January 16, 2016
Lots of people now sell their own products on the web without owning their own ecommerce site. Thanks to open marketplaces like eBay, that can allow anybody to sell (almost) anything or create their own internal online shop, or Etsy, which allows people to sell things they have made, if you have good products, you can make sales without ever having to create your own website.
However, once you are gaining some success on these types of platforms, you may well wonder whether you couldn't maximize your retailing potential by starting your own ecommerce website.
What Are the Advantages to Having Your Own Site?
While eBay and Etsy (and Amazon…and various other platforms that let you sell your stuff) are a good way to reach people, they offer far less opportunity to grow your brand. On your own site, it is your design, so you can brand very heavily and make your customers really get a feel for the type of retailer you position yourself as. Also, and this is important commercially, when people are searching on platforms like Etsy, they don't just see your products, but all of your competitors' products. They can compare prices on similar items at a glance, and so if you, for example, have high prices because you use carefully sourced materials or a time consuming process that leads to better quality, people may opt for the visibly cheaper option instantly without looking properly at yours and seeing why the price difference is justified.
Additionally, your data on your customers and your analytical information is all yours. You can do email marketing, promotions for past customers, drive your visitors to your social media accounts, and plenty more when your site is your own.
Creating an Online Store
There are plenty of tools out there that can let you create a website for free or at very little cost, and once you have a domain and ecommerce web hosting services, all that is really left to worry about is the ecommerce side of things. There are many different kinds of ecommerce platforms out there from which you can decide.
Promote Your Store
Once you have made the decision to create your own store and built it using the resources available, all that is left is to promote it! Your existing customers are a good place to start, but you should also consider paying for things like Facebook or Google advertising to help more people find your site, as well as having a strong SEO and social media strategy.
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