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Businesses shift online to stay afloat during pandemic
KITCHENER -- Bringing a brick and mortar store online has become the new reality for many store owners during the pandemic.
Denise Huck, co-owner of Colour Paradise Greenhouse in Mannheim, says they usually see about 1,000 customers a day this time of year.
The business is also currently handling about 1,000 varieties of plants in full bloom.
In May, Colour Paradise usually takes in 95 per cent of their sales for the year.
Customers can now only place orders via email or over the phone.
“It’s better than having the doors shut completely,” said Huck.
While garden centres are deemed an essential service and allowed to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, Huck says they’d rather play it safe.
Colour Paradise plans to launch a new website with hundreds of shopping options later in the week.
The owner of The Woo Shop, a metaphysical supply store in Puslinch, says sales online sales have gone up 50 per cent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a learning curve when it comes to using these tech tools,” said Emma Smallstone. “But Google and YouTube are your friend.”
Entrepreneurship expert Felix Arndt, a professor at the University of Guelph, says the learning curve isn’t the only challenge.
“Suddenly you are a small business up against all these big services that have these international supply chains,” he said. “It is so difficult to build a new customer base in such a time.”
Arndt adds that business owners should consider social media their friend as more people are at home on their devices.