Gift shop uses Shopify, chooses specific products for initial launch
Kent and Bernadette Pegorsch own Main Street Marketplace in downtown Waupaca, Wisconsin. Like most gift shops, the COVID-19 virus forced them to change their business model. As soon as they realized that the virus would affect their business, they began making plans to ramp up their online business. So on Sunday, March 22, they opened a Shopify store. Kent explained the process he and his wife used to get their Shopify store going:
“I have been using a social media consultant from Oregon for several years. She is very sharp and she felt Shopify was the best platform for our honey store https://mainstreet-marketplace.com/collections, which was tied to our store landing site page https://mainstreet-marketplace.com. We started that site several years ago. But I didn’t use her to build our [Shopify] store site because I couldn’t wait.
“Last Sunday I called Shopify to see if there was a way I could tie our store site into our existing site. The technical person was in awe at how our consultant had setup and designed our sites … and the “simple” complexity. He advised me against cluttering up this “work of art.” So we started a new Shopify store at www.mainstreetwaupaca.com. We have linked our new site to our existing honey site.
“So Sunday I started building. I had a light understanding of Shopify, but I really had to start from scratch. The learning curve was about two days. I just dug in and started building and adding products, refining as I went. And there will be much refining to be done yet. Shopify has a ‘Shopify Academy,’ so I could watch videos as I went.
Kent explained his goals for his Shopify store:
“The first objective is to create cash flow right now to help cover expenses. We also want to be able to continue to serve our local customers and, because we can ship, we can serve customers farther away and our customers can order and ship to friends and family.
The Pegorsches think they will continue selling on Shopify even after the virus passes. Kent said, “By being forced into this, this may change our store long-term. I think we will always have an online presence. We will never be able to put the thousands of items we sell online but we can pick items that make the most sense to have online.”
Kent learned a lot during the process and gives the following advice to other storeowners:
“Just start. Don’t try to figure everything out before you start. You won’t be able to anticipate all of the factors that will cause you to change course as you go. Don’t try to be perfect. Start small, build, refine, add, and then repeat this process.