How to: Selling Products Online Locally

If you run a mom-and-pop store or have a local business, you can grow your bottom line by selling products online locally.

It’s no secret that people support local businesses. According to a recent study, 53% of consumers indicated that they are more likely to buy from a local business instead of a national retailer during the COVID-19 crisis.

Plus, as a merchant, it’s easier to start out by selling products locally. The only problem is that it limits your ability to grow and boost sales. This is because it’s difficult for people to learn about your products if you have a local store or if you sell from home.

Selling products online locally is the way to go for most merchants. With this in mind, in this tutorial, we’ll take a detailed look into how you can set up your own online store to sell products online locally using WooCommerce.

Traditional ways merchants sell products locally

There are many ways merchants sell products locally. Usually, this depends on what products they’re selling and how frequently they need to sell.

Selling products online locally
  • Farmer’s market. People that grow their own produce or make value-added products out of locally grown produce sell at farmer’s markets. They set up stalls to sell vegetables, fruits, and homemade cakes. Farmer’s markets are usually held once a week.
  • Consignment shops. Consignment shops and bodegas sell grocery items like milk, bread, batteries, and soaps. These types of shops are open every day.
  • Backyard sales. Organizing a backyard sale is a great way to sell things like used furniture, toys, appliances, and clothes. However, these types of sales are usually seasonal.

Just as selling products locally has it’s benefits, it also has some drawbacks for merchants. 

People love to support local businesses as it helps merchants who are just starting out to sell products. However, it’s difficult to get your products in front of a lot of people. For example, if you have a consignment shop, only people who live close to your store’s physical location and know about your store are likely to buy from you.

What if you could present your products to more people while selling locally? One way to do this is by setting up an online store.

Distancr: the simplest way to selling products online locally

Distancr is a geolocation plugin for WooCommerce that allows merchants to modify prices, shipping methods, product visibility, and payment getaways on their WooCommerce store based on the customer’s geographical location distance from the store’s location.

Merchants are able to implement all sorts of geolocation marketing strategies using Distancr. This enables them to grow their bottom line and reach more customers using location data. This also means merchants can deliver the right products to the right customers faster.

With localized marketing, merchants can provide a more satisfying user experience by giving personalized offers to customers.

Distancr uses your customer’s geo-distance instead of their country, state, or city which is very useful for merchants that need to offer shipping options dynamically. Merchants are also able to provide location-based discounts which encourage people to buy from them. For instance, you can provide free shipping within 15 kilometers of a location to encourage people to buy from you. 

How to set up an online store for selling products online locally

By setting up an online store for your products, you can sell products to more customers in your locality. Here’s what you need to set up an online store and start selling products online locally:

  • WordPress website
  • WooCommerce plugin
  • Distancr plugin

Step #1: Install the Distancr plugin and configure settings

Get the Distancr plugin and install it on your WordPress site. After doing so, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Distancr from the WordPress admin panel and click on the Options tab.

Distancr options

From here, you can configure Distancr’s basic settings and options:

  • Use the Distance Unit option to select the units that will be used to configure the geo-distance restrictions.
  • The Choose API‘ option lets you select the API that you’d like to use when calculating distance.
  • Enter the API key generated from the geolocation provider into the API Key‘ text field.
  • Distancr lets you use the Test Connection button to make sure the API key is working properly.
  • You can also use a Google Maps API Key to auto-suggest different locations.

Once you’re done, click on the Save changes button to proceed.

Step #2: Add locations

Now after the Distancr plugin is installed and configured, you can start adding locations. These will be used later to configure payment and shipping options. 

Distancr locations
  1. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Distancr from the WordPress admin panel and click on the Locations tab to add a location.
  2. Next, click on the Add Location button to start.
  3. You have the option to set the Unique Name/ID, Latitude, and Longitude of each location you add.
  4. When you’ve added everything, click on the Save Locations button to proceed.

If you’re not sure on which locations to add, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the furthest location customers will be able to do local pickups from conveniently?
  • What are all the areas that you can offer free shipping to?
  • Which areas will you need to charge shipping for and how much will you charge? 

Step #3: Set product visibility to local customers only

Setting product visibility is important for merchants that want to sell products online locally. Hiding or showing products based on the customer’s distance from a location allows you to sell specific products to customers only within certain areas.

This enhances the user experience of your customers as they only see products that they can purchase. In addition to this, they don’t have to add products to their cart only to find out later that you can’t ship those products to them.

Distancr blocklist
  • To set the product visibility using Distancr, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Distancr from the WordPress admin panel.
  • Click on the Blocklists tab and click on the Add Rule button to create a new blocklist.
  • Configure options like the Location, Distance, Compare, Block, and Product Category.

Using Distancr, you can add as many blocklists as you’d like. Click the Save Rules button to continue.

Step #4: Add blocklists for shipping and payments

Adding blocklists is important if you want to ship to local customers only. By adding blocklists you are also able to provide your customers with specific payment gateways to deliver a better user experience. 

Shipping blocklist
  • Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Distancr and click on the Blocklist tab. Click the Add Rule button to add a rule.
  • Configure options such as Location, Distance, Compare, Block, and Payment Gateway/ Shipping Method. You can create as many rules as you like and configure each rule with different options.
  • Click the Save Rules button when you’re done.

Conclusion

By selling products online locally, you can sell to more customers and grow your bottom line. The Distancr plugin for WooCommerce lets you manage product visibility and set up blocklists to sell specific products to specific localities.

This way, you can choose which products you’d like to sell, how you’ll accept payment, and how you’ll handle product delivery. It’s the easiest way to sell products online locally.

Ready to start listing your products online? Get Distancr today!