SokoLocal brings clarity and transparency to local search — The Costume Shoppe Case Study

3 min readMay 17, 2021

The Costume Shoppe is a family-operated business based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The shop, which showcases over 15,000 costumes and accessories for men, women and children is located on the corner of Blackfoot Trail and 42nd Street. The Costume Shoppe is truly a one-stop-shop for all things costuming, offering custom costumes, costumes for purchase, rental costumes and boasts an inclusive-sizing costume selection.

Images Courtesy of Brayden Snow Photography

As one of the only locally-owned costume shops in Calgary that is open year-round, Ryan Schoel, who has been the owner of The Costume Shoppe since 2016, explains that the store keeps busy throughout the year by offering a variety of costumes for every season. From Halloween and Christmas-themed costumes in the fall and winter months to Easter costumes, festival attire and even graduation cap and gowns in the spring and summer months. Schoel and his team at The Costume Shoppe share a passion for costuming and display that passion throughout their store and work with their customers.

Images Courtesy of Brayden Snow Photography

My favourite part about being a small business is helping my clients and customers make their fantasies become a reality.

When Schoel came across SokoLocal’s press release on Retail Insider, he said he was immediately intrigued by its priority and focus on local businesses in the digital space. The Costume Shoppe is one of a few small businesses that was able to ride the wave in their transition to digital. The Costume Shoppe displays their inventory on their website and offers curbside pickup and worldwide shipping. Schoel also makes it a point to utilize social media as a marketing strategy by creating entertaining Tik Tok videos to showcase what The Costume Shoppe has in store.

Digital Challenges

One challenge The Costume Shoppe has faced in the digital space is its highly competitive nature. “The internet is the old Wild Wild West. In a sense where, when I was a kid and handing out flyers, you would never stand in a Cineplex Odeon parking lot and hand out Landmark movie theatre flyers,” Schoel says. “Now, what’s changed is that people ‘geo-fence.’ People all over the world can now say that when you Google ‘The Costume Shoppe’ their business will come up highest in results.” Schoel mentioned that many costume “pop-up” shops or shops in other geographies will often use his shop name to create paid promotions on Google around Halloween, thus causing his shop to get lost in results.

Schoel’s hope is with a product search engine like SokoLocal, which prioritizes local business listings and does not allow such “geo-fencing” promotion techniques across geographies will allow his products to receive the attention they deserve from local shoppers. In addition, Schoel is excited about the information provided in SokoLocal’s Retailer Reports, which allow businesses owners an exclusive insight on their analytics and search engine optimization (SEO) tips at no cost. “I’ve never seen a platform offer this much transparency without asking for anything in return.” Schoel tells SokoLocal’s Founder, Nikhil Sonpal.

Shop The Costume Shoppe on SokoLocal

SokoLocal’s mission is make it easier for local businesses, like The Costume Shoppe, connect to shoppers. And, in turn, make it easier for shoppers to find, shop and support local businesses. We are excited to have The Costume Shoppe on board and we hope to continue to drive our mission forward with the support of local communities.

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