Digital Tools Help Sarasota Businesses Thrive Amid Pandemic

Gina McGuire

We recently participated in a webinar hosted by the Connected Commerce Council to discuss how digital tools like social media, e-commerce websites, and Google have helped our business survive during shutdowns last year. .

Florida business leaders like State Senator Jeff Brandes and Julio Fuentes, president of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, echoed our story on how small businesses have relied. on technology to reach customers – and stay operational – in today’s near post-pandemic world. .

The journey of a business owner is usually one of ups and downs. But what defines a business is how it adapts to maintain and expand the interest of current and potential customers. Unexpectedly, 2020 offered new challenges that literally kept businesses from seeing customers.

Traditionally, our company has helped people find that special tool, or unique glass, to bring their art to life. Our Sarasota gem represents our passion for creating and sharing artwork, and we weren’t going to let the pandemic deter us from our mission.

COVID has posed a challenge for many businesses in our state and region. For one thing, many businesses have had to rely more on their ecommerce sites – or to build them if they didn’t already have them. It was also essential for businesses to let customers know if they were open, what their purchasing rules were, and how they could deliver their products during a very stressful time.

It was then that we decided to really rely on the digital tools at our disposal.

First, we’ve expanded our e-commerce offerings and made sure customers know what products are available. Next, we’ve updated our list of online stores to reflect the necessary information about our hours and rules for shopping in-store. We continued to host how-to videos on Facebook Live. And we took advantage of Google Tours, an AI tool that allows customers to virtually “walk” around our store and see our space.

Digital tools have helped our business survive and we will continue to reach online customers after the pandemic is over. We love to call Sarasota home – and with the help of technology we are able to share our slice of heaven with the world.

George and Gina McGuire are the owners of Glass Crafters Stained Glass in Sarasota.

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