It would seem this would be self-evident at this point in the game, but in case it's not, here's more empirical evidence that, given the option to pay online or pay offline, your customers prefer to pay online.

One of my clients, the Child Life Council, has approximately 4,000 members. Until early this year, the only way a member could join or renew was to fill out a paper form and mail or fax it in. Since April, CLC has been live with a new association management system that allows members to join and renew online, paying with a credit card. In addition, customers can also purchase products and publications via the website, again paying with a credit card.

In the first month of going live, CLC was processing 30% of its transactions online (meaning customers were going online and paying with a credit card rather than sending information via snail mail or fax, all of which was processed automatically). Now at six months since go-live, over 5,000 financial transactions have been processed online, representing over 75% of its total transactions. Seventy-five percent! That is amazing, and yet totally expected.

It's simple. Customers want to manage their interactions with you at their leisure, in the manner that's most convenient for them. And buying online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is convenient.

So what is your organization doing to make buying from you more convenient for your members and customers?