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Services can use the online shop too!

Services can use the online shop too!

We all know that e-commerce is the future (if not the here and now), but how exactly can you use an online shop when you don’t have tangible, shippable products to sell? Here are some resourceful Moonfruiters doing just that.

Despite the current economic climate, one sector is thriving – the UK services industry grew by its fastest rate for eight months in April this year. We take a closer look at how service-based businesses can make the most of Moonfruit’s ShopBuilder and strike while the iron is hot.

We Scan Photos

We Scan Photos

Faced with his own vast collection of photographs, Kyle Savage was inspired to start a business that takes the hassle out of preserving your cherished memories and makes old photos easy to share with friends and family online – by scanning photo collections and transferring them onto disks.

Marrying an online shop with a delivery service, We Scan Photos makes the buying process easy for customers, who can choose between a number of packages ranging in bundle sizes from 100 to 10,000 photos. The customer’s photos are then picked up and returned to them by hand.

We Scan Photos also sells gift vouchers on the site – something a number of serviced-based businesses can do, beauticians and hairdressers for example. To do this with your Moonfruit site, all you need to do is list the gift voucher as a regular product and include its value as the product price. Once purchased, send the voucher to the customer either by email or post.

Tip:

Use free online resources such as Gift Template or a desktop publisher like Word to create your own gift vouchers.

Adam Boustead Web Design

Adam Boustead

Adam is a freelance web designer who creates websites primarily for small businesses. As he creates purely digital products, it makes sense for Adam to make his web design services easy to purchase online. So he created a range of packages that can be bought via his online shop.

He asks customers to contact him to discuss the finer details of their brief via his live chat feature and contact page, but the transaction is done online for efficiency. Where a traditional online shop would feature product images, Adam instead created visual identities for each of his services – making them appear more tangible in the shop.

Tip:

You can create idents in a similar fashion using Icon Finder, a free online graphic resource.

Jackie Bracey – Swimming Instructor

Jackie Bracey

Jackie has been a swimming instructor for more than 20 years and, having swam competitively in the past, now passes on that knowledge to others in one-to-one lessons. Jackie’s customers can purchase lessons through her online shop, along with other items such as achievement certificates.

The site also showcases her qualifications and client testimonials, as well as giving detailed information on her services and teaching methods. To reflect the fact that Jackie’s lessons are one-to-one, she uses photos of some of her classes, demonstrating the client-instructor relationship she develops.

Tip:

Visit our Photography board on Pinterest for tips on achieving your own high-quality images.

NBV Enterprise Solutions

NBV

For some companies, the cost of their services will depend on specific customer requirements and it’s therefore not always possible to take payment online. They can however still use their website to capture information from potential customers in order to create a more detailed quote for the client, using contact forms.

Moonfruiters NBV Enterprise Solutions, offer a wide variety of help to new businesses. They host regular seminars and workshops for startups – on everything from financial management to leadership skills – and the company uses online forms to book clients onto these events.

Widgets to make your services shine

Wondering how widgets work exactly? See the end of this post for a link to our guide on the forum.

Reviews and testimonials

Devoncot

Devoncot Bed & Breakfast includes a Trip Advisor widget on its homepage

Word of mouth is key for any business looking to attract new customers, but for those in the services industry – where interaction with clients is key – positive reviews are particularly important. With more than 200 million travellers visiting the site each month, Trip Advisor is a must for any Moonfruiters out there with a Hotel, B&B, restaurant or other visitor attraction.

Visit Trip Advisor’s Features page to create the code for your own widget. You will need an existing Trip Advisor profile to do this – go to the Owners page for information on how to to get started.

Professional profiles

Linkedin

LinkedIn (the world’s largest professional network), is an essential online resource for many service companies looking to generate new business leads – 87% of its members say they ‘trust it as a source of information affecting decision making’. The online networking tool allows users to search for businesses and connect to key individuals in organisations as a precursor to meeting in person.

What’s more, LinkedIn (which lists your professional background and qualifications) is also the ‘king’ of all other social media sites in terms of Google Search engine results – meaning you and your services will be easier to find.

LinkedIn offers several options for linking your profile to your website, including a share plugin and ‘sign in with LinkedIn’ button.

Online Booking

BookingBug

Booking Bug is an online appointment system that allows customers to book your services easily and efficiently. You can also manage your appointments using an admin calendar, make bookings on behalf of customers, and contact your customers directly.

The lovely folk at Booking Bug have even put together a guide on creating online booking systems specifically for Moonfruit sites.

What’s next…

To add any of these widgets to your Moonfruit site, visit our step-by-step guide: How do I add a HTML Snippet to a page?

Do you use Moonfruit to sell your services online? How does your transaction process work? Let us know below.

Want to build a free website with Moonfruit? Go to our homepage to find out how.


Rebecca Stevens
Freelance Writer. Likes films, food, and funnies.

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