Setting up your online store is the first step to selling online and organizing your business all in one place.
Local Line is not only your online storefront, but also helps you manage your inventory, customers, delivery routes, and orders, invoices, and payments. This post shares all the info you need to set up and launch your Local Line store.
If this is your first time setting up an online store, you might be overwhelmed by the blank canvas that sits before you. No worries! We’re here to guide you through every step of the way—only 5 steps to be exact, taking no more than 90 minutes to complete!
The 5 steps to setting up your account are:
- Add products and assign them to your catalog(s)
- Add delivery plans
- Add pickup locations
- Set up your payment options (including online payment)
- Launch your store!
1. Add products and assign them to your catalog(s)
After you've set up your storefront with your name, profile picture and cover photo, your first step is to upload your products for inventory.
The platform allows you to upload in two ways:
- Individual product
- Bulk upload using a spreadsheet
If you are just starting with selling direct to customers and currently only offer a few products, you could consider uploading your products individually.
This is very simple. All you have to do is:
- Click the All Products Tab
- Click the Add A Product button (circle with plus sign icon)
Be sure to also:
- Upload a product picture (smaller than 20 MB) by clicking the camera icon and selecting a photo from your computer or mobile device
- Once you've selected the image, click Open to save
- You can also take a picture from your mobile phone by clicking on the photo icon
- Assign product # (Optional)
- Enter the Name of product
- Add Price per unit amount
- Select the box beside Taxable if product is taxable
- Select a Category to assign the product to (this can be done at a later time when you have created categories)
- Add a description of your product (the more information customers have, the better!)
- Assign the product to a catalog
If you sell a wide range of products, uploading individually may be a bit cumbersome. You can also upload your products in bulk using a spreadsheet template. The template is available for download.
After you have filled in the spreadsheet, you:
- Click the All Products Tab
- Click Download/Upload Products button, opposite arrows icon
- Download Product Template and open on your desktop in Excel
- Fill in Product Template with product information
- Save the template to your desktop
- Back in Local Line, click the Choose File button
- Select completed template file from desktop
- Click the Open button
- Click the Upload button to bulk add products in one upload.
- Manually add these products to your catalog.
Note: Any upload issues will be explained in a window, in this case, you would make changes to the template file from desktop, save and re-upload.
Upload Product Photos
- Click the Edit button beside the product
- Click the picture icon and select the photo from your computer or mobile device
- Click the 'Open' button
- You can also take a picture from your mobile phone by clicking the camera icon.
Not interested in adding product photos?
- Click Edit Account, top right corner of screen
- Switch the Product Pictures toggle to Off
Note: Adding a picture and description is proven to influence decisions when purchasing online.
After you have uploaded products, you need to assign them to a catalog. Catalogs enable you to organize products and privately set product prices, pack sizes, and availability to the unique needs of your customers.
The feature was created to organize products throughout the platform and maintain streamlined inventory. You are able to have the same inventory list but update prices and availability dependent on customer type. To add existing products to a catalog, you:
Click on My Store on the navigation menu. Then click the CATALOGS tab.
- Click Edit Catalog to the right of the catalog you wish to add products to
- Click the VIEW ALL PRODUCTS tab, found under the search field
- Type the product name you wish to add in the Search for Products search field
- Click the green checkmark to the right of the product name
- Adjust the price as desired
- Click Save
Save time and remind customers to place orders by creating automated catalog schedules!
Pro tip: Local Line users with a catalog schedule enabled see 3x as many orders in their store, and their average order size is 53.1% greater!
Here’s how to set up an automated catalog schedule:
- Click the Edit Customers button to the right of the catalog you wish to create a schedule for
- Turn the toggle to ON beside Catalog Schedule
- Select your frequency, weekly or monthly and the days you want your catalog to go to customers
- Select the time of day (and remember to select AM or PM!)
- Enter a message
- Click Save
Make the most of your catalog schedule:
- Timing: Think about when your customers are most likely to check their email and set your catalog schedule accordingly.
