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What Bon Scott can teach you about effective e-commerce

Bon Scott
Bon Scott

A tribute site dedicated to legendary late AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott is worth studying for tips on digital retailing.

Ronald “Bon” Scott served as lead singer/frontman for Australian hard rock group AC/DC from the early 1970s until his untimely death in 1980. Although AC/DC went on to become an international supergroup with his replacement Brian Johnson, diehard fans of the band remember Scott fondly, and many even think they were better with him at the microphone.

A recently launched official Bon Scott website serves as an excellent example of how to present content, community and merchandise to consumers in a meaningful and tasteful way. Here are three lessons that e-tailers can take from the Scott site.

The Bon Scott website is legitimately designed for fans of the singer and his band. A slider at the top of the site features three different rotating images, only one of which is a link to the official online Bon Scott store. The rest of the front page is devoted to historical/biographical info, vintage videos, and a signup link for an email list. 

A small “shop” link at the top of the page is the only other direct promotion of the site’s e-commerce functionality. By primarily presenting itself as a source of information and community, with e-commerce as an additional feature, the site has a better chance of driving traffic, and ultimately conversions, from its target audience of serious hard rock aficionados.

Drilling into the content, it is clear that the site is carefully curating news and information that is of genuine interest to its target audience. Videos include rare interviews and live performances, and written testimonials from members of AC/DC and peer bands such as Journey and Judas Priest lend the site further credibility. 

In addition, fan testimonials create a social community that encourages consumers to connect with each other, and also promote the site to their friends and family. As everyone knows, a customer recommendation costs nothing and is more valuable than paid promotions.

Of course, this column wouldn’t be complete without some mention of how the official Bon Scott site actually engages in e-commerce. There is a fully functioning online storefront within the site, situated so that anyone who wants to browse or buy can easily find it, but also easily avoid it.

The store offers a limited assortment of about 60 total products. Primarily, the site sells Bon Scott-themed t-shirts, keychains, mugs, coasters, phone cases, and wallets, with a few other knickknacks thrown in. So far, the site has resisted the temptation to simply plaster Bon Scott’s image on every conceivable product and then display it for sale online. 

This is a wise move. While I have no access to any traffic, sales or conversion data, my best guess would be that overall performance metrics are actually better with a more carefully curated assortment. The site also leaves itself the opportunity to slowly test new products without interference from excess background noise; as well as add items based on real consumer response, rather than a simple desire to sell as much crap as possible.

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