Reaching a Larger Customer-Base by Moulding an Online Business
Teresa Dunlop Ceramics is a perfect example of a business that leveraged the surge in online shopping these past few years by signing up for the ShopHERE powered by Google program and increasing sales through her online store. Once she obtained her diploma in Craft and Design (Ceramics) at Sheridan College, Teresa Dunlop moved on to gain experience in making ceramics at the Ceramic Studio at the Harbourfront Centre located in Toronto, Ontario. After gaining three years of experience in creating finely crafted ceramics, she opened her first ceramics studio in 2017 located in the Town of Newmarket, in the Regional Municipality of York.
Dunlop was inspired by the elementary students she worked with while she was a teacher and their creative exploration of materials. Apart from running her own ceramics studio, Dunlop offers ceramics workshops, presentations, and demonstrations all year round.
The ShopHERE program was able to provide Dunlop with the support she needed to implement eCommerce for Teresa Dunlop Ceramics after the COVID-19 pandemic caused many businesses such as hers to temporarily halt the operations of their brick-and-mortars.
“I had looked into redoing my old website and felt overwhelmed. I considered hiring a web designer; however, with the severe loss of revenue caused by COVID this was not possible. Then I found the ShopHERE Program and suddenly I was able to learn and to build a viable online store and current website.”
After signing up for the ShopHERE program, Dunlop was connected with an eCommerce Coordinator who helped build the foundations of her online store, connected her social media, and optimized the site for search engines, all of which further increased the number of visits to her online store.
“It was really great to find this affordable program that has allowed me to develop an up-to-date online presence. The way the program has been designed has allowed me to learn and I am now confident that I will be able to maintain the site and the store on my own and that when I have problems, I know who to contact to find solutions.”
By working with her assigned eCommerce Coordinator, Dunlop got to venture through the pathways of running her own online business, and the more she made updates to her store, the easier it got. She was able to take a step back from creating in order to develop her online store, product photography, shipping, and other aspects of her business that are related to eCommerce.
“The marketplace has changed. Many people like to do their shopping from the comfort of their office or home. As small business owners we need to adapt to this new reality and to streamline our business so that customers can find us and choose our products/services. ShopHERE is a step towards developing a viable way of connecting with the public.”
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunlop was able to continue running her business with the help of the ShopHERE program and her eCommerce Coordinator, by establishing an online presence for Teresa Dunlop Ceramics.
To browse Dunlop’s collection of ceramics, or get in touch with her about upcoming workshops, presentations, and demonstrations, visit this link here. For more information on ShopHERE, or to apply for the program, visit this link 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, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
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.