A sales ecosystem at your fingertips
THE small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector has been hit hard by the ravages of the pandemic. And it was this blow that inspired Dale De Mille and Collin Charles, co-founders of Tap This Link, to create Tapshops, a sales ecosystem at your fingertips.
De Mille worked in digital marketing for almost a decade, freelance for a time, then in an agency before starting his own business in 2018 – Small Potato Marketing Ltd.
Charles started in tech and web development 25 years ago, with the first half being spent working in various companies and the second half self-employed, eventually creating a company called Gabcol Consulting. The company provides services in the areas of ICT, data systems, e-commerce and web development.
Charles told Newsday that his company and De Mille were “sibling” companies, with him on the technical side and De Mille on the marketing side.
During the pandemic, both companies were serving larger entities but wanted to find a way to help SMEs manage their businesses and have more flexibility with sales channels.
“Being in the retail business, I always say there was a problem keeping your inventory in sync. Maintaining inventory in SMEs is not really a thing. They tend to just buy and sell, buy and sell. And then it’s hard to afford systems that allow you to do this because you need to get reliable software, software licenses, and technical support. And you don’t have mobility, you don’t have remote access. If you are overseas, you cannot verify your business or your sales.
“And with all these issues, we got together and asked, ‘How do we make a system that is affordable, that isn’t difficult to set up and run, with no software involved, and you have access remote and flexibility? You can go to markets, to shows, to mall pop-up events, and you can literally sell in person while making online sales through your e-commerce channels.
“So your website and your point of sale work together on one dashboard. So it was the dream. “
He recalled that they had noticed that the retail industry was severely affected by the pandemic and that many store owners had closed their doors: many did not have the flexibility to move into sales, did not have websites, no e-commerce or delivery systems in place. He added that they also lacked knowledge about these things.
“So we made it our goal to create a product, to educate people, to engage them, to give them something affordable that they can sell online, in store and on the go. And that’s how we got there. with tapshops. “
TapShops, the first product of their joint subsidiary Tap This Link Ltd, which started in 2019, launched on August 31 after a year of development. It is a point of sale system and e-commerce site with a unified dashboard.
Charles said they have already had success with their customers with larger entities through their parent companies and have decided to consolidate and scale down these services for stores in malls, malls and other retail businesses. .
De Mille said when it comes to digital marketing, many small businesses don’t have a functioning infrastructure, whether the store is open or closed.
“And what the pandemic has done is expose this business risk to a point where people have literally had to shut down and take their things home.”
He explained that the tapShop system would isolate the company from this type of situation.
“And the key for us was to make it accessible to that niche, because what a company could pay they couldn’t afford. So we attacked it from a point where we could find something. that works for everyone and be comfortable making it available competitively. “
Charles pointed out that it was not just advertising, but having “a machine room” to handle sales. He said there is also waste with printing receipts or purchasing equipment that will depreciate.
“This system allows you to use the equipment you already own – your laptops or tablet.”
He added that there is also an environmental aspect to making the company paperless.
The company has also entered into a partnership with Universal Package Systems Ltd (UPSL) as a logistics provider. Charles explained that UPSL will make deliveries on behalf of customers and collect payments, allowing for a separate revenue stream through the e-commerce channel.
Charles said the response to the tapShops rollout has been great and customers have already joined the team. He explained that with these kinds of systems, some businesses need time to get organized before they get started.
He said a new wave of businesses would arrive in the wake of the pandemic’s impact on retail.
“And what we’re doing is giving them the ability to get started properly with the right systems in place.”
Charles said the system has analysis reports, including top-selling products, entries, exits, and inventory quantities.
“It’s a whole ecosystem. It’s a retail powerhouse.”
The system can work for any type of retail business, he said, including clothing, jewelry, sports equipment, auto parts, hardware, bookstores, healthcare or spas.
De Mille said this helps offset the cost of a physical store and that with the systems in place, they would be able to do their financial records.
Charles said the system “pays for itself” and with the annual subscription the customer gets support for a year.
He explained that as an ecosystem of digital tools to improve business, others will eventually be added.
“We intend to serve the Caribbean region and deploy elements that could interconnect with other software.”
De Mille said solutions like tapShops make it easy to justify the cost.
“If you calculate that it costs $ 525 per month and what it gives you, it’s a no-brainer when you think about it. If your store is making $ 10,000 a month, you can still justify the cost.”
Charles pointed out that no SMB would pay for all of the components found in tapShops individually, as there would not be enough customer base or revenue to cover these bulky systems.
De Mille said local customers are increasingly used to the ease of purchasing items through Amazon and are exasperated when local businesses release a priceless product.
“And then you have a bonanza of comments and jokes. But that’s no fun for the business owner and it makes them look bad.”
He stressed that in this time of pandemic this was decisive for many people.
“They have to do something. And we are doing our part to make the systems available.”
For more information: www.tapthislink.net.