Add a ‘Kerchinggg!’ Noise To Your Website
You don’t have to be an ecommerce store to benefit from being able to take payments on your website. In our recent Namecheap Customer Forum survey, 59% of our small business customers told us that they only took payments offline. But if you’re interested, it’s super easy to start processing payments through your website.
Payment options can be useful for any number of reasons. You don’t have to be selling products or services; allowing people to make charitable donations, or sponsor you to do something are increasingly common reasons for adding payment options to websites.
Even if you have no particular desire to do any of the above, sometimes it’s fun trying to sell a product associated with your website just to see if it will work.
Adding a PayPal Button
In its most basic form, a PayPal button can be integrated easily into your site and allows customers to transfer money to you. There are also various customization options, like dropdown menus and even an ‘Add to Cart’—although this one requires a bit more technical know-how to implement.
If you stick with the basic ‘Buy Now’ button, you can set up very simple PayPal buttons, and then just paste the HTML script where you want the button to appear on your site.
PayPal’s own four-step guide will talk you through the easy process. Essentially, you will end up with a button that looks a bit like this on your site:
This means you have to create a product/service description yourself, and place the button next to it. Part of this will be describing the checkout process, so any potential customers know what to do.
Don’t worry though—this can be easy. A short summary like: ‘Click the button to process your payment on PayPal. Once it’s received we’ll dispatch your product within two working days by second class post’ will do the trick. You don’t need to get too technical when starting out.
Display Your eBay Store
Creating a shop directly on your site can be a complex process, so why not display your eBay store so all the hard work is done for you?
If you run an eBay store (or are a regular seller), featuring your shop items on your site is a great way to utilize assets you already have. If you’ve been scratching your head for a while as to how to do this, there’s an incredibly simple solution courtesy of Auction Nudge.
All you have to do is enter your username on the box on their site, and the clever software will provide you with some responsive code to paste into your site. It really is that simple.
There are also some handy advanced options, so you can choose which items to display, and how many products to display in the preview—useful if you want the box to be small enough not to dominate an entire page.
This option ultimately will mean you still pay your usual eBay fees. If you’re already a seller, you’ll be used to this anyway, but for some, the point of switching over to a website is to stop eBay fees, and make it so you aren’t beholden to them anymore. If that’s what you want to do, then you need something more like WooCommerce.
Where these software types really excel compared with the basic PayPal buttons described above, is the completeness of the process, how professional they look, and how easy they make it to have a whole host of products on sale.
The main difference between them is that Shopify is an all-in-one shop builder, ideal for if you don’t already have a website. WooCommerce, meanwhile, is a plugin that can be added to your existing WordPress site. We will look more closely at WooCommerce, because it’s easy to integrate with your existing site.
WooCommerce is an incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use platform that essentially allows you to add an entire shop to your website, complete with product layouts and purchase mechanisms (like a shopping cart with a checkout).
It is fully linkable to PayPal, but can also process credit card payments and BACs (Bankers’ Automated Clearing Service). Because WooCommerce is open-source, most aspects of it are free, and you don’t have to pay final value fees to them. You can install and run the plugin to the point of creating all your products and making sales and not spend a penny.
Of course, like most WordPress plugins, there are optional extras and upgrades which you can choose from—but these tend to be more fitting for bigger companies, not so much those starting out. Basically, if you’re dipping your toe in the waters of ecommerce, the basic, free settings of Woocommerce may be enough.
If you are familiar with WordPress, you’re likely to be familiar with how the blog section works. Basically, there’s a ‘Posts’ tab undertab under which all of your blogs are saved and categorized. WooCommerce creates a ‘Product’ tab which functions in much the same way.
So the back-end of a site running WooCommerce site is already very familiar if you know WordPress. You just build your product pages (the data input boxes for price and taglines etc are all ready to guide you through what you need to input), categorize them, and then sort them into categories as you would with blogs.
This flexibility means you can have certain pages that show only some products, while others show everything.
But things get a whole lot better when you see how all this looks at the front end. The results look pretty impressive.
The above image is an example of a Woocommerce category page clearly displaying products with an ‘Add to cart’ button. If you click the link, it brings up your page with the full item description.
Your shopping cart icon will automatically appear on your menu, and once something is added, you check out and pay in a way we’re all familiar with from other sites.
It really does work just like that. Learn more about setting up Woocomerce with their guide.
Keeping the Pennies Coming
If you have a well-performing site or blog, adding the simpler PayPal buttons is a great starting point to find out if your blog has more potential before implementing a Woocommerce-type platform.
Perhaps this article has whet your appetite for a more detailed analysis of how to make an ecommerce store succeed. Alternatively, you could look at adding advertising to your site to monetize it. Whatever you’re most interested in, the thing to remember is a website with visitors, one way or another, has the potential to make you money. If you need help building a simple website, look no further than our guide.