When it comes to retail, one of the biggest dilemmas you can face as a business owner is whether to keep a physical store or move your business entirely into an eCommerce space. Both of these options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right option for you depends entirely on the unique nature of your offerings. What if, however, you want to give your customers both options? You can do this, but it presents some unique challenges when managing both an online and offline storefront. We sat down with Jason Rendell, the owner of Case’s Music, to discuss why he chose MyWorks Sync to help him navigate the process of balancing online and in-person retail.
Case’s Music is a music school and instrument retailer in Sault Ste. Marie. “We are a music school first and foremost,” says Rendell,“ we have about 250 students that all do private lessons here on a variety of instruments.” Case’s Music has been using QuickBooks accounting software since they started. The music school “doesn’t have a point of sales system at all; we only use QuickBooks.”
While the team began using QuickBooks on the Desktop version, they switched to QuickBooks Online just over a year ago. “It does everything,” Rendell says. “all of our payroll.” When we asked why they chose to switch over, Rendell tells us that “We only had one computer that we could work on at any given time. We were getting busier, and it was no longer feasible.” Another reason Case’s Music chose to switch over to QuickBooks Online was because they started a WooCommerce store with which they wanted to integrate MyWorks Sync. “The integration with MyWorks was way more cost-effective” for their business using QuickBooks Online, although MyWorks does support both QuickBooks Desktop and Online.
Rendell tells us that Case’s Music “also has a tiny retail store attached to the music school and a big repair shop. So we service all the guitars and brass and woodwind instruments for the district of Algoma.” This is the wing of Case’s Music that has just set up and launched a WooCommerce store. Though it was only officially launched a month ago and the team hasn’t done much marketing yet, they “have been building their WooCommerce platform from scratch over the last six months.”
So, if their store is so small, why the need for WooCommerce? “We’re using it to expand our catalog,” Rendell says. “Our store is very small, but what we have access to is very big. We are using WooCommerce to display all of the brands of guitar we can get, even though we may only have four or five of them on the floor.” For the music school, a point of sale wasn’t necessary, “we make sales receipts through QuickBooks Online.” However, selling such a broad range of musical instruments both online and in-store presented a difficulty for Rendell and his team. “I was terrified of selling online,” he says. “A lot of what we carry in the guitar world, we only carry one. Right now, I have about forty guitars on the floor, and every single one is different. I don’t have a backroom where there’s 6 or 7 more of each one,” Rendell explains. “A lot of them are a one-off, and my biggest fear, and why it took us so long to pull the trigger on having a WooCommerce store finally, was that I was going to sell something online and either it had been already gone on the floor, and I look bad for the online market. Or, I wouldn’t notice that it sold online and a customer came in and bought it.”
That’s where MyWorks became the deciding factor in Case’s Music’s move into eCommerce. “I’ve been toying with WooCommerce and kinda setting it up for about four years now,” he says. What convinced him was the inventory tracking and syncing options that MyWorks offers between WooCommerce and QuickBooks. “The MyWorks software is doing inventory tracking online and in-store, which is awesome,” says Rendell. “
The ability to make the sales receipts and things like that automatically was great. But, the biggest thing, 100%, was ‘I don’t wanna accidentally sell something twice.’”
When the Case’s Music team took the plunge, their setup process was easy. Once Rendell added all the WooCommerce products to their store, a team member “watched the intro video and he just followed the instructions, and within a day, it was done.” He described the mapping process as “incredibly simple,” and the Case’s Music shop was “was connected. It was perfect.” Although the store hasn’t made many sales yet, as it has not been marketed, “it’s up now, and people are using it, so it’s a start!” An unexpected positive effect of starting an eCommerce store is that it’s driving foot traffic into the physical store. “People walk in, go straight up to the thing they want and tell me they’ve read all about it on our online store,” Rendell says. “That, for me, is a big boost because a lot of people didn’t know what we carried before.”
“I’ve been looking at MyWorks now for about a year and a half. Every once in a while, I would call and ask for more information and chat for 20 minutes. Eventually, I decided to do it,” says Rendell. The eCommerce store is bringing real-world benefits to the rest of his business, and he “could not have done it without MyWorks.” The retail side of Case’s Music is expanding into new channels and planning to start shipping globally, all because of the peace of mind MyWorks software could offer their team. Feel free to schedule a demo so we can show you how MyWorks can help you scale your business without adding more to your workload.