How to Grow Your Agency by Reselling EcommerceBy Emily Dyrland
How would you like to break into the ecommerce game as an agency? Have your clients been asking for help with their online stores? The demand from small and medium businesses (SMBs) is huge for ecommerce and website services. According to ecommerceguide, online purchasing currently accounts for 14 percent of all retail sales globally and forecasts that it will be 22 percent by 2023. This is partially due to the impact COVID has had on SMBs that were not previously selling online. SMBs want to get in on that recurring revenue stream, and they want you to provide it.
The best part is you don’t have to be a web developer or designer to offer your clients a great ecommerce solution. This is a common misconception with our own partners, but building websites with ecommerce functionality should be far from intimidating.
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Agencies already working with a white-label platform can easily increase revenue by adding ecommerce solutions to available products and services under their own brands. Depending on the platform, the approach can range from full service to hands-off client do-it-yourself (DIY). The steady growth in the ecommerce market and vast sales opportunities in the field should be reason enough to start reselling ecommerce products to grow your agency
Why you should resell ecommerce
It’s understandable that some agencies hesitate to add ecommerce to their offerings. The notions that ecommerce is complicated, platforms like WordPress are difficult to learn, and the workload is large can be summed up in one word -- unknown. The unknown can provoke fear, but in this case, holds huge potential for recurring revenue.
Ecommerce reselling provides agencies the chance to acquire new clients, retain existing clients, and increase their client basket size. Due to the global pandemic, many SMBs were forced to close their physical doors. According to WebMarkeingPros, approximately 74 percent of businesses don’t have ecommerce functionality on their website. From this demand appears a massive opportunity for reselling ecommerce solutions.
One size does not fit all in this market, so understand who your clients are and how ecommerce fits into their individual situation. The clear problem was that these businesses needed a way to generate revenue. The solution being to get them selling online in a short period of time.
1. Acquire new clients
SMBs are looking for guidance to fit into a world marked by lockdowns and physical distancing. They need help in finding the right online tools, building a website, and managing it. Agencies can market their ecommerce solutions with these types of clients in mind.
Client type: just starting out
Clients new to the ecommerce game need your help from the ground up. They might have a fully realized idea of how they want their site to look and are just hoping that you’ll take charge of their situation. It will be time-consuming to get their ecommerce stores up and running, but managing it won’t be difficult.
2. Retain existing clients
Once you have a client’s website up and running, they are likely to stay due to switching costs, effort, and time that it takes to change providers. According to Pressable, WordPress currently powers 39.7 percent of all existing websites, making it one of the best options for creating a website. By adding the WooCommerce plugin to a WordPress site you can quickly and easily incorporate ecommerce capabilities for your existing clients.
Client type: established physical business
These clients have been in business for decades in some cases. They need to start selling online to stay competitive, and Kokott says “there will be work needed to ensure inventory is properly managed.” This category may be hesitant to get online but could be convinced if you are able to point out their pain points.
Client type: existing ecommerce business
This client knows the value of ecommerce and has experience in the area. Depending on the platform they use, it might be simple to transfer their website to a new host. In some cases, it can take time to rebuild the website using the platform you work with.
3. Increase client basket size
Expand current product and service offerings for existing clients. By cross-selling ecommerce solutions, you can help your clients in a new area, while generating additional recurring revenue for yourself. For example, if they already use and are satisfied with your search engine optimization (SEO) products, it won’t be a stretch to convince them to purchase ecommerce solutions. This is especially true if everything is under one dashboard like the Vendasta solution.
Client type: Businesses currently working with you, but using other available solutions. These clients will benefit from adding ecommerce to their basket.
How you should be offering ecommerce
Your strategy as a service provider should totally depend on how your clients operate. To provide a good fit for your client, you need to understand the problem you’re solving for them.
“As long as you understand the value of ecommerce and how to show your clients what that value is, then you will see success.”
Consider the following four tiers when pitching ecommerce to prospects.
This client needs a bit of convincing before making a purchase. A freemium product with fewer features than a paid product is an excellent way to show your prospects the power of your solutions. An example of this is Website Express offered by Vendasta that gives prospects the option to try before they buy.
This client is convinced of the power of ecommerce and has the time to work with it. This client could also just be starting out and may not have the ability to purchase services. A lower-tier paid solution that includes templates and tips for clients new to ecommerce would be a good place to start, so that they can chart their own ecommerce journey. This is an easy upsell from the prospecting client.
This category wants help building ecommerce functionality into their website. However, their branding is on the line, so they want to be closely involved in building it. You can decide what you’ll be doing and what you’ll be assigning to your client in this situation.
These clients fully trust you to do the right thing for their businesses and probably don’t have time to involve themselves in the process. As a confident ecommerce reseller, you should be able to take full control of your client's ecommerce business, use Website Pro, a paid ecommerce product to fully customize their site.
Know what your ecommerce capabilities are as an agency. You are the local expert who can provide solutions to problems your clients and prospects face every day. If you aren’t confident about your website building capabilities look for solutions that provide that service.
Whatever your skill level may be with website building, there is a solution that is right for your agency. You don’t have to be an expert in the field to help your clients start selling online.