Ecommerce is Not Just For Physical Products
Most businesses think that eCommerce is for retail and physical product based businesses when this could never be further from the case. By integrating appointment scheduling, bill pay, and online delivery services any business can be an eCommerce company, even if they do not sell a simple physical product like a shoe or chair.
For instance, every insurance company should have an online portal for paying bills. The last thing any customer wants to do is call up to find out how much they owe, or send in a check that takes several days to get there. By having the ability to view and pay your bills online, vastly increases not only the convenience of your services, but decreases the amount of time you have to spend dealing with your customers, thus reducing your operational expenses.
Every restaurant that has delivery or gets very busy at certain times should be implementing online delivery services, online payment, and online booking immediately. All successful restaurants have recurring customers that have paid with their credit card many times. Had they been able to pay online, they could create one profile with their payment and delivery info and order in a quarter of the time of reading their card over the phone every time they order. Major restaurants like Dominoes and Papa Johns have begun to perfect this, and it is time smaller restaurants invest in this same type of convenience.
There are many platforms for eCommerce and plenty of unique ways to develop an eCommerce website. For certain businesses doing it in stages may be best. Starting with getting the online scheduling or appointment setting without the payment gateway could be the first stage. This would at least automate the appointment setting process.
Then integrating in the payment gateway once that is complete could save you the hassle of dealing with a large custom website project all at once. Nonetheless, this is an option that every business should explore or at least consider. eCommerce is growing at 4 times the rate of retail, and is only going to continue to outpace retail as more and more people use the internet more frequently. This trend will soon be the case for services as well, as companies like Starbucks have started to roll out a massive nationwide eCommerce effort.