Monitoring customer activity on a pawn shop’s website showed that there were too many obstacles to reaching a buying decision. Streamlining the sales funnel + updating online inventory created the perfect storm, increasing online revenue from almost nothing to over $18,000 in less than 7 months.

Untapped Potential

Pawn Shop Marketing When you think of a pawn shop, you probably think of opening a glass door, hearing a bell ring and walking to the glass counter to see what’s for sale. People typically associate pawn shops with brick-and-mortar storefronts at street intersections. But what if pawn shops are missing a huge opportunity to grow their businesses online? Imagine taking a successful, multi-location pawn shop, putting the inventory online and changing the website so that it easily guides customers to the shopping cart. Think of it as an ePawn or a Pawnmazon. We believe pawn shops have incredible potential to grow through digital marketing. And we have the numbers to prove it.

1st Measure of Success: Get the Pawn Shop Seen in Online Searches

Get Pawn Shop Seen Online At the beginning of May, a regional pawn shop company’s online revenues were hovering right around zero. Problem 1: The pawn shop wasn’t showing up when people searched for “pawn shop in [city name].” We needed to seriously boost their search engine rankings. Problem 2: When potential customers did visit the site, they just weren’t buying. Our objective was twofold: Capture those local pawn shop searches, and get website visitors to the online shop as quickly as possible. We built location pages featuring each individual pawn shop and increased visibility on local business listings such as Yelp and YellowPages to drastically increase website traffic volume. Since implementing this strategy, monthly organic (free) sessions on the website have grown from about 1,800 in April to over 3,400 in October. During that time, take a look at what happened with the pawn shop’s overall traffic. It increased by over 100%. Pawn Shop Doubles Web Traffic

2nd Measure of Success: Get People from the Site to the Shop

We began watching customer heatmaps to monitor their website activity. These recordings enabled us to see where customers were getting hung up as they navigated the site. We also saw at what point customers grew frustrated and “bounced” (left the site altogether). For example, we discovered areas where shoppers tried to click “Jewelry,” “Watches” or “Electronics,” but those categories were only lists, not links. The shoppers had to scroll down and click “Shop” to actually view those products. The bottom line? By listing those categories as plain text rather than direct links, the website was forcing the customer to go through 3 or 4 unnecessary steps to get to the e-commerce site. The visitor would grow impatient and leave. We trimmed it down to 1 step, removing all possible barriers between the customer and a buying decision through adding links on top of eye-catching images. The revenue results speak for themselves: Pawn Shop Store Web Revenue Grows Online The following chart shows the number of pages per session, which as you see goes down over time – by more than 60%, in fact. This is actually a good thing because it means users are able to find what they’re looking for — and therefore buy — sooner. Customers Buying Sooner on Pawn Shop Website More visitors + fewer pages per visit + increased revenue = more customers quickly reaching buying decisions.

The Perfect Storm

Seeing Pawn Shop Business Grow While we were analyzing the heatmaps and adjusting the website accordingly, the pawn shop company was updating the online inventory – growing it from 800 listed items to around 14,000. These two key steps made it much easier for visitors to become paying customers. They were able to shop immediately and scan up-to-date, relevant inventory. In the span of one month (May to June), we saw online revenue grow from almost nothing to over $2,000 – and the trend is continuing. We saw a similar increase between August and October. Wait, what’s that? Are you thinking, “Well, that’s great for some people, but no one will buy from me online – my customers always buy in-person.” That’s great! We saw an even larger increase in in-store sales than in online sales. Strategically posting and promoting your inventory online provides a huge boost to your brick-and-mortar sales. Customers first search online to make sure you have what they’re looking for, and then they come to your store to examine and buy it. Customers can:
  1. Find you online
  2. See your inventory online
  3. Come to your physical location to buy and get service
This “trifecta” gives you a huge advantage over competitors that are either e-commerce only or brick-and-mortar only.

What’s Next?

Today, the business continues to grow through cultivating an active social media presence, expanding its reach through local business listings and implementing paid search campaigns. Its pawn shop locations receive excellent reviews on Facebook and Google, and its city pages continue to rank highly for key local search terms, many of them reaching number one on search results pages. The business is handling the influx of customers well through providing excellent customer service. We’re excited to continue to help this pawn shop business grow!
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