Using e-commerce to sell

Let’s talk about e-commerce. We’ll help you learn what it is, discuss the different ways
it’s used for business, and help you choose the best
e-commerce option to match your needs. Let’s hear from Mike
on how he supported his hot air balloon business
with e-commerce. (Mike) I have a number of products
which I can additionally use to generate income,
one of which is photographs. I do in-flight photographs
and it has the benefit of kind of enriching
the passenger experience and the flight experience
because it gives a really nice memento and souvenir they can take away. There’s also another one which
is called a balloon in a box. Normally when people purchase a
flight they get a pdf of a flight voucher that they download and they print off. A ballon in a box
is where they pay a little bit extra, so I upsell that to them. I then do the printing off,
put it into a nice decorative box with a helium balloon inside, so when they give that gift,
out floats a nice helium balloon with the flight voucher
attached on a ribbon and it adds a bit of extra ‘wow’ factor and of course generates a
new revenue stream for me. So first, what is e-commerce? Well, it’s really just a fancy name
for selling things online. People have been making online purchases on websites and
mobile applications for a while now. All kinds of businesses are finding ways
to make use of e-commerce to achieve their sales goals online. These goals vary,
depending on the business. You might start with a simple goal like, “I want to offer customers the ability
to send payments through the web.” Or maybe you want a lot more,
like a website that allows people to search and view your inventory, create customer accounts,
and set up recurring orders. The sky’s the limit! So how do you get started
with e-commerce for your business? Your first step might be
to simply offer a way for customers to transfer money to your business through the web. You can easily add payment services
like Pay-Pay to your website, that make on-line payment easy. In most cases your customer doesn’t even
have to set up a Pay-Pay account, and can pay through
a credit card or direct debit. If you’re starting
to sell online from scratch, you might try an off the shelf service
that includes e-commerce, like Squarespace or WordPress. These services not only accept payments, but they usually offer templates so that you can easily
add product pages to your website. If you’re going for the gold, you might decide
on a customized e-commerce service like Magento or Shopify. There are many options available,
with features like product search, inventory management, checkout, customer accounts,
auto-management and more. E-commerce often brings to mind
a sort of retail or shop-like experience. Any business that sells products
in a physical shop can also sell their products
on a virtual shop online. Offline customers can walk through
the door of your furniture shop browse the couches,
bookcases, and beds on display. While online, customers should
be able to see those same products by clicking around the pages
of your online shop. Even though customers won’t be able
to sit on that couch for sale, or feel the fabric, your online shop
can bring your products to life. You should include lots of photos,
detailed descriptions, customer reviews,
and even videos of the products. This high-quality imagery
and well-written content is like your online product display. Done well, it can help narrow the gap
between a customer’s retail and online shopping experience. After you’ve sorted out how to sell
your products on your own website, you’ll want to sell more products
in more places. So, your next step might be
to look into other online marketplaces. For example,
you might also sell your furniture through sites like Amazon and e-Bay. If this is one of your goals, and you haven’t yet selected
an e-commerce provider, make sure that they support
your multi-channel selling. As a reminder, whether you plan to offer
a full-blown virtual version of your physical shop, or you’re just looking
to accept payments online, e-commerce can be a really
powerful tool for your business. Next, we’ll be helping you to take
those first steps into e-commerce. We’ll be examining
different options in more detail, so that you can know which one
works best for your business. We’ll also be showing you
how to re-engage with customers after their initial connection with you. So stick with us.

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