- Message: Take advantage of that message field! Include a story from the farm that week, or a new recipe you have been loving featuring your products. These are great ways to engage your customers.
2. Add delivery plans
Delivery plans dictate which customers will be offered delivery. A customer with a set city matching one of your delivery locations will automatically be offered delivery. A customer with a non-matching city will not be offered delivery. Pickup locations are always offered to customers no matter their city.To add a delivery plan:
- Click the Deliveries tab on the navigation bar.
- Click Delivery Plans.
- Click Add Plan.
- Complete the form fields and note the following:
- Order Lead Time: This is the amount of time you need to prepare the order from when it was received, to when it is delivered. The clock for lead time is based off 11:59 PM on the day of delivery.
Example: The order time for the Toronto delivery plan below is 48 hours, and they deliver Monday to Friday. If the customer orders Monday, they will not be able to select Tuesday as their delivery day. Wednesday is the first day they can expect the delivery because of the 48-hour lead time. (Lead times work backwards from 11:59pm on the day of the selected Delivery day.)
- Select the weekdays you deliver to the given city
- Select the days of the month you deliver to the given city (i.e. every other Friday, the first Monday of each month)
Custom Checkout Message
After customers place their order, the Custom Checkout Message will appear with the automated confirmation that the order was placed successfully and the date of delivery.
This is a good place to include any of the following information:
- Delivery fees may vary depending upon weight of order
- If you will send them tracking information on shipped items
- We will message you in Local Line with updates
- Your contact information
- Any other items they should know about your delivery process
- Click Save.
Note: To edit a delivery plan, click the Edit button to the right of the plan. Click the x to delete a delivery plan.
3. Add pickup locations
Adding pickup locations allows purchasers to order your products even if they aren't in one of your delivery zones. Once an order is placed, you'll be given the name of the location associated with that order and you can drop off the goods for the purchaser(s).
Add a Pickup Location:
- Click the Deliveries tab on the navigation bar.
- Click Pickup Locations.
- Click Add Location.
- Complete the form fields.
Note: To edit a pickup location, click the Edit button to the right of the location. Click the x to delete a pickup location.
Remember, if delivery is not feasible for your business, adding pickup locations is a great way to continue to serve your customers without the added costs of home delivery. You could even consider using the market as a pickup location as an alternative. This way you can serve multiple sales channels simultaneously!
4. Set up your payment options (and online payment)
The final step before launching your new online store is to set up payment options. The payment options feature allows you to customize allowed payment. You can choose between the 3 predefined options—Cash, Check, E-transfer—or define your own.
The payment option your customer selects at checkout is logged in the following places:
- On the order email confirmation
- On the order record on the Orders tab.
- In the Orders, Orders Summary and Order Totals reports.
To add a payment option:
- Go to My Store.
- Click Payment Options.
- Click Add Payment Option.
- Specify the Payment Option Name.
- Specify the Payment Instructions.
- Specify which Catalog(s) the payment option should be applied to.
- Click Create.
You can also set up online payments by connecting your online store to a Square or Stripe account.
- Click the My Store tab on the navigation pane. Then click the STORE tab and select Online Payments from the menu on the left.
- Set your Currency, Canadian or US Dollar.
- Select your online Payment Getaway. Local Line is integrated with both Stripe and Square
- You will be redirected to another webpage to log into your Stripe or Square account
Once Online Payment is set up, a Pay Now button will appear on invoices you send out. If online payment is not set up, customers will not see the button.
5. Launch your store
You have successfully finished all of the required steps to set up your new Local Line store. The last step is to launch your store to your customers!
Now that you've added products, created your catalog(s), added and assigned customers to your catalog(s), inputted your delivery/pickup info etc., you're ready to launch your new online store!
On your home page/dashboard, click the Launch button on the left side of your screen. This allows your customers to view your store.
Get started with a free Local Line trial today!
Used by all types of local food suppliers, Local Line helps you accept online orders, communicate with customers, and organize your fulfillment.
Nina Galle writes blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for farmers and markets.