Navigating the cool waters of a pandemic

Posted by Sean McKenna on

The decision to expand what this business can offer to my current customers, and hopefully allow my business to grow with new customers, was made many years ago. But, brainstorming ideas for an expanding business are the shallow end. Safe. Easy to maneuver. Access to stairs if you need to exit. Putting those plans into action felt more like wading into the deep end.

That said, there are a number of factors that made the decision to open an online store feasible.

  • It was within my skill set.
  • It allowed me to expand the business without significant risk.
  • It was manageable without excess staff or resources (unlike a brick and mortar location).
  • It seemed like a unique opportunity to expand what I can offer while leveraging what I know
  • Online shopping is growing exponentially in Canada

The growth of online shopping in Canada had finally started to gain traction in the last couple of years after having been successfully adopted throughout the rest of the world. Then the pandemic arrived and catapulted online shopping into the stratosphere. This seemed an opportune situation for an online start-up as many traditional shoppers were being forced to change how they ‘bought stuff’. It also meant that brick and mortar businesses had to pivot quickly and as a result ‘curbside pickup’ will likely be found in the newest Webster’s Dictionary.

The pandemic has created the perfect storm to convert foot traffic into web traffic. Unfortunately the storm brought some other unintended consequences. Many industries are seeing overwhelming demand and the swimming pool and hot tub industry is not immune. That intense demand has lead to supply chain issues and stock shortages. Last season there were many products that were virtually non-existent by the time the pool season started. This phenomenon has spilled into 2021.

What are the consequences for the online store ? It means that certain products are again non-existent. In some cases items have been temporarily removed from the store. It has caused multiple price increases in a little over a year. It also means that the ability to purchase items directly through the site has been temporarily halted. It felt more comfortable to handle inquiries about product availability before customers were asked for payment. We are still fulfilling plenty of orders and would be happy to help you with anything you are looking for – you’ll just need to get in touch to confirm it’s available!

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