When it comes to the world of ecommerce, there are many options available to sellers when deciding where to sell products online. Many entrepreneurs choose between selling on a marketplace and building their own website.
Although each choice has its advantages and drawbacks, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works exactly for everyone, we believe that businesses that are serious about starting a brand and business of their own, should express what’s involved in the process from beginning to end.
With this in mind, it’s often best to start with the basics, which would be to first build an ecommerce website that will represent your brand and business, while also making it easy for people to order online. Once all of this is done and in place, you can then move onto the optimization and marketing aspects of the business.
For many retailers, marketplaces (such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Walmart, etc.) can be fantastic sales platforms, but it comes with plenty of drawbacks.
If you want your online business to be around for the long-run, learn why launching your eCommerce website (especially now) is the best option.
Tip: Due to the global Covid-19 situation, more people are getting their groceries and other items online. Launching your eCommerce website now means you get your fair share of the revenue in this booming market.
Build a Customer Email list and Market Directly to Them
One of the most valuable things of having your website is that you can market directly to visitors and customers, unlike the marketplaces where the people who buy your products are the platform’s customers where you display your products.
Marketing directly to customers on your website means you get to gather their details. When you have your customers’ email addresses and phone numbers, you can give them coupons via email or SMS marketing, offer deals, and announce new items.
It is also more difficult to get repeat buyers on the marketplace when you do not have exclusive access to your customers. This gives you fewer chances to provide excellent customer service and market other products.
Since maintaining a customer is simpler and cheaper than converting a new one, engaging with existing customers is an essential part of generating more profits for your business.
You remember not only who purchased from you in the past, but you know what they bought, how much they invested, and what else they might be interested in. With all this information at your disposal, you can easily influence and suggest future purchases.
Establish and Strengthen Your Brand
When you choose to sell your products on a marketplace, they are listed generically. There is little or no space for customization or branding, from character limit or word count constraints to no logo use.
In truth, it is the brand of the marketplace that is at the forefront, not yours. This makes creating market awareness and appreciation more difficult.
Most of the time, visitors and clients believe that the commodity belongs to the marketplace without knowing that you exist. In other words, instead of remembering you, people who buy your goods will always remember the marketplace.
Your goal should be for customers to associate your product with your brand and, whenever they think about that product, you want them to remember your brand. You get to have absolute autonomy while running your website, from the way it looks, what it says, how it operates, and more. During the unboxing experience, you can also enhance your brand and use personalized boxes to leave your clients with a lasting impact. Best of all, you get credit for the product, not the marketplace.
Learn More About Your Audience
You can better understand your customers when you launch your eCommerce website. This involves demographics, such as their location, and how they found your website or heard about your business. You can analyze their actions on your website, including what they were looking at and the process they went through when purchasing your product.
If certain traffic sources pull in fantastic clients for your business, you can choose to concentrate your marketing efforts there and push more ad dollars into those networks because you know they are profitable.
You will obtain knowledge about your regular buyers, but you can also discover where others that did not end up making a purchase dropped off. Maybe it’s a product page that doesn’t have enough reviews or great product images, or high shipping fees.
Or maybe your homepage loads slowly and lacks a user-friendly interface, or the payment gateways that your target buyers expect to find on your eCommerce store are missing in your checkout phase.
You need to use these things in order to make changes and refine your website to boost conversions and increase sales.
Make Your Rules for Your eCommerce Site
The freedom to directly impact the customer path and user interface comes with owning your eCommerce website:
- You can add photographs and videos of items
- You can change the layout and navigation to benefit customers
- You can change the color scheme and style of your website for better performance
- You can edit the navigation and layout of the website
- You can include a blog section
Even better, unlike in a marketplace, you don’t have to worry about your competitors’ products showing up next to yours.
As outlined by Inc.com, there are many elements to consider when building your ecommerce site. Be sure to consider each of these, as they will greatly affect how users browse, shop and buy through your online store.
Launching your eCommerce websites allows you to organize your website with clear categories of products, product descriptions, product images, and other eCommerce features that provide a customized eCommerce solution to store owners.
Tip: At the checkout page, offering something for free will impact customer behavior, as buyers will tend to think they are getting a good deal.
It’s better to experiment with this kind of offer with your own website because there are no specific guidelines or laws that you must comply with. By owning your website, you essentially control your storefront and have the potential to test and verify what works with your eCommerce business.
It’s Never Been Easier with Plug-and-play eCommerce Platforms
With the advent of out-of-the-box e-commerce sites such as Wix, Shopify, Woocommerce, etc. it is now a very easy and quick process to launch your eCommerce website. You enter your info, select from free or inexpensive templates, and design the shopping experience you want for your buyers in real-time with site builders that allow you to drag and drop the features you prefer.
When your website is up and running, it can be easy to incorporate it with the other applications you work with. Linking your eCommerce website with the platform where you manage your order fulfillment is one of such incorporations. This implies that your store automatically sends orders to your fulfillment provider to begin the picking, packaging, and shipping process.
Run Creative Marketing Campaigns
Just because you’ve got your own website it doesn’t mean that consumers will flock to you immediately. You will have to work to get customers there. The first step in customer acquisition is to push traffic to your site through a combination of SEO tactics and a good social media presence.
It’s not always straightforward to set up the best campaigns, but by educating yourself in these areas, you can get customers to find and buy from you, and you have many choices.
Some common strategies include using Facebook and Google advertising to reach your audience. By studying and integrating the keywords people use to look for products like yours, you can create content for your website.
Tip: Shoppers claim that discounts or coupons will draw them back to an eCommerce website.
Overall, there are endless opportunities to draw shoppers to your store, from making videos to creating quizzes.
Marketing Through Social Media & Search Engines
With good SEO, your website will show up on the first page of SERPs like Google. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will also provide you with a forum to build trust with your consumers through ratings and keep them updated about your products and offers with daily updates.
In fact, one of the best examples of a brand that was able to substantially grow their business through social media, was Zappos. By having an online store and providing the best support possible through social media, it ended up turning the ecommerce site into a multi-billion dollar company.
Tip: To bring more traffic to your website, keep your clients involved with quizzes, competitions, and shareable content.
Conclusion on When to Launch Your eCommerce Site
A vital piece of eCommerce strategy you can deploy is launching your website. It is a perfect way to grow your business, manage existing clients, access new insights and get innovative with your marketing.