Take your business online
The pandemic showed us all how important it is to have cash on hand. With an e-commerce platform, you can continue to make sales in future situations when your storefront might be closed. Even if you’re a professional services business, the ability to collect payments online is now a basic business requirement. When getting started with e-commerce, there are a few things to consider.
Where are your customers? A little market research can help you identify where your customers hang out online and what they're looking for, so you can more effectively market to them online.
What platform do you need? E-commerce platforms have exploded in recent years. Services such as Shopify® offer a complete online storefront, and with Amazon, you get listed on the largest retail platform in the U.S. Squarespace makes it easy to create a modern website and set up shop. WordPress and other platforms offer e-commerce plug-ins or modules that you can add to your existing site. Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp® now make it easy to target customers with promotions and make sales on their landing pages. And banks are now working with e-commerce companies to streamline your entry into the world of online sales.
How will you take payments? Your merchant services provider may already offer a solution. If not, there are many online payment processors to choose from. Consider whether the services are flexible, how competitive and transparent the rates are, whether it’s easy to run transaction reports and how well you can integrate your payment process with your accounting systems.
How will you list your products or services? Good images and clear descriptions of your product are essential. Without them, you might have a hard time selling online.