This is my first post
My wife and I own a small retail shop in Flower Mound, TX. The business has been open for two and a half years and is doing well. The name of our store is called “In the Box Pack & Ship”. It was initially started as a pack and shipping store, but has evolved into a variety of offerings such as printing, candles, bath & body products, mailbox rentals, etc. All in all, a very diversified mix for the local walking community that we service. It doesn’t look or feel like a typical packing and shipping store like UPS. It’s very elegant, smells great and the community is very upscale. Everyone loves the service my wife provides. The store is rated 5 stars with over 100 reviews. Our main store website is provided by our membership with the retail shipping association. www.intheboxps.com
Anyway, we felt it was time for us to extend our brick and mortar to the web with eCommerce. In looking for a platform, I was initially considering using WordPress and actually constructed a basic site which is hosted on SiteGround. (we are small business owners and don’t have a lot of resources and don’t want to go into debt either which is why I am trying to do most of the work regarding the website myself) It was more for practice, but I found it very cumbersome to use. I then started using Muse since we own the CC suite which we use a lot in our design work for our printing customers; but then of course Adobe dropped the bomb. I decided very quickly that I didn’t want to invest any more time with Muse since we were at the beginning and then ultimately discovered WebFlow. This is truly an amazing tool. I know it’s still lacking in some features, for the professional designers out there, but I think it will evolve as my knowledge and needs evolve and become more sophisticated.
I believe I have viewed all the videos and read most of the blogs and other content, and am beginning to formulate some ideas about how we want the site to flow. However, I wanted to pose a question before diving in any further.
Our web site will be called “In The Box Shops” which will branch off into our shops such as Candle Shop, Bath Shop, Print Shop and Promo Shop. We already have a promo shop web site which was provided with our membership with ASI (an association for promotional products buyers and sellers) and a B2C/B2B Web2Print shop, which is being provided by one of our large printers we work with.
So, my question is, should we make four separate web sites with similar branding, look & feel, etc? Or should we create an initial landing page called In The Box Shops which has links to the other Shops? Both the Promo Shop and Web2Print Shop have their own eCommerce carts, and they have limited ability to customize them (can use CSS), but figuring out how to integrate them into the main “Shops” will be a challenge (for me anyway) so the whole site has a consistent look and feel (maybe embedding them or iframe … I don’t know).
Hopefully this post wasn’t too verbose. I just thought this is a strong community and any guidance or recommendations would be much appreciated.