Growth Story: Shop On Main

ShopOnMain is an online marketplace that captures the experience of shopping local main streets across America. As an early-stage venture, ShopOnMain was beginning from scratch — with no existing traction, a small customer base, and racing against time with investment dollars. ShoponMain contracted Deviate Labs for their creativity and customized growth hacking campaigns to get ShopOnMain on the right track.


Growth Hacking for an Early-Stage Startup

Using Parade Magazine’s “America’s Best Main Street” as a guide, Deviate Labs launched a competition tailored to building Shop On Main brand awareness and expedited lead generation. The campaign focused specifically on small town retail experiences: The ‘Best Shopping On Main Street’ Competition.


Without the big name and big budget that Parade Magazine has, Deviate Labs relied on its growth hacking methods to establish momentum.


Deviate Labs designed the competition splash site and brought it to life using the Wishpond contest technology platform.




Wishpond even created a video documenting the campaign’s success:



Deviate Labs also coordinated a key alliance between ShopOnMain and the TV hosts of Small Town Big Deal — a nationally syndicated show that highlights the faces, sights and traditions of small towns.


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As agreed in the partnership, Small Town Big Deal created a promotional video and :30 sec commercial to promote the contest to its viewership. The show also offered a special episode to each of the top 3 winning towns as the grand prize.


With the lure of Hollywood fame under its belt, the contest was ready to roll. As visitors flocked to the site to nominate and vote for their favorite towns, Deviate Labs contacted Chamber of Commerces and local newspapers behind the scenes to increase outreach and publicity.


Brand Identity Refresh and Website Redesign

Although the competition was proving to be a success, there was still another hurdle to overcome: the current website. The original website didn’t accurately reflect the “shop your local main street” experience that the founders had in mind. The disconnect between the competition and the e-commerce platform was noticeable both with visitors and future business partners.


To capitalize on the attention and influx of press surrounding the ‘Best Shopping On Main Street’ competition, Deviate Labs simultaneously conducted a brand refresh.


Deviate Labs led a refresh of the user interface and design of the entire ShopOnMain e-commerce site, logo, and overall identity. This sleeker, cleaner UI brought clarity to the local main street online shopping experience and established brand trust and recognition with visitors who arrived from the ongoing competition.



Success and Results

With brand awareness and exposure its primary objectives, the ‘Best Shopping On Main Street’ competition exceeded expectations. ShopOnMain received 20K+ unique opt-ins, 50K+ impressions and 1,000+ social media interactions through the campaign alone. In addition, the competition opened doors to not only an ongoing partnership with a TV show, but also relationships with Chambers of Commerce across the nation with the potential to onboard thousands of new businesses.



ShopOnMain began this journey with exposure of zero to none. After the creative campaigns of Deviate Labs, the early-stage startup now in a prime position to raise another round of capital with a cohesive brand and proof of concept: tangible numbers and a thriving potential customer base ready to shop local main streets, anywhere, anytime.