|Just a few examples of what we stock in the VGEC Guild Shop|
By Michael Sanchez, VGEC Board Member and Communication Committee Board Liaison
Last week the VGEC membership received an email blast about changes made to the VGEC Guild Shop. There have been some questions about why we made this change and what it means, so we thought we would take a few moments to outline what has been going on these past weeks and months.
Q: So what is the deal with the new store? The old one seemed to work just fine.
A: In 2015, we received a notice that Amazon (who hosted our old Guild Shop) would no longer be offering web store hosting services as of May 1st, 2016. For years, Amazon's web store hosting services have been helping businesses and organizations of all sizes create online stores for their products. This is a separate service from their huge Amazon.com store which is unaffected by this change. We began a search to see which web store provider would best meet our needs, and we settled on Shopify.
Q: If you switched to a new web store provider, why is the address still the same?
A: That is one of the wonderful things about the Internet! It is much like a landline telephone number: you can move to a different house, but keep the same phone number. That's what we did with the shop.vergers.org address. For some, it might have taken a couple of days for your computer to associate the shop.vergers.org address with our new "house."
Q: You redesigned the store. Why?
A: Since we had to a new service, we were not able to keep the same interface. Once our Communications & Technology Committee began migrating the store to its new home, we realized the available flexibility on how our store would look. We decided first on a simple, efficient design so you can easily place orders. Now that we have a little experience with this design in action, we will keep working over the next couple of months on enhancing the initial design.
Q: I notice that at the top of the Guild Shop, there is a pair of links that says "Log in" and Create account." What are those?
A: Much like our old store, Shopify offers customers the convenience of creating an account that safely stores your name, address, phone number, and payment information. If you are a frequent shopper of the Guild Shop (and we hope you are!), this is a great time-saving tool. It is OK if you do not want to create an account with Shopify. You can still order and pay for your merchandise without a Shopify account. Keep in mind that a Shopify account is a separate account that you'll need to create: it has nothing to do with your VGEC Membership information.
Q: I liked the old Guild Shop interface. Is the new store easy-to-use?
A: Yes! Customers will find that this is a very easy store to navigate: from browsing to shopping to checkout, it is a seamless process. We accept all major credit and debit cards, and for those who are concerned about security, our store uses industry standard 256-bit encryption technology.This is the same level of security that many large banks use with their online banking services. As an added bonus for the Guild Shop crew, the back end of the store is much easier to work with, which will help with adding new products and required maintenance.
Q: Is there anything else I should know about the Guild Shop?
A: We are open for business! You can visit us at shop.vergers.org and start shopping now! Be sure to register for the upcoming 2016 Annual Conference, get a new virge, find some VGEC apparel, equip yourself with a chimere, and much, much more. Our online store is the place to find what you need for your ministry. Think we should carry something? Contact Guild Shop Manager, Barry Norris at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Click the big red button to register for the 2016 Annual Conference opening on September 22nd and running through noon on the 25th, in Spokane, Washington. The conference is the most popular and anticipated activity of the VGEC every year - please join us! Register before midnight PST on June 30 to be entered in a drawing to win a $200.00 Apple gift card.
Abstract: The Guild Shop got a facelift and a new home! VGEC Communications & Technology co-chair and Board member Michael Sanchez, answers some questions about our recent redesign of the Guild Shop.