Commerce has gone digital; there’s no way around it. Long gone are the days when specialty shops lined our towns’ main streets, and gone with them are the mom and pop stores that used to pepper the corners of our avenues. In their stead, a near-infinite hail of swipe-and-tap consumption has displaced the brightly colored, toy-filled storefronts we used to gawk over. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, even if nostalgia objects. In fact, for the modern entrepreneur, there might be no easier way to bring in extra income than by cranking up some e-commerce solutions for your website.

But don’t start scrambling to print up a bunch of shirts, caps, and buttons just yet. E-commerce, for you, could just mean selling services that are unique to your particular brand. No two businesses are exactly the same, so no two sales strategies should mirror each other. Setting up a paywall for premium content on your site allows you to monetize exclusive bonus materials, offer one-on-one consultation and mentoring, or give access to a special cache of media — like tutorial videos or e-books. This allows you to potentially convert passive consumers into loyal brand contributors, and even subscribers. Customers get a kick out of it too, feeling like they have access to some “inside baseball” knowledge with your company that will help them get ahead. If you’re doing your job well enough, it really will give them that push they need to attain their goals, and that will keep them coming back.

Some quick tips for your e-commerce website: Avoid clutter on your pages, add a search bar, implement a simple, intuitive checkout process, build an email subscriber list, get rid of ads, and go mobile. The future is online, omnipresent — in the palm of your hand. Cater to that kind of audience, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your products — and services — start flying off the digital shelves.

Article by Charles Jackson, President of AFEUSA

Charles Jackson AFE Board