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Stay Connected With Your Customers with Ecommerce

In a sudden and mostly unexpected stay-at-home economy, businesses are having to innovate & find new ways to be safely accessible to their customers. Now is a great time to start encouraging your customers to shop online for your products and services. Through ecommerce, your business can continue serving the needs of your customers, all while often reducing admin expenses & maintaining income.

Let’s talk about some of the options & considerations when building your online store:

How do I handle Shipping?

When it comes to shipping physical goods, there are a few options for handling shipping costs:

  • Flat Rate Shipping:
    This option works best when you have a product line of items that have similar weights and sizes. You can set-up flat-rate shipping fees for all types of shipping products based on geographical regions, and order quantities.
  • Calculated Shipping Rates:
    Get an account and connect to the Canada Post API to integrate Canada Post shipping prices directly into your ecommerce store. Exact dimensions/weight are required to be entered for all products in order to calculate the cost to ship to the customer’s postal code. Many other shipping companies offer similar API options, such as FedEx, UPS, & more.

What about Digital Products?

Music, ebooks, graphic designs, and computer software are just a few of the digitally downloadable products you can sell online. Digital products can be downloaded directly after an order is complete, or customers may access it from their buyer profile. If you want to get fancy, digital products can even have a shelf life, where access to a product for a user is for a select period of time or one-time use.

How do I collect payment?

You have a lot of options to choose from to accept payments in your ecommerce store. These payment systems have their own accounts and fee structures and require a separate registration. Your “payment gateway” as it is called, is then connected to your ecommerce website through its settings.

Here are some of the best payment gateways available:

  • Paypal
    • The most widely recognized payment portal for ecommerce stores.
    • No contract.
    • Fees start at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
  • Stripe
    • Easy user-interface.
    • No contract.
    • Fees start at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
  • Moneris
    • Available through most major Canadian banks.
    • Rates & fees negotiable.
    • Email and phone support.
  • Square
    • No monthly contracts.
    • 24/7 customer support.
    • Fees start at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
  • Amazon Pay
    • Trusted brand appeals to online shoppers.
    • Excellent fraud detection.
    • Fees start at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

Alternatively, you can offer phone-in payment, eTransfer, EFT, and cash on delivery options as well.

Options for Ecommerce Platforms:

Ecommerce websites are usually built on a “platform” or basic software, and there are many to choose from. Depending on your timeline and overall marketing goals, different options may make the most sense for you. Below are the two eCommerce platforms Array works with, WooCommerce and Shopify. We like these systems because we have found them fairly easy to use for our customers when managing product lines as they change or grow. Read along about the features that each offer to help you sell and ship your products online:

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free ecommerce plugin built on WordPress that can be used to manage inventory and offer sales or coupon codes to customers. The open-source platform has hundreds of extensions for shipping, marketing, accounting, and payments. When choosing WooCommerce, your store will be completely custom-designed to match your brand & product base and can be customized with any custom functionality you may need. WooCommerce stores take a little bit longer to set up but are worth it for their flexibility & customizability.

Shopify

If you need a store, like, yesterday, Shopify offers a very quick & straightforward system for selling online. Typically, you will start from one of Shopify’s many templates. Customization will be made to your banner, your brand will be added & colours & fonts customized, and then your menus & product categories will be set up. A payment gateway will be connected for you, and shipping options configured. You then take over uploading products, and when that’s complete, getting your store live is usually a quick and easy process.

How Can We Help?

The Array Team is currently operating remotely, but you can still reach us by phone at 250-591-2277, or via email at info@meetarray.com. Feel free to shoot us your questions about creating and marketing ecommerce stores on the Shopify & WooCommerce platforms – we’re here to do what we can to help keep your business rolling. Or, pop over to Our Portfolio and check out the case studies for Canadian Kelp Resources, OM BOYS, and Good Life Juice.