Small businesses who have felt the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus can now take advantage of a “digital lifeline” that could boost their abilities to sell products online.
That's all thanks to website design and eCommerce specialist Zeald, which is offering to build a fully-functioning eCommerce website with a two-day deployment time, for free to a ‘limited set of specific industries'.
Those industries include electronic goods suppliers; electronic goods repairs; food and beverage suppliers; firewood and other forms of heating fuel suppliers; general alterations and repairs; home appliance suppliers; home appliance servicing, assessment and repairs; plants, seeds and livestock suppliers; medical equipment and supplies suppliers; medical sales services; pet food or pet products suppliers; and security product suppliers.
According to Zeald chairman David Kelly, New Zealand's small and medium businesses won't survive unless they evolve their business practices – rapidly.
“The COVID-19 emergency has seen a quick shift by thousands of New Zealanders to online purchasing. Some eCommerce sellers have been overwhelmed and had to prioritise customers.
A statement on Zeald's website adds that if businesses deal in products or services that people need, those businesses must go online to service those needs.
Zeald has launched a new Get eCommerce Movement (GEM) fund to the tune of $1.75 million. In the face of COVID-19, the company has re-engineered key parts of its business and production systems, which means it can rapidly deploy large volumes of high-end eCommerce websites.
Zeald says it hopes to expand its software and systems reworks to add to its offerings over time.
“A free website means no setup fees, no monthly hosting costs for 12 months, but we will charge a 2% transaction success fee to help recoup costs. At the conclusion of the 12-month period, standard monthly charges will apply,” says Kelly.
The packages include hosting that is secure and reliable, website management, eCommerce and order processing software, ongoing security and platform updates, and customer support on weekdays 9 am-7 pm.
The free website build excludes transaction fees. Businesses interested in applying for assistance should check Zeald's website for full eligibility criteria and application process.
“You are eligible to apply for a free website only if you don't already have a website, or your current website doesn't allow you to trade and operate effectively online, and you are in one of the industries that we have a pre-designed and pre-produced website package.
Zeald is also asking any organisation or philanthropist to get in touch if they are able to offer support.
For more information visit their website here.