Starting your own online store can be more intimidating than admitting to your super fan friend you have never watched an episode of Game of Thrones, and that is exactly why a lot of people decide to go into online marketplace stores.
But is it really the correct decision for you and your business? In this article you will find seven reasons why keeping e-commerce independent is important and why should you be holding the reins of your store and involved directly with the management of your product.
7 Benefits of Selling from an Independent Online Store
- You won´t be the little fish in the humongous pond
- Your brand, your rules
- It’s all about loyalty
- Cut out the middleman
- Keeping your clients information
- Money money money
- No direct competition
Platforms like Selz have come to diversify the market and allow you to create your online store, control your marketing shipping, accounting and even incorporate social media into your digital strategy in a simple and cost friendly way. These platforms have simplified the e-commerce industry and made it easier to be an independent online store owner.
1. You won´t be the little fish in the humongous pond
Even if you are working with a unique product when you choose to be in a large marketplace like Amazon, Etsy or eBay, thousands of similar brands to yours would be displayed and featured. Your products may be lost in a sea of competitors and you will find it to be difficult to make it pop and stand out.
Yes, these marketplaces have a high volume of traffic, but that doesn’t always mean YOUR BRAND will see any of that traffic.
One of the big advantages of having your own online store is that you can focus 100% on your brand and your niche. People that arrive at your store are there because they want to know more about your product, not because they’re searching for a general topic and happened upon your products.
A big advantage of running your own online store is that you develop and execute your campaigns as you wish, making it as unique as possible.
2. Your brand, your rules
Branding is instrumental in making your business success; even a lemonade stand can benefit from a brand strategy and it is one of the biggest advantages of having an independent store. Why?
When you buy online from Amazon or any other big marketplace, everything from the product description to the box you get delivered to your house is branded to the marketplace. The seller (you) rarely gets mentioned thus creating a disconnect between you and the customer, which can lead to a weak brand identity.
Selling from your own online store allows you to create a more personal relationship with the customer.
Being able to customize your store as you please is a major asset to your business. Selz has great professional themes and a simple-to-use store editor that allows you to create a stunning website that represents your brand. Designing a website doesn’t need to be scary, with Selz creating your online store is simple and can be done without ha assle! This might seem like a little plus but being able to control the way your brand is presented is key. Control is power.
3. It’s all about loyalty
Even in the world of online e-commerce, traditional practices like word of mouth and customer loyalty are important. The lack of customer loyalty that comes with marketplace stores makes it more difficult to create loyal repeat customers.
In your own online store, many strategies can be applied to grow your customer relationships and create a loyalty based community. Selz has different features for this exact purpose:
You can use rating and commenting apps like Yotpo or Disqus to increase the interaction and engagement of your customers with your website and provide social validation that serves as a personal recommendation of your brand. People want to hear from real customers, their feedback is important and you should include it in your marketing plan.
With Selz, you can reward the loyalty of your customers by providing them with discounts or shipping deals. Even a small token of appreciation can go along the way when you are starting out, showing appreciation to your loyal clients not only increases sales but it also forms a bond between the buyer and the brand.
Creating a blog for your online store can be a great hook and a great way to increase traffic to your store.. Integrate MailChimp or any other mailing list platform that you use to send out newsletters to your customers and keep them coming back for more.
A standalone store enables you to guide the conversation how you please, you can have photo galleries, a podcast, blog, video tutorials, the sky’s the limit.
4. Cut out the middleman
When you work with marketplace store you will have to pay several fees for listing, final sale, seller rights, warehousing and transactional costs this all adds up. Nobody is claiming standalone online stores don’t have costs but when dealing with big stores you are mostly a commodity, not a priority.
Having a less prevalent middle-man can open up to possibilities of expansion and investment of that money into other aspects of your business.
5. You can keep your clients information
Having the possibility of capturing buyers email addresses is a huge pro of the standalone online stores. Marketplace platforms like Amazon, eBay or Etsy give you little to no access to this important data. Why is this info so important?
Without it, you won’t be able to establish future communications with the clients by doing mailing lists and creating discounts that bring them back to the store and incentivize loyalty.
6. Money money money
As the owner of your growing business, you decide the pricing based on your necessities and costs. When you are in a marketplace platform you’re a commodity. That means that they make all the shots and you can be the subject of them undercutting your price because they service the client over the supplier A.KA. you.
7. No direct competition
In your home turf, you’re the king or queen of the castle contrary to marketplace stores where you are set among a pool of competition.
Best of both worlds
When you have your online store you make the shots, you are deciding about pricing, promotions, products, your Instagram bio, but what if you want to be in control and also benefit from the visibility marketplace can provide? Luckily for you, you can have your cake and eat it too.
It is common practice to sell via your own store and from a marketplace simultaneously, that way you can still have control over your brand while having a presence in channels where a potential customer might be looking. Where you decide to sell will depend on your goals and budget as a company. If you decide to step into the marketplace it should be seen as complementary to your store and brand.