If you run a business that involves selling products you make or source, whether they are your own designs or crafts, digital products you’ve created like software or e-books, or specialist products you supply as a niche retailer, you may find you can do pretty well just by having a store on another platform like eBay, Amazon or Etsy. However, if you want your business to grow as a brand, as well as receive more traffic from search engines, you may be thinking that you now have a need for your own online store, either instead of or as well as your current strategy using these platforms.
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There are pros and cons to having your own store versus using a major existing platform, which we’ll go on to look at here, however in most cases the pros do outweigh the cons and if you are already thinking about it, it is probably a good indication that you are ready to do it!
The Pros of Running Your Own E-Commerce Store on the Web
Here are some of the reasons your business can grow and you can make more sales if you have your own site people can buy from rather than just using other platforms:
- It can be easy and inexpensive to create and manage your own web store using an e-commerce platform like Magento ecommerce. There are lots of themes available to make designing your front end easy without professional web design assistance.
- You can brand your store much more effectively when it is your own site than when it belongs on somewhere like eBay, who will always want their own branding to be most prominent.
- It is much easier to decide where you can ship products to, and modify prices to create offers and deals on the fly.
- Marketing is far easier, as you can use effective SEO and social media marketing methods like guest blogging to drive traffic to your e-commerce store.
- You have more visibility of the behaviour of your users through the analytics for your own site, making it easier to gauge the effectiveness of different sales approaches.
The Cons of Running Your Own E-Commerce Site
The cons are not so much drawbacks, but extra things you will have to do or take responsibility for when running your own site. These include:
- You’ll need to do some marketing – you can’t rely on people finding your store through already being on Amazon or eBay and searching.
- You’ll need to decide and set up your own policies, for example what payments you’ll accept, and take responsibility for this.
- You’ll need to create a proper brand that’ll be reflected in your store’s design, not just a name or logo you can stick up on your eBay pages.
Setting up an e-commerce store is perhaps a little more work, but far easier than you may have thought, and for most retail businesses, is well worth doing.