How to create an online hardware store?
A guide to creating a new online hardware store business online or opening an online outlet for an existing company.
Every month there are new business owners who are seeking to create websites online. While it is commonly understood that trades and construction-related businesses are overrepresented in quarterly business creation statistics and therefore we are assisting many of them weekly in creating their first websites. What is slightly less anticipated, although very logical, is that there would be a large amount of hardware and construction supply stores also looking to move some of their product trading operations online.
Just like their offline counterparts, not all online hardware eCommerce stores are the same either. We see a range of business owners from ex-tradesmen and women, through to very rural owners who supply construction or small trades products as part of their offering, in some cases, primarily there to serve rural or farm-based trade’s needs. In other cases, you have long-standing, sole proprietor-owned hardware shops that are worried about the implications of allowing online purchases whilst wanting to maintain their “look and feel” that their long-term, loyal customers are used to experiencing in-store.
Less often, you will get larger multi-chain hardware stores looking to go online through our platform, but that is only because of the administrative and policy realities behind an entity of their size and the custom requirements that come with it – typically they are better-off engaging custom professional website developers.
For all of the cases except for the latter forementioned, you would be very well suited to try Dazzly when considering which website builder platform to start selling hardware products online on. Having a large existing customer-base of tradies including: builders, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, and other specialised contractors, makes us well placed to understand your end-customers and how to convey your brand message and experience (whether new or pre-existing) to them. Hopefully, we have some customers in your local state that we can refer to your online construction product store presence.
The main considerations when opening an online hardware store are the ability to manage stock and ensure that customers can have a good experience when placing a pick-up order. A big consideration regarding this is the ability for customers to pay online or in-store, as well as having various options for payment and local delivery. Fortunately, with Dazzly, you don’t need to endure the stressful experience of shopping around for ‘plugins’ or quotes for ‘custom web development’, our website builder solution contains the ability to take online payments as well as dispersing an order confirmation which confirms an in-store pick-up confirmation. This functionality, known as ‘Click & Collect’ has been used to great-effect by retail customers experiencing lockdowns and other restrictions caused by the COVID-19 virus (https://www.businessinsider.com/click-and-collect-industry-trends).
The next big considerations are the ability to easily manage stock. With Dazzly, managing your eCommerce store is aligned with our ‘make it easy’ mantra. It is just SO easy. You simply click on ‘Products’ and can see a list of existing Products with the ability to search for or update any individual Product in your stock. Furthermore, updating Stock Levels is as easy as selecting your preferred Stocktake method (no stocktake, or a simple quantity system) and then updating it as appropriate to the nature and turn-over of your inventory – its all under your control! We even support the ability to sell unique, vintage or one-off products! Need to add another category of Product to your online hardware products menu? No problem – just select ‘Product Category’, and click the green button to ‘Add’ a new Category. Following that you can simply assign the ‘Category’ to the 1st construction product in your new range when you create it (or assign to a previously created Product).
On that note, do you have a Product announcement coming up? Our Articles work great for that. You can pre-type every detail about your latest Product and set the Product to ‘Hide’ which will mean that it is hidden from website visitors until the announcement date. Having an Article on the new Product (in addition to its own page) will help improve your website’s presence on search engines when end-trades customers search for related keywords.
In addition to covering the major considerations, Dazzly also works great no matter which device you use it for. So if you’re delivering some timber, nails or other hardware consumables to a building site, you can snap-off a photo of your truck deliver and the happy customer getting their goods and immediately put it out on your website with an accompanying message – this is because Dazzly is a mobile website builder and will work on any device, in any location in the world! Even if you don’t have an internet connection, using our Progressive Web App (PWA), Dazzly will intelligently store your changes until you come back into internet connectivity, at which time you will be able to publish them on your website.
With Dazzly, you can have your hardware store trading online in no time, it’s incredibly easy, made for all skill levels and computer competency, and will build and improve your local brand presence online rather than detracting from it. In fact, a local building products store owner, has found that many of his customers preferred to leave him short contact messages via his website than dropping into the store for some items where they didn’t necessarily need to go in-person or consume their time by calling on the phone.
With adopting any technology, you never know the full benefits to your business until many months following it being a part of your day-to-day business. Only then can you listen to customer feedback and evaluate the financial results of what you’ve undertaken. Thankfully with Dazzly, with founders Marcus Feeney and Lewis Anderson having many years of experience operating and advising businesses of all sizes with their website creation and management needs, you have all that experience and understanding built into a fantastic, easy-to-use piece of software that is helping hardware businesses around the world sell more quality products to their local customers – and even attract new ones. We’ve already got the customers and experience to know it works, so we urge you to give it a try and find out the difference that it can make for your business!
With a no-credit card required, free 14-day trial, you have nothing to lose.
For online construction stores we recommend you use the eCommerce Store 2 template and sign-up for Stripe for payment processing (all taken care of within Dazzly). You may also want to consider whether you can offer your customers Buy Now Pay Later services via Afterpay (again, you can set this all up within Dazzly), as this may be applicable to some of your products and is an attractive, modern option that may help further differentiate you from the other local store competition in your region.
Another point of consideration is whether you currently own your domain name and have an email address operating on that domain name. For any store that is concerned regarding the ‘look and feel’ of their website and that it continues to uphold the service and experience that customers (new and old alike) are used to in-store are encouraged to register a domain name within Dazzly – that will mean that the website go-live process is automated, it is very easy and removes hassle from putting that live. Further to this, it means we can also offer you custom email hosting services within Dazzly too!
In conclusion, regardless of whether you’re a new or pre-existing hardware store, Dazzly is an excellent, cost-efficient option to launch your product selling channel online whilst getting used to operating selling products over the internet and maintaining your brand and feel at the same time. We offer a Pay Monthly and Pay Yearly plan, as well as domain registration and custom email hosting services.
Check out our latest pricing plans today – https://www.dazzly.co/en-US/pricing
We hope to see you experiencing the difference of using Dazzly website builder to open your hardware store online today!