Month: July 2023

Your Own Ecommerce Website: Weighing the Pros, Cons, and Your Main Options

In the age of Amazon.com, is it still relevant for brands to have their own ecommerce website? Many entrepreneurs use Amazon, or other marketplaces as their primary and only sale channel. Others focus mostly on their own website. And a lot of businesses go with a hybrid approach and sell on multiple sales channels. So what is the right approach? And is a website still necessary?

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Harnessing the Benefits of Online Marketplaces

If I had a dollar for every “Get rich with Amazon FBA” course out there, I could quit working and retire early. Whether these courses are useful or not is irrelevant. The sheer number of gurus selling these methods shows how much attention Amazon has been getting for the past decade. Their net revenue went from $61B in 2022 to over $513B in 2022. However, Amazon is not the only marketplace out there. Everyone knows eBay—I remember waking up early to bid on video games and pairs of rollerblades when I was still in middle school. There is also Walmart Marketplace, which is gaining more and more traction, or Etsy for those who like shopping for handmade goods.

Because of the millions of customers these platforms attract, it can be a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs. While selling on marketplaces has its risks and issues, they can still be very profitable sales channels. After writing about the dark side of marketplaces, I’d like to talk about the flip side and go over the main reasons why some companies would consider joining one of these platforms.

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The Dark Side of Online Marketplaces

Introduction 

When I started my first business, I created an online store but also listed my products on Amazon. As a new entrepreneur with little experience, I was expecting to get a few more sales from Amazon than my own website. It turns out that for each order I received on my website, I got almost ten orders from Amazon. There are many great things about selling on popular marketplaces, the most important being piggybacking the marketplace customer base and the built-in trust with customers. 

Yet, there are a lot of issues with online marketplaces that are not obvious before you start selling on one of these channels. It took me years before I started to fully understand the challenges and issues that came with online marketplaces. I do not blame the marketplace operators for all these issues, but I want to discuss the dark side of these important online channels so you are better prepared for the day you join one of them, if you have not already.

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