Murphy, TX (PRWEB) January 25, 2008
Skulls, gargoyles, and sorcery are not likely product themes you will find while browsing at http://www.RealArmorofGod.com. This faith-based retailer of Roman, medieval and Renaissance products has experienced God's favor, while unapologetically emphasizing a family-friendly environment in what many consider an industry dripping in demonic symbolism.
"We are a light in a dark niche," said John Cooper, who founded Real Armor of God (RAOG) in 2004. "Out of 32 million websites dealing with swords on Google, we are the only openly Christian website in the industry, and we are family-friendly."
After successfully producing its first product called a Witnessing Coin in 2006, this year Real Armor of God has designed a new sword based on the popular movie First Knight starring Richard Gere and Sean Connery. "No one knows why the studio decided to have a Christian cross on a sword used in a King Arthur movie. It could be a desire to remind people Jesus Christ is our First Knight, who defends us from sin," said Cooper. His enhanced First Knight Sword is currently available online for pre-order. http://www.realarmorofgod.com/store/html/Products/Swords/Medieval/First-Knight-Sword-914.html
It doesn't take online visitors long to realize that Real Armor of God is not just another pretty web-based storefront. Four years after opening in 2004, RAOG has seen exponential growth that has made it an anomaly in a marketplace, where reports of Christian bookstore closings fill the internet and workshop discussions at industry conferences.
In 2007, Real Armor of God's revenues climbed just shy of six figures showing 62% growth over the previous year. Traffic to the website also increased to 54 million hits; five million pages were read; and there were 671,000 distinct visitors. 70% of visitors add the website to its Favorites list compared to an industry average of 15%, and 12% stay on the site for 30 minutes or longer.
Cooper believes the success of Real Armor of God's creative business model indicates a dramatic shift in the way Christian retailers must adapt, understand and harness the internet to survive in the new global economy. Cooper, who helps build other companies' website strategies, recommends that retailers use pay-per-click campaigns to better manage on-line marketing budgets and to maximize internet rankings with relevant, product-related content. In addition, he warns retailers about cool features designers recommend that conflict with SEO (search engine optimization) strategies, and strongly suggests they use negative keywords to filter out junk traffic from what he calls "gookers." "People looking for an astrology bible are not your audience," he said.
Much of Real Armor of God's business includes international orders coming from throughout Asia and Europe. Recently, an international ministry training 150 Thai pastors contacted Cooper to purchase a large order of witnessing coins. To further emphasize the internet's powerful reach, Cooper said, "Today, a Christian retailer's target market must be broader than its local consumers. Out of our almost $1 million in sales, only 7 % of RAOG's business comes from my home state of Texas."
Diversification is yet another area Cooper says will boost business for Christian retailers. Though Real Armor of God sells medieval products, Christian education and spiritual warfare pages are among the top ten most viewed on his website. Articles on what it means to be a Christian and how to raise a modern-day knight link to well-known ministries, including The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, David Jeremiah's Turning Point Ministry, and Campus Crusade for Christ, to name a few.
"Everyone throws up a storefront with only product," said Cooper, who urges Christian retailers to support their books and products with related articles on topics youth and adults are focusing on. "There are so many people out there looking for help. You might write a local Christian psychologist or youth pastor to provide content and then offer related books in the margin. This kind of strategy is the key to survival," he concluded.
Real Armor of God is based in Murphy, Texas. RAOG has been covered on Daystar TV's Celebration and recently was mentioned in Christian Retailing for sponsoring the 2007 Christian Fantasy Fiction Tour. In addition, it has received numerous awards, including the American Association of Webmasters Gold Award, Learning Fountain Award, and World Wide Web Gold Award. For more information about Real Armor of God and its products, visit http://www.RealArmorofGod.com.
Media interested in coordinating interviews with RealArmorofGod.com President John Cooper should contact Gregg Wooding, I AM PR Services, (972) 567-7660 via cell, (214) 575-9300 X238 office