July 26, 2012, 10:22 AM

A Second 500 retailer looks to video to build sales

HouseofAntiqueHardware.com wants to help its customers use its products.  

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It’s one thing to find the oh-so-right sash lock for your window, or a latch that can give your cabinet a Victorian flair. But even the most dedicated restorer often needs help with installation and design, and that’s why House of Antique Hardware Inc. hopes to soon launch online videos that provide such advice.

The 13-year-old retailer, which operates HouseofAntiqueHardware.com, is No. 611 in the 2012 edition of Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide. The company sells antique reproductions and replica hardware, and helps its consumers source antique or vintage-style product deals. In the 2011, the company’s revenues reached nearly $10.3 million, up 10.8% from approximately $9.3 million in 2010.

The company plans to boost those sales through various methods. It is adding plumbing fixtures and faucets to its product line, and last year began selling in the Amazon marketplace, says president Roy Prange. “Lighting continues to gain ground as well,” he adds. Also helping is a new clearance section and a feature that enables consumers to shop by style—for instance, colonial, classical, Victorian, and art deco.

The retailer also is preparing to launch online videos, says Jon Eaton, House of Antique Hardware’s creative director. “It’s almost ready to go, but we haven’t hit the live button,” he said this week. Much of the initial content will reflect the most common installation questions posed by shoppers. The first videos will offer advice based on those questions, with much of the content coming from outside sources such as manufacturers.

The effort also will move beyond installation how-to advice to include what Eaton calls “inspirational” content—that is, how to best decorate a space with the products sold by the retailer. While early videos will be built around what he calls “off the shelf content,” he envisions eventually doing at least some video product in house. “We want the videos to have the same brand voice, the same look,” he says.

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