Like many Indians, I mostly shop from Amazon India and Flipkart. The last thing that I had bought online was my One Plus Mobile Cover. But do I know who was the seller? Nope. But I remember the last time I ordered custom printed cake for a friend. It was through Ovenfresh. I remember this because I did it through their own website. Though their website isn’t that great, but since they had their own site through which they were selling, they came across like a brand unlike the seller selling mobile cover.
I am not saying one should not sell on Amazon, Flipkart and other such platforms. Infact one should be present and be selling their products on all possible platform. But to come out as a serious player, to grow beyond being just a shop and to be a brand, you should immediately start selling from your own custom eCommerce Site.
Following are the some of the more reasons why you should really give a thought to having your own custom eCommerce Store.
On your own eCommerce site, you have complete control. How many products you show and how you show it. Which products do you want to push more. What offers you want to promote. You could even reach out to people who have left halfway through checkout flow.
No Profit Cut
On some third party platform you need to share profits for every sale. As you grow bigger this amount comes out to be pretty huge. On your eCommerce site the only fee you pay is for the payment gateway. There is no middleman, taking a cut from your earnings.
Higher Profit Margins
Since on your website user is not comparing your product to any other seller’s product, you can sell it on much higher profit margin.
For instance for a mobile cover which has a custom art created/drawn by you, which you feel is worth say INR 2000, you won’t be able to get much buyers on Amazon because there are many sellers selling covers for INR 500.
Brand Building and Recall
If you are looking for a bigger game, you have to become a brand. It’s a human mentality that expensive products can be justified under a brand. Having your own website, gives you scope to establish your brand. People take you seriously. You can’t easily build your brand just selling on third party platforms.
With your own site, you can have your custom design which represents your brand. The classier the website more expensive the products could be. Design gives you an identity, a character.
Easier to Promote and Market
You can create ads on Google/Facebook and other platforms and track it’s conversion only if you have your own site. A good SEO can do wonders to your business which is also possible when you have your own eCommerce Site.
Future-proof and Scalable
Being solely dependent on third party platform is never a good idea. There can be changes in their policy, pricing or their business model which can impact your business badly.
I was registered as mobile developer on Urban Clap, a kind of lead generating platform. I wasn’t getting any leads since couple of months, when I contacted the customer support they informed me that mobile development requests are not supported anymore on their platform. It came as a shock, since I have already paid them to buy credits (which are needed to bid for leads).
Since having your website gives you complete control, you could scale it as per your need. Starting simple and then adding modules as you grow your business.
It’s Not Expensive
Lot of people think you need to spend a fortune to have your own eCommerce site. But with options like WooCommerce and freely available beautiful themes it’s really simple to setup an eCommerce store. You would only have to really spend when you are going for integrating complex modules and designs.
So do sell on all platforms that gets you business, but make sure you are simultaneously building your own brand with your own website. It may initially not bring you much orders, but over a period of time as your SEO improves it would help you establish your brand!