The Internet can be a great tool for companies wanting to increase their exposure and find new ways to showcase their products and services. Today's consumers expect that they will be able to research something before buying it, so having an online presence is more necessary to a business' success than ever before. This is especially true for art-and-framing retailers, who are finding that web sites are the perfect way to market and promote their visually oriented goods.
Kirstie Bennette of The Framer's Workshop in Berkeley California has seen a dramatic increase in her store's exposure and image since starting its web site a decade ago. "The web site gets about 400 unique visitors per day, and it's our most important marketing tool because most new visitors to our shop find us on the Internet," she says. "We also refer to our web site in every issue of our monthly e-newsletter, and about 40% of those who open our news letter click through to our web site. The response is huge. With the use of these tools, we have built a solid, loyal, customer base." This clientele includes customers from across the country, as the Framer's Workshop recently received an order from a Boston resident who wanted who wanted his wedding photo framed with a frame he saw on the store's web site.
Bennette says the Framer's Workshop web site also serves as a great tool for educating her customers before they come into the store. "It gives our customers a frame of reference to begin with," she says. "It acquaints them with our products, services and staff and lessens the intimidation factor of entering an unfamiliar store."