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Friends & Gems Inc.

A bit of background, my wife is a co-owner of Friends and Gems, I built their original website using Wordpress, but they weren't looking at ecommerce at the time. Fast forward a few years, they finally decided to embrace ecommerce and wanted a point-of-sale system that worked with it. That's where Shopify came in and I directed them that way. Unfortunately, I had started a new job and no longer had the time to help them in any more than a consulting role.

Friends and Gems is a retail store with five locations (currently) and they offer wholesale businesses-to-business (B2B).

They sell thousands of products and need not only online sales, but also full point-of-sale and inventory management with stock controls. They also offer ONE service at their main location that they need online booking for.

After spending tens of thousands of dollars on their Shopify website, it never performed to their expectations and they were forced to redesign their site in 2024. It wasn't because of Shopify, it had just been poorly designed and the site became uneditable due to an app that I expressed concern about from day 1.

Shopify is an incredible system for ecommerce, but it absolutely sucks for content management, which is why the designer was using external apps rather than the built-in functionality). They also found the online appointment booking system lacking and way too expensive. (Almost everything on Shopify costs $$$!)

Not wanting to spend tens of thousands more to redesign the site, they came to me with this "new" idea, which more or less was what I had told them to do several years prior! Create multiple sites!

Wix is easy-to-use and awesome for all the public facing web stuff, it's even good for point-of-sale and ecommerce, but is still pretty infantile when it comes to any sort of inventory controls, multi-location, wholesale, etc. It DOES have an awesome booking system though and it's totally FREE!

Back to the multiple sites... They now use Wix for their public facing website for both their retail and wholesale business. Then they have TWO separate Shopify stores, one for retail and one for wholesale.

The customer base was mostly different between the two businesses anyway and it simplifies management. You don't have to setup multiple pricebooks and hide wholesale products from public view, etc. They both use Shopify point-of-sale and can manage their own inventories. Plus, they only have to use Shopify for the ecommerce side, which it totally rocks for!

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