Whether you have a Zombie Walk Costume Contest to win or a Birthday Party to throw Dakota Party is the place to go in Rapid City, South Dakota. Before PayGoCart with WooCommerce was released earlier this month, Dakota Party had a web presence and an online store. Dakota Party made the switch to WooCommerce to take advantage of the convenience and options PayGo with WooCommerce offers.
Does an independent brick-and-mortar store really need an online store too?
“I know from analytics that I am getting local traffic looking for me and my site online,” said Dakota Party owner, Jack Wellman. “My main theory with my site was to cater to people looking specifically for my store to shop. Although I will ship an item nearly anywhere, at this time, I look at my site as an extension of my brick-and-mortar store. I am not trying to ‘directly’ compete with the big boys like Amazon and others in my industry.”
At a recent trade show attended primarily by brick-and-mortar party store owners, websites were a topic of conversation. “At a minimum, we need a static site, but more and more of us are finding that customers are trying to click and see what we carry,” said Wellman about the discussion they had at the trade show.
When customers visit sites now, they expect to be able to click and see what a store carries. When they can’t, if a store is lucky they will receive a phone call from the customer trying to shop online informing them that their website doesn’t work. While the website may be working as the store owner expects, the customer is right. If the website isn’t providing the customer with the information she or he wants, it isn’t working. More and more customers want to know what is in your store before they take the time to drive or walk to it.
One of Wellman’s customers uses his site before making the 40-minute drive into town to shop. When he shut down his X-Cart4 site to upgrade, she e-mailed Jack asking, “Is this site not working correctly because I am unable to pull anything up to look at it?”
If customers can’t see what you have in your store and can’t count on the accuracy of your site, in-store sales may be harmed. It’s hard to prove without massive big-data analytics that are hard to come by without a tremendous investment. Wellman has a theory on it though, “If I have a website, and only have say 50% of my products online, will a customer still call or stop in, or will they just move on? My thought is it could be a little of both, especially with the ease and scope of searching and ordering online in today’s market.”
Wellman’s thoughts on making the switch from PayGo’s module with X-Cart to PayGoCart with WooCommerce:
- PayGoCart’s update with Woo is definitely much better as the brick-and-mortar store is able take care of departments and products directly within PayGo (assuming your web store is installed and configured).
- Less work and training if I would like my staff to help with items, because there’s no need to go the website admin (back-end) to manage most of the features with your products. There are a couple of other little features that may still need done online, but 99% of the work with items is handled in PayGo.
- X-Cart was good and worked fairly well, but since my conversion, I have grown to really like WooCommerce much better. Since it’s open source and based on WordPress, I have found many plug-ins to make Woo work the way I would like.
- Although X-Cart’s support was responsive for me, any issue, customization, etc. had to be resolved with X-Cart support. So far, I have been able to solve my Woo issues myself without using Woo Support. Regarding this same discussion, there are many developers that would be able to work on my store for me when the time comes to add/change my store.
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