Groomstand Uses Search to Sell Guys on Wedding Gifts

Jul 13, 2006 9:22 PM  By

There’s no shortage of marketers wanting to help brides prepare for their big day. But what about the grooms? Don’t they want the same treatment?

Ramin Ramhormozi thinks so. He’s developed Groomstand.com, a site that offers personalized gifts for the husband-to-be’s best men.

So far, he’s used Groomstand to spearhead his Santa Rosa, CA-based company Shopping Stand Inc., which has five related but less developed shopping sites. He anticipates pulling in about $900,000 this year and several million in 2007.

Groomstand.com offers such products as money clips, personalized golf clubs, cufflinks, pocket watches and barware.

Ramhormozi, a former product manager for an athletic footwear company in Los Angeles, got the idea to launch the site after getting his feet wet with Marryman.com, an informational Web site devoted to the same subject. He sold that site to Modern Bride magazine in 2001.

He then decided to develop a fully dedicated commercial Web site. “There are so many sites out there for brides but none for men,” he says.

But what else could grooms give to their groomsmen besides the stereotypical flasks, he wondered?

Ramhormozi began contacting vendors right after the dot-com bubble burst. Many, not surprisingly, were leery of doing business with an online start-up. Eventually, he able to line up a number of suppliers by making affiliate marketing arrangements, he says.

Then one day in late 2002, Ramhormozi sent one of his employees to a Google conference where he learned about the then-emerging practice of search engine marketing.

Groomstand began focusing on search, but not without a price. It took about a year to cut ties with the existing Shopping Stand vendors.

Another problem was a marketing partner that charged as much as $2,700 month for search words but had no ranking on any search Web site, says Ian Lurie, president of Portent Interactive, which last year began reworking Groomstand.com’s marketing strategies. One success was coming up with the key words “groomsmen gifts,” which he says remains number one on Google for the category.

Groomstand.com’s customers are about 70% busy men between 24 and 35 who do much of their shopping online while at the office. The remainder are women who don’t have the time to shop.

For the moment, Shopping Stand plans to work to keep groomstand.com ‘s SEM ranking and is looking to export some techniques that have worked to sister sites Weddingstand.com, Perfectoast.com, Bridesmaid.com, Cupcake.com and Weddingshopper.com.