AccelerateLA Ecommerce Initiative
I was so excited when I found out that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development announced the ‘AccelerateLA Ecommerce Initiative’. This program, presented in conjunction with Shopify LA, will offer a series of workshops designed to equip business owners with ecommerce strategies and tools at Shopify’s new downtown LA location. In addition to workshops, Shopify will offer one-on-one consultation and product prototyping to help entrepreneurs start and build ecommerce business models such as ecommerce for manufacturers, print on demand, point of sale, and website audits. Did you know that 79% of Americans shop online but only 45% of businesses have a website? What are they missing out on? In 2017, ecommerce was responsible for around $2.3 trillion in sales and is expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021 (according to a Statista report). In the US alone, ecommerce represents almost 10% of retail sales and that number is expected to grow by nearly 15% each year!
Why do I love Shopify?
Anyone that knows me, can attest to the fact that I am a complete geek. So the idea of being able to go to Shopify’s first flagship store had me feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. As a web designer I often advise any clients that sell products like clothing boutiques, or that have a tee shirt brands to use this platform. This is why:
-Shopify was always created to be an ecommerce solution. So it wasn’t created as a website solution with an ecommerce plugin. It was always an ecommerce solution for business owners. They are always updating features and rolling out the latest in tech.
-You can add plugins that vary from marketing to shipping and chat boxes. They are easy to install.
-You can add staff accounts and the back end is usually so easy to use that training others isn’t overwhelming.
-Shopify also intergrates with social media so you can sell products easily on platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.
-24/7 customer support and if you are in LA you can actually schedule a free 45 minute appointment with a Shopify Guru.
-You can use Shopify gateways to charge people online and they offer various products to be used in person. They have POS systems and card readers.
-Shopify can handle large inventory really easily. You can even enter products via an excel sheet and upload multiple products at once.
-Great SEO that is easy to use gets you noticed by search engines.
-Overall it’s a great solution that is easy to use and low cost. You also don’t need alot of tech knowledge to get going.
So what exactly did they cover? This opening reception was great for anyone who is new to Shopify. It was held at their new headquarters in Downtown LA. Upon walking in we registered, received some handtouts from the city of LA, and an awesome Shopify 10x planner. I found a seat and then went to check out some of the drinks and food they had to offer. They also had a display of POS systems and card readers. Once the presentation got started a city official shared with us a bit about the initiative by the city. She even let us know about receiving a tax exception with the city of LA if your business makes less than $100,000 a year. Once she finished up a Shopify guru walked us through setting up a store for the first time. The demo took about 45 mins. They of course had photos ready to go as well as content for the most part. Nevertheless we were able to understand how quickly we can put a Shopify store together. Afterwards they did a Q and A session to answer some questions.
When is the next one?
The city of LA has decided to sponsor 3 more workshops at Shopify. You can RSVP for them below:
January 22nd, 2019
AccelerateLA Ecommerce Initiative-Session 2
Dropshipping & Print on Demand
February 5th, 2019
AccelerateLA Ecommerce Initiative-Session 3
Organic & Social Media Marketing
February 19th, 2019
AccelerateLA Ecommerce Initiative-Session 4
Growing Your Ecommerce Business
If you plan on attending send me a DM on Instagram @iambrandiec or come an say hi! I hope you take advantage of this program.
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