If there was one positive thing that businesses might take away from 2020, it’s the boom of ecommerce. A three-month period saw 10 years of ecommerce growth in the United States. The pandemic changed much about the way businesses offer products and services. Many now accept online payment and offer alternative shopping methods like curbside pickup, delivery, and preorders to service anticipated demand.
Ecommerce allowed businesses to reconnect with customers as physical stores and offices were shut down. A strong online presence and the ability to conduct transactions from a business’s website were instrumental in attracting and capturing new customers. In fact, according to a recent McKinsey study, 75 percent of U.S. consumers say they have tried different stores, websites, or brands during the COVID-19 crisis, and 60 percent of these consumers say they expect to integrate these brands into their post-COVID lives. The ecommerce boom is an opportunity for you to help small businesses transition to online and to grow your agency revenue. It’s time to take action!
The business of convenience
Some businesses are still hesitant to make the leap. Perhaps they already have an existing, loyal client base, or believe ecommerce is just for selling physical products. However, it is much more. Merriam Webster defines ecommerce as “activities related to the buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet.” This is where having a fast-loading and secure website is essential.
The primary goal of a website should be to attract prospective customers and drive them to a sale. Regardless of whether a business sells physical goods, it is important to be able to drive online actions that lead to an online sale. This includes functions like booking appointments for hair salons, virtual viewings for real estate, and much more.
The small business online challenge
Creating and maintaining a website can be a challenge for smaller businesses. Many don’t have the time or knowledge needed to create or manage their own websites. They must choose a web hosting provider, a domain, create the website, and do the necessary work to ensure their websites are maintained and secure. With all the technical skills required to run a website, it can be overwhelming for many to get started.
That’s where your agency can help small businesses create and manage their website or online store.
Timing is everything
Helping your leads and clients means knowing when to quickly reach out. Lead response time is crucial. Ideally, you want to connect with a lead in five minutes or less. Doing so requires the essential tools for sales enablement, including a sales customer relationship management or CRM, sales pipeline software, and marketing automation software. These tools track your clients or leads, monitor your sales activity, and, with built-in integrations and triggers, alert you when they are ready for a sales conversation.
Vendasta provides these selling solutions through a subscription. No more cobbling different software together. One login brings all the essential tools for sales enablement and a web hosting and ecommerce solution to resell to your clients—all integrated so you know exactly if and when they are setting up their website. All you need to do is swoop in and save the day.
The solutions your clients need
Website Product Suite
Website Express and Website Pro host WordPress websites through the Google Cloud Platform. Google website hosting is a fast, secure, and protected online infrastructure that can scale to fit any business. It includes one-click setups, a visual builder, simple staging environments, ecommerce work-flows, and built-in reporting.
Your clients can get started through the Vendasta freemium web hosting and creation app. Website Express allows your clients to create a free, easy-to-use ecommerce-ready website on WordPress. Website Express is a simplified version of Website Pro product that includes the Divi Builder, a visual website builder, and WooCommerce, a plugin that adds ecommerce functionalities like online payment, shipping, and inventory management. These plugins are pre-installed on a variety of templates to suit any business need. Use this product edition to get your clients started with a website and upgrade them to Pro when they’re ready to move to the next level.
Website Pro includes: hosting, SSL certificates, *.websitepro.hosting domain, unmetered storage, migration plugin, unmetered traffic, easy domain setup, custom templates, and 24/7 support. Website Pro helps your clients create a fast, secure website that’s easy to build and maintain on their own or with your help.
Sales and Success Center
The powerful and easy-to-use Vendasta CRM provides the tools that sales teams need to connect with prospects at the right time, and lets you avoid the risks of uncertain cold calling and pitching wrong products.
The Vendasta CRM system uses artificial intelligence to assess and determine when prospects are ready to buy, and exactly what products they need.
Website Express/Pro and Sales and Success Center are fully integrated into the Vendasta CRM platform so you can anticipate their needs and know exactly when to reach out to your website clients.
Know when clients need your help with their website
It’s the perfect time to reach out to see what a client may need help with, and a good opportunity to upsell website creation and maintenance services, cross-sell other solutions they may need to bolster their ecommerce offering, or if they are using Website Express, upgrade the subscription to Website Pro.
Tips and tricks: the best ways to offer ecommerce websites
Web hosting is a great monthly recurring revenue source. Websites encourage customer loyalty and gives you a foot in the door to provide other products and services. There are three main ways to offer this service to your clients:
1. Do it for me (DIFM):
Already a website expert? Provide everything your clients need, from website creation to maintenance. Let your team do everything for your clients. But if you don’t have the expertise or team to fulfill these tasks, then look to Vendasta and a team of in-house experts who can handle it all. It’s a managed service that can be whitelabeled under your brand.
DIFM typically has higher monthly recurring revenue, but might be better suited for businesses that have bigger budgets. Going this route means that you will need to provide a lot of ongoing support and maintenance for your clients.
2. Do it yourself (DIY):
Some clients may decide to work on their own website. Give them free access to Website Express, let them experience the app, and then look to upsell them to Website Pro when they are ready to move to the next level.
Note that DIY may risk customer churn, since you’re not directly engaged and providing value to them. Website Express and Website Pro both provide templates that are available for your clients to get started. Use your expertise to create custom templates for specific industries and give clients an enhanced DIY experience. DIY also provides an opportunity to upsell your client to a DIFM or DIWM™ (do-it-with-me) option if they can’t do it alone.
DIY lets small businesses take control of their website and learn skills almost entirely on their own with minimal help from you. It is an option more suited for those with simpler business models and smaller budgets.
3. Do it with me (DIWM™):
This represents a balanced approach where you and your client work together. More time is spent by you at the beginning during initial website set-up and training. However, as your customer takes control and maintains their website, you will spend less time with them as they update content and manage their inventory and orders on their own. They may occasionally reach out to you for support or guidance.
DIWM™ means businesses eventually take control of their website with your guidance. This is one of the most successful models, as over time, you switch from providing training to delivering support. It’s a great approach for businesses who sell physical goods and are constantly moving inventory.
Ready to get started?
With your help, ecommerce doesn’t need to be difficult for small businesses. Download a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you get your clients started with selling online in 60 minutes or less. Not yet a Vendasta Partner? Get in touch with us and learn how we can help you help your clients with ecommerce.