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Marketing | April 30th, 2020
Local businesses make a community great. And we want to show our support for the people around us that have made Invercargill and the Southland region a fantastic place to live. To show this support, we’ve created a new online platform called We are Local where local businesses can have a mini storefront to sell their goods and services to customers. Building a custom website, especially an e-commerce one, can take a long time and a lot of resources to do right. We are Local aims to make it more accessible to local businesses that can’t commit to a full website yet but still want to sell online.
We are Local also doubles as a directory for local businesses in the Southland area. There are hundreds of local businesses in Southland, and we hope that We are Local will help Southlanders connect with businesses that support the community. So what can you find on the We are Local website, and how exactly does it work?
If you’re looking to buy from a local business, We are Local is the right place for you. Each registered business gets their own dedicated page that you can find on the Partners page. Stores are listed alphabetically, so it’s easy to find a specific business if there’s a particular one that you’re looking for.
Not sure which business you need or don’t know the name? Along with the default alphabetical sorting, you can also go through the list of categories and sort from there. Some of the categories include Automotive, Health and Beauty, Photography, Real Estate, and more. As more businesses join, more categories could be added later on too, so check back often!
To buy from one of the Partners on the site, simply find the business you want and then pick the product. From there, you can check out by clicking the cart at the top of the page. Note that at this time, you can only buy from one Partner at a time, so if you want to buy from more than one business, you’ll need to do a separate transaction for each. This is because the money goes straight to the vendor, and each vendor has their own rules for shipping and delivery. Payments can be made through Stripe, a secure payment method for credit or debit cards, and some vendors may allow for cash on delivery.
With current Alert Level restrictions, deliveries and pickups will need to be contactless. More options may be available when the lockdown level is lowered, and individual vendors may choose to update these then.
Along with listed products, you can also buy a voucher for individual vendors to use in their store. If you’re looking for something specific that’s not available online yet, you can still support the business and buy what you’re looking for with the voucher anytime.
If you’re thinking of joining We are Local as a local business, you can do so from the registration page. After paying the small cost for setup, your individual store will be set up with your first set of products. This helps to cover the setup time to make the store live. Once it’s ready, you’ll be given a personal login to access your store and add as many products as you’d like–there’s no limit!
We are Local doesn’t charge a monthly fee either. Besides the small transaction fee, it’s free to sell products as well. With no limits, you can get as much out of the platform as you put into it!
Right now, shipping will need to be set up individually by each business. You can also opt for a pick-up service so customers can come to you once their order is ready.
If your business provides services where costs are different depending on the details you get from your customers, at first glance, it might seem like you can’t get much out of We are Local. But there are actually several benefits, including:
We are Local is a little bit different than your typical e-commerce site. If you’re still a bit confused about how everything works or simply want some clarification, head over to the FAQs.Back