Selling your products on an existing online marketplace could be the most straightforward way to do e-commerce. These sites allow you to sell your products online without investing time or money on creating your own e-commerce website.
Not only that, but people seem to be obsessed with traffic when it comes to selling online. The more people see your product, the more sales you'll get, right?
That is not necessarily the case. I'm going to show you why you shouldn't solely focus on just the e-marketplace as your sales platform.
5 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Own Online Store and Not Just Sell On e-Marketplace
Differentiate yourself from the rest
Whenever you have a large marketplace, there will be tendency to look at other people's stores and listings to get an idea of how to structure your own product listings. You can browse through some of the popular e-Marketplaces in Malaysia and it is obvious that some of the products listings are similar. Even the images used are sometimes an exact copy. The reason this happens is that it is so easy to find other stores that sell similar products. All of the products and their stores are listed on the same place. Just a few clicks and you can already copy. From a buyer's perspective, they will not see a difference in sellers and therefore it will not be a factor in their buying decision. They will just consider other factors such as price or additional bonuses.
Gain total control of your business
E-marketplace is one platform with many users and that platform is not even yours to begin with. Imagine you open up shop in a shopping mall, you pay rent and you have to follow their rules. That is exactly how e-Marketplaces work. Some e-marketplace allow you to have your own store within the platform and some don't. Anyway, you still have many limitations in terms of the design of your store, your store functions, and how you run your business.
Escape the price war
The e-marketplace is a bloody red ocean. Lots of competition and no way to differentiate. Those that have been in the game longer may have develop a large pool of reviews and feedbacks to gain the trust of potential buyers. But what about those that are just starting? The only solution is a price war. The only reason that people will buy your product is if it is cheaper than your competitors' or due to availability. Potential buyers can easily sort by price. As a result, your margin will be lower. If you have an online store, you can escape the price war by having a unique design store and providing better service.
Repeat purchase and loyal customers
80% of your customers only contribute to 20% of the revenue and 20% of your customers (loyal customers) contribute to 80% of the revenue. To get return customers, you must have a customer database. E-marketplaces do not provide a customer database function in the platform. Most online stores have this function and on top of that, have email marketing tool that allows you to reach out to your customers and get them to come back. You can also do a reward program to turn customers into loyal customers such as special discounts and promotions.
Keep better track of your inventory
Effiency is important when selling online. It reduces cost and keeps your customers satisfied with your service. A good inventory management tool also prevent sending out the wrong items, always running out of stock or having too much stock. With your own online store, you can set up stock keeping unit (SKU) to the products you are selling. That way, you can get report on your inventory with just a click. You can even be notified when stock level is low. This will save you time and money. And you can focus on more important aspects of your business.
Time To Get Serious
Ask yourself, why are you building up a shop that is controlled by someone else? Do you want to be in control of your own business and costs? The only way to do this is to start your own web property. Stop relying on e-Marketplaces. These sites are good for getting your feet wet but will prevent you from ever growing.
It's time to get serious with your online business. Not to say that you should suddenly stop using these e-Marketplaces but you should use it as one of your marketing weapons to drive sales to your online store, where you can call the shots and are in control of your own destiny.