If you sell products or services through your website, you may be losing a significant amount of revenue by not leveraging online payments. Most online visitors are accustomed to the immediate gratification of making a purchase while online.

What’s more, immediate gratification is not limited to retail, as service providers can offer the same level of service through an online payments option.

Service providers can learn much from the retail sector. Retailers often offer online catalogs, with online ordering and payment functions with product availability indicators. Service providers can now create the same dynamic on their website by offering a listing of services with pricing and a link to set an appointment. This services “catalog” lets the visitor choose the desired service, book the appointment and prepay in one seamless online experience.

Consider the innovation of business and marketing consultant, MamaRed Knight. Instead of a static website describing what she can do and waiting for the phone to ring, MamaRed offers a dynamic way to contact her directly through her website. Clients can not only message her, they can immediately schedule an appointment. MamaRed’s services listing provides a description of consulting services available with any fee upfront. With each confirmed appointment, MamaRed’s clients pre-pay using a credit card or PayPal. This process ensures her clients receive immediate gratification with their purchase and MamaRed eliminates no-shows.

Having the ability to accept online payments differentiates you from competitions and streamlines operations. Imagine no more emails and telephone exchanges collecting payments. Operating costs are lowered and client satisfaction is boosted. It’s a win-win.

You can also increase your access to new and global markets. This increased availability extends your reach to tap into markets never before thought possible. By giving website visitors more than just information on your service offering, small businesses can quickly convert visitors into clients and increase revenue.

As an example, a North Carolina veterinarian, Patricia Jordan, DVM, administers care in person, by telephone or via Skype. She has successfully extended her reach by offering online payment processing, coupled with online scheduling. By leveraging technology, Dr. Jordan’s thriving practice provides care to pets anywhere even as far away as Dubai, Newfoundland and Mexico. Dr. Jordan is realizing her dream of proving quality homeopathic care to pets all over the world.

Isn’t it time to rethink the client experience on your website? Learn from online retail.

Cherie Wentz Blehm