Keeping Generational Bonds: Rubena Royal’s Digital Transformation
For Rubena Royal owner Matthew Gonzalez, no one was able to match his mother when it came to personal care and style. He recounts her as a formidable person who cared for herself and passed her knowledge on to her children.
“Our Mom was a stylish, fashionable woman who always stayed up to date with natural remedies for hair and skin problems people of all ages had. She used to own her own businesses involving beauty products, which was her side hustle to her teaching career. I used to sit and watch her demonstrate how she used the hair and skin improvement products to improve her own beauty.”
To honour his mother's memory, Gonzalez chose to continue her mission under one of her names, Rubena, and her essence, Royal. Rubena Royal was created with the goal of sharing her knowledge with others. Gonzalez chose to embark on his digital transformation through the ShopHERE program powered by Google.
Gonzalez knew that the product was stellar, and to be able to communicate that effectively to customers, there needed to be an easily accessible way for people to engage with and buy Rubena Royal’s haircare and skincare products. He came to the ShopHERE program with the primary goal of setting up an e-Commerce store for this purpose, as well as receiving proper guidance around basic legal requirements and catering to the customer journey.
In partnership with his e-Commerce Coordinator at ShopHERE, Gonzalez was able to receive guidance in a meaningful way. Especially valuable was ensuring that his vision complimented e-Commerce best practices by taking into account things like visual clarity, the buyer's journey and SEO strategies.
“[The E-Commerce Coordinator] was honest and gave very constructive feedback from start to finish of the site yet still helping us bring our ideas to life.”
In conjunction to building out a website he was proud of, Gonzalez also received educational materials and training on digital marketing strategies, as well as methods for long-term goal setting. Gonzalez, with support from his e-Commerce Coordinator, spent time learning about digital marketing holistically and also worked to deduce what mattered most for his business.
“[The ShopHERE program] helps you focus on what’s important for your business online without clobbering your website with unnecessary distractions. [He found that] Google ads is the way to go for search traffic which is better than social media display ads [for his business]. Getting consistent traffic that amounts to a positive return on investment cash flow.”
Since launching his store through the ShopHERE program, Gonzalez has been able to carry on his mother's legacy, as well as offer his potential customers several options – such as local pick up or delivery. Having this flexibility with an online store was a major draw for him, and the personalized assistance was a bonus.
“Doing it all on your own and maintaining communication and follow ups with customers is a daunting task. I think [ShopHERE] an excellent program.”
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.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.