Recently we have been flooded with enquiries to help get businesses affected by COVID-19 up-and-running with new solutions to continue making sales.
We were contacted by a catering business on Friday and over the weekend got their food home delivery service live for this morning. It is a simple solution — an online menu and an order form similar to a takeaway business — but it allows the company to continue to use their existing stock and stop it from expiring, and provide a service for their local community while driving revenue to cover ongoing costs.
Unlike other e-commerce platforms like where you are required to build a website within their platform, Ecwid is useful in that you can simply integrate products/services for purchase into your existing standalone (non e-commerce) website.
Ecwid is compatible with Square, Stripe, PayPal, and 50+ payment processor providers that accept credit cards and other online payment options. You can also continue to take offline payments such as cash on delivery, phone order, or cheques.
The major drawback with Ecwid is its lack of customisation, however if you know a bit of CSS you can get around some of the issues.
This type of integration will be useful for many businesses forced to close their doors, but their services could still be carried out in the community. For example:
- Hairdressers who could sell home hair appointments
- Pubs/Restaurants/Cafes offering takeaway food and beers
- Gyms offering live streaming workout or yoga sessions over YouTube (my wife joined in on one this morning!)
- Farm shops delivering food produce boxes
- Beer breweries might want to consider selling direct to consumer via Eebria, or use Ecwid on their own site
Of course there needs to be measures in place to avoid the spread of the virus such as ensuring the food is ‘non contact’ in the case of food establishments, ensuring that no parties are experiencing symptoms if meeting one-on-one, wearing protective gear, and so on.
In times like these businesses need to try new things, new avenues, and who knows — you might discover a new channel or revenue stream that will continue after the virus has blown over.