Everything Old Is New Again: Ecommerce & the Retro Resurgence

Modern consumers love shopping online because it’s convenient and easy. With a few keystrokes, you can find virtually anything in existence and have that product delivered right to your front door.

Even more amazing, large enterprise vendors as well as individual entrepreneurs and small business people are driving ecommerce. In a way, the World Wide Web has become a department store and a garage sale all at the same time, which might explain why retro fashion and merchandise are currently seeing resurging interest.

At first this might seem counterintuitive. Why would consumers be attracted to vintage products, especially when technological advancements are ubiquitous and beneficial? Even more surprising is that Millennial shoppers are most likely to be attracted to vintage clothing and dated merchandise. Contemporary retailers like Urban Outfitters and ModCloth have picked up on this trend by offering retro-esque styles and collectibles.

The takeaway? You too, can make big bucks selling classic or faux-vintage merchandise online. Below are a few ecommerce tips to get you started.

 

Nostalgia Goes Digital

First things first, you need to build an ecommerce website that is both attractive to potential shoppers and easy for them to use. If you are looking for the best website builder for ecommerce, Shopify is a good place to start since it offers design templates, inventory management tools, built-in payment processing and even a content management system (CMS).

Remember to follow sound web design principles to keep your site clean and profitable. Use plenty of white space, only employ high-definition images and prioritize your elements based on importance (such as an image scroll of top-selling products).

Just because your store is a blast from the past doesn’t mean your website should be too.

Pick Your Products

It should go without saying, but you need to plan exactly what products you intend to sell. These should tie in to some overarching brand identity. For example, you could sell “threads and toys for the classic rock enthusiast” or “accessories for 1950s-inspired fashionistas.” It’s really up to you how you want to frame your goods.

If you are hoping to sell pre-owned merchandise, you can source your products from garage sales, fashion resale retailers, online auctions or brick-and-mortar vintage stores. Conversely, designing your own vintage-esque merchandise can take a little practice. Be sure to check out the latest retro trends to learn what’s back in style and how you can replicate it.

 

Build an Online Community

As mentioned above, Millennials love retro, but they also love social media. So, why not combine the two as a part of your brand’s outreach strategy? Try posting several updates a week covering fashion tips, makeup trends or historical videos about certain subcultures or products.

Similarly, you can use an email subscription campaign to market your upcoming sales or product launches; host a blog focused on DIY projects; or create online videos discussing how to keep vintage products in working order. The key is to leverage your audience’s interests in and leverage them to help sell your products.

 

Find a Fandom

No matter how successful your online store becomes, it will never be as popular as a cultural icon like Star Wars. So why not co-opt some of their appeal? Plenty of online vendors find their niche by offering vintage sci-fi toys or comic-character collectibles. The same can be said for old video games, vinyl records, classic childhood toys and retro costume jewelry.

Go ahead and embrace that sentimentality. Your shoppers will too.

You now have all the tools you need to get your vintage ecommerce store off the ground. It might take a little experimentation, but with a bit of diligence you will have a thriving business that leaves customers smiling and satisfied.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who shows women entrepreneurs how to use solid marketing strategies to turn their life’s passion into a profitable, service-based business. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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