If you run a medical practice, chances are you sell some sort of product. If you’re looking to start selling products on your website it can get a little tricky. You’ll need to make sure the site is secure, so you need an SSL certificate. You’ll also need to have a payment gateway and merchant processor in place to approve and process transactions. You’ll also need a way to keep track of all your orders.
If you’re considering selling products on your website you really need to look at your current website structure and capabilities. Some of the options below may not apply to you, but we’ll outline the requirements needed:
Option 1: Install an Ecommerce Plugin
More than likely your site does not have any ecommerce capabilities. However, if you use a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal you can add a plugin to your site to allow you to sell products (this option may not work for those not using any of these platforms).
These plugins are fairly limited though, as they’re not full blown shipping cart solutions. Once such popular plugin for WordPress is “WP e-Comerce.” Despite its popularity it has many issues, and you can see that it subsequently has many negative reviews. The code is faulty, the support is limited and you may have trouble matching your theme with the product pages created with this plugin. Bottom line: this is the cheapest solution, but prepared for issues.
Option 2: Re-Implement Your Website on an Ecommerce Theme
This option pertains to WordPress users and may not work for those using Joomla or Drupal. WordPress actually has shopping cart themes that you can use. One such is ShopperPress. Instead of a plugin this is an entire theme built for handling ecommerce. Its backend is way more sophisticated than any plugin, showing your recent orders, monthly revenue and more. There are even tools to integrate with shipping rates. However, there are still limitations because this is not a true shopping cart software. Bottom line: this option is better than a plugin, but it will require more time or money to re-implement your website on this theme.
Option 3: Use a Shopping Cart Platform
Unfortunately, given the requirements of option 1 and option 2, this may be the only way you can sell products on your website. If have have a basic HTML site or a site with a limited CMS you have no other options.
The good news is that this is the best solution of the three. Most shopping cart software’s can handle everything you can think of, including inventory, shipping, taxes, fulfillment, and even integration with networks like Google Products and Shopping.com. Even better, if you already have a website that you love, you don’t have to move it at all. You can set up a shopping cart on a sub-domain, such as store.yoursite.com. This way your main site will be unaffected while you build your store. Then, once your store is built, you can simply add the link to it in your navigation.
Of course, if you’re considering upgrading your site layout and design, as well as offer products, then I would consider moving your entire site over to a shopping cart platform. Which shopping cart? Well, you’ll want to do your research by reviewing and testing each software. For WordPress lovers, consider Magento Commerce as they have a direct integration with WordPress.
Bottom line: this is your best option for selling products on your website. It’s the most professional solution, and it really might not be much more expensive than option 2.
If you have any questions about adding products to your medical practice website talk to Turbo today. You can leave us a message here or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.