Going online is now the hottest way to buy and sell stuff. The convenience of shopping from home can’t be beaten, plus online stores give you so many more choices from sources all over the world. You get to buy unique items and discover niche items and brands that serve any crazy or weird interest. The internet is chockfull of artists, crafters, and manufacturers who have made their goods available online.
Building an online store or selling online in a marketplace is now an option for many would-be entrepreneurs. Amazon, for example, the big giant, is chosen by most sellers online to bring their products to a worldwide audience. There are over 2 million sellers on Amazon which account for 40% of the site’s sales.
Selling on Amazon, or other established online retailers such as Souq and Jumia, is so alluring because it has an established global presence with millions of users. However, should you, as a seller, break way from online marketplaces and start building your own e-commerce store?
Amazon, Souq, Jumia, Ebay, AliExpress and More
Pro: Online Retailers and Your Sales
If you play by the established retailer’s rules you will be exposed to a wider audience. Make sure you have followed their guide in listing your products and you will surely get better sales.
Most of the giant retailers have their own guidelines and specific details you should follow when adding your products. Amazon, for example, has a product cataloging system that puts your items in the most appropriate location for easy sighting of users. You can also benefit from Amazon’s investment on Google search which helps your products be discovered by potential customers.
Pro: Amazon, Ebay, Souq- Brands Trusted by Many
Checking the Amazon statistics, it can be noticed that it is firmly established as an online marketplace and is a trusted brand. Not only Amazon, but other huge retailers such as Souq, Jumia and AliExpress have excellent customer service that caters to customers’ needs so people trust the site to make purchases.
They are your marketplace for a worldwide audience. They give your business the chance to go beyond borders and reach an international market. There are plenty of customers eager to buy your products under the Amazon or Target brand.
Pro: Customers Use Online Retailers to Search for Products… A LOT of them
Customers making a purchase in an online marketplace search for a specific product, not brands. A good thing about this system is you get to have equal chances with the bigger brand products.
Your products have more chances to be discovered by customers increasing the likelihood of purchases. High rates of customer acquisition is one of the advantages of selling on an online marketplace.
Cons: Online Retailers’ Competition
It is no mystery that competition on AliExpress or Amazon is stratospheric. They are massive marketplaces and the biggest players in online selling. You will be facing thousands of other sellers and your business will have to compete.
Cons: No Control
You will be completely under the system of the online retailer and you must abide by its rules. Amazon, for example prioritizes on products, not the sellers. You won’t be able to build a brand on Amazon and you will have little means to showcase your brand presence
Cons: All About Amazon Fees
Amazon may increase your revenues but think about the fees. Whether you choose a professional account or go for Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), you will still have to deal with fees. Do your research on Amazon fee plans, and other established online stores, before setting up your store.
Your Own E-commerce Store
Pros: You Have More Control
Imagine having full control of your store from content, layout to design. Everything is all about you and your brand. It’s your space and you can customize everything. You can manage the display and how, when, and where you present your products.
Pros: An E-commerce Store That is All About Your Brand
In your own e-commerce store, the website will be all about your brand and your products. Your site will be the place where customers get their products and there will be reduced customer distraction. There is no competition and your customers can focus on your products alone.
Pros: Build Your Brand with Referrals
Having your own store is the chance for you to get the recognition of a customer base. When people buy a product from Ebay or Amazon, they don’t mention you they mention the place they have bought it from. In your own e-commerce store, you get to build your brand presence and you are likely to get more referrals.
Cons: Limited Market
Online retailers such as Amazon have a wider reach and going for your own e-commerce site means you will have a limited market, not just locally but internationally.
Cons: Credibility Issues
Amazon already has an established reputation. If you will start an e-commerce site you will have to establish trust and credibility among your customers on your own. Marketplaces already have a trusted relationship with a global audience so establishing credibility is not an issue.
Cons: Lack of Support
Since you control your own website you will have a lack of support especially on technical issues that may arise. You can get stuck if you fail to get support immediately.
The Perks of Selling Online
Selling online is an exciting business prospects and better technology has made selling and buying online much more convenient. There are pros and cons to either selling on giant online retailers or building your own e-commerce site. Whatever your choice, you have to apply the right business values that give customers high-quality products and good service.