3 reasons to accept online payments for your boutique
Accepting online payments for your boutique is a great way to expand your business and offer your products to a wider customer base outside of your local area. Here are three of the top reasons you should be accepting online payments for your boutique operation.
#1: Offer more inventory
Having an online store enables your boutique to have access to a wider variety of inventory than what you can stock in your physical store. Offer more color and size options, for example, on your website since you’ll ship goods directly from your warehouse or distributor. Doing so will keep your customers happy knowing they can count on your online store to have the item on hand that they need, even if you can’t offer it right in your physical store.
#2: Attract new customers to your boutique
When you begin selling your goods online, you will automatically have access to a wider range of customers than only those who frequent your physical store. You can literally reach shoppers all over the globe via an eCommerce website. Here are some ways that you may want to consider promoting your site so you can attract new customers:
- Social media. If you already have social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram set up for your boutique, use these to spread the word to your followers about your new online storefront. If you haven’t yet taken the time to create and manage such accounts, now is the time to do so. Plan on pushing out regular updates at least twice per week to keep your brand fresh in your followers’ minds. Publish special coupon codes for your eCommerce site just for your social media followers. Consider planning “like and repost”-type giveaways for those followers who help drive the most new traffic to your social media accounts and website.
- Email newsletters. Perhaps you already capture customers’ email addresses when they shop at your stores. Or, perhaps you’ll need to start gathering this information as people place orders on your eCommerce site or sign up for giveaways on your social media accounts. Either way, building an email database is a great way to quickly reach a lot of interested shoppers through regular newsletters. But, be careful to not bombard people. Probably sending one email every week or two is plenty, unless you have a super special promotion or new product to publicize.
- SMS text message offers. As with email addresses, it’s important that you begin to build a database of mobile phone numbers. Use these numbers to send out exclusive “one-day-only”-type offers for online shoppers. But like with the email newsletters, make sure to limit your contact so that people don’t start to tune out your spammy messages.
#3: Accept a wider range of payment options
You may be able to accept a wider range of payment options online than in your brick-and-mortar boutique. You may want to consider accepting alternative payment methods such as PayPal or Google Wallet, as many online shoppers have become comfortable with using those payment methods and will be more likely to shop on your website if they see those payment options. If you're thinking about smartphone apps and the like, popular in-app mobile payments such as Android Pay and Apple become options. Another payment option you can offer online are eChecks. With an eCheck, the shopper authorizes the debit of the funds from his or her bank account and transfer to your account for payment. Some shoppers prefer not to shop with credit or debit cards online—or simply don’t have a card—so offering eChecks may make your online shop appealing to a wider range of customers.