Simple ecommerce options you can do yourself

Steve

Selling your products online doesn’t have to be expensive.

If you’re a not-for-profit organisation wanting to make it easy for your supporters to give, or a small businesses looking to begin selling online, you might not have the budget for creating the ideal online shopping experience you’d really like.

And, while a bespoke shopping cart system tailored to your particular business needs is going to generate more income for you in the long term, you could try dipping your toe into the water with one of these simple options, both using Paypal, and both so easy that you can do them yourself.

Buy Now buttons

Paypal has been providing a simple Buy Now button service for years. All you need is the ability to edit your web pages: this won’t be a problem if you’re using a content management system such as WordPress.

You will need to register for Paypal Business account, and then head over the Buy Now button generator. From here you can create a Buy Now button for each product on your website. Fill in the details, click “Create Button” and you’ll generate the code you need.

Don’t panic! It’s code, yes, but it’s not really that scary.

All you’re going to do is copy the code, head over to your website, login and edit the page you want to place the button on. Your content management system should give you an option to flip to ‘code’ or ‘text’ view. Do this and find the place where you want to put your button. Paste your code in, hit save/update, and you’re done.

What happens now?

  • Your customer clicks the Buy Now button and they’re taken to the Paypal website;
  • They enter their name, address and credit card details and hit “Pay now”;
  • They see their order confirmation and a “print your receipt” link;
  • They are also sent an order confirmation email;
  • And, you are sent an email with details of your customer and the product they’ve purchased.

It’s quick and easy and has only cost you the 2.4% plus $0.30 Paypal fee for the transaction.

Add To Cart buttons

Buy Now buttons are great if you only have a few products for sale. If you have a bigger product catalogue, you’ll want to make it easy for customers to buy more than one product at a time. Paypal have a quick and easy option for this too: Add To Cart buttons.

Very similar to Buy Now buttons, just head over to the Add To Cart button generator, enter your details and create your buttons and paste the code into your website. Each product you’re selling will have it’s own Add To Cart button just as before, but this time the customer experience is a little different.

  • Your customer clicks an Add To Cart button on your website. Behind the scenes, the product is added to a shopping cart on the Paypal website;
  • Your customer clicks other Add To Cart buttons on your website, and then clicks the “View Cart” button;
  • They’re taken to Paypal where they enter their name, address and credit card details and click “Pay now”;
  • They see their order confirmation and a “print your receipt” link;
  • They are also sent an order confirmation email;
  • And, you are sent an email with details of your customer and the products they’ve purchased.

Ready to get serious?

Using these Paypal services you can be selling online in minutes and it’s so easy you’ll be able to do it yourself.

It’s a great way to start selling online, but probably won’t be a long term solution for most.

If you find you’re having some success you’re eventually going to want to invest in your own shopping cart on your own website. Why?

  • This will give customers more confidence in you – the whole experience will carry your branding;
  • Customer won’t need to leave your website;
  • You’ll be able to have discount codes, loyalty rewards, customer order history, …
  • And, you’ll have the freedom to choose how you take payments.

But for now, give these low-cost Paypal options a go and let us know how you get on – just leave a comment below.

If you need some help, or want something non-standard, or if you’re ready to make the move to your own on-site shopping cart, give us a call.

Posted in Not-for-profit, Tech