Retail-based shopping carts can be great solutions for businesses trying to sell online. The ecommerce industry is ever-growing, and in many ways, has helped level the playing field, enabling smaller businesses to capture online business and compete with retail giants. However, service-based businesses have been at a disadvantage in this arena, especially when it comes to website and shopping cart solutions available. Why? Because most are built for retail. A tailored shopping cart for service based business can make all the difference.
Retail cart vs. a shopping cart for service based business
Most online retail shopping carts are set up for selling products, like t-shirts or technology. Service-based businesses are those like landscapers or web developers that sell intangible labor or expert help.
Often, trying to use the standard mix of shopping cart solutions to generate signups, appointments, registrations, donations, or RSVPs for these service companies involves hastily customizing traditional retail-focused platforms to sell their services. The result is often a disjointed and clunky customer experience, as well as a disconnected silo for the business.
When trying to find a shopping cart for service based business uses, you shouldn’t look for a retail cart. Look for a shopping cart for a service business that has these features.
1. Service-based fields
While traditional shopping carts may tie in size and color, they can’t ask for service details such as skill level, service preferences, a child’s name or allergies, or service location. This ultimately takes away from building customer-merchant relationships and rapport, a crucial element of customer retention.
Service platforms, on the other hand, provide options that allow businesses to collect more information about their customers. These may include:
- Registration forms
- Custom fields
- Enrollment options
In turn, business owners can gain valuable insights to build customizable reports, and more personal connections with their customers.
2. Customer focused
Traditional, transaction-focused shopping carts can bring about new headaches when trying to reconcile sales with customer records and other business platforms (like billing or accounting solutions). Unfortunately, they can lack customer insights for a business’ best customers, not simply their best products.
A complete shopping cart for service based business connects business owners and their staff with the people they do business with.
With service-focused ecommerce technology, businesses can not only handle online orders, but also customer reconciliation, payment processing, recurring billing, and business insights and reporting – all in one spot.
3. Multiple billing options
While a traditional online shopping cart provides a way to pay for a one-time item, service businesses often want a way to sell ongoing services. Think about it: customers don’t want to pay for weekly lawn maintenance, monthly gym memberships, or quarterly classes every time they use the service. And businesses don’t want to collect payments that way, either.
Instead, a shopping cart for service based business should provide an array of features that make buying and selling more convenient. These may include:
- Subscriptions allow businesses to process recurring payments, taking the hassle out of one-time payments.
- Appointment scheduling provides customers the opportunity to book and pay for services in advance.
- Prorated payments dynamically adjust the amount due for customers who start a service past the initial installation.
- Payment plans allow for more affordable service options for customers who can’t pay in full upfront.
A Better Shopping Cart For Service Based Business
An ecommerce website opens up your business to a much wider audience. But, be cautious when contemplating a retail-focused solution for your service business. Service-based businesses need a selling platform that’s built specifically for them, and their close relationships with customers.
PaySimple’s Online Store allows service businesses to sell services in a way that is tailored to their needs, and benefits both businesses and customers. Provide the online shopping experience customers are used to with retail, but save time with a platform that’s made for services.
A complete service-commerce platform can offer relief from the time-consuming details of running a business, while providing more predictable revenue and new customer growth.
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