In case you’re new to selling online, you may be wondering whether you should set up your own website or turn to a giant marketplace like Amazon. Of course, there are a few pros and cons to both, and it will ultimately come down to where your priorities lie as an aspiring entrepreneur.
Even if you have been selling on various marketplaces, you may be considering creating your own online shop. This article will highlight several important areas to consider and help you decide the best choice for your business – whether you have bags of experience under your belt or taking the first steps towards starting your own eCommerce business.
Building a Strong Brand Image
Unsurprisingly, when it comes to creating a brand image that will stand out from the crowd, your own customised website will win hands down over Amazon. Anyone that visits the Amazon site can see sellers have few options to customize the look of their product pages.
The fonts, colors, and layouts are all standardized on Amazon, but this may not be a negative as many website design mistakes can be made when going at it alone.
Personal taste can often influence website design which may not necessarily result in the most user-friendly design. For example, what you view as a sleek and edgy website could be seen as off-putting by a potential customer and hard to navigate.
Instead, consider selling on multiple channels. For example, build your own website and sell on Amazon. You can then create product pages containing fantastic product images and differentiate yourself from other Amazon sellers by adding unique product titles and product descriptions.
Just be careful how you market your brand on Amazon – they are very strict about this topic. The policies for writing listing is long, but it includes forbidding the mention of the following:
- Website URLs;
- Social media handles;
- Email addresses;
- Phone numbers;
- Physical addresses.
Amazon has put these conditions in place due to the risk of customers being redirected from their site and buying directly from the seller – resulting in Amazon losing their referral fee. If you are getting a lot of customers through Amazon, make sure you have a memorable shop name.
It could result in people running the shop name through the Google search engine and shopping through your own website.
Generating Traffic and Revenue
As gratifying as having a site branded to perfection may seem, it does not mean people will magically visit your online store and start making purchases. The internet is vast and can be a lonely place for new sites. Helping customers find your website can be hard work, and the marketing expertise required to get your own site ranking in the search engines can take years of experience.
To boost your chances of success on Amazon, it can be worth bringing in an Amazon agency https://nuoptima.com to manage the day-to-day running of the Amazon side of things. It will then allow you to focus on product development and the areas of your eCommerce business you enjoy the most.
Getting your head around the Amazon algorithm to calculate the best marketing strategies to optimize sales can be very time-consuming for non-Amazon buffs.
As a retailer, you will most likely have short-term and long-term goals. The long term will most likely involve wanting to build your brand but making sales is essential for business survival, so promoting your products to generate revenue quickly is vital to your short-term goals.
Amazon can be a fantastic place to sell some products while you continue the slow-burning process of developing your brand.
If you have your own website or store, there is a lot you can do to drive traffic to your shop. For example, you can optimize your website to rank well in the organic Google search results. If there is a budget available, you can run ads on Google and Facebook or design an Instagram campaign.
There are also marketing opportunities on other social media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok. When entering the social realm, you will need to get your head around hashtags and influencers. It all takes a lot of time and effort, which may not result in quick sales.
If you are keen to run some online paid ads, it is also possible to do so through Amazon. There is a little more creative freedom with the ads than your store page, as you can create video ads, audio ads, and other custom ads. However, as expected, Amazon will need to approve before the ad is made live. Amazon currently offers the following options:
- Sponsored Products;
- Sponsored Brands;
- Sponsored Display;
The advantage of selling on the Amazon marketplace is that it is easier for customers to find your products with a bit of SEO know-how. However, the success of your sales will depend on what you are selling, how competitive the product is on Amazon, and a few other factors.
The Customer Experience
When it comes to customer experience on Amazon, the visitor’s experience is more associated with the marketplace than with the seller. This means the customer associates a positive purchase experience as just another good buy from Amazon – even if the product was bought from you. The customer experience is all credited back to Amazon.
You have more control over customer experience when you sell through your own website. The customer journey is entirely in your hands – from start to finish. You are in charge of the ad they clicked on, the web pages they visit, and even the review follow-up email sent out following a purchase.
This route does take more work than selling on Amazon, but the entire customer experience is in your hands to master.
There is no reason to start working on the long-term goal and build your brand, but no harm will be done by listing some of your products on Amazon to complement your online shop’s sales. One of the best ways to get revenue up is to explore multiple sale channels.
Bloomreach published a report identifying that shoppers begin their product searches two times more often on Amazon than on Google, so it may well be worth giving Amazon a try. Even some of the most successful brands with thousands of website visitors still sell selected products on Amazon.
Online marketplaces tend to have strict rules (which are also subject to change), but it is worth complying with as Amazon has millions of potential customers ready to buy your products. So consider hiring an Amazon agent and get started on building your own website – spread out and sell products across several channels.