Many businesses choose between selling on a marketplace and building their own website when deciding where to sell items online. While each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, we feel that companies that are serious about ecommerce should have their own website.
Yes, marketplaces (such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and Walmart Marketplace) can be effective sales channels for many vendors. However, there are some limitations. Customers will soon expect to be able to “research, browse, shop, and buy seamlessly between different devices and platforms,” according to BigCommerce’s History of Ecommerce — a marketplace alone
Why your ecommerce company needs its own website
Why does a standalone ecommerce website matter if you want your company to survive for the long run?
1. Build a customer email list and market directly to them
One of the most essential aspects of having your own website is being able to market directly to visitors and consumers. Unlike marketplaces, where purchasers are marketplace customers, selling directly to clients on your website enables you to obtain their contact information. You may send your consumers email marketing offers, provide discounts, and announce new items when you have their email addresses
Repeat customers are more challenging to obtain on a marketplace because you don’t have direct contact with your consumers. This limits the number of times you can give excellent client service and advertise other items. Because retaining a customer is simpler and less expensive than acquiring a new one, engaging with existing clients is an essential aspect of growing income for your company.
Not only do you have access to information about who has bought from you in the past, but also what they purchased, how much they paid, and what they are interested in. You may utilize this data to influence and urge future purchases.
2. Establish and strengthen your brand
nnWhen you sell your items on a marketplace, they are presented in a neutral style. There is little to no opportunity for customization or branding, with limits on character quantities or word counts being just a few examples. It’s actually the marketplace’s brand that takes center stage instead of yours; it’s nearly impossible to develop brand recognition and awareness.
Most of the time, people and clients believe your product belongs to the marketplace without realizing you exist. That is to say, if they buy your goods, they will think of the marketplace rather than you.
Consumers should be able to connect your product with your company and think of your brand whenever they think of that category. You have complete control over the appearance, content, and functioning of your own website. The sky’s the limit. You may also improve your brand during the unboxing experience and utilize bespoke containers to make a strong first impression on your consumers. Furthermore, you receive credit for your goods instead of a third-party marketplace!
3. Learn more about your audience
Having your own ecommerce website allows you to better understand your consumers by allowing you to obtain such data as their address and how they learned about you. You can also learn more about them through customer surveys, which give you insights into what interests them and why. You may study their behavior on your website, such as what pages they looked at and how
If certain traffic sources are bringing in valuable customers for your business, you may choose to concentrate your efforts there and spend more money in those channels since you know they are successful.
Not only do you get information about your present customers, but you can also figure out where those who didn’t purchase slipped off. Perhaps it’s a product page that doesn’t have enough client feedback or decent photographs, or perhaps people are abandoning shopping carts due to steep shipping costs.
Perhaps you’re running a website that’s difficult to navigate or your checkout procedure lacks the payment methods and payment options that your target consumers would seek on an ecommerce business.
You must also utilize these learnings to make improvements and optimize your website in order to increase conversions and assist you sell more products.
4. Make your own rules for your ecommerce site
Running your own ecommerce store allows you to more directly impact the client journey and user experience:
- You can add product photos and videos in certain places.
- You can alter the layout and navigation.
- You can change the color scheme and website theme.
- You can edit button placement and text.
- You can tell your company’s story.
- You can add a blog.
- You can feature certain customers.
You don’t have to worry about your rivals’ items popping up beside yours on a marketplace, as you would with an e-commerce store.
Ecommerce website builders let you construct your website with distinct product categories, product descriptions, product pictures, and any other ecommerce elements that give store owners a unique ecommerce design solution.
You can also choose how you arrange and price things, as well as whether or not you want to provide free delivery. Offering something for free at the checkout may have an impact on internet consumer behavior, since consumers desire to believe they’re getting a bargain.
Because there are no specific rules or guidelines to follow, you may easily test this sort of offer on your own website. You don’t have to be concerned about the influence these modifications will have on your conversions since you are not paying a third-party, as you would with a marketplace. You ultimately control your storefront with a website and can experiment and validate what works for your online business.
5. It’s never been easier with plug-and-play ecommerce platforms
With the rise of out-of-the-box ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, Squarespace, and WooCommerce, building a website may be quite straightforward and quick. With store builder plugins that make running your small business easier than ever before. Site builders that allow you to drag-and-drop ecommerce store features to your preference may be used to construct the retail experience you want for your clients in real time.
With no web developer or design team required, several of the ecommerce platforms accessible now are hosted and simple to maintain. These do-it-yourself tools make it simple to modify content, add items, and make other modifications all on your own.
After you’ve built your website, it’s simple to connect it with the other programs you use. Connecting your ecommerce platform to the tool you use to manage order fulfillment is a popular choice.
This might save you time and money. If you outsource fulfillment to a 3PL, the flow of information can be streamlined, eliminating the need for you to send your orders to a third party each day. This means that your store begins automatically sending orders to your fulfillment provider in order to begin the picking, packing, and shipping process.
6. Run creative marketing campaigns
Customers may or may not come to your website solely based on the presence of your own domain name. Customers won’t flock to you simply because you have a website; rather, you’ll need to work to get them there. The first step in gaining clients is to attract traffic to your site through both SEO techniques and an active social media presence. It’s not always simple to get the appropriate advertising up and running; nevertheless, you have a lot more freedom in terms of how you might attract people to find and buy from you.
Ecommerce retailers may customize their marketing plan to accommodate their targeted audiences and purchasing patterns.
Using Facebook and Google advertising to reach out to your target audience is another popular approach. You may also develop content for your website by researching and incorporating the keywords that people use to look for a solution similar to yours. To build interest and retarget past customers, you can run promotions or flash sales.
According to Clutch, 37% of customers want discounts or coupons to bring them back to a store’s website. There are multiple options for bringing people towards your business – from making videos to organizing a contest – that may result in a sale.
Having your own website is an important piece of your ecommerce strategy. It is a great way for you to grow your brand, acquire customers, gain insights, and get creative with your marketing. However, depending on a single channel for all of your sales may be dangerous. Diversifying where you sell online might help you get new consumers, especially as ecommerce grows more competitive.