The world of e-commerce is the modern sales world allowing consumers to make decisions online in their own time. Many businesses assume e-commerce isn’t for them because they have always had an inside sales force or they live in a brick and mortar world. Here are three easy ways to dip your toe into the e-commerce world and give your clientele new ways to connect to you online.
Here are 3 ways to get started with e-commerce.
Sell Gift Certificates Online
You probably already offer gift certificates if you run a shop of any sort. You know that gift certificates are a great way to expose your business to new customers at holidays. How easy is it for your customers to be made aware of gift certificates and to purchase them? You can greatly increase your gift certificate sales through a combination of a microsite, email marketing, and social media promotion.
How we would do it: If you have a website that offers chances for e-commerce integration, turn it on. We recommend WooCommerce for WordPress sites and you can be up and running within minutes if you have a PayPal account. Add your first product and now you have a page to link to from your promotional emails, social media posts, or paid advertisements. Since shipping costs just a stamp, this is a very easy product to sell online.
Enable Quick Online Payments
Are you issuing invoices for your services? Is it a pain to take credit card payments by phone? Consider adding a small form to your website allowing your clients to identify a payment amount and invoice number to make paying online quick and easy. You should see shorter turnaround times on your payments received and you can also control the cost of paying by credit card by calculating a ‘convenience fee’ through the form.
How we would do it: I love the Gravity Forms plugin for WordPress and they offer payment gateway integration options to get your started. Such a simple form that can perform an essential task and get you active in e-commerce as a service-based business.
Offer An Online Catalog
Still want to work with those inside sales guys? Not ready to actually sell product online? You can still build out a e-commerce store that allows all of the product features you would expect and connect it to a quote request instead of a checkout process. This allows the consumer to make a decision online and not have to then pick up the phone where the purchase consideration would occur all over again.
How we would do it: WooCommerce offers a few approaches to this from an extension the just allows a catalog view to one that requests a quote. These extensions set you up to transition to online sales in the future with the flip of a switch.
With so many opportunities to get into e-commerce, why not jump in soon? You won’t regret joining the new economy and helping boost your sales.