Interview: Peter Hahn of Turntable Lab Talks E-Commerce, Site Redesign, and Headphones

Interview: Peter Hahn of Turntable Lab Talks E-Commerce, Site Redesign, and Headphones

The lifestyle and DJ equipment shop Turntable Lab redesigned its e-commerce site today. Having locations in New York, L.A., and Tokyo, the shop carries everything from vinyl, production equipment, clothing to Krink markers. "Many times it's better to shop somewhere with soul," says owner Peter Hahn. And how does the team at Turntable Lab keep their souls? By staying true to their DJ roots. Read below for our Q&A with Peter Hahn.

What spawned the revamp of the site? 

When I've been designing the sites, I've always imagined what that store would translate to as an actual retail space. The first sites had lots of super-specialized categories, unexpected pages, secondary features, and learned nuances. In my head, this type of site mirrored a traditional DJ/record store. It took several visits to understand the layout and that things would not always be apparent or obvious. 

There was a learning process involved. In today's environment, shoppers don't have the patience or time for this process, so with the new site I designed everything to be very transparent. However, it's still organized with a DJ's detailed eye in terms of specialized categories, sub-categories, genres, labels, brands, etc.

As for influences, I tried to marry the functionality and ease of big e-commerce sites like Zappos and the visual appeal of product and trend blogs. I feel like those two dynamics have been present in the site but I wanted to bring them out further.

Since you started as a "turntablist" shop, would you consider the creative direction of the revamp to be more heavily on the apparel or equipment side?

Our focus is definitely still on the equipment. The apparel is an integral part, but the equipment is what differentiates us.

Any special collabos in the works?

We're really focusing on building our current brands. Although it's exciting to help launch new brands, we want to focus on companies that have proven that they can come up with something exciting season to season. As for collabs, we're exploring launching a Turntable Lab brand of DJ accessories.

What's new that your consumers can expect?

Most importantly, we've taken this experience to redefine our selectivity. We've cut many lines during the switchover and we plan to be even more stringent in our selection. In addition to new e-commerce functionality such as Paypal payments and coupon codes, we are making the entire product cycle more transparent. From the moment something arrives in the warehouse, it will appear in a preview section and products will become available, in some cases, one week earlier than it would have been on our previous site. Rather than be locked into release dates, we will be releasing a constant stream of products.

What item would you recommend for a commuter on the train?

For commuting, you can't go wrong with TMA-1s. I like the flexibility, durability, and low-key look. The electronics classicist in me loves Sennheiser HD-25-II for office headphones. If I'm at home chilling, I would probably want some comfy Beyerdynamics. I personally hate earbuds, I always just recommend getting cheap ones, cause even the expensive ones will get lost or broken.

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Tags: turntable-lab, dj, retailer
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