During these crazy coronavirus times, bars are looking at ways they can bring in some money without punters actually stepping foot in the venue — on Wednesday we published some links to bars selling merch on their own online sites (you can read that here). But that story only scratched the surface of what is available out there.
Chau Tran is hoping to help with that. She’s the co-owner of Burrow Bar in Sydney, and something of a whiz on the tech-side of things, too. So whilst she’s set up an online store for Burrow Bar, where you can pick up their hoodies, tees, snapbacks, and vouchers, she is also launching Hospothreads.com, a non-profit marketplace of sorts which brings bars and their online stores together in one place.
Whilst selling merch is unlikely to replace a busy Friday night of trade, every little bit helps.
Don’t have an online store yet? Click the link on the site and they’ll help you with it. You can also add your links and list your collection and delivery services on the site.
We think this is an ace idea, and it is one that Tran is doing pro-bono. Below she tells us why she’s doing it (and how you can get involved).
Why have you put hospothreads together — and what is it?
I spent 24 hours building an ecommerce site for Burrow – to try and diversify our revenue streams. So far it’s going good. Friends from different states and countries have been buying stuff and it has been really heartwarming and helpful.
Some people have the choice and ability to work from home. But the reality is some industries are not only incapable, but some people are skilled in a way to get themselves making revenue in a channel that isn’t physical. It got me thinking that if our patrons can’t support us in venue, then they can support us from afar. All of us, across the country and countries.[So] I’m creating a website to direct consumers to everyone’s different websites/stores.
I can build a website pretty quick, I have a couple of techy friends that have helped stepped in and lend a hand to get something up pretty quick. But what I don’t have and what I need is content. I don’t want to sell on people’s behalf but rather direct customers directly to the small businesses that this will make a very powerful impact. I want to create a marketplace to direct people to buy merch, sauces, pickles, whatever the venue, wherever the venue or producer is able to sell and ship. It’s also my attempt in trying to remove the barrier for customers that want to help and don’t know how or who to help and where to go to do it.
Right now I have a placeholder up that is collecting information both venue and customer side. In the coming days with enough venues sharing their ecommerce sites – I can start to develop the page into a functioning market place.
Is this a for profit or nay?
No. In no way am I making money off this. I’m paying for the domain personally and it’s being hosted by my brother.
How can bars get an online merch store going for themselves?
There are some excellent out of the box platforms that can get you up and running in a day or two. Shopify, Wix and Foursquare are drag and drop simple web design platforms that also allow shopping cart functionality. There’s no excuse to not have a merch store online.