CLIENT CASE STUDY
Technically, this wasn't a client in the traditional sense. It was a need I saw in my community during Covid, and something I have referred to as my Covid passion project. I was concerned about the health of small, family owned independent businesses that could fail due to lost revenue during lockdown. These were retail businesses in our county shopping hubs that relied on a bustling tourism economy and walk-in traffic. So, I created a multi-vendor e-commerce website for locals to use.
Custom WordPress site
ShopCalaveras.net needed to be fast-loading, mobile optimised, secure and encrypted. It also needed to be accessible to local businesses to create their own vendor portals. In addition to having community storefronts, I wanted locals to be able to add a link to their own vendor storefronts on their websites and social media to help generate additional sales. To accommodate all of these features, I used Beaver Builder with a Woo Commerce plugin. This project was featured on the Made in California podcast produced by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development - GoBiz.
I developed a community storefront for each shopping hub within the county. Each storefront linked to online stores, vendor stores within the site itself and places where you could purchase gift certificates via email, online or phone call. Developing this section included a lot of online research to find all of the online stores in the area (including those on Etsy) to make sure I was covering every business that could benefit from this portal. I also liaised with the Murphys Business Association, Calaveras Visitors Bureau, and Chamber of Commerce to provide additional fundraising promotions like the Murphys stickers listed here.
Many of our community businesses had no website and their only online presence was on Facebook. The creation of vendor storefronts where their e-commerce could be located allowed them to share these portals to their social media. They could also have their merchandise featured on the "new merch" page linked from the home page. I set up the payments to go 100% to each vendor with no commission coming back to me. I then created video tutorials that locals could use to set up their e-commerce on the site. As businesses contacted me, I gave them login information and connected their paypal details into the back end of the site so they could start making sales immediately.