We are four years into refining our ecommerce presence at Ebert Honey. For many years, Alex developed and maintained our website internally. Eventually, both the technological shifts and the time required to stay current became too much to manage in-house while we tried to keep the bees alive. We are different from a lot of beekeeping businesses because we have a few different sales aspects to what we do. There is a lot of wax distributed across the United States, bottled honey that is shipped to customers outside of our distribution area, and a few years ago we added on the distribution of honey containers that are sold to other beekeepers and honey bottlers. Our nucs and packages are mostly for pick up in Mount Vernon and Lynnville, but a ton of people prefer the convenience of making bee orders online rather than via postal service. That is all a long way of saying that a good website makes everyone’s life easier for our customers (and for us too)!
We definitely made some positive strides in the last few years in terms of web design and accomodating our expansion into container distribution. On the other hand, we’ve never been thrilled with certain aspects of the checkout process, some issues persisted with weird shipping quotes, and we periodically experienced general unreliability from a couple of our previous site hosts during that timeframe. Everything has been working much better for the last couple of months since we changed hosts, but we definitely learned that we’d like to leap into a better situation for everyone involved.
To that end, keep an eye out for a new site that will launch in late 2022! For those interested in technical details, part of our plan is to switch out of the WooCommerce platform over to Shopify. Shopify is supposed to be more intuitive for customers and for our backend management of the site. The potential downsides we hear attributed to Shopify are simply that the theme templates are sometimes a little bland and it may not suit really sophisticated sales situations. Luckily, we can dress up the template to fit our bee world with a little extra customization effort, and we are definitely not Amazonian in what we need to incorporate for infrastructure as a family business with an ecommerce dimension. Let’s hope it all turns out beautifully and for everyone’s benefit. The web address will remain eberthoney.com, so no one will lose track of us when the new version of the site comes out. We will have more updates soon!
In the meanwhile, we are also finishing up our fall bee care and preparing to send them west in the next month or so. That tale is a 2022 saga in it’s own right and the subject of a future post!