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DKOldies

With Searchspring, DKOldies can now tailor search rules at a category level while still running site-wide, global rules.

"Searchspring was always on my radar as something I wanted to try. Really, I should have done it much earlier. Their team just got things done and handled everything we threw at them."

Drew Steimel Owner, DKOldies

DKOldies

THE BRAND

DKOldies is a retro video game store specializing in original game systems and accessories from the 80s and 90s. A family-run, online DTC business, the brand has a strong focus on customer relationships, and all of their games are sourced and purchased directly from consumers.

Owner Drew Steimel grew up playing video and arcade games, and learned the ropes of running a small business in his six years working in a comic book store. “That store was amazing, it had a real family atmosphere that made everyone feel welcome,” says Drew.

In the early 2000s, he began selling old games on eBay. Over fourteen years and an online store later, that personal connection with shoppers is still one of Drew’s core values. While the store operates online, customers were always welcome to stop by their warehouse pre-Covid. “It’s a cool place to come if you’re into retro video games, it’s a little chaotic but there’s tons of cool stuff here. Until recently, we would let people come in if they found us, they could buy and sell or just hang out and play games,” says Drew.

As a brand, they have pivoted to maintain those customer relationships online. “Now, we do a lot of Facebook live videos and fan groups where we’ll play games or show unboxings. We want to bring customers into our world as much as possible.”

DKOldies

THE CHALLENGES

Covid shutdowns in early 2020 led to a surge in demand for DKOldies’ products. “It was hard to keep up with the sales at the time, to ship everything out and keep everybody safe,” says Drew.

“We’re normally a fourth quarter business and spend the spring and summer months stocking up. We don’t get our supply from wholesalers, we buy direct from the customer. If we’re going to have a big Christmas, we have to build up our inventory all year. In a way, Covid has made that difficult because we were selling so much at that time.”

Platformed on BigCommerce, DKOldies previously used its native search functionality, but struggled to achieve the required level of customization. “We were never really able to make BigCommerce search work for us, we tried a lot of workarounds but it just didn’t meet our needs,” says Drew. They went on to trial plugins and budget solutions, but still found the level of control to be lacking. “We used Instantsearch+ for a while, which was a good starting point for us, but it was still quite basic. It made us realize that there was so much more we could do with search,” says Drew.

DKOldies also had a somewhat unusual request that made it more challenging to find a suitable solution. “We wanted to show all of our products, whether they were in stock or out of stock,” says Drew. “We sell over 30,000 different products, but we only ever have a flow of 5,000-10,000 in stock at any one time. It’s constantly changing, so we wanted to display out of stock products on the site and notify customers when something came back in.”

DKOldies

THE SOLUTIONS

“Searchspring was always on my radar as something I wanted to try. Really, I should have done it much earlier,” says Drew. “Their team just got things done and handled everything we threw at them.”

With Searchspring, DKOldies can now tailor search rules at a category level while still running site-wide, global rules. “It gives us a lot more control than having the same search algorithm on every page, we can now manipulate the results in any way we like across the site.”

“We sell consoles and accessories, but most of our customers are looking for video games. Before, when we couldn’t customize our search and category navigation, shoppers were finding a lot of irrelevant results at the top of the page. Now, we’re able to feature some of our systems and accessories where it makes sense, but the main focus is on the games,” says Drew.

DKOldies has also been able to overcome the difficulties associated with displaying out of stock items. “Having so many products out of stock at any one time could really destroy your search or navigation experience. You don’t want customers to come to your site and find everything out of stock. We needed to display available products first, but still show other items as well. It was tricky, but Searchspring was able to accommodate that, and our customers are much happier.”

DKOldies

THE RESULTS

DKOldies integrated Searchspring just as the impacts of Covid were being felt on the business. Through social media and online groups, the team has received positive feedback from customers who have noticed improvements to the store. “Shoppers can find things so much easier, and now we sell much more product as it comes back in stock because people are able to find it,” says Drew.

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