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Do I Need To Have an Ecommerce Website? (8 Reasons)

May 12, 2021 Published by

online shopping on laptop

The rise of online marketplaces owned by companies like Facebook and Amazon has led many companies to believe that there is no longer a need to own a website. If you’re thinking the same, there are many reasons to reconsider this stance.

Having your own website comes with many benefits. At a basic level, owning a website will allow you to grow your brand and help you avoid being at the mercy of marketplaces and their ever-changing regulations. At best, a website is a channel you own that will allow you to increase your conversions and profit margin.

If this sounds interesting to you, here are the top 8 reasons you should own an Ecommerce website.

1.   Grow & Protect Your Brand

Although marketplaces give you access to a huge customer base in a relatively short period, one thing they can’t do as well as your website is grow your brand. The reason why is that when your products are sold on a marketplace, they are listed generically. From imposed character limits to logo restrictions, there is very little room left for you to add branding or customization.

The truth is that when you sell on a marketplace, their brand is always going to take center stage – not yours. It’s possible that your customers and visitors are going to assume your products are owned by the marketplace without even knowing you exist.

This can severely hinder your efforts to get people to associate your products with your brand.

2.   Improve Your Search Marketing

Owning a website opens marketing opportunities you can’t take advantage of in a marketplace.

For example, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a great way to help drive customers and traffic to your store. You can use SEO to improve the visibility of your website on search engines and not just rely on optimizing your store for search in a marketplace platform. Optimizing your store for search on a marketplace can only go so far as the platform probably hosts a plethora of other listings.

3.   Reduce Your Risk

When you own your website, you are reducing the risk of losing your brand. Why? If you build your entire brand on just one platform, you could lose it if the marketplace decides to suspend your account.

Building an Ecommerce website can help you to spread your risk, so if an issue does pop up, your business is still protected and can still generate revenue. Better yet, if your existing marketplace customers already know your brand name, they can find your website and make a purchase directly. Owning your store opens up many ways that customers can reach your business.

Creating your own Ecommerce store also lets you create blog posts and videos to drive traffic, create leads, and build relationships with your existing customers. All these activities can potentially help to drive more revenue over time.

4.   Customize Your Store

Running an Ecommerce store gives you the freedom to directly influence your customer experience. Here are key elements you’ll have control over:

  • Your blog
  • Testimonials
  • Product photos and videos
  • Your color scheme and website theme
  • Button placement and text
  • The ability to feature your company story

5.   Improve Your Listings

On a website, you won’t have to worry about your competitors’ products popping up next to yours like they could on a marketplace.

Certain Ecommerce website builders like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento allow you to organize your website with clear and distinct product categories, product descriptions, and product images.

You can even decide how you price your products and what kinds of deals you’d like to offer. For example, you can add free shipping or offer special discounts. Although this may seem trivial, these small deals do much to help improve your customer experience, and the rules and regulations imposed by the online marketplace may stand in the way of your offers.

6.   Build Customer Email Lists

A key benefit of owning your website is the ability to market directly to customers and visitors. Unlike marketplaces, where the people who buy your products are customers of the marketplace, selling directly to customers on your website means you can collect their contact information.

If you have your customers’ email addresses, then you can send them email marketing promotions like discounts or new product announcements.

Getting repeat buyers is more difficult on a marketplace because you don’t have direct access to your customers, which gives you fewer opportunities to promote other products. Retaining customers is much easier and cheaper than acquiring new ones, so the ability email lists give you to connect with your existing customers is a key element in generating revenue for your store.

7.   Audience Insights

Having your own website can help you to understand your customers. This is in part because you can set up tracking to analyze behavior on your website, such as what they’ve looked at and the paths they’ve taken to buy from you. This will give you the ability to discover your customers’ preferences and create personalized customer experiences and processes.

You could even create custom exit surveys that customers can take after leaving your page that you could use to improve your business.

8.   Reduce Cost Per Sale

Owning your website can reduce your cost per sale. Why? Marketplaces typically charge a percentage for using their platform. Though it might cost more upfront to build a website, reaching customers directly through it could help you save on marketplace fees and reduce your average cost per sale.

Effort Up Front Goes A Long Way

When creating a marketplace store is such an incredibly easy option compared to developing your own website, it can be easy to delay. However, the benefits of having your own page cannot be understated especially in the long run where you’ll have more control and potentially drive more revenue.

Whether or not you decide to set up a website or marketplace store for your Ecommerce business, there is one key element you’ll need – effective fulfillment. If you feel fulfilling orders in-house isn’t possible, consider partnering with a third-party logistics provider like Fulfillment Works. We can help with every stage of the fulfillment process from picking & packing and shipping to inventory management that helps you to avoid backorders or running out of stock.