce storefront and simple PayPal payment gateway integration – and with the use of large-format images of the store, the owners and the staff (shot by healthcare.gov & O’Dell Graphic Solutions) the site began to feel like home. OGS also suggested an abbreviated url of 12 characters (appbluegrass.com), instead of the 20 characters of appalachianbluegrass.com — now the kids will surely be able to spell it and will be easier than ever to access.
- Mobile-friendly responsive design that looks great and efficiently runs on any device,
- The site features an easy to digest homepage with multiple calls-to-actions placed in strategic locations — all designed to get visitors right to where they want to go quickly,
- Custom banner advertising,
- An extensive storefront with multiple product categories,
- Extensive custom sorting and filtering options on store-level and product-level,
- Custom product imagery shot in-store by OGS (more details below),
- An integrated e-mail sign up area triggered as a scrolling pop-up,
- Product pages that feature extensive image gallery, specifications, product videos, user reviews and recommended products and accessories,
- Custom sidebars that display top-sellers, top-rated products and other special categories,
- Extensive About Us, Lessons with music instructor bio area, and Repairs page with multiple contact forms and new email accounts,
- A blog section that automatically posts to social media channels (OGS created an Instagram, Twitter and YouTube account for ABG as well),
- Integrated email sign-up form, and related welcome copy.
Copywriting for Promotion & Search Engine Optimization
As part of the website development OGS provided original and optimized page content for the homepage, about page, repairs and lessons page, as well as utility copy for the order process including terms and conditions and checkout.
Using current best-practices in on-page search engine optimization, OGS wrote the copy that was inserted on each of these pages, in addition OGS suggested the online discount offer and wrote the copy for the “10% Off” email offer sign-up form and related welcome message (Details below).
A tertiary goal of the relaunch project was to make sure that ABG’s new website and inventory would have the best possible chance at ranking in the top results of major search engines. In order to accomplish this OGS implemented extensive search engine optimization functionality within the WordPress admin area, and wrote optimized titles and meta descriptions for each page, product and product category.
Email Marketing & Responsive Template
One of the major calls to action on the new ABG website is to signup to be part of an ABG email list. OGS renamed, re-skinned and re-developed the email templates for their existing list. With the new name of Emory’s Email Club, and a new dynamic pop-up sign-up box — coupled with a 10% OFF offer for the their next in-store purchase — they have grown their email list significantly and increased foot traffic into their store. At the time of writing this, ABG is planing to contact OGS to write an ongoing multi-step e-mail welcome series and monthly e-letter to increase and retain customer engagement.
Product Video & Photography
To highlight two of the newest products in ABG’s inventory, OGS worked with in-house salesman, Tyler Wheeler, to create two video reviews. Each video was shot in store and each is published on the individual product’s page and all social media outlets.
In addition, the videos feature an original audio logo riff, written and recorded by Mark O’Dell, that is used in the ABG logo introduction and video sign off.
In order to achieve a consistent look across the whole website, OGS suggested that ABG use their own product images instead of reusing what manufacturers could provide. In order to accomplish this — for launch and for the future — OGS built a reusable in-store photo studio with retractable backdrop and multi-point lighting and took the images of their inventory of guitars, mandolins, banjos, and dobros. Some of the over 200 images taken by OGS are displayed below. This inventory of product photos also added to their search engine potential by making sure the internet is chock full of ABG-branded and tagged images.
Appalachian Bluegrass Related Blog Posts
Quick iPhone vids are great, but sometimes they just look like, well… quick iPhone vids, and when they need to look just a bit more polished, what can you do?
OGS is happy to have produced a series of video product reviews for two of Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe’s newest and hottest guitars. Plus, an original audio intro track by Mark O’Dell.
A few examples of why basic drawing skills are an absolute necessity for every designer even in today’s digital age, by O’Dell Graphic Solutions.
OGS is excited to announce that the long-standing Baltimore-based acoustic music retailer, Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe has contracted OGS for brand and website development. This project is close to the heart of OGS owner Mark O’Dell…