Pros and Cons of E-Marketplaces vs Company Ecommerce Site
Why you should have your own Company Ecommerce Site not just sell on E-Marketplaces
Online Marketplaces are common in Malaysia: Lelong.com, Zalora, Rakuten, Ebay and the new 11street to name but a few. These sites all have a large customer database, and heavy traffic on a daily basis. This means your products can get great exposure, but how much exposure will your company and brand get? E-Marketplaces are normally about promoting the products instead of the sellers, so it is hard to keep customers loyal and get repeat purchasers.
As well as limited branding, you might also be restricted in the amount of customer information you get and communications allowed. This will make it very difficult to promote your company and products outside of the E-Marketplace’s marketing strategies.
Increased Sales..but at what Cost?
Although you should expect to see a high volume of sales on an E-Marketplace, at what price on your margins? Normally the fees will be nominal to set up, but you will be charged a % of each sale. It is important to understand the fee structure to ensure you are still making a profit!
You need to consider whether you should be solely selling on an E-Marketplace or whether you should set up your own Ecommerce website as well. Having your own website will allow Personal Branding and encourage loyalty.
You can run both your own company site and E-Marketplace in conjunction to maximise sales, but you should try to encourage buyers to visit your website directly in future for repeat purchases. How about offering a special discount coupon for their first order direct on your website? You can easily include this when shipping their E-Marketplace order to them, and set it up to be applied at checkout for one time only per customer when buying direct on your site.
Capturing Valuable Customer Details
Upon registration on your own site customers can select to subscribe to your e-newsletter so you can run campaigns to personally advise on new products and special offers. By capturing information such as birthdate when they register, you can run targeted campaigns to your customers in their birthday month for example. Web Ninja integrates with MailChimp one of the most popular and user-friendly email marketing programmes.
You can also integrate Social Media buttons on your product pages so your customers can promote to their friends. Together with Search Engine Optimisation tools, this can help boost your ranking on search engines to increase awareness and traffic.
Keeping Track of Stock
With your own Ecommerce website you can monitor the stock levels of your products more accurately, especially with Web Ninja linking directly to your Accounting Software. Never again will you make the mistake of selling something that is already out of stock!
In summary, there are definite pros and cons to selling on E-Marketplaces. If you are serious about making a business from selling your products online, we would encourage that you always run your own website. Web Ninja can design and develop your own company site and even has options to integrate to eBay and Facebook with more integrations to E-Marketplaces coming soon!