October 18, 2012, 11:53 AM

Sweetwater Sound strums up an enhanced site search tool

Guitar Gallery 2.0 has boosted conversions as shoppers compare guitars side by side.

Lead Photo

Guitars can be a tough sell online. With so many features and a unique sound and feel for each one, retailers who sell such instruments online often strive to provide as much detail as possible for musician shoppers.

In an effort to help shoppers get just the right model when shopping for a guitar online, Sweetwater Sound Inc., a retailer of musical instruments and audio products, last month launched Guitar Gallery 2.0, a new version of its Guitar Gallery online guitar search function.

The updated search tool now enables shoppers to shop by color and price range, type of pickup, body style and type of tonewood. A pickup is a device that transfers the vibrations of strings on electric guitars to an amplifier to produce audible sound. Tonewood is wood used in making guitars.

Shoppers can also use the new search filter results to match their budget, save favorites to access later and compare guitars side by side. Each guitar display now also features more photos—as many as 10 for each guitar—including photos of the guitar case. The retailer takes its own photos of each guitar in a photo studio, and shoppers can see the exact guitar they will be buying complete with its unique serial number.

The revised site search tool took about three months to build and was designed and built entirely in-house, says Mike Clem, director of e-commerce for Sweetwater, No. 222 in the Internet Retailer Top 500. “It is one of the most popular features on our site,” Clem says of Guitar Gallery 2.0. “We have seen a measurable increase in new customers using the Guitar Gallery since the redesign, and an increase in conversion rate because of the confidence it adds to the online transaction.

Sweetwater launched the original Guitar Gallery eight years ago. In the first version, each guitar had six separate images.

“The original Guitar Gallery brought the thrill of a guitar showroom to the comfort of your home, letting you see the actual guitar that you're buying from every angle,” says Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack. “Our newly enhanced Guitar Gallery goes far beyond that, letting you filter through thousands of instruments to quickly find your dream guitar.”

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