Why Your Church Should Have an Online Store

url-1Adding an online store to the iChurch is a little bit different that the above items. Although you can set up an online store for free, most online store modules can cost up to $1,000. With an online store, you must have products or services to sell. Also, you want to make sure your online store has the same look as your website so the user doesn't feel like they have left your ministry brand. Here are some benefits of adding an online store to the iChurch. Digital Products - These are all profit. There is no shipping, no handling, no staff, no storage fees and no product creation costs. Digital products can be podcasts, eBooks, documents or videos. The ordering system is easy for the online users. And they receive the product instantly so the iChurch can tap into the moment the spirit moves them. The purchaser is emailed a secure download link they click on to receive the product. This link is good for only 72 hours. The only downside is that the digital product is not protected or restricted so they could share it with someone else and you won't receive payment for that usage. On the plus side, this nonpayer will be exposed to your church or ministry. With this module, you can capture some information such as name, address and email addresses to use in later marketing plans. Selling digital products through an online store is a nice profit builder for the iChurch. I like the phrase: load once, fire forever!

Tangible products - For the iChurch, tangible products consist of items like books, cd's and DVD’s. Although you still need staff to handle and ship the products, collecting money is made much simpler. And again, I can't overemphasize the component of impulse buying. If the buyer is at an event and has their mobile device, they can order the product now and pay for it even though they won't receive it for a few days.

Add On Features - With an online store module, you can add on features such as online coupons. A coupon often triggers the buyer to make a purchase they might not have otherwise. The iChurch can take advantage of that impulse. Wishlists are another nice feature allowing the potential buyer to create a list of items they want to purchase at a later date, perhaps when you send them an online coupon. Product reviews can be added to allow the online buyer the opportunity to tell everyone about the experience with their purchase. Good reviews often trigger more sales. Also, don't forget social media integration and mobile device compatibility. We are in the era of the social shopper so make sure people can share your products and their purchases with their social media friends. Likewise, make sure your store is mobile device compatible because we are in the era of the mobile device and people want to shop from anywhere at anytime.