Shopify is dedicated to supporting independent businesses during these challenging times and is actively looking for ways to alleviate the pressure COVID-19 has placed on entrepreneurs.
Two weeks ago, we launched several updates and support resources in response to the pandemic, including offering our gift cards feature on all plans and extending our free trial to 90 days, with much more to follow.
At the same time, Shopify Partners have quickly sprung into action to help business owners find safe harbor. The Shopify Partner ecosystem is made up of third-party commerce experts who help people successfully realize their entrepreneurial vision. They’re often entrepreneurs themselves, who build apps and offer services like web design, development, store setup, and marketing strategy.
We’re highlighting three places where you can connect with these Shopify experts and access the services, products, and resources they’re currently offering to help businesses navigate COVID-19.
1. Shopify App Store
The Shopify App Store is a marketplace where you can find tools that will help you grow your business.
It’s particularly helpful if you already have a store built with Shopify but are looking to upgrade your business to respond to the current times better and quickly.
Our app store features over 3,700 apps that can help you add new functionality and features to your business, like designing custom banners, editing product images, or managing your shipping options, just to name a few.
We’ve curated four new collections of apps we think will be most helpful to entrepreneurs in response to the demands of COVID-19.
- Set up your online store: This list of apps includes solutions that can help when you need to move your offline store online. Whether you own a restaurant and want to embed a menu on your website, need help better managing your online inventory, or are in search of a tool that will set up a landing page fast, these apps will help you get there.
- Sell more online: If you’re looking to increase online sales, this list can help. Through marketing, upselling, bundling, and pre-orders, these apps will help you find new ways to generate sales online and maintain your cash flow.
- Communicating with customers: Staying in touch with your customers is more important than ever in this new reality. These apps range from helping you set up a blog to better share your brand story to adding a live chat functionality that better supports your customers as they shop.
- Delivery and pickups: Many retailers are pivoting toward offering custom shipping options, as well as arranging local pickups or drop-offs for their customers. This list of apps can help with tasks like presetting delivery times or making it easier for buyers to understand shipping rates.
2. Shopify Experts Marketplace
The Shopify Experts Marketplace gives entrepreneurs the ability to browse experts by the services they provide. You can also create a job and receive proposals from Shopify-recommended experts, regardless of whether your store is already built on Shopify or you’re just getting started online (if you are just starting out, you can be matched to a trusted freelancer or agency that can help).
If you’re a new business owner looking for a guiding hand you can trust to set up your online store, the Experts Marketplace is a good place to start.
Alternatively, for those long-standing retailers who are moving quickly to get their businesses online, hiring an expert can help you work more efficiently. Experts can also help address the complex and unique needs your established business might have and help you translate them for online success.
We’ve created a collection of services in response to COVID-19 on the Experts Marketplace where you can connect directly with top-rated Shopify Experts ready to help you adapt to the current climate.
Categories of helpful services provided by experts include:
- Move from in-store to online selling: This list of top rated experts can help you expand your sales by adding an online presence to your already existing retail business. Whether setting up an entirely new website or adding Buy buttons to an already existing landing page, these experts can lend a hand.
- Get set up to sell gift cards online: Get set up to sell gift cards online and continue making sales while in-person selling is slower.
- Set up a loyalty program: These experts can help you encourage repeat customers by offering rewards and building brand loyalty.
- Sales channel setup and optimization: Set up and configure one or more sales channels so you can start selling through social media and mobile apps.
- Configure shipping settings: Experts with the know-how to help you set up shipping options such as curbside pickup, local delivery, shipping zones, and shipping rates.
- Store setup guidance: Get a website audit and recommended actions for improving your store setup, such as optimizing your collections, installing recommended apps, and other steps to get ready for selling.
3. Shopify Partner Offers
Over the past few weeks, Shopify Partners—who are often small business owners themselves—have rallied to help independent businesses around the world quickly respond and adapt to the changing circumstances of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Partner Offers discussion board was created in response to this incredible outpouring of support and generosity by the partner community. It’s a partner-driven initiative that helps quickly highlight the variety of offers available to entrepreneurs at this time.
These offers range from valuable educational resources and how-tos to extended trial periods and discounted services.
- How it works: The Partner Offers board is listed on the Shopify Community forums. Scroll through the offers being made and search using terms more specific to your needs. For example, use terms like “offer gift card set up,” “move online France,” “store build package,” or “app discount.” If you see an offer you are interested in, be sure to follow the instructions provided in the post for the best way to redeem.
Shopify experts can help
Whether you’re looking for something as simple as a free tutorial on how to set up curbside pick up or you need a more involved expert to move your entire business online, Shopify Partners are here to help.
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This article originally appeared in the Shopify blog and has been published here with permission.