My Real World e-Commerce, Brick & Mortar Experience
You may ask, how can it be possible that a developer or even a consultant can guide you on building a successful, functional e-Commerce platform? Do they even have some business logic or experience running, understanding how a business or shop operate and function? Making claims to bring in more business or even enhancing processes and tools?
Here is the thing, apart from being a software developer and consultant, I do have actually real world business-, service delivery- & retail (brick and mortar) experience.
I started my career in corporate as a sales executive in the ICT sector. Later moved on to technician, network engineer and developer under the umbrella of my own businesses. I even acquired a few franchises in my lifetime, risking my money for financial gain, setting up actual brick and mortar shops.
In 2008, in the recession, we were the only IT Retail Store(was a new startup) to turn profits in our area, while others closed down or moved out, so yes we did great even in bad times. This continued for a couple of years until my interest shifted to software development services.
So my duties included almost everything when managing a business / shop, because if you don’t have your hand on almost every aspect of your business it will open up room for mistakes and you will lose money. The reason I am still “in business” even in these uncertain times. The other reason is that I also like to be involved in multiple aspects of a business, it creates a sense of satisfaction, completeness, wholeness, enjoyment as I will get pretty bored doing one thing the whole day. Some days or even a full week will require full-time development, but I will try to balance it out with a few hours doing other related work to keep the energy flowing.
Past Brick and Mortar Shop(s)
Almost all my duties, responsibilities, processes did include the following.
Setting up shop
Include design, construction, implementation of the shop interior. Building the shop furniture, that included display cabinets, tables, installation of signage and many more. Mostly with helping hands, but involved in every process.
Setting up everything, technical, from the till systems in the front of the store, to the accounting server, the phone PBX server, file servers in the back. Installation of the CCTV systems.
Managing and Involved in all areas of the business
Not just managing, but rolling up one’s sleeves and get your hands dirty.
- Managing stock
- Managing Suppliers
- Managing clients, relationships, the goals, any problems or issues, the expectations and the projects. Working closely with clients and businesses to meet their requirements.
- Technical Support.
- On-site Installations of Servers, CCTV systems, Networks, PC’s and peripherals.
- Managing the accounting, finances and accounts of the businesses.
- Design and development of marketing material. This included everything from huge teardrop flags, display signage, light boxes, vehicle signage, flyers, adds, the list goes on.
- Working with Advertisers.
- Designing, Development, Managing and Maintenance of the business’s websites.
- Designing, Development, Managing and Maintenance of the shop’s e-Commerce system and Websites.
My experience with e-commerce systems whereas follows. It started out designing and developing a few websites for clients, while still managing a retail outlet. The more I did it, the more I got interested, the more time I started to invest in web development.
2000 – 2007 : IT Sales & Service Delivery.
2008 – 2013 : e-Commerce & Retail experience from running own businesses. Systems of choice back then was Prestashop.
2014 – 2020 : Initially WooCommerce Support Ninja for Woothemes, now Automattic.
Then moved over to become a Certified Affiliated WooWorker, specialising in custom development of WooCommerce setups & WooCommerce plugins.
Later WooCommerce introduced an affiliated membership fee, which became insanely expensive ($5000+back on 2015) to maintain. Costs passed onto the customer, eventually. I decided to retract from their affiliation and fly solo to keep prices fair for my customers.
2020+ To this day I still support & develop e-commerce systems and continue to do so.
So if you require help in setting up your first online shop or help on an existing setup, please give me a shout. I will be more than happy to assist.