When deciding where to sell products online, many merchants choose between selling on a marketplace and creating their own online store Each option has its own set of pros and cons – and there is no one size fits all solution that works perfectly for everyone.
Of course, marketplaces (like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and Walmart) can be great sales channels for many merchants, but there are plenty of limitations and a marketplace alone is not enough. We believe businesses that are truly serious about ecommerce should have their own website and online store. So Why your ecommerce company needs its own website?!!
1. Build a customer email list and market directly to them
you can market directly to website visitors and customers. Unlike marketplaces, where people who buy your product are the customers of the marketplace, selling directly to consumers on your website means you get to collect their contact information. When you have your customers’ email addresses, you can send them promotions, offer discounts, and announce new products.
Getting repeat buyers is much more difficult on a marketplace, because you don’t have direct access to your customers. This gives you fewer opportunities to provide good customer service and promote your other products. Since it’s easier and cheaper to retain a customer than it is to get a new one, communicating with existing customers is a necessary part of generating revenue for your business.
2. Establish and strengthen your brand
Most of the time, visitors and customers assume your product belongs to the marketplace without realizing you even exist. In other words, those who purchase your product will remember the marketplace instead of you.
Your goal should be for consumers to associate your product with your brand and think of your brand when they think of that category. When you run your own website, you get to maintain full control, including the way it looks, what it says, and how it works. The possibilities are endless.
3. Learn more about your audience
Having your own ecommerce website helps you better understand your customers. This includes demographics such as their location, as well as how they found your website and heard about you. You can analyze their behavior on your website, like what they looked at and the path they took to buy from you.
If there are certain traffic sources that are bringing in great customers for your business, you can choose to focus efforts there and put more money into those channels since you know they are profitable.
Not only do you gain information about your existing customers, but you can also learn information about where those who didn’t end up making a purchase fell off. Maybe it’s a product page that doesn’t have enough customer reviews or good enough photos, or perhaps people are abandoning shopping carts due to high shipping costs.
4. Make your own rules
With running your own ecommerce store comes the freedom to more directly impact the customer journey:
- You can add 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.
Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about your competitors’ products popping up next to yours like you would with a marketplace.
5. Run creative marketing campaigns
Just because you have your own website doesn’t mean customers will automatically come flocking to you. Once you have a store, you will have to work to get shoppers there. The first step to acquiring customers is to drive traffic to your site. It’s not always easy to set up the right campaigns; however, you have a lot more flexibility with the ways you can get people to find and buy from you.
Some common tactics include using Facebook and Google ads to reach your audience. You can also create content for your website by researching and incorporating the keywords people use to search for a solution like yours. You have the ability to run promotions to generate interest and retarget past purchasers.
Having your own website is an important piece of your ecommerce strategy. It is a great way for you to grow your brand, acquire loyal customers, gain new insights, and get creative with your marketing. However, relying on a single channel for all of your sales can also be problematic. Diversifying where you sell online can help you reach new customers, especially as ecommerce becomes more competitive.
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