Arkansas Tech graduates Ryan Ritchie and Matt Jones have been making humorous t-shirts to display their state and team pride for years. “We were just a couple guys printing shirts at home for fun,” Ryan says. “Then we realized people would actually pay money for them.” Rock City Outfitters originally just marketed their products at festivals and local events, but the business really took off once they launched a website. “People from all over the state wanted our shirts,” he says. “Once Rock City Outfitters went online, we really broadened our reach.”
“Our website makes our company look professional—not like just some dudes goofing off in a warehouse.”
Ryan Ritchie, Co-owner
Google Analytics helps the entrepreneurs keep a beat on where website visitors are coming from and which shirts are most popular. “Before Google Analytics, we were just throwing whatever up there and seeing what sticks,” explains Ryan. “Now we can see where we’re getting business and where we should be designing more t-shirts.” For example, they learned that, surprisingly, 25% of their e-commerce traffic was coming from Texas, “a whole other market we need to explore.” Google Analytics also helps them fine-tune their social media marketing strategy, so they know which campaigns are most effective. “Social media lets us interact with our customers and fans. Some of our best t-shirt ideas come from them.” Google Apps for Work, including Gmail and Google Calendar, makes it easy to communicate with employees and helps the business run smoothly.
Rock City Outfitters has 4,500 online customers.
Rock City Outfitters’ online presence grew the business far beyond its small-town base. “If it wasn’t for Google, we’d still be poking around at little festivals. It’s helped us nearly double our sales every year.” The company now employs two full-time and six part-time staffers. They operate a custom-orders department and provide officially licensed collegiate apparel from Arkansas universities and other schools. And Ryan expects business to continue booming. “We’re still getting our heads around Arkansas, but we hope to go national,” he says. “Thanks to Google, our website, and our social media—the sky’s the limit.”
For more information on the Rock City Outfitters case study, visit https://economicimpact.google.com.
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