Imperial Vintage Guitars: Vintage Gear Without the Vintage Website

When you’ve got three thriving brick and mortar guitar shops, your website isn’t always a priority. And then COVID came to town. We were brought on to help the team at Imperial Vintage Guitars get their eCommerce website up and running so they could increase their sales, start selling their products on Instagram to their 100,000+ followers, and automate their listings to Reverb, eBay, and Etsy so they could spend less time posting products and more time making content for the business.





Website Strategy

eCommerce Website Design

They Got 99 Problems But IG Followers Ain’t One

Imperial Vintage Guitars is in the enviable position of having over 100,000 followers on Instagram. So what’s the problem? Online sales- especially in the time of COVID. With statewide shutdowns forcing their three local shops to slow down in sales, Imperial Vintage needed to update their website to make it eCommerce ready while at the same time streamlining the sales process by integrating a new, sleek site with all of their sales channels so the staff can free up time to make more content to market their collection of vintage guitars and gear.

Imperial Vintage Guitars Gold Les Pauls


Support the brick and mortar shops with a strong online shopping platform

Streamline the listing process through integrations with various third-party sales platforms

Design a modern, updated website that reflects the premium pricing and experience provided by the brand

So Whatcha Want? The Site Map & Needs Checklist

Every website starts with a needs assessment and site map so we know exactly what kind of site we’re building and all the functionality it needs. Since we were going to be starting from a template rather than a fully customized site for budget reasons, Imperial Vintage’s punch list helped us find the perfect template that would serve as a great base for their site needs.

Imperial Vintage Guitars Website Design Sitemap

“I own 3 vintage guitar shops with about 65% of our sales being conducted online through several platforms. We had a website that was old and outdated, and for years we had wanted to update it. I had never found any designer I was comfortable with. Then I stumbled upon Stephanie while she was shopping at my shop. I just felt very comfortable with the way she carried herself and immediately hired Gold Sheep Design. Within the first week, and before I saw ANY results, I already told them we would be working together again as soon as they’re done.”

Shai – Owner

All Together Now: Multiple Sales Channels Simplified

The Imperial Vintage team was spending way too much time posting all of their gear to eBay and Reverb. They didn’t want one more sales channel to post to, and that included their own site. We developed a backend system that allowed the team to just post products once, in the new Shopify site. We created a system to automatically connect the Shopify listings to Reverb and eBay. But we didn’t stop there. We added Instagram, Facebook and Etsy into the mix, spreading that Imperial Vintage juice all over the internet with just a few clicks. And all this in less time that it was already taking the team to post a single listing.

Imperial Vintage Guitars Shopify Website Instagram Product Integration Multiple Sales Channels

So Fresh and So Clean: The Website Design

Shai, the owner of Imperial Vintage, had only a few requests for the design of the website- make it user-friendly, make it clean, and make it modern, something he wouldn’t have to update for awhile. We kept the design minimal, focused on functionality, and let the real stars of the show take the spotlight- the guitars!

Imperial Vintage Guitars Website Design Product Detail Page

Optimized Product Pages

Selling vintage guitars isn’t always straightforward- there can be a lot of negotiating behind the scenes, so we made sure that each product page has a “Make Us an Offer” button that links directly to a contact form so customers don’t have to search for an email or make a phone call. We also made sure that customers can choose Paypal for checkout and that the team was coached on search engine optimization best practices.

Imperial Vintage Guitars Website Design Shopify Shipping Rate Rules

Improving Workflow to Free Up Time

To get the new site and Reverb talking to one another, each item needed a SKU. But when you’re dealing with a quick turnover of inventory, that’s a drag, so we installed an automated SKU system. Add on the creation of shipping-rate-rules based on product type rather than weight (who wants to weigh every new piece of gear?) and the Imperial Vintage team now spends less time posting product and more time creating content.

Imperial Vintage Guitars Website Design Product Filters

Advanced Filtering Search so Customers Find the Perfect Guitar

We wanted to design a way for customers to easily find the gear they’re looking for while also giving our client insight into what kind of vintage gear is in demand. We installed an extensive filtering system to the shop that helps visitors find what they’re looking for that also gives the team data on what people are searching for so they know what to stock the shop with.

Imperial Vintage Guitars Website Design Shopify Cart Upsell

Increasing Sales at Checkout

Abandoned carts are always an issue in eCommerce, so we made sure that anyone that doesn’t checkout gets an email reminder within 24 hours letting them know their cart is still full. We also added a t-shirt upsell at checkout to increase sales and brand loyalty.

“Communication was flawless- the team was on top of it all. No stress, no pressure and zero issues. I just had a hunch that I would be satisfied with the end result, so my expectations became organically high, and boy has Gold Sheep Design exceeded them.”

Shai – Owner

At Last: Instagram Shopping

Now that Imperial Vintage has a proper online shopping experience, they can monetize their Instagram account of over 100,000 followers for increased sales. Using Instagram insights will also let them know what’s being clicked on, so they know what kind of gear their followers are most interested in purchasing.

Imperial Vintage Guitars Shopify Website Instagram Product Integration

I now have an amazing updated new site that is linked to all my platforms, and have already received many more emails and messages than I had before within the first week.

I can’t wait to see what else these guys can do to help me push my business forward.

Shai – Owner


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Gold Sheep is a creative studio based in Southern California specializing in brand design, digital illustration, and custom letterforms that tell stories, grow fandoms, and celebrate music, mystery, and the magic of pop culture.