Marketplace vs. Your Own Site
Why Having Your Own Online Store is Better
Thinking of selling online? Everyone’s doing it! Online retail business is booming and will continue to do so with hundreds of sellers all moving to a digital platform. But running an ecommerce business can get complicated real fast. But where should you sell on and how? Just like a real business, effort, hard work and very real man-hours have to be put into your ecommerce business. Finding out the best way to sell your products is a struggle. With companies like Amazon and Lazada taking over a majority of ecommerce sales, it would be considered rational to join these industry giants. But let us tell you why doing that is not what you hoped for.
Listing your products on a popular marketplace might seem glamorous but most people don’t see behind the curtains and realize what it’s like to sell on a marketplace. So, let’s weight the pros and cons.
PRO: Easy and quick to set up. In many cases, you could probably get it done in a day or less. It’s also easily manageable as the platform keeps tracks and manages for you.
CON: No personalization. You can’t customize or individualize your store to exactly how you want it to be. There’s no distinctive way on how you’re different from all the other sellers on the market.
PRO: A huge traffic pool. Hundreds and thousands of visitors pour into marketplaces attracting plenty of potential customers bringing you the much needed awareness and recognition.
CON: Competition. That’s right, you share your traffic and there’s no promises on visitors clicking on your product or your ad. Marketplaces are already getting flooded with a bunch of sellers. Either way, your products are going to get onto the platform whether you want them to be there or not and your competitors are already selling there.
PRO: A vast ocean of potential customers. Selling to a marketplace gives you a wide array of customers without needing you to network and going through the trouble of building an audience base. Marketplaces also has a wide pool of traffic that views their sites, allowing those numbers, to possibly view your product/s.
CON: Unfortunately, they’re NOT your customers. Not exactly. However good it might sound, those ‘customers’ don’t belong to your store and neither does their data. Those customers are shared with every other seller in the marketplace making your competition, more difficult. Not having to build a client base from scratch is good, but not having those customers be your customers continuously is worst.
PRO: Marketplaces help you handle customer service. You don’t have to constantly be on stand by and reply messages or follow up on enquiries. Saving you on the hassle of having to deal with it.
CON: You can’t talk to your customers. It’s ridiculous for any store to not be able to get information from their buyers. Sure, there’s a review section, but studies have shown that most reviews are fake. And some buyers don’t usually write feedback unless they’re angry and want to leave a bad review. Not to mention, it’s tough to help someone out when you’re not allowed to talk to them making things just more confusing then they need to be.
So, What’s The Takeaway?
Well, the answer is complicated. If you have no problem dealing with sharing your profits, sharing customers with the platform and other sellers and just generally want things to be super simple and easy, then the Marketplace is probably for you. But the reality is, if you want to run a business and reap the full profits with total control of how to run your store, you should most definitely have your own website to sell on. Let’s be real, marketplaces don’t investigate cases thoroughly for you. They can very easily get you in trouble or they just don’t care enough and things are made worst because you can’t talk to your customers and investigate yourself! Having to go through a middleman is all in all just a draining experience.
Not being able to fully capitalized on maximum leverage, No control over your business, and No optimizing. Is this the kind of business you want?