Service-based businesses can dramatically improve their bottom lines by conducting their business online.
In addition to expanding your audience, selling your services online also streamlines payment collection, reduces operating costs, and gives you more opportunities to pitch.
Today we’ll cover the six most salient reasons for marketing and selling your services online through a website and collecting payments using online payment software.
Hopefully, it’ll help you decide if this is the right approach for your business.
- Having Access to a Large Audience
- More Selling Opportunities
- Easier Payment Collection
- Personalized Customer Experience
- Effortless Business Scaling
- Decreased Operating Costs
Having Access to a Large Audience
When you sell your services online, you can transcend geographical restrictions and reach customers from all around the world.
As of 2022, there were 2.64 billion people who purchased goods online. It’s a smart move to tap into this growing market as soon as possible.
You don’t want to miss out on buyers because you couldn’t reach them.
Every year, as technology spreads and social norms change, the number of online shoppers only rises:
Even an after-school program that isn’t looking for cross-continental relationships will gain access to a wider audience by creating an online store.
That’s because there are likely many people in their area who wouldn’t be able to find the business without an online search, or who prefer to buy services online and thus choose to send their kids to the programs that facilitate this.
If you’re selling services that can happen in the virtual space—coaching, tutoring, writing, coding—this advantage is even more impactful.
For example, an online math tutoring business could register and teach students from all around the country, not just from their community.
In sum, if you want access to a larger number of leads, start selling your services online.
More Selling Opportunities
If you sell your services online, customers can make purchases from your business at any time of the day—your storefront is open 24/7.
Depending on your marketing strategy, you’ll also be able to attract customers from different online channels, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Google search.
You can also install chatbots or live chat onto your website, allowing you to court new visitors to your website once they arrive.
These bots can also answer questions and move the leads towards the right service for them.
Further, you could put “contact us” forms on your website, which leads can fill out to talk to one of your sales reps to learn more about your solution.
When you speak with these inbound leads, there’s a high chance they’ll be qualified.
This is because they already had the opportunity to review your offers online and see if it’s right for them.
Therefore, the conversation will be more sales-forward and less investigative. It’s a much better use of your team’s time.
You’ll spend most of the call telling the lead about the benefits of the service and answering their questions as opposed to trying to figure out if their needs align with your offer.
Overall, when compared with only selling your services at a physical location, selling services online opens up a whole lot of opportunities to attract, nurture, and close new leads.
Easier Payment Collection
You can automate nearly the entire payment collection process when you offer services online.
All you need is online payment software that comes with a payment gateway, payment processing, and other automation features like recurring billing.
These tools allow customers to pay directly on your website through a secure form. And if your service requires registration, they can do that online as well.
For example, here’s one of several steps in Yellowstone Forever’s online registration for a coyotes and wolves seminar:
Source: Yellowstone Forever
Further, software like Regpack enables you to create customer payment plans that you can offer to your customers on your website.
These personalized plans help win more customers. The leads who wouldn’t have been able to afford the entire cost upfront can choose a plan that spreads it over months or years.
For example, the business below offers three customer payment plans through Regpack:
Lastly, online payment software also empowers you to automate and manage recurring payments.
When a customer selects autopay, that means their card, or other chosen payment method, will be automatically charged according to the payment plan they’ve agreed to.
Even if a customer chooses not to use autopay, they’ll still automatically receive notice when their payment is due, thanks to trigger-based emails.
And they can submit the payment easily online through the user portal:
With the right online payment tool, your team will be able to streamline the payment process for yourself and your customers—thus increasing both operational efficiency and sales.
Personalized Customer Experience
When you put information about your services online, each customer has their own unique experience on your website.
They can investigate the features or packages that relate to their needs and spend as much time as they’d like reviewing the pricing.
Or, they can watch the testimonial videos that interest them, and read the case studies about buyers similar to them.
Essentially, they get to choose their own adventure through your content. This helps ensure that they see all the information they need to comfortably make a buying decision.
Further, when you use online registration forms with embedded payments, you collect data from your customers—email address, age, interests, etc.— that can help you create segmented marketing campaigns.
For example, a summer camp might create two email lists—one for kids whose favorite subject is science and another for kids who chose math in the box on the online registration form.
After that camp session is over, the camp could then send parents emails marketing the camp as great for learning whichever subject the child put down on the web form.
This personalization should help the camp get the parent to sign the kid up again next summer.
In fact, 78% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand again if that brand provides targeted and personalized offers.
Personalization pays in other ways too:
Source: Neil Patel
To summarize, selling your services online is one of the best ways to help buyers research your services on their own in the way that works best for them.
Effortless Business Scaling
Because so much is automated with online selling—registration, payment collection, etc.— it’s a whole lot easier to scale your business.
Adding a new service is as simple as listing it on your website and building a payment form for it.
And a boon of 100 new buyers doesn’t mean you have to hire more people to take orders or collect payments.
Through these payment forms, the buyers can just sign themselves up and pay for the service online.
And with recurring billing, it doesn’t matter if you have to collect money from 10 or 100 customers. The work is the same—none.
It all happens automatically, thanks to a handy online payment platform.
Overall, this effortless business scaling allows you to boost revenue, and add new revenue streams to your business, without having to increase operational costs.
Decreased Operating Costs
When you sell your services online, you can lower your labor costs dramatically by automating various processes:
|Payment collection via recurring billing and autopay|
|Customer registration via online registration forms|
|Invoicing via automated electronic invoices|
For example, collecting a payment from a customer used to require a sales rep, but with online payment software, customers can pay online without interacting with anyone on your team.
It all happens behind the scenes through a secure payment gateway:
Overall, this reduced workload means that you can hire fewer people.
Or, you can have your staff spend their time on other more impactful initiatives, like improving your service or growing relationships with current customers.
These actions drive revenue and grow your business, instead of just keeping your business operating as usual.
Another way that selling your services online reduces operating costs is that you can use cost-effective online marketing tactics. These are often more affordable than traditional ones.
For example, you could post videos on social media to drive people to your online store, where they can make a purchase.
There are many to choose from:
Source: Insights Media Solutions
You could still advertise your services using online methods without actually selling them over the internet, but it doesn’t work nearly as well.
If those leads click on your social media post, go to your website, and then find out that they have to call your company or go to your storefront to buy the service, they might drop out. It’s too much work for some.
To sum up this benefit, using online sales allows you to reduce both labor and advertising costs for your business.
Marketing your services and collecting payments online helps your business increase its market reach and profits.
Plus, this strategy makes it easier to scale your business, reduce operating costs, and personalize the customer experience.
If you’re convinced that this is a good move for your business, check out this 9-step guide for how to sell your services online.