With technology progressing the way it is, you may have come to the realisation that having an online store for your products and services is a must. And if you haven’t come to this realisation, you’ll soon understand the importance of having an eCommerce site. But how will you decide what platform to sell on?
There are many platforms out there. Online stores such as Shopify, Neto and WooCommerce are classified as your own online store. Whereas eBay, Amazon and etsy, are classified as marketplace stores.
Benefits of having your own store
There are many benefits of having your own online store. One of the best aspects is, your online store focuses solely on your own business. You have the ability to customise your store the way you want to have it, building your own brand identity. Not only that, you have full control over your own store, whether you want to set up a fun promotion, offer discounts or update your inventory yourself. This is particularly important if you have a physical store as well as an online store. You also don’t have the added cost of listing fees.
Another really important aspect of having your own online store is having access to your customer information, giving you the ability to remarket and retarget your products and services to them. If you decide to use personalisation features on your website, having this data will allow you to offer the best user experience, tailoring your products and content specifically to them.
Cons of having your own store
The downside of having your own online store (depending on how you look at it) is that you are responsible for doing all of the work. This includes, setting up all of your products and inventory correctly.
When you first start your online store, you will have a lack of traffic. It will be up to you and your marketing efforts to get the traffic flowing in. You will also need to build up your credibility so users see you as a trusted site.
There will also be start up costs involved including hosting fees, domain names and payment integration as well as the cost of the website itself.
Benefits of selling through a marketplace store
When selling through a marketplace store, you can be assured they are getting a lot of traffic. This should mean an increase in sales for your business. They also already have the trust and credibility established with their customers. These people will keep coming back to shop these sites, time and again. In fact, 90% of US shoppers even check Amazon before they make their purchase.
It’s important to remember, these shoppers also like the convenience of being able to shop multiple products from multiple businesses in the one place.
There is also the ease of setup, as a lot of it is already done for you.
Cons of selling through a marketplace store
With the ease of a setup already done for you, also brings the downside that you aren’t able to customise the look and feel to be the way you want it. Your branding will be missing, which can make it harder for customers to identify with you and remember who you are. Especially when there are multiple brands and companies vying for the same customers attention. You also won’t have access to customer details and data.
There are fees involved in selling through a marketplace. Normally you would be looking at a setup fee, plus a percentage of the sales going to the website you are selling through.
All of these factors will mean different things for different people, depending on your business, products and even your lifestyle. It’s important to weigh up each different aspect and how each will impact you and your business, both negatively and positively.