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Grants Available for British Columbia Based Business Owners

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Adding E-Commerce to a WordPress Website

2020 was a year no one will forget, Covid-19 took over our world very quickly and left a devastating wake of chaos. There were however some nuggets of positivity that helped business grow, that was e-commerce.

Some retail companies may be intimidated due to competing with giants like Amazon. If you include similar tactics, we are of the opinion you can and will succeed.

As a recent example of purchasing online I was looking for a leather jacket. All I typed was “leather jackets for men” and a Google Ad showed up, that Ad had text that stated they are a family-based company in business since 1972. I clicked the Ad that led to their website, was impressed with what I saw and purchased. www.boutiqueofleathers.com.

The final benefit that made the sale was “free shipping on orders over $100.00”.
I looked at listings on Amazon too, but prices and quality were all over the place with a lot of cheap fake leather coats. I did not feel I was supporting Canadian or American businesses.
Let us NOT have Jeff Bezos make another Trillian dollars, we need to rise and use this time for opportunity for our own businesses.  😊

Grants Available for British Columbia Based Business Owners

The British Columbia Government is offering E-commerce Grants of up to $7,500.00 that are available on a first come first serve basis. See more details below with links to where to apply.

Quick Tip: If you are thinking about applying for the grant, do it now, the funding is on a first-come-first-served basis. Visit www.launchonline.ca

E-Commerce Tasks Overview

Just like a physical retail store, e-commerce set up takes time, each product requires a description, image, prices, and options like sizes, colours, dimensions and much more.

This is list of the basics required to empower your store with e-commerce.

  • WordPress website, preferably on an up-to-date theme.
  • An SSL Certificate which helps encrypt and secure the information being added to your site. An SSL will provide the green lock in your browser address bar that indicates “this site is secure”. If the site does not contain a valid SSL, do not ever enter personal or credit card information!
  • Woo-Commerce plug-in. Allows e-commerce on WordPress.
  • Use a spreadsheet or similar to map out all the products you want to sell. Start with categories and list relevant products under each. Then add sizes, dimensions, weights, prices, taxes anything else that is required to purchase your products.
  • Now you need to take carefully crafted pictures of each product. High-quality photography is crucial; a professional photographer is highly suggested that is familiar with close imagery.
  • Get a Merchant Account that can integrate with WooCommerce. That may include Moneris, Pay Pal, Stripe, Square and more.
  • This is how Amazon grew so large; sign up to Prime and you get free shipping and fast delivery, typically only a few days. You may not beat them on all fees, however, try to build your pricing with built-in shipping if possible or an order amount that allows for free shipping. Canada Post or in the USPS, UPS and others offer Woo-Commerce plug-ins that integrate shipping rates based on the location and postal or zip code.
  • Inventory can be set so it shows the quantity of items remaining; you need to decide if you want this or want to allow “back-orders” to be placed.
  • Return and Privacy Policies are required.
  • Once all the products, descriptions, imagery, shipping, taxes, merchants, and inventory are set now they need to be entered into WooCommerce.
  • The last part is adding search engine optimization to each product, crucial if your want them to be found online.

There are many more details as e-commerce is complex, however if you sell products, we highly recommend adding e-commerce. Think carefully about the whole process, people may want to interact on weekends, orders need the be fulfilled quickly and many customers are impatient.

You will need to have 1 or more persons in your company familiar with and/or need training on how to enter new products, check orders and so on in WooCommerce. www.woocommerce.com

You then need to choose who will package up your products and have them shipped with your preferred shipper.

Conclusion

Although it may seem a daunting task at first, once you become familiar with working with e-commerce and are committed the benefits are endless; you can grow your company locally, nationally, or internationally.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out; we look forward to assisting you on your journey.

E-commerce Grants for British Columbia Businesses

If you are thinking about applying for the grant, do it now, the funding is on a first-come-first-served basis.

The following information is from www.launchonline.ca, a Government initiative to help business grow online.

Small and medium-sized businesses are vital to British Columbia’s economy. As part of Stronger BC, B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan the Launch Online Grant program will invest up to $12 million to help small- and medium-size businesses throughout B.C. move their business model online.

The Launch Online Grant program provides funding to B.C.-based business to create an online shop and/or improve their e-commerce experience to attract new local customers and expand to new markets. The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business.

Eligible Expenses:

  • Platform and website development.
  • Copy and online content writing.
  • Developing an online inventory of goods and products.
  • Pictures (including hiring a photographer), stock photos or related graphics needed.

Digital customer costs:

  • E-commerce platform subscription (up to 1 year)
  • Online advertising (up to 1 year)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Creating banners and other embedded advertising.
  • Staff training to manage the online shop, learn about digital marketing, etc.

 

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