Selling your products on an existing marketplace could be the most obvious choice you make to sell online. These channels allow you to sell your product online without investing time or money on creating your own eCommerce website.
Additionally, these marketplaces attract traffic that is what brands look for. The more people see your product, the more sales you’ll get.
However, that is not necessarily the case. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t solely focus on just the eCommerce marketplace as your sales platform.
Whenever you have a large marketplace, there will be an inclination towards looking at other people’s stores and listings to get an idea of how to structure your own product listings. You can browse through some of the listing of leading eCommerce marketplaces and you will invariably land up noticing similar product listing pages. The reason this happens is because it’s so easy to find other stores that sells similar products. For the buyer, it hardly makes a difference as they will not see a difference in sellers. They will just consider other factors such as price or additional offers or discounts.
An eCommerce marketplace is one platform with many users and that platform doesn’t belong to any brand to begin with. Its just like opening a shop in a shopping mall, you pay rent and you have to follow their rules. Some eCommerce marketplaces do have options for ‘shop in shop’ where you can have your own web-store within the platform, but still they have many limitations in terms of the design of your store, your store functions, and how to run your business.
There is no doubt about the stiff competition a brand faces when selling on a marketplace. Those that have been in the game longer may have develop a larger pool of reviews and feedback to gain the trust of potential buyers. But what about those that are just starting? They have to go through the enormity of price war as people will buy your product if it is cheaper than your competitor. Potential buyers can easily sort by price. As a result, the margin will be lower. If you have an online store, you can escape the price war by having a unique design store and by providing better service.
It is a known fact that 80% of your customers only contribute to 20% of the revenue and 20%of your customers (loyal customers) contribute to 80% of the revenue. To get return customers, you must have a customer database. Ecommerce marketplaces do not provide a customer database function in the platform. Most online stores have this function and on top of that, have an email marketing tool that allows you to reach out to your customers and get them to come back.
Efficiency is important when selling online. It reduces cost and keeps your customers satisfied with your service. A good inventory management tool also prevents sending out the wrong items, always running out of stock or having too much stock. With your own online, you can set up the stock-keeping unit (SKU) to the product you are selling. That way you can easily access your inventory report. You can even get a notification on the status of your stock level. This will save your time and money and help you focus more on your business.
It’s time to re-look at your online sales strategy. Not to say that you should completely stop selling on eCommerce marketplaces but you should use it as one of your marketing weapons to drive sales to your online store, where you can call the shots and are in control of your destiny.