This year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced a $20 million support package to help small businesses digitally transition through developing and accessing digital strategies, skills training, and tools.
Digital Boost has been designed to make digitisation as accessible and comprehensive as possible for small business owners. Shopify has jumped on board to help many local entrepreneurs reach existing and new customers online.
Shaun Broughton, Regional Managing Director APAC, Shopify says digital transformation can be challenging, particularly for businesses that continue to struggle against the impacts of the pandemic.
“This is why the Digital Boost Initiative is a welcome and valuable step taken by the New Zealand government that will drive positive impact for SMEs and help businesses get back on their feet,” he says.
“Through digital enablement, small businesses can better access the resources and incentives they need to succeed and keep the economy moving.”
The initial planning phase for an online store can be as simple as outlining the goals and objectives of the business, and determining which channels will be used to sell products.
Merchants can use Shopify to choose how they want to present their website and organise their products. Other logistics, including necessary tax and shipping costs, can also be added directly via the platform.
“Shopify’s end-to-end platform for ecommerce management makes it easy for merchants to adapt and customise their website to their needs, and reach consumers via the channels and marketing tools that best suit their preferred customer experiences,” says Broughton.
For any businesses that sign up for the Digital Boost programme, Shopify is offering:
- An extended 30 day trial on Shopify
- An exclusive Digital Boost four-week Shopify Bootcamp, designed to enable small businesses to set up the proper processes and channels for their online business
- Two months of free subscription credits for businesses that sign up to and graduate from the Shopify Bootcamp
Shopify’s bootcamp helps guide merchants and entrepreneurs through the entire process of setting up an e-commerce business. Merchants will learn how to add and organise products, choose themes for the site, manage orders, shipping and payments, and basically be equipped with everything they need to get their site up and running.
Broughton says for many industries, the landscape has evolved for the long-term, and digital enablement is crucial for businesses to survive and thrive throughout these changes.
“Through digital enablement in 2020, 13,000 jobs were created through Shopify businesses and nearly $3.4 billion in economic activity from merchants on Shopify in New Zealand.
“The numbers are proof that empowering businesses with the technologies needed to pivot operations to stay relevant is the key to driving positive economic impact.”
Even after what was a transformative year for the retail industry, changes in consumer behaviours and demands will continue to shift the dial. Retailers are increasingly exploring new channels, as social media platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest expand their ecommerce capabilities to help merchants better reach their customers.
It is a prime time for merchants across the country to use data efficiently and leverage the right mediums to set themselves apart from competition and meet customer needs as they evolve.