How can you easily sell your services online as a small business owner?
In 2020, while it was impossible to walk into a brick-and-mortar store, e-commerce has really taken off! Now store owners have to adapt to this new way of shopping.
But how exactly can you offer your services on the Internet? Do you necessarily have to set up your own website? If not, which platforms should one use? What are the pitfalls to avoid?
We give you an overview in this article.
Offer your services online: Everything you need to know.
Why should you sell your services and products on the Internet?
Selling services and products on the Internet is a great new opportunity if you run your own brick-and-mortar shop. First of all, you'll be able to sell all year round and at any time of the day. A web-based platform is accessible practically around the clock.
Also, the audience is larger on the web than in a physical store. It is possible to reach a national or even international audience.
The digital medium also provides retailers with unparalleled tools to analyze and better understand their customers.
This is because, unlike in a physical location, everything is measurable on the Internet. It is possible to determine the origin of web traffic and easily create a phantom image of its audience using statistical measurement tools such as Google Analytics. So, if you decide to launch advertising campaigns, you will know exactly whether they are effective and bring you new customers directly. You can also very easily find out which products work best to optimize your website.
Finally, it doesn't even have to be particularly expensive to set up a website where you can sell your services or products. You can easily start an online store with just a few clicks. It is an additional showcase for a retailer that can perfectly complement physical sales.
The recent COVID-19 crisis has shown that it is important to have a virtual presence in order to continue selling even if your own store cannot be opened.
With the democratization of online retail, click-and-collect offers customers a truly innovative service. They can order a product online and pick it up in your store, or pre-book a service online. Another good reason why you should take action online!
Because by offering this option, you make your customers' lives much easier. For example, if you sell products, your customers won't pay any delivery fees because they'll come directly to your store to pick them up. If you offer services, your customers can secure their preferred appointment and make the payment from the comfort of their own home. No hassle of scheduling appointments via phone or email.
Today, any retailer in any industry can offer Click & Collect on their website. Even professionals in the restaurant or butcher trade!
What tools should you choose to sell your services online?
Set up a website or an online store
Of course, in order to offer your services online, you first need to create a web presence! The number one way to do this is to set up a website or an online store.
There are platforms that can help you quickly create a website: Shopify, Prestashop, Wordpress, Qart, etc. Make sure you do a good research on what they offer or consult with professionals so you can create your website without any hassle.
💡 With Qart there are no nasty surprises with hidden costs! Everything is transparent for you: for a monthly income of 500€, 10€ goes to us, 13€ to Stripe, our partner for secure payments. The rest is for you!
We would like to draw your attention to two things that are important for your e-commerce website:
- The nuts and bolts of online commerce: your website needs to be protected and your customers and potential customers need to experience it that way. Therefore, opt for a secure and established online payment tool.
- Likewise, in addition to the security aspect, your website must also offer an easy user experience. Shopping online must be as intuitive as possible for your customers! Therefore, it is especially important that you pay attention to the design and user-friendliness of your website.
Selling on marketplaces
You can also sell your services online on dedicated e-commerce platforms without necessarily having to create your own website. Examples include the following platforms: Amazon, Treatwell or Etsy. This is a convenient option if you don't want to create your own website. It also allows you to tap into a large and international customer base.
What is the disadvantage? You are dependent on this environment and you will miss out on some of the revenue as the platforms usually take a fee on every transaction.
Another difficulty you have to keep in mind is the competition. There are lots of other sellers on these platform as well. You must manage to stand out in order to attract your potential clients and customers.
Offer your services through social networks
There is a third way to sell your services and products online: social networks! In fact, Facebook offers an option reserved only for owners of a business page: Facebook Marketplace.
Your Facebook page can include a store tab where you can present your products and services to your customers. This way, prospects and customers can learn more about your products, their price, as well as their description. This option is also available to commercial users on Instagram.
This is a great way to promote your products to your target audience. By the way, it is also possible to connect Facebook Marketplace with your e-commerce website if you have one.
Checklist: Sell services online easily
To successfully implement your online sales project, you should pay attention to the following points:
- Platform - whether you choose to sell online through an e-commerce website, social networks, or a Marketplace, if you are a business owner who only sells services, you need to consider the pros and cons of each solution.
- Security - check if your website is secure and if payment is easy for your potential customers.
- Customer service - don't forget to include your contact details and provide your visitors with real customer service support: it should be very easy to get in touch with you.
- Marketing strategy - to promote your platform, get support to attract more visitors to your website! Social media, local, organic or paid search engine optimization. Choose the right option that suits you best!
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Frequently asked questions: Offering your services easily online
How can you offer your services online?
As a business owner, you can offer and sell your services or products online using various tools (websites, marketplace, social networks). It is important that you choose the solution that is easiest for you. For example, if your budget is limited, you can first build a community on social networks and then, in a second step, create your own website.
Which is the best platform to offer your services online?
Keep your goals in mind: Are you developing a click-and-collect service to make your customers' lives easier, or do you want to start your own e-commerce website? Do you have easy access to web-based tools or do you need a website builder with regular support? The answer fully depends on your goals.
How do you offer your services online?
If you are not selling products, but services, you also have several options:
- Setting up your own website
- Registration on websites that bring together companies and customers, where you can sell your services
- Sales through social networks