Business owners that sell services like language classes, dance training, or landscaping are realizing more and more that they need to move their business online. Selling online saves time, makes it easier to acquire new customers and sets a business up to grow.
Many business owners are aware of the opportunity but are at a loss for where to start, especially when it comes to selling services as opposed to physical retail items online.
If you are like many of the service-based business owners we talk to you, you might be concerned about how you will manage your customers once you start selling online. The following tips will help you identify the right solution for your business, as well as what you can do to sell smarter online.
1. Plan for marketing
Before you start looking for an ecommerce solution for your business, think about how you are going to market your services once they’re in your store.
- Do you want to promote your store on social media and on your website?
- Do you want to be able to promote your store through email?
- How will you package and talk about your services?
When you are looking for solutions, make sure that the capabilities of the solution allow you to share your store easily. Also, if you plan on packaging your services into a monthly subscription or want to sell physical items alongside your services, make sure you find a solution that allows you to do this.
2. Plan to get paid
If you get people to your store and they are intent on buying, you want that process to be easy and seamless for them—as well as easy and seamless for you.
- Do you want to sell one-time or recurring services?
- How will you manage and track your online sales?
- How will you keep track of individual customers and their payments?
As you map out your plan to sell online, make sure that you have a system for payments set up and running smoothly, before you start marketing your store. Ideally, you’ll have a system that syncs up payments, orders, and transactions with your customer’s profile so that it’s easy to keep track of your best customers as well as your best-selling services.
3. Plan for retention
Many service businesses rely on the information in their customer profiles to help them make important business decisions and to plan retention activities to keep customers happy and engaged. If retention is important to your business, make sure the solution you choose supports those efforts.
- Do you need a way to collect custom registration information at the time of purchase (birthday, skill level, goals)?
- Do you need to be able to pull reports on your best/worst customers for insight into your business?
- Do you use email campaigns to reach out to sleepy customers with incentives to purchase services?
The best thing about focusing on a retention plan is that the more you learn about your current customers, the more informed you’ll be about the kind of customer you want to try win in the future.
Our online store can help you do these three things, but we know there are other options out there. While we hope we’re the option for you, even if we’re not we encourage you to map out how you are going to market and sell your services online before you pick any solution.