eCommerce Jumpstart

Do you need to...

  • Increase profits by taking your retail business online?
  • Reduce the time you spend on bookkeeping?
  • Automate online marketing to new customers?

Sterner Stuff can help!

Online-only retailers are trendy and taking the world by storm, but your bread and butter has been filling a niche in a specific geographic community. Your shoppers still prefer to speak to a local expert and buy their goods in-person, both because they love shopping local and because they enjoy the peace of mind.

You can continue to provide the in-store experience you've built your business on while also benefiting from online sales! It's simpler than you'd think.

Here are the basic steps to compliment your existing in-store income with a stream of online revenue:

  • Digitize your inventory
  • Share that inventory with Google
  • Set aside a small, ongoing marketing budget (as little as $5/day)

And once all that is done, your online store can be as set-it-and-forget-it as you want.

In the wake of COVID shutdowns, an online revenue stream is almost like a form of insurance, and post-COVID, it's icing on the cake. The extra revenue available by capturing online customers can fund your expansion, pad your retirement, or help you offer benefits to your existing employees.

Sterner Stuff's eCommerce Jumpstart program is here to help you get started.

Case Study: Porterhouse Clothing & Supply

Porterhouse Clothing & Supply is a brick-and-mortar menswear shop in Eugene, OR. They opened their doors knowing that eCommerce would be a big part of their business.

Working with Sterner Stuff, they used Shopify to build a digital-first business. With a small $5/day budget in a simple Google Smart Shopping campaign, they were able to generate 21% of their 2020 holiday revenue through online sales.

For a brand new store, this meant that even if it took time to catch on and be discovered in Eugene, online shoppers looking for the products they carry would help ease the startup financial burden.

Who is eCommerce Jumpstart for?

Sterner Stuff's eCommerce Jumpstart program is designed to help traditional retail stores bring their business online. eCommerce Jumpstart is for the following folks:

  • Inventory is on pen and paper OR you're already using Square point-of-sale.
  • You sell goods that are ship-able. Service-based companies are not a good fit.
  • You don't currently run eCommerce OR you're eCommerce is a pain to manage:
    • You're manually syncing online and in-store inventory
    • You're reconciling multiple payment processors
    • Customers aren't all managed in one place
  • You're prepared to set aside a marketing budget of some kind rather than depend solely on organic website traffic

Additional benefits to digitizing your inventory and point-of-sale

If you're still running in-store operations with pen and paper, going digital is the first step to being able to offer eCommerce to both new and existing customers. But going digital offers a lot more than just the ability to start selling online:

  • Run reports on inventory to know, at a glance, what you have, what's selling well, and what didn't
  • Automatically create customer profiles and notify interested customers of new product, exclusive sales and more, creating additional revenue from existing customers
  • Simplify your loyalty program (or implement one for the first time!) to bring customers back to you instead of bouncing around you and your competitors
  • Automate daily bookkeeping by syncing each day's transactions into Quickbooks or other bookkeeping software, saving you time and money

Hands-off marketing

Many online consumers begin their search on Google, which is great. Unlike Amazon, which has been known to systemically undermine its sellers to consolidate suppliers and profits, advertising on Google is simply an extension of your marketing budget. It ultimately drives users to your website, where they purchase from you and you ship to them, ensuring you control the customer experience from end to end.

And it's incredibly easy to get started with advertising on Google and start seeing a return on your marketing investment. All you have to do is keep Google up-to-date with your inventory and give them a budget. Because of how Google charges for advertising, even a small investment will win ad placement often enough to increase revenue.

Google calls this a Smart Shopping campaign. Our clients running Smart Shopping campaigns have seen returns of 5-10x on their marketing investment. At Sterner Stuff, we can get your WooCommerce or Shopify site configured to run a Smart Shopping campaign with an ad budget as small as $5/day. Once it's up and running, it requires absolutely no management from you.

If you want to go above and beyond this, including social media campaigns and retargeted advertising, we can help with that, too.

How do we do it?

We recommend two routes to starting an online revenue stream for your existing retail business.

Full-Stack Shopify

Shopify is the leading all-in-one digital commerce solution. From in-store point-of-sale to an eCommerce powered website, Shopify handles everything and keeps it seamless from end-to-end.

  • Same customers in-store and online
  • Same inventory in-store and online (or not!)
  • Built-in support for multiple locations
  • Easy to get started with a website
  • Payment processing and shipping rates built-in
  • Integrate directly with bookkeeping software like Quickbooks to cut down on bookkeeping expenses
  • No proprietary equipment - works with industry-standard receipt printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners and an iPad
  • Large app library to extend functionality with rewards programs, size charts, marketing and more

Square + WooCommerce

Some folks are already running their in-store point-of-sale with Square. Rather than throw all this progress away, we'll set you up with a WordPress-powered website with eCommerce capabilities thanks to WooCommerce. Then we configure Square to play nice with that website, taking your existing inventory and customers online while still processing all your payments through Square for easy bookkeeping.

  • Same customers in-store and online
  • Same inventory in-store and online
  • WordPress is an open-source platform, giving you maximum flexibility in online customization
  • Single payment processor
  • Wide array of eCommerce extensions, both free and paid
  • Complete control over your online presence rather than paying monthly for software-as-a-service
  • Integrate directly with bookkeeping software like Quickbooks to cut down on bookkeeping expenses

Let's get started

Sound like a plan? Great! We're looking forward to working together.

eCommerce Jumpstart isn't a one-size fits all solution, so contact us to get started with a free consultation.