The Whakatāne Events Promotions Initiative Community (EPIC) recently launched a virtual mall featuring local and regional businesses and the new initiative was designed to help boost business while respecting social distancing regulations. According to EPIC board chairman Warren Short, after the first hour of launch, the platform recorded more than 300 visits and the first sale was purchased within two hours.
The platforms allow customers to shop by store or product and connect shops that have existing e-commerce websites to the platform — while retaining their unique domain names. Businesses must pay a one-time fee to register with the virtual mall and all the proceeds go directly to the store owners using their own fulfillment processes.
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