An eCommerce website may be a great way to make money, but launching one can appear to be a daunting task. It is probably why people prefer to start selling their products in online marketplaces at first. The truth is that an online marketplace might not be the best platform for showcasing your products as you will stand to gain much higher profits when you sell from your site.
Ecommerce essentially refers to any commercial transaction involving data transfer across the Internet. So, it may include a branded site, marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, sales through social media platforms, etc. An independent eCommerce website offers many advantages to business owners and seeing these, you may realize the value of creating your own eCommerce website:
- Target Customers: To start with, when you decide to sell products or services through online marketplaces, there is bound to be stiff competition from rival brands, even if your product is unique. So, the chances of your products being overlooked are very high. So, you need to make efforts to ensure that they stand out from the rest. While such marketplaces get a huge number of visitors, you cannot be sure your brand product will see this huge traffic. In contrast, when you have your eCommerce site, you are able to guarantee a 100% focus on your brand and your audience. You will get visitors that wish to know more about what you have to offer, not because they are there by accident.
- Independent Strategy and Rules: When you have your website to sell your products, you make all the rules. You have an independent brand strategy that is responsible for your sales. But, if you sell on a marketplace, you will find that all information about the product, from its inception to delivery, is branded to that marketplace. The retailer who gives the product is rarely mentioned, and the brand identity remains obscure. Brand identity is the key to success. Thus, a stunning and professional-looking site helps promote your brand image.
- Quick Installation: Compared to traditional retail stores, setting up an eCommerce website is much faster. For instance, there are platforms such as Shopify that offer pre-designed templates that enable you to build a store in a matter of hours.
- Cost-effective: Starting an eCommerce store from scratch does not mean you have to break the bank. There are many free eCommerce platforms and online marketplaces that you can sign up with. You can also take advantage of dropshipping services to get inventory instead of having to make a huge investment up front. Moreover, using Google Adwords and social media channels helps spread the word and market your products.
- Brand Awareness: Since the number of online shoppers is steadily increasing, it makes sense to have your website to reach out to more customers. Modern-day buyers will research a product before buying it. So, if you can offer them a site to get their information from, you can be sure of higher sales.
- Widen Customer Base: With an eCommerce website, you find newer channels to reach out to more and more people. The existing physical retail stores are limited by their locations as a buyer will need to travel to that store to find what he or she is looking for. But with an eCommerce site, you can sell to your buyers anytime and from any place.
- Find a Niche Audience: With an eCommerce site, catering to niche markets is much easier. For instance, finding a seller for a collector of rare coins can be hard unless he has his site.
- Customer Loyalty: In online marketplaces, there is no customer loyalty, and it is hard to find repeat customers. But, when you have an eCommerce site, you have a far more personal relationship with every client. You can communicate with them on a regular basis and offer them a customized shopping experience. Furthermore, you can reward your loyal customers with promotional deals and discount coupons.
- Blogs/Newsletters: When you have a site to sell your products, you can also create blogs and newsletters to get more traffic. You may sign up with email marketing platforms to send newsletters to your loyal customers.
- No Middlemen: With an eCommerce website, you can successfully eliminate all middlemen in any transaction. For selling on an online marketplace you need to pay many types of fees, like seller right fees, listing fees, transaction fees, warehousing charges, etc. Running an independent site is cost-effective, not only because initial costs are low, but also because there are no middlemen. Understanding exactly how much profit you made in an online marketplace is hard because there are many hidden charges involved.