Lockdown but not shutdown

Yep, this coronavirus has well and truly whipped our arses. Like so many independents out there, when news hit that our little shop would need to temporarily close, we thought the very worst. Being a small business with tight margins, we couldn’t really allow ourselves too much of a pause, and with no furlough in sight, we had to decide PDQ what would be our course of action.

Refusing to roll over, we knew the only option was to fully embrace the digital way and so we are delighted to announce now that our shop is fully online and trading continues. Woo hoo!

Arse Antiques – 1, coronavirus – 0.

In honour of our virtual opening, we thought we’d share with you the process of setting up an online shop. It was  something we have been considering for some time, but we’ve always enjoyed selling face-to-face and love the interaction with our customers. Instagram has been very kind to us and we’ve traded well thanks to that, but now we’ve gone all grown up and are proud owners of little white on the posts (that means you can buy via our posts).

Let us tell you more and hope to convince you through our easy step by step guide below that lockdown does not have to mean shutdown for you either.

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(Frantic disclaimer interjected here: we are not techies, so pls use as a guide only and don’t hold us responsible for glitches, annoying IT issues or anything like that. .. Ok?)

1. To start an Instagram shop, you first need a Facebook shop (this is because Instagram pulls your info from Facebook to create your Instagram shop) so make sure you have FB business account.

2. Add a “shop” section to your FB page and wait one week for approval from Facebook that you are legit.

3. When approved, you can upload your product photos and info.

4. Assuming you have a business account on Instagram, request approval for an instagram shop, and wait one week for approval.

5. Once approved, link your Facebook shop with your Instagram shop.

6. Choose a payment system- we opted for PayPal. It is important to note that ALL TRANSACTIONS ARE PROCESSED VIA FACEBOOK but the interface with Instagram suggests to the customer that they are buying via Instagram.

7. We then linked Instagram to our own website via our Facebook shop (there are several options at this point but this was our preferred). This then moves the customer around sites seemingly seamlessly so that they don’t wander off during what seems to be a seemingly unseemless set up process. See?

8. Customer thinks they are buying from www.arseantiques.co.uk but in fact they have unknowingly travelled half way around the World Wide Web via here there and everywhere.

9. Relax and know that the customer doesn’t mind where they have virtually bypassed as all customer wants is that amazing one-off antique treasure and is happy to part with cash via trusted PayPal. So frankly happy days.

10. Drink wine before, after and during this process and definitely consider getting tech wizard on board to help.

Well, with those gems of technical know-how under your belt, we very much look forward to welcoming you to the virtual high street and wish you every luck with your new e commerce adventure. We are loving the new approach and have been pleasantly surprised not only by how easy it is to manage but also by the volume of sales already processed. So come on over – it’s definitely worth being arsed.

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