Making The Transition From U.S. Distributors To An Online Store
Pharma Essentials had ambitious plans for distribution in the United States involving store, hospital and pharmacy visits. When COVID-19 struck, the founder Nancy Haddadin applied to the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program to create her online store instead. Now delicious and healthy gummy vitamins can be purchased in one-click as Pharma Essentials expands its online presence and looks for more partners.
Before founding Pharma Essentials in 2013, Nancy, a B.Sc. Pharmacy graduate and MBA-Marketing holder, worked in the Pharmaceutical industry in Jordan. With her passion for well-being, she started the business and contacted a leading manufacturer in the U.S. to order just five variations of gummy vitamins. Nancy always believed in the demand for her gummies as they contain no gelatin and are free of pork ingredients and alcohol: “My gummy vitamins are made with natural colours and flavours. They are also delicious and easy to chew!” With this formula, her vitamins suit vegans and vegetarians, as well as those with different dietary restrictions.
With Pharma Essentials, Nancy hopes to increase awareness about the required daily nutrients for adults and the elderly. “Many people are not getting enough nutrients from food because they either don't eat enough fruits and vegetables or they have certain ailments that restrict their daily intake of nutrients, so gummy vitamins are the solution for them,” explained Nancy. “Some people also hate swallowing pills so our gummy vitamins were made to be easy to chew and swallow.” Customers can choose from the gummy vitamins with Biotin, which will help them to get strong hair, skin and nails, or the “Kids Multivitamin” gummy bears which contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals to support healthy growth and development, and improved brain functionality.
COVID-19 changed Nancy’s initial business plans and the online store became the best solution. “COVID- 19 has changed our lifestyle so it’s better and safer for people to buy online than to go to stores,” said the entrepreneur. The ShopHERE Program proved to be exactly what Nancy needed to pivot her business: “The Program is very beneficial to people who are planning to sell online because it will introduce them to Shopify and guide them on how to use the store.” Nancy also mentioned that her Helper made the process very straightforward.
“My eCommerce, Marian, helped me create my website and taught me how to use the platform. She was always prepared, cooperative and very professional.”
Although eCommerce can seem challenging, Nancy found setting up an online store exciting. “I found the process very interesting and liked the design of my website, it’s so easy to use!” said the founder. Since the launch, Pharma Essentials has been attracting more customers and the business has been working on its digital marketing to increase awareness.
“With the online store, I can reach more people through advertising but the biggest challenge is competition. It’s hard to compete with large companies because of their prices.”
Nancy believes that small business owners should apply to the ShopHERE Program: “Many businesses find it difficult to create their online store or to develop their website. ShopHERE will introduce them to the Shopify platform and make their dreams come true.” Check out Pharma Essentials’ gummies to see how Nancy achieved her dream website.
If you’re a small business owner or know someone who would be interested in participating in the ShopHERE Program, learn more about it here.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.