Increasing numbers of small businesses are looking to take payments online for the packages they offer. Many of these businesses will have a regular website rather than an ecommerce site and upgrading can be both expensive and time consuming. If you are looking for a way to take payments on your website without a full on ecommerce option then you are in the right place.
I’m going to share 4 ways you can take payment on your site without upgrading to Woocommerce (WordPress) or the Ecommerce packages if you are using a Website platform like Squarespace or Wix.
Firstly I’m going to outline what I need to be able to do:
– Take payment for a product or service (I’m using a purchase of my book as an example here).
– Be confident that the payments are managed securely.
– Make it easy for someone to make a purchase.
– Be able to automatically send a follow up email once a purchase is made.
For the purposes of this blog I’m using my book as the ‘thing to sell’ but this could just as easily be a place on a course or a package of sessions.
1. PayPal Buttons – super easy but limited
PayPay Buttons are probably the fastest way to get a Pay Now button onto your site. You will need a business PayPal account which is free to set up (you pay via the fees for each transaction processed).
The setup is relatively simple and PayPal offer you either a link to add to a button already on your site or the ability to embed their own PayPal button (some people prefer this as it is a recognisable and trusted payment method).
A downside of PayPal buttons comes if you want the customer to receive an automatic email with details of their purchase. PayPal doesn’t offer an inbuilt facility to do this (though they do send a receipt) so you need to connect it to an email system via third party such as Zapier (you will need to pay around $20/month for this service).
If you are selling low numbers of items and are pretty speedy on the button you can just manually send out welcome emails as people purchase if this is required. If this is your chosen approach you probably want to put that into your sales page and say that after sign up you will be in touch within 24 hours with details of how to access their purchase / next steps etc.
You can also redirect the customer to a bespoke thank you page on your website after a successful purchase. This page can give information about what they have bought and how they access it making the speed of the email delivery less important.
What does a PayPal button look like? It looks like this:
If you want you can personalise the button so it matches your website branding and then it might look something link this:
Good – easy and quick to set up
Bad – expensive to automatically send follow up emails. PayPal fees are typically a bit higher than other payment processors.
Perfect for – anyone who wants to have a payment option set up in 20 minutes.
2. Book Like A Boss – if you are using it already it might be all you need
More small businesses are using online booking systems. Book Like A Boss (also referred to as BLAB!) has taken this to another level by allowing you to sell products and services via their platform. You will need to pay for the Cappucino plan which is $19/month but if you are already paying for a booking system this could be an economical way of selling online as you get one system for 2 functions.
Book Like A Boss connects to your choice of Stripe, PayPal or Square to enable you to take payments.
You can customise the success email to send links for digital products and downloads. Book Like a Boss also lets you embed the payment form into your website page like this:
Book Like a Boss Summary
Good – comprehensive scheduling system as well as the ability to add products or services as a one of sale.
Bad – less flexible than other options
Perfect for – anyone who is using a paid scheduling tool and also wants to sell on their website.
I am a massive fan of a tool called Paperform which started life as a basic form product but it has grown into so much more than that. Paperform lets you create really elegant forms for people to not just submit information, but also take surveys, create pricing brochures and also make purchases. They even allow you to sell subscriptions so this could be great value if you want to offer a simple membership product.
Paperform costs $15 a month (get 10% off with this link) and they have recently added a scheduling function to the package making it a one stop shop for all your online activities. You can also use coupons to give a discount which is a nifty way to track affiliates if you don’t have a full affilate system set up.
You can either use button to open a payment page:
Good – very powerful forms that can be used for price estimates, quizzes and as well as scheduling and taking payments
Bad – it’s not free.
Perfect for – anyone who is happy to invest a small amount in an elegant, flexible payment solution
You know you sometimes stumble upon such a nifty thing that you can’t quite believe it and you are hesitant to share it in case it turns out to be fake or the company realises what they are offering and makes it paid for? Well this little hack is one of those so let’s just keep it between ourselves shall we?
Square is a payment processor who sell card reader terminals (about £20 so good value) that work with your phone and allow you to take payment out and about. They have diversified a little and are now offering basic websites so if you don’t have a site yet and want an easy way to get paid online for a fairly small number of products or services this could work for you. They also offer your first £1000 of payments fee free if you use this link.
Initally you might think this is much trhe same as PayPal and you’re right apart from one thing…
Most payment processors (PayPal, Stripe etc) require you to use the paid version of Zapier starting at $20/month to connect their service to a third party such as your email marketing tool. At the moment, Square connects to other apps via the free Zapier account. This means you can take 100 payments from a button each month on your website and transfer the personal information to your email system so that you can send the follow up information for free!
You can add a button to your site like this:
Good – connects to your email marketing system for free via Zapier.
Bad – very little customisation on the payment pages.
Perfect for – anyone on a budget who wants to sell a product or service where a follow up email is important.
There we have it! 4 ways to take payment on your website (or via emails) without having a full blow ecommerce offer. Now you just have to decide what you are going to offer!