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How to Manage Your Shop During COVID-19

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The safety of the SBL community is our priority. This article outlines tips for handling your shop if you’re impacted by COVID-19, and what SBL is doing to protect the marketplace.

If your business is affected by COVID-19, or you suspect it may be, we recommend you follow the best practices in this article to set yourself up for success during this time or when you return to your shop.

Set realistic expectations

It’s important to set healthy limits when your attention is required elsewhere. Make sure that you have the time and resources to manage your shop before making commitments to your buyers. Think about how many orders you can complete in a day or a week, the supplies you have, and how much time you can spend on your shop. This can help you determine how many orders you can realistically fulfill.

Consider the resources you have access to and what may be impacted in the near future. Take the time to look for alternative resources to help keep your shop running smoothly.

Ask friends or family for help

If you run your shop on your own, consider training a trusted friend or family member to help remotely.

Communicate with your buyers

If you anticipate that you won’t be able to fulfill orders within your processing times for any reason, be transparent with your buyers. You should provide your buyers with detailed updates as often as possible.

You can let your buyers know about delays and when you plan to ship their orders through Messages.

Here’s an example of a message you can share with your buyer if you think the order may not arrive on time:

I wanted to keep you updated on the status of your order. Due to disruptions from COVID-19 and potential shipping carrier delays, there’s a chance your package may not arrive on the originally estimated date. Rest assured I’ll keep you updated along the way as I get new information from the carrier. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions.

You can also edit your shop announcement with a general update to keep your current and potential buyers up to date. During COVID-19, we’ve temporarily moved this section to the top of your shop homepage.

If you’re in a position to continue accepting orders, edit your processing times to account for delays and accurately reflect the time you need to complete your orders.

You can check with your shipping carrier to see if and how their service is being affected so you can share this with your buyers.

If you’re unable to meet a buyer’s deadline or if they don’t agree to the changed timeline, you can refund and cancel the order.

It’s a good idea to have clear return policies in place. Review what you have and consider revising them to account for any new buyers that may come to your shop.

Turn on Vacation Mode

Putting your shop in Vacation Mode will remove items from public view and prevent buyers from placing new orders. Vacation Mode is a good option if you have limited or no access to your shop. Please keep in mind that any open orders should be either fulfilled or refunded.


With Vacation Mode, you can set up an auto-reply for people who send you a Message, and shoppers can sign up to get a message when you return. You can customize your shop banner or cover photo and update your shop announcement to let everyone know you’re taking a break.

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