Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Being in the creative world and coming from a big tech company like Microsoft, means that I get asked, A LOT of questions about creating an online retail site.  It doesn't hurt that I was one of the first at trade and consumer shows (like the One of a Kind), to have my iPhone all set up to process payment.  Made it so easy for me to wander around my booth, helping customers and being able to ring up sales while chatting.

It's amazing to me how many creative types do not have an interactive online presence.  Quite often you will just see a static web page with an email address and phone number.  Friends, I'm looking at you! If it is an interactive site, sales are definitely not included.  Why is that?

Well, I guess there is a misconception about cost and difficulty.  We've come a long way, baby and no longer is having a retail site the domain of a hostile nerd in a darkened room.  We don't have to sacrifice good looks for a working retail site or pay double for a graphic designer and a great web guy to get both. 

There are sites out there that will help you get gorgeous online and sell your stuff!
I like shopify.  Why?

  • It's Canadian.
  • It looks good. Really good, with a Trinity Bellwoods kind of vibe to it. And there are templates to make your site look really good, too.
  • It won't break the bank.  $29/month for 100 products online + 2% per transaction.  No more messing around with pricing out merchant terms.
  • It's clear, easy and concise and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to set up or keep up.
    • Case in point, I know an underwear importer (seriously), who does a cool few mill a year in sales.  Paid lots of money to set up a site to a web guy, but guess what?  They can't figure out how to upload new product and don't want to pay a permanent IT person every time new knickers come in. On shopify, the shipping person (aka you) can do it.
  • It will grow with you.  Small now but big plans for the future? They can handle it. 
  • They include cool tips on their blog, like using the word's "you" and "new" and "guaranteed" to increase your sales.  So go ahead, and guarantee shipping within 24 hours.  It will make that customer click on "buy now".

Here's the link. Don't walk, run!

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