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I have this question asked almost every week. “Why should my small business or nonprofit need to add any form of eCommerce added to our website?” I’m not referring to a full blown shopping cart or estore with hundreds of items, but I’m suggesting there should be some kind of purchasing integrated into most websites.

But why would I want this?

It’s not because marketing and design companies want to add to your costs or sell more services. I believe the benefits are more on your client’s side and customer’s side. Using some form of eCommerece can offer your customers more convenience for making donations, purchasing products or obtaining services quicker and easier than driving into your location or trying to reach you by phone unless your business requires it.

So what kind of businesses?

Non profits – Charities offer either services or products. Every charity needs funds from donors. To encourage a simple and quick means to increase funding, add a donate button with which to take credit card payments. This is a highly an affordable means for your charity and a great convenience for your donors. What about events or fundraisers? If you have been the event coordinator, then you know how much work is involved. However, adding a calendar to your website to allow bookings with entry or plate fees would save time and extra volunteers to handle the transactions.

Business Services – Do you need customers to make a quick deposit to start a project? Adding a payment button is a good feature to have to expedite a faster means of getting started. What about adding a calendar for booking projects with the option of adding a retainer to secure the work required? Want to keep it simple? Add ecommerce payment options to your invoices to get your payments sooner and save travel to the customer for a cheque and to the bank for deposit.

Medical or Dental – Yes there are restrictions in this business type, but certainly adding online payments to your bills would quicken your payments and integrate with your bank account. Natural Paths could certainly add a payment option for commonly requested health products and accessories recommended after a visit.

Retail Store – Should you have a brick and mortar storefront, have a great website but just not ready to add a full shopping cart, perhaps add a payment gateway with a simple payment button. This would allow your customers to purchase several of your most common items online and pick up at your store. No fuss. No mess.

Entertainment – Adding a calendar with an event and online payment has never been easier. Combine your ticket sales in person along with a social media campaign to drive online sales. While they are there, offer books, CDs, DVDs and other merchandise.

I’m sure there are more I haven’t mentioned or I’ve forgotten haven worked with many clients over the years with new ideas coming in every day. If you sell products or services, there is likely an opportunity to add the convenience of simple eCommerce to your website or invoices.

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