Try Before you Buy (or sell)
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Platforms to consider include Wix (a complete website solution with a built-in e-commerce solution), WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Ecwid. Importantly, as soon as you mention one of these platforms you will be told by users that certain ones are brilliant while others are terrible. The truth is, they all have strengths and weaknesses and you should make your own decision based on what your needs are, how advanced your skills are, and what feels good.
Most of these come with free trials or at least offer demonstrations of how the platform works. Take some time to work out your process in terms of how you will upload images and text, consider connectivity with your payment solution and then choose what looks prettiest. That last one is not a joke – make sure you can create a store that looks just as good as your clinic website.
Get the Imagery Right
Now that you’ve chosen your platform, the work really starts. Choose the products you want to sell and come up with a photography solution. This could mean getting in a professional (or sending your products away to be photographed) or purchasing a lightbox. If you don’t have a professional-looking camera, don’t worry about it. For online imagery, your iPhone will do the trick.
To make things look really professional, take the time to go through a few YouTube tutorials on getting product shots right. There are some amazing tips out there that are definitely worth your while discovering.
Tell the Full Story
The shop looks great and the images look amazing, but the people want to know why the products are worth purchasing. Don’t make the mistake of listing ingredients and leaving it at that – talk about why you chose this particular brand to stock in your store and the benefits that other clients have already mentioned. Perhaps a few clients or friends would be happy to leave reviews on your site and don’t forget to ask for reviews as you start to sell products. If you can, make it personal – talk about your own experience with the product as an experienced practitioner.
The good news is you are starting your online sales journey with a big advantage – you have a database of qualified leads. Email your database telling them that you have moved a portion of your business online and that they can access a discount if they purchase within the next two weeks. Then, jump on Facebook, and set up a business page for your new online store. Then, consider advertising on Facebook or going through yet another YouTube tutorial and learning about Google Ads. Most importantly, start by spending as little as possible on marketing and building as you learn.
The most popular reason for not putting products online is that clinic owners just don’t get around to it. Take a bit of time and get it right and you can create a passive income that isn’t reliant on your clinic.