Running your own website is often the obvious next step for eBay and Amazon sellers as their business expands, however, it’s not as simple as setting up your website and starting to get sales. We take a look at the advantages of selling on your own ecommerce website and some simple ways that you can grow a loyal customer base so that you’re no longer completely dependent on marketplace sales.
Advantages of selling on eBay and Amazon
Selling on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon offers some great advantages; they’re well known and already trusted by online shoppers. Online sellers often start on a marketplace because you’re likely to get a good amount of traffic and sales fairly quickly. While shoppers are still buying from individual sellers on eBay and Amazon, they also know that sellers have to meet certain standards to sell and that the marketplace will resolve any issues that they have.
These standards also mean that eBay and Amazon can be quite restrictive for sellers; you have the risk of transactions being refunded when a customer complains, or even having your account suspended.
Advantages of your own ecommerce website
Running your own ecommerce website can give you a lot more freedom and better profit. With your own site, you’re able to create a more distinctive and branded shopping experience, as you have a lot more control over the layout and format of your online shop.
You also don’t have to pay fees and a percentage of your sales to the marketplace, although you will still have to pay for your website and for a payment provider, this will usually end up costing you a little less. It’s also a lot easier to cross-sell and upsell on your own website, you’ll be able to increase your average order values for each customer and grow your business.
You will have complete freedom over your sales, shipping and returns policy - you won’t be assessed by eBay or Amazon’s metrics. However, you will still need to comply with all the laws that apply to online sellers and you need to build trust with your customers and create a good reputation so offering a generous, no-fuss returns policy and handling any problems well is essential.
Your own website can offer a lot of opportunities to grow your ecommerce business without the rules and restrictions of marketplaces, but you will have to put more effort and money into marketing and to ensure that shoppers discover you.
How to move customers from marketplaces to your own website
If you’re already successfully selling on eBay and Amazon you’ll need to take steps to encourage your repeat customers to buy from you directly, as well as promoting and marketing your website to attract new customers.
Unique, good quality products
To attract eBay and Amazon shoppers to your website you have to offer something that they can’t find on marketplaces - selling on your own website will work best for good quality, unique products. If you’re selling a product at 99p on eBay and competing against thousands of other listings for the same item, there’s no reason why someone would look anywhere else for that product - they just want the cheapest price.
Promote your shop
Make sure that the parcels you send out for eBay and Amazon sales are branded and include business cards that direct shoppers to your own website. Put your website address on the label, the invoice and put in any other marketing materials that you have. You need to make shoppers aware of exactly who they bought from even though they were shopping on eBay or Amazon, and let them know that they could go straight to you next time they need to reorder.
Discounts for your shop
You can also include a discount code with your parcels, to encourage shoppers to buy from your site instead of going back to eBay and Amazon next time. Or, you can include an incentive for signing up to your email newsletter, then you’re able to keep reminding them about your online shop on a regular basis.
Offer lower prices on your site
Shopping on eBay and Amazon is incredibly easy for the customer, so you need to give a good incentive for them to seek out your website. Without having to pay fees on every sale to eBay and Amazon you should be able to use some of that money that you’re saving to make the prices on your website slightly cheaper.
To keep an eye on how sales on your website compare with sales on eBay and Amazon, you can use Zenstores Insights. You can also use Zenstores Insights to track your best selling products, and your best customers - find out more here.