Building 100 Online Stores, an adventure story.
This year we launched the ability to build custom online shops for our customers. I made a personal goal to launch 100 shops by the end of the year. This number was not a reflection on any monetary goals, it wasn’t about how much money I could make, it was more an idea that I could provide more value to my customers long term if I gave them an online shop for their items. Looking back I should have made my goal to have 100 shops that make money. The reason for this is that we have a few dozen shops that we made as a way to present the possibility to our customers that never caught on, but nonetheless it was a good experience for our staff to figure out what works, what doesn’t and how we could improve for the next custom online store opportunity.
What types of shops are the best?
Our best custom online store offerings are company uniform shops. These are shops where people can go on to select the items for their corporate uniform and order the pieces individually. Most often the pieces are ordered in batches of no less than 12, but we also do have this style of shop with no minimums. One of the ways that we effectively manage this type of shop is setting up the items in a way that allows us to decorate all of the items in house. This gives us the control to be able to do rush turnarounds when required but also the ability to do high end quality control. Nobody wants a uniform where the logo is crooked and when you have a new employee, you want them to have their uniform fast. All things that we can control through our innovative online portals.
Drop Shipping and packaging individual orders
We have shops where we send all of the items to 1 location, but we also have shops where we pick and pack all of the individual orders to be shipped across the country, we just custom build the shop to your needs. The biggest objection we have been able to overcome in shops is the time it takes to sort a large corporate order on delivery. When you have your employees order through an online store, it allows us to break each order down by person and we can individually bag the order and mark them attention to the right person prior to delivery; a service we call pick and packing. We can also ship these individual orders directly to the people who need them at multiple locations, even their homes is they are now working from home.
Can you do school shops?
Yes! We have done school shops for sports team spirit wear, anti bullying day swag, orange shirt day and more. This is a fantastic way to move your paper order forms online and simplify the ordering process. Orders can be broken down by classroom and by student, so that the distribution of the items is really easy once the order is done.
Shops can point to custom web addresses
We host our shops on Commonsku, which is an online ordering platform, the actual shop addresses are alphanumeric and custom, so you can’t just guess a shop address, but we can easily point a custom web address to your shop. We also bought “www.promoaddict.shop” so we can make your custom shop address a version of that like we did for our custom mask shop at www.covid19.promoaddict.shop
What do we charge for shops?
Shops are free! Shops do take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to setup, so we definitely want to work with our customers to confirm that the opportunity is right for a shop, but we do not charge to setup a shop for our customers. This is all part of our goal of making 100 shops. We truly feel that by having 100 shops we can provide more value to our customers, so on this journey, we are covering the costs of setting up the stores themselves. (Some shops have physical costs like making transfers, this is not covered within the shop itself being free)
How can we know for sure you guys are shop experts?
Russ has been featured in Commonsku University + talking about shops https://www.commonsku.com/universityplus#csu-speakers
We were also featured on one of the industry leading webcasts called BP and J through Starline talking about our journey to 100 shops, check out the 20 minute video here: https://fb.watch/1s25LlvsDJ/