Within the retail world, businesses are divided into two categories: brick-and-mortar or ecommerce. Due to the rapid changes occurring within the retail sector due to evolving consumer habits, the lines between these types of businesses are beginning to blur. Small businesses in particular are realizing the increasing importance of being able to sell anywhere, as well as the ability to accept fully online payments.
If you’re a small business owner and you’re not sure where to start, don’t stress. We’re here to help.
Sell anywhere: How to sell digitally
Today almost every business has a website. If you don’t have a website you need to get one, TODAY. The expectation now, is that businesses are expected to offer products online as well.
Whether it be a traditional ecommerce transaction (pay online, shipped to the customer) or pay online and pick up in person, consumers are increasingly expecting flexibility in their transactions.
If the thought of overhauling your business model is making you feel anxious, we’ll show you how to easily and seamlessly sell your products anywhere your customers (and you) are.
Get your website up to speed.
Clearly display your products or services.
Offer multiple shipping or pickup options.
Make your payment options diverse and obvious.
Be where your customers are.
Ready? Let’s jump into it.
1. Get your website up to speed
Selling products through your website requires an attractive and fast-loading site. It’s difficult to overcome the impression that potential customers initially have when visiting your site. Website visitors only need half a second to form an opinion of the website they are visiting.
If you already have a website, you’ll want to ensure that your website design is modern, mobile-friendly, and easy to use. For a deep-dive on this process, you can read an in-depth website redesign case study here.
In addition to the design of your website, it’s also important that your site loads quickly.
If users are leaving your site before your site even loads, that’s bad news.
Overly large images and graphics are the primary culprits for slow loading speeds. To ensure that your site loads quickly, make sure that you’re keeping images as small as possible. There are numerous free image compression tools online that can help you slim down your image sizes for optimal loading speeds.
2. Clearly display your products or services
Visitors are viewing your website to get a better idea about you and your business, so make it easy for them to see your products and services.
Additionally, you’ll want to be sure to include winning product descriptions that will encourage your viewers to complete their purchases.
3. Offer multiple shipping or pickup options
Depending on the type of business that you have, it’s helpful to offer a range of shipping and/or pickup options for your customers. If you primarily do business at a physical location, having pickup or curbside delivery options will likely be your best-performing options.
If you’re offering a service instead, then you may be able to consider in-person or virtual options (depending on the types of services that you offer).
4. Make your payment options diverse and obvious
Not offering a wide range of payment options can be a big turn-off for many visitors. As younger generations begin to enter the market, the preferences for types of payments are steadily shifting. Mobile pay, for example, is increasingly being expected as an option by Gen Z.
If you are selling products or services on a website, then the payment options you can offer will range from the traditional ecommerce offerings of debit/credit cards and PayPal to the newer buy-now-pay-later services offered through AfterPay or Klarna.
However, selling services in person — away from a website — will change your options when collecting payment on the go. You have the option of mobile peer-to-peer payment options through a mobile app, requesting payment through a generated URL, or collecting payment via debit/credit card through the use of a mobile payment terminal. There is, of course, the option of cash, but cash is rapidly plummeting as a payment of choice for many buyers.
Wherever and however you choose to sell your products, be sure that you clearly display the payment options that you accept. Uncertainty can turn buyers away, so try to avoid discouraging buyers from completing their purchases.
5. Be where your customers are
When it comes to selling products, it’s important to be aware of your market. If your products or services are hyperlocal, then it may suit your business better to offer those products locally, such as at a farmer’s market or local convention. In those circumstances, it’s imperative that you have a simple, secure way to accept payments. A point-of-sale (POS) device or mobile payment option would be perfect in that scenario.
If your products or services aren’t limited to a single region, then an ecommerce website would serve your business better. Ecommerce nowadays includes social media, so you’ll want to consider integrating social media marketplaces into your ecommerce strategy.
Know where your customers are and be there to meet their needs. Every business is unique, so it’s important to fully consider your sales priorities and requirements.
Summing it up
Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas to help you get your business rolling.
Websites are an expectation of businesses nowadays, and while ecommerce is certainly great, it’s important to consider the rapidly evolving business landscape when it comes to how businesses are selling.
The economy continues to shift quickly, so having multiple routes for doing business — whether in-person, over the phone, or online — will help your business remain successful.
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