Those familiar with AuctionArms.com, the official NRA gun auction website, may not recognize it come March 20 because that’s when the company will launch its new layout and logo, and officially change its name to GunAuction.com.
The reason for the name change is simply a matter of semantics. “As time goes on, fewer people associate ‘arms’ with guns,” Angela de la Cruz, the site’s marketing director, explained. “You rarely hear people saying they’re ‘taking up arms’—they’re ‘buying guns’. So in order to accommodate that, we changed our name. And to avoid any confusion, our name says exactly what we do, which is gun auctions.”
Needless to say with a name like “GunAuction.com” it will be easier for more consumers to remember or find through a search engine, but, what may not be as apparent, it will also attract more vendors, which translates as more guns, gear and ammo at competitive prices.
However, the name change may not be as big of a surprise since the company started operating under the new domain last summer, but the website, which ranks in the top three on all the major search engines, hasn’t had any aesthetic changes since it originally launched in 1998.
The new functionality will make it easier to navigate. Categories will be more clearly defined and prices prominently displayed, de la Cruz said. It will be much easier for buyers to find what they want and sellers to accept payments online.
Making a website more user-friendly costs a pretty penny, but modernization is a necessity in business. Although Guns.com could not get the total price of the investment, a ballpark estimate for the domain is just shy of $30,000 (sale price circa 2009) and we have no estimate for the site redesign. Whatever the actual total cost is, in the long run, it will be a win-win for both the company and consumer.
But, with change comes concern. The company worries it may lose customers because of two things. First, the company worries the new logo may be a turn off to returning customers. It has replaced the minuteman with a crossed rifle and shotgun. The change did not come easy though.
“We struggled for months trying to find the right designer with the right design. It was hard to move away from our original minuteman,” de la Cruz said. “The new logo gives us a fresh look with a vintage feel.”
The company also worries that the new functionality may confuse returning users. To remedy both concerns, the company has provided a classic button that will revert the site back to the original format.
GunAuction.com will look vastly different from AuctionArms.com, so de la Cruz wants to assure their fans that the re-branding will allow them to better communicate with the consumer. “We’re still the same team behind the operation, and you can still call us if you have any questions.”