If you have a product to sell, and in many cases even a service, it makes great sense to ensure your company’s website has an e-commerce component.

A recent report on TechCrunch cites 38 percent of people shop online at least once per month. That is greater than one in three people, and a strong indication of how consumers are trusting e-commerce solutions more and more.

Here are several great reasons your company’s website should accept online payments for your product or service:

It will keep you modern: Consumers are coming to expect the option to buy products online, even if you also have a brick-and-mortar store. People are busy and, as consumers trust the online shopping experience more and more, it can be far more convenient to simply pop over to a website and buy the products they need rather than traveling to the store to obtain the product. Customers can easily be turned off by a brand that doesn’t appear to be keeping up with business trends and leveraging modern technology where possible.

It will allow you to track sales in real time: Most e-commerce solutions now offer fantastic reporting and tracking mechanisms, many of which can also be linked with offline sales reporting should you so desire. When an online sale is made, it is immediately reported in your e-commerce interface and the process of fulfillment can be managed entirely online.

Know your audience better: Many e-commerce solutions can pull together demographic information and reporting on your customers. It could be as simple as asking questions like birthday, gender and zip code when a person is registering to buy your products online, but allowing for online transactions gives you the opportunity to learn a great deal more about who your target audience is.

Never be closed: Having an online store means never being closed. Make money while you are sleeping simply by ensuring your site accepts credit cards. Many people don’t have time to shop during normal business hours, so allowing the option for them to shop at night enables the possibility for more sales.

Expose your offering to new markets: If you only sell your product offline, you are limiting yourself to a much smaller audience. Broaden your products’ or service’s reach by allowing people to purchase them online.

Save money: If you have a new business, you can test the viability of your product or service by starting with an online store, as opposed to making the massive investment involved in selling in a brick-and-mortar setting. You may ultimately decide that it will always be more effective to sell your products online because you can reach so many more people, and forego having physical location altogether.

In short, enabling your site to accept credit cards for online transactions is one of the smarter things you can do for your business. It will broaden your reach to your customer base, and will allow your business to be open 24/7. What do you have to lose?

Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from digital marketing strategies to health and wellness.

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Should Your Company’s Website Accept Online Payments?

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