Adding a shopping cart to your small business website used to be a bigger deal. You had to have all kinds of programming, merchant accounts, and new pages put into place to accommodate even the most basic e-commerce features.

Now, though, numerous plug-ins and online store solutions exist, meaning you could add the ability to take orders over the web to your site in just a couple of days. Would doing so help your business?

Even for smaller companies that don’t qualify as “online stores,” there are several good reasons to consider adding a shopping cart for a very low cost. Here are just a couple you should keep in mind if you’re thinking about dipping your toe into the e-commerce stream…

24-hour Availability

One great thing about selling products or services over the internet is that it gives you a way to keep collecting revenue even when the rest of your business is closed. Visitors can come to you 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world, and download your products. That can lead to a gradual increase in sales, especially if you aren’t used to doing business at night, on the weekends, or during holidays.

A Wider Reach

Many specialty businesses that rely on walk-in customers are surprised to find that the demand for their products is bigger than they first imagined. By opening up their shop to the wider world – and using some targeted organic marketing or advertising campaigns – they can draw in perfect customers from around the globe, or at least farther across the state or county. If you suspect your business might have a bigger reach than you imagined, try adding a shopping cart to your site and see what happens.

Higher Profit Sales

Assuming you keep your marketing and advertising costs low, the sales you generate from your website are likely to be more profitable than the ones you make yourself, or with the help of your employees. That’s because your website doesn’t draw salary, isn’t going to be paid a commission, and works tirelessly without having to be pulled away from its other jobs. Efficiency is becoming more and more important to small businesses, and the ability to generate high-profit sales is a big positive that comes with adding an online shopping cart.

Customer Convenience

By giving your customers the ability to place orders online, you may actually be helping them at the same time you’re boosting your own profits. That’s because they might appreciate the chance to put in an order after business hours, or to refer you to someone who can’t visit your store in person. It might just be that they want to place an order online at a time when it’s convenient and then pick it up later. There are lots of reasons that online shopping can be more convenient for customers, and you might be surprised at how much they appreciate having the option.

If you think there’s a chance you could find new customers and make your business more profitable by adding a shopping cart to your website, why not give it a try? You may find a whole new base of buyers to work with, and another way to strengthen your bottom line.