BenGil residents will soon be able to order products from local merchants 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from a new on-line e-commerce website called www.shopgpie.com.
G-Pie Media, LLC, is putting the final touches on an e-commerce platform that will allow small communities, much like Gillespie and Benld, the ability to allow their brick and mortar businesses to create virtual storefronts and sell products on the web. Every storefront will be hosted and displayed on one site, much like a shopping mall.
According to one of the founders, T.J. Allan, “Within the next 5 years, if your small business doesn’t have a web presence, it won’t have a presence at all. And now with the explosion of Facebook and web 2.0, your web presence needs to do more than just act like a billboard. It needs interactivity, and the ability to sell products directly from your site. Your customers are on-line. You need to be too. The question for small businesses in small communities becomes, ‘Do we need an individual website?’ We don’t think you do. We don’t think you need to worry about merchant accounts, hosting, and other technology-related issues with individual websites. The ROI doesn’t make sense. Instead, we think you need to feed off of the traffic from other local merchants much like a shopping mall, and have as little headaches as possible from selling on-line. ”
G-Pie Media, LLC, a locally owned company, has spent the last 16 months creating the e-commerce platform. “It should be a win-win-win-win situation. Customers can now shop at local brick and mortar stores from the comfort of their home whenever they like. Local merchants should see an increase in sales with their new ‘open hours’, while also benefit from the efficiency of selling on-line. Local governments should see an increase in sales tax revenue, and hopefully an increase in the number of new businesses that transition from at-home businesses to brick and mortar businesses. And hopefully our beta testing in the BenGil area and a few other local communities will show positive traction and allow us to launch nationally while keeping our headquarters in Gillespie.”
G-Pie Media was initially founded in 2010, and incorporated in 2011. While it’s based out of Gillespie, two cofounders, the CTO and the head of marketing, currently reside in New York. This is the first of two SaaS applications they plan to launch in 2012. “The CTO has worked at two technology startups during the last two years, Bookish and Teledoc. He’s been programming since he’s been 12 years old, and even created a social network for fitness enthusiasts by himself. Our other founder currently works for a major marketing company based in NYC. We’ve been communicating ever day on-line for the last 16 months. It’s allowed us to keep our current jobs, but still pursue our own projects. We just recently submitted our concept for both SaaS applications to TechStars, a technology incubator in Boulder, Co. The e-commerce platform is just phase 1 of this project. Eventually, we’ll also incorporate a point-of-sale system into it so it’s a complete retail ecosystem. Merchants will be able to manage their on-line store and their brick and mortar store from the same computer screen with just a few clicks of the mouse. Cash registers will become obsolete, and a new hybrid business model will be created.”
Local business owners can see a preview of the site December 8th from 6-7 PM at Ageless. T. J will walk local business owners through the site, explain its benefits, start signing businesses up for the official launch in January, and answer any questions business owners or residents may have.
A demo of the unfinished site can be seen at http://www.softdemonew.info/