Your business should use e-commerce, regardless of the size or scope of your company. E-commerce will definitely increase your revenue, but you have to balance the value with the development costs and complexity of integration. Here are four examples.
Online Ordering for Your Restaurant
Locally owned restaurants can increase their take-out business substantially with online ordering, but only if it works well and your customers trust it.
Begin with a core menu that rarely changes. (Running specials online works well, but get your system up and running before tackling these extras.) Have your web team create a highly mobile friendly website with a shopping cart.
Integrate your shopping cart system with the record-keeping you already use for telephone take-out.
If you handle take-out orders manually, a simple email order will suffice. If you have a point-of-sale system, your shopping cart may be able to integrate directly.
Investing in the tech can be the difference between success and failure, because with take-out orders generally the food is a lower priority than convenience and speed. As a bonus, you can choose to require payment online, which guarantees you get paid even if the customer is a no-show.
Mobile customers like multiple payment options. Make sure your website accepts PayPal, Apple Pay, Google payments as well as traditional credit cards.
Shopping carts today are very robust. The important part of taking your retail store on to the web is inventory management. Depending on your investment in advertising, your online store could add a trickle of extra sales daily, or it could add a flood. Either situation can wreak havoc on your inventory.
Having an experienced web team make sure they can ramp up your e-commerce store over time, making it a great tool for liquidation, selling specialty items, or capturing high margin sales. Planning your strategy for development is just as important as the website code itself.
Depending on your merchandise, a super simple highly mobile friendly experience may work better, or conversely you may want a very detailed presentation that features customer reviews and many specifications. Make sure your e-commerce experience fits your product lines.
Simple E-Commerce: the Donation Button
For some organizations, a simple PayPal donation button is all you need. Nonprofits frequently use this as a way to collect donations easily.
For-profit businesses can also benefit from a donation button. A trend of “pay what you want” websites has found that individuals will make small contributions to websites they might otherwise ignore if they charged a fee. Certainly, not everyone will pay, but if your website has lots of readers/users, a small percentage will pay and many websites benefit in other ways from the traffic.
Lastly, kick up your donations a notch by allowing monthly recurring donations. This creates more stable streams of income, and makes it clear when you can afford to grow.
Electronic Products with Electronic Delivery
Many businesses, particularly those that sell their expertise or information, can benefit from developing electronically deliverable products. Online videos, podcasts, e-books, webinars and presentations can all be delivered 24/7/365 anywhere on the globe. The more unique your expertise, the more demand potential for your products. Working with a good media team can help you translate your services or physical products into entirely new streams of revenue. These can be supported either by advertising or direct sales.
Whether you’ve been in business 100 days or 100 years, if you are selling online, you’re leaving money on the virtual table.
Contact Mediastead and ask for a free e-commerce evaluation for your business.