Benjamin Halloran’s retail bike store, the Mississauga Bikerry, had been in business for about five years and had slowly increased sales each year by building up a satisfied and dedicated customer base within the Ontario area. However, Benjamin was looking for an option that could take him (as he told friends) “to the next level.” That gave him the brilliant idea of using the Internet with the help of a local SEO company to expand his sales base beyond just the local Mississauga area.
As Benjamin saw it, any bike lover in Canada might become a customer if he just had a digital storefront. A resident of British Columbia, for example, could simply go online, pick out a bike frame and some accessories, and order just as easily as someone from the Mississauga area could walk into his store. Even better, these Internet sales could happen 24/7, even when he was sleeping!
When he was reviewing possible options, Benjamin had two major considerations. First, he wanted a website that would help him to build his store’s brand presence. Second, he wanted a website that would allow customers to buy their bikes and bike parts online directly off the website. That’s what led him to explore some of the most popular online shopping options for small business owners, such as Shopify, Big Commerce, Volusion and 3d Cart
After doing some research and discussing options with his marketing assistant, Benjamin decided to go with a mid-range solution from Shopify. What he liked about the service was the wide variety of custom templates that he could use to build a stunning website for customers, combined with an easy-to-use e-commerce back-end.
Shopify met Benjamin’s two major criteria. He was able to pick a beautiful template, drag-and-drop some images and videos he already had available, and start showing the site to customers immediately. Plus, the entire site was SEO-enabled.
But the real advantage, from Benjamin’s perspective, was the e-commerce functionality. He could process credit card transactions at just 2.5 percent of the transaction cost. And Shopify came with all kinds of extras, like mobile credit card processing and even an in-store point of sale (POS) solution that he could eventually install inside the Mississauga store.
The online shopping component to the website has already paid off big for the store. In just six months time, the store sales have increased by more than 20 percent. Customers from all over Canada are sending in orders, sometimes just for bike parts that they can’t find locally.
That gave Benjamin another inspiration – to launch a mini-marketing campaign online just for the bike parts. He had always assumed that bikes would be the major seller online, but he soon realized that bike enthusiasts loved to customize their bikes and would often order hundreds of dollars of parts at one time.
With a new website, the store did more than just create a presence online – they created a true e-commerce platform that turned a small, local business into a national competitor. For less than $100 a month, Benjamin had a turnkey online shopping platform that worked flawlessly and seamlessly integrated into his core offline operations. Now, when he goes out for a bike ride, he’s always thinking about what else he can do next to really drive business success even higher.