An eCommerce website is any kind of website that sells products and/or services – it’s basically an online store. When choosing where to sell your products and services online you can generally choose between creating your own eCommerce website, selling on a marketplace (like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Walmart), or becoming part of a larger website. Good examples of the latter are stock photo repositories.
Benefits of having an eCommerce store
Running an eCommerce store is a lot of work. However, there are a lot of benefits to running your own eCommerce website. These are some:
- Low overhead costs – Having an online store generally has lower overhead costs than running a physical location. You, for example, will not have to pay for the rent, maintenance, and decoration of a physical store and you’ll probably have to hire less staff.
- You can reach a wider audience – With an online store, you’re not limited to the people who visit your store in person. You’ll be able to sell to people all over the world.
- An eCommerce store can be open 24/7.
- You can develop a passive income stream – eCommerce stores are becoming easier and easier to automate. This means that, after your investment, you’ll be able to make money while you sleep!
Why you should run your own eCommerce website
We believe that businesses that are serious about running their eCommerce business should run their own eCommerce website. Selling your products on marketplaces simply has too many limitations. Here’s why having your own website is the way to go:
1. You can build your own customer email list
When selling on a marketplace, the customers who buy your products are customers of the marketplace (not of your eCommerce store). This means that you won’t be able to collect their personal contact information. This is completely different when you have your own webshop and the customer is actually your customer. You’ll, for example, get their email address, which means that (with their permission) you’ll be able to send them future marketing promotions, discounts and are able to send newsletters.
2. You can offer better customer support
Retaining customers is easier than getting new customers, therefore it’s super important that you can communicate with your existing customers. Having your own eCommerce store will give you direct access to them, which means that you’ll be able to offer a more direct/better customer service.
3. You can create a stronger brand
Whilst selling on a marketplace is easy, it’s not the best way to establish your brand. On most marketplaces, your products are listed in a generic way and there are a lot of limits when it comes to customization. The marketplace you chose is in the storefront, not your brand. This will cause customers to remember the marketplace and not your brand. They might not even notice your band.
So, if you want to build brand awareness and recognition, you’ll need to run your own eCommerce store. Only by having your own eCommerce store customers will be able to associate your product with your brand. Furthermore, you’ll get full control when it comes to the way your website looks.
4. You can run more creative marketing campaigns
When you have your own eCommerce store you’ll be able to run more creative marketing campaigns – you won’t be limited to the marketplace’s options anymore. With your own website, you can create a mix of SEO strategies, create a strong online presence on social media, and make use of paid advertising on, for example, Google Ads and Facebook.
A great thing about having your own eCommerce website is that you’ll get access to all data. This means that you’ll be able to get more information about your customers, what they looked at, which path they took before buying from you and when they left their website. Having access to this data will allow you to adapt your strategies and invest in the channels that are most profitable.
6. More control over your storefront
When you have your own eCommerce website, you’ll be able to do what you want. Some examples are:
- Changing the layout of your website
- Edit call-to-actions
- Adding photos and videos wherever you want
- Adding a blog or a page telling all about your company
- Create special discount codes and promotions
- Change colors and themes
- Add categories
- Choose between a variety of eCommerce tools such as WooCommerce and Shopify.
- Choosing the web hosting provider you want
- Change the payment and shipping options
7. A different kind of competition
No matter how you choose to sell your products and/or services online, there will always be competition. However, with your own eCommerce website you won’t have to worry about your competitors’ products or services popping up next to your products – this is a huge benefit!
More and more businesses are creating an online space for their businesses. Some even abandon their physical locations entirely. Having your own eCommerce store is great if you want to grow your brand, get loyal customers, get creative with your marketing strategies, and be able to use your website’s statistics.