Written by Jessica Ropolo
When most people think of eCommerce, they think about products they can buy online. With sites like Amazon and Overstock selling goods since the 90’s, shopping online has become almost second nature. In fact, according to Pew Research, almost 80 percent of Americans shop online. Clearly, any business that does not have an online purchasing option is behind the curve.
But what about services? Can you sell a service online when there’s nothing to deliver? Of course! While much of the strategy is the same as it would be for products, there are a few things to pay extra special attention to when selling a service on your eCommerce website.
Maintain Easy Online Payment Options
As with anything purchased online, you want to have a simple payment system to complete transactions. With most products, shoppers are accustomed to adding items to a cart and then submitting payment via credit or debit card. Then, within the estimated shipping time, the products are delivered to the customer’s door.
When you offer a service, you aren’t delivering anything tangible — but you might still want customers to prepay for offerings. Instead of listing products, you can have different service options. For example:
- One/multiple sessions — e.g., price of one facial vs. three
- Service for an extended period of time — e.g., six months of regular house cleaning
- Different types of plans — e.g., insurance options
- Subscriptions — e.g., weekly recipes and workouts
- Appointments — e.g., pay in advance for a visit
Simply use the same type of setup for your services as you would when listing products. The easiest way to do this is using a dedicated eCommerce platform, such as GoDaddy’s New Online Store, which includes shopping cart functionality, secure payment collection and even email marketing integration.
When offering a service, your customers are essentially buying you. Whatever you provide, it’s important for customers to know why you’re the best choice. That means using content to sell you, your qualifications and your achievements. But don’t just list your credentials — explain why having them benefits the consumer.
You may have all the required certifications and experience, but visitors want to know how these work for them. For example, being in business for 15 years demonstrates your ability to meet the needs of customers. Showing people you have had success implies your clients are happy and your offerings are effective.
Pro tip: Put testimonials from your top clients on your website as extra proof of your worth.
In addition to tailoring your web content to show off your prowess, consider starting a blog. Regularly posting articles boosts your credibility with potential clients, demonstrates your knowledge base, and keeps readers informed with the latest news in your industry.
Take Advantage of Local SEO
Because you’re offering a service that likely requires an in-person meeting with customers, implementing local SEO can be a key sales tactic. While you might be able to travel to meet clients, many service-based businesses work within their local community. You want to target a specific region in search results so you stay relevant and convenient to searchers.
Before selling a service on your eCommerce website, consider the local ranking factors for Google.
More than ever, people are purchasing items on their phones and mobile devices. In fact, the Pew Research report noted that 51 percent of Americans have bought something online with a cell phone. If your eCommerce website is not mobile-friendly, you’ll lose customers and potentially drop in search engine rankings.
Pro tip: When choosing an eCommerce platform to sell your services online, pick one that responds to mobile screens and offers easy navigation, payment and browsing.
There are a variety of ways to optimize an online store for services, but these four tips should be at the top of your list. As with any site, make sure you have quality content, simple navigation, a great user experience and clear opportunities for contact. If you follow these tips, selling a service on your eCommerce website could be an extremely effective way to boost your business.
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A regular contributor to the GoDaddy blog, Jessica Ropolo has a background spanning journalism, PR, publishing, editing, content marketing and copywriting. She has garnered experience that allows her to effectively write and strategize for different audiences and objectives. Her unique ability to create content for any topic, style, industry and channel is unmatched. With training in SEO and UX, she knows how to achieve results by crafting copy that meets the needs of both search engines and users.