Real quick, if you’re interested in combining all your e-mail accounts into one Gmail, I’m creating a service for this and need testers.
OK, does the subject of this e-mail interest you?
The right sales system [the thing you use to transact sales online] is difficult to find because every service, product, and business is just a little bit different.
This e-mail will explain how to make it easier.
There’s no magical answer, but asking the right questions is the first part. [don’t worry, I have recommendations too]
So the tough part is finding a solution that matches your needs perfectly, and most go wrong by not thinking about their needs with any sort of detail or clarity. Slap a buy now button on your site and you’re good right? Not usually.
Even if you’re just selling 1 product, and it’s digital, and that’s all you plan to ever sell, you’re still going to want different things out of the checkout process.
Define your “must haves” and draw out exactly what you want to happen in the checkout process. [literally, draw it, be detailed]
Here’s a list of common “must haves” …
- Automatic newsletter subscribe on checkout
- Custom thank you e-mail
- Expiring links to a download
- Calculated shipping costs
- Affiliate platform
- Reoccurring payment
- Exportable sales tracking
- On-site checkout process [user never leaves your website.com]
- Free trial periods
- Different levels of purchase for the same sale [small, medium, large]
- Coupon codes
- Membership site access on checkout
If you send a monthly newsletter and charge for it, you absolutely must have a recurring payment and newsletter integration, you may not necessarily need expiring links.
What can you not live without? Once you have that written down, evaluating and implementing a sales system is orders of magnitude easier.
Next, understand the setup is a process, so it doesn’t smack you in the face like it does most online business owners who try and get someone else to set this up for them without thinking about it.
There are countless solutions – some cost up front, some cost monthly, some are easy to install, some take a developer.
OK, so when you have your must haves, and a drawing of what you want to happen, here’s what’s good.
I’ve scoured the internet for the best options out there, and tested many of them, here’s a list to get you started, and my baseline recommendations, but REMEMBER, ask yourself what you must have before you research these products for best results.
Stand Alone Solutions
[solutions that process payment directly and typically provide “buttons”, basic code snippits that lead buyers back to the processors site to checkout, or require developer level integration. EITHER REALLY BASIC OR REALLY COMPLICATED. AKA Payment Gateways]
- PayPal – very basic buy buttons and subscription payment buttons, powerful with integrations or developers. no end user custom e-mails, no affiliate system.
- Authorize.net – may as well hire a developer now!
- Google Checkout – tailored toward physical products, expensive
[these tools interface directly with Stand Alone Solutions to provide a better experience or capabilities. features vary wildly and are matched to situation, some will be more valuable than others depending on need, for example, re-occuring charges vs never leaving the sellers website or a built in affiliate system]
- PayPal + Gravity Forms – flexible, WordPress plugin structure, based on Forms, fair learning curve
- eJunkie – cheap, better than PayPal by itself but still limited, has affiliate system
- WooCommerce – popular WordPress plugin, tailored toward a “store front” but user friendly
- Digital Delivery App – provides buy buttons to add to site with code, flexible, includes affiliate system
- 1ShoppingCart – comprehensive, high learning curve, many options, more like a “store front”, buy button capability
- Infusionsoft – high learning curve, e-mail marketing system that includes sales system, very complex
- Easy Digital Downloads – free, newly popular WordPress plugin, modular, better than PayPal by itself
[hybrid solutions, “store fronts” that are off your website entirely and either directly take payments or integrate with other Stand Alone Solutions]
- Shopify – easy to use platform, design limited without coding
- Etsy – craft based, for physical products only
- Volusion – comprehensive “store front” tailored to physical products
If you want more help with the narrowing down process and testing, IT Arsenal is developing a simple yes or no question and answer guide with detailed breakdowns and needs beta testers, hit reply if you’re interested in testing!
Now that you know more about sales systems, you’re on the right back for setting up the right system for your business, I truly hope it’s useful information and I’m glad to talk about it.
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