Ever heard of The Lumineers? Shakey Graves? In this week’s Shop Spotlight, we asked Grace Wegener and her team to talk about independent record label, Dualtone, and their experience selling online with Shopify. Keep reading for advice that Dualtone has been finessing since their 2001 launch on how to effectively communicate with and engage customers.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell at Dualtone.
Dualtone Music Group is an independent record label based in Nashville, TN. Founded in 2001, it features music ranging from folk, singer/songwriter, and Americana to rock genres. Prominent artists Dualtone has worked with include The Lumineers, Shakey Graves, Guy Clark, Shovels & Rope, Robert Earl Keen, Delta Spirit, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Leagues, Wild Child, and Oh Pep!. Dualtone’s online store sells CDs, vinyl, shirts, and other merchandise by these artists and many more.
When did you get started selling online? Why?
Our store began in 2001. Our aim is to widen the consumer base of the bands that we work with and selling their merchandise, especially limited edition items not available anywhere else, generates good attention for them.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running Dualtone?
One of the biggest challenges we have run into is promoting the merchandise for smaller, less well-known artists. A tactic we use to promote our shop is email marketing and social media outreach, and if an artist doesn’t have a very wide audience or if they’re not active on social media, it can be hard to draw attention to the items we’re selling. That problem gets easier to solve as the artist gains notoriety among the music community, but we still have to come up with new and creative ways to get potential customers’ attention.
How do you attract new customers?
We have the opportunity to sell some items, mostly colored vinyl pieces, that are limited edition and not available anywhere else; if the customer wanted that specific color LP they’d have to come to our store while our supplies last. Folks like to have items that are special and that set them apart from other fans of that artist, and they can come to our store to get that experience.
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running Dualtone?
Communication is key. If you reach out to both your current and potential customers on a regular basis about new products, etc., there will likely be much more activity on your shop. Effective communication provides a positive experience for the customer and shines a positive light on your shop, which is essential for future business.
If you’re a fan of any of Dualtone’s man awesome artists, or are looking for some quality vinyl, check out Dualtone today!