It's Time to Go Digital
There are many ways to sell your products and service online. Strategies for how to get started will vary based on your industry and products. The best way to get started is to start, however that looks for your business.
We’ve listed some resources below to help get you started, and invite you to call on us for advice as you need it. We’re here for you Kingston. Please contact our Digital Business Advisor, Chris Morris for a free virtual consultation to help you get started with website, social media, e-commerce, digital marketing, and more.
If you are looking to build an e-commerce site, there are a number of resources available:
- Shopify is offering free 90-day trials, local pickup and delivery options, the ability to sell gift cards, and 24/7 support to help you at anytime. Check out the step-by-step guide to creating a simple Shopify store where customers can buy online and pickup curbside.
- Carissa Cosgrove, the Local Community Manager for Shopify in Kingston is offering support, training and 1:1 appointments to help get you set up. Head to Shopify Kingston to learn more and sign up for events and email updates.
Some things to consider before getting started
For Existing Businesses:
- Your capacity to ship at a competitive rate, or your ability to offer local pickup or delivery.
- Will you still be doing e-commerce when regular business resumes. If so, how will your e-commerce integrate with your physical location?
- If you are an existing Shopify merchant, learn how to add curbside pickup. There is also a quick video about this service.
- Learn more about what Shopify is doing to help their merchants navigate the effects of COVID-19.
- 1dea is offering a full e-commerce design and build for $1000.
- Distantly allows locals to support your business from a distance.
- Tazwiz with a business model that supports entrepreneurs & SME’s by connecting them to local students and professionals to complete tasked-based work. After its initial fund raise, Tazwiz has further offered to set aside $500 in Tazwiz credits for a Kingston company, up to 125 companies located in Kingston.
For New Businesses:
- Once you’ve picked a business name, check to see that the domain and social media handles you would like to use are available. Consider securing these as soon as possible even if you’re not going to use them right away.
- Register your business name.
- Are your prospective suppliers able to provide you with goods over the next few months?
- Are you able to deliver or ship at a competitive rate?
For help getting your business started, our small business team is here to help.
Build Your Digital Presence
It's more important now than ever to have a strong digital presence.
At Kingston EcDev, we have free resources available to Kingston area businesses to help with your social media channels, digital marketing, website, SEO (search engine optimization), Google My Business, and more.
Whether you're an existing digital business or you're ready to make the transformation, we're here for you!
The world is coming together in many ways to support each other during this challenging time. Here are some great resources to get you started.
- Digital Main Street has put together a Digital Starter Kit for Small Businesses. They also offer free training videos on all things digital marketing: web design, email marketing, social media marketing, e-commerce, local SEO, and much more!
- Facebook will be offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. They have offered additional tips in their Business Resource Hub. Support Kingston is offering free Facebook advertising services.
- Google Ads is giving $340 million in ad credits to small and medium-sized businesses who have been active advertisers since at least the beginning of 2019. There are also further details about their other initiatives to support SMBs.
- Mailchimp is giving $10 million in Mailchimp service to small business customers who want to continue using Mailchimp’s platform but need some financial support during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Storyvine is offering free video templates to help with getting your message out.
- HelpForMyRestaurant.com has a comprehensive 'digital survival kit' for restaurants and bars.
- BlackBerry is offering a range of security, communication and productivity solutions – free of charge for a 60-day period.
- Siteground is offering web hosting for $0.99 for three months.
- Livescale has opened its social media live streaming to everyone for free.
- Ubersuggest has added more options to their free plan for keyword research and SEO analyzer platform.
- Offline2on is a global initiative empowering retailers, wholesalers and merchants during COVID-19 through small business e-commerce resources and support.
Promote Your Online Presence
There are a number of amazing community resources available to let the public know about your business. We recommend reaching out to each of these organizations to get your business listed for free!
- Love Kingston
- Visit Kingston
- Downtown Kingston! BIA
- Kingston Delivers
- Buy Local.ly
- Foodie Pages
- Inspire Local
- How to market your brand on social media during a crisis - Buffer
- Six strategies for Facebook and Instagram ads during the COVID-19 pandemic - Wordstream
- How to communicate sensitively during a crisis - Constant Contact
- SEO Guidebook - Spark
Build a website without e-commerce.
If e-commerce isn't right for you at the moment, but you still need a website, here are some tools to get you started.
Wordpress - Wordpress is dynamic and powerful, but it's not always the best option for novices. Pricing varies depending on hosting.
Squarespace - Squarespace is great for simple sites, powerful sites, and e-commerce. Pricing starts at $12 USD per month.
Wix - Wix's pricing begins at $10 USD per month. They do offer free sites, but they don't look very professional, so we recommend not using the free option if you can help it.
Open Door Media is offering to upgrade websites and build e-stores, so that your business can keep thriving virtually. If business is slow at the moment, you have four months to pay.
ShopHERE provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away.
Interested in Digital Support?
Complete the form below and one of our Business Development Officers will contact you within one business day.
Workshops + EventsView All
There is a great deal to consider when you’re building a new website or redesigning an existing one.
Did you ever wonder what goes on at the dog grooming salon? Why when your dog gets a bath at the salon it turns out so much better?
Interested in learning how to fish or want to increase your angling know-how?
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on business and the economy.
These sessions will take place every Tuesday and every Thursday from 12 PM to 1 PM
Jill Cameron is a semi-professional Belly Dancer named Idris. Join her for an exercise session of basic drills and lots of fun.