Choosing the Right System

The problem with starting to sell online isn’t the lack of options, it’s the extreme variance in and abundance of options.

The process and platform used to sell online is one of the biggest sources of frustration I know for online entrepreneurs.

The tough part is finding a solution that matches your needs, and most go wrong by not thinking about their needs with any sort of detail. Slap a buy now button on your site and you’re good right? Not really.

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 sales process.

Here’s a list of common wants:

  • 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 yourwebsite.com]
  • Free trial periods
  • Different levels of purchase for the same sale [small, medium, large]
  • Coupon codes
  • Membership site access on checkout

You’d think it would be easy, but because what you’re selling could literally be anything, the desires of the sales process change from business to business. There’s no sales system that fits every situation, or even one that fits most.

Define your Needs

Think about what you absolutely must have in the process of selling in your online business.

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.

Asking yourself what you must have will help you implement the right system and assist you in simply thinking PayPal will be sufficient.

Understand it’s a Process

There are countless solutions – some cost up front, some cost monthly, some are easy to install, some take a developer.

Your product or service, your resources, and your business are going to dictate what the process looks like to install, configure and bring a system to sell online, but know that it is a process.

There are typically a series of questions and setup that go into making something available to sell, creating a system to facilitate the transaction, and then delivering the product.

This is a process that the owner needs to be involved in, while the creation of the system can be delegated, the parts needs to be defined explicitly. Mind maps are particularly helpful.

Once you know what the process looks like for your business, the systems available for implementation, their features, integration, and cost will be orders of magnitude simpler to understand and choose from.

IT Arsenal provides a “choose your own adventure” style walk-through for finding the right system, and instruction on how to implement it. Answer yes or no questions that lead to your ideal sales system.