Every online merchant needs to have their own eCommerce website.
When deciding where to sell your products online, many merchants are torn between two options: selling on a marketplace (such as Etsy, eBay or other maker eCommerce sites) and creating their own eCommerce website. While each option has its own set of pros and cons – and we truly believe that there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works perfectly for everyone – we believe businesses that are truly serious about eCommerce need to have their own website.
Read on to see the top reasons why Kleurvision believes every online merchant needs to have their own eCommerce website:
1. Build a customer email list and market directly to them
When you have your own eCommerce website, one of the most important aspects is that you are able to create an email marketing list/contact list, and then be able to reach out to your existing customers and website visitors and sell to them directly. Unlike marketplaces, where people who buy your product are the customers of the marketplace, selling directly to consumers on your website means you get to collect their contact information. When you have your customers’ email addresses, you can send them email marketing promotions, offer discounts, and announce new products. You open a door of opportunity to communicate with your audience directly, and make them feel valued by seeing your promotions or services directly.
2. Establish, strengthen and market your brand
When you sell your products in a marketplace-type website, there is very little customization available for you to express your personality and your brand. From character limits, word count restrictions and logo sizing limitations, your page becomes very generic. In fact, it is not your brand that is at the forefront, but the marketplace’s! What typically happens is that visitors and customers assume your product belongs to the marketplace without realizing you even exist as your own business. Simply put: those who purchase your product will remember the marketplace instead of you. Brand awareness and recognition is hard to achieve.
With your own eCommerce website, you control everything. You control what you have to say, and how much you get to say, how your website looks and the feelings/impressions you give to your audience, how the checkout process will work, everything. The possibilities are endless and you can market your brand and your products as uniquely as your business! And the best part? YOU get the credit for your products, not the marketplace!
3. You gain a better understanding of your audience
When you have your own website, you get to know your customers, and gain a better understanding of their needs and wants. This includes their demographics, how they found your website, who referred them to you, and you can analyze their behaviour on your website – what the process was that they took to get to checking out. You can also control your marketing better – you can choose to do paid advertising as well as work on your inbound marketing.
With your own eCommerce website, not only will you gain information about your existing customers, but you can also learn about where those who didn’t end up making a purchase fell off the map. With analysis, you can explore if maybe it’s a product page that doesn’t have enough customer reviews or quality images, perhaps your content description needs to be beefed up, or perhaps people are abandoning shopping carts due to high shipping costs or a confusing checkout process that is hard to navigate. The education you can gain from your own analytics is key to helping grow and improve your business and building trust in your customers. You can take these insights and use them to improve your website and expand your customer base.
4. You get to make your own rules!
With your own eCommerce website, you get complete freedom to manage your customer’s experience and journey in your online store. You can customize everything – from your hero image or video, to featured products you want to showcase, to blogging and brand messaging. Most importantly, you will never have to worry about your competitors’ products popping up next to yours like you would with a marketplace website.. Once you have a customer visit your site, you can customize their experience to lead them from start to checkout! With a website of your own, you get the ultimate control of your online “storefront” and have the ability to test and validate what works for you and your online business.
5. You get to explore your own customized marketing campaigns
A website doesn’t automatically mean that customers will just find your business online and come flocking to your website and hand over their money. You will need to invest some time, resources, effort and money into your own customized marketing campaign. This can be a lot of fun and you should view it as an adventure! Once you have your digital store up and running, you will have to do some work to get clients there. You will need to drive traffic to your site through a mix of SEO strategies and a strong online presence on social media. Engaging with a digital marketing agency can help alleviate the stress of wearing too many hats, as it’s not always easy to set up the right campaigns – it does involve some experimentation and trial & error; however, the flexibility of marketing your own eCommerce site makes it much easier than having your products on a marketplace; with an eCommerce business, you can customize your marketing strategy and tailor your plan to fit your audience, your existing customer base and their specific shopping habits.
In the last 18 months, if we have learned anything here at Kleruvision as a digital marketing agency, it is that people are adaptable and have changed their shopping perspectives from brick & mortar, to getting comfortable with the ease of shopping online. Setting your business up with an online store is a great way for you to grow your brand, acquire loyal customers, gain new insights, and get creative with your marketing. Kleurvision can help design and build your eCommerce store to be user-friendly for your customers, and also for yourself to be able to manage it, if you desire to. Reach out today and let’s talk all things digital – our team is ready to help you!