For a busy small business owner, starting your own web store site can be difficult. That is precisely why many people choose to sell on an online marketplace like Jumia thereby losing on the benefits of having their own web store site.
Marketing isn’t a big deal when you’re selling through a larger brand that provides you immediate global visibility. Furthermore, shipping and sophisticated logistics are less difficult than if you did everything yourself.
But is the marketplace really the best decision for you and your small business? In this article, you’ll find 7 reasons that an independent web store site is the best way to enjoy all of the benefits of selling online.
Is creating an online store hard?
Selling products online using the marketplace is not a mean feat. However, technology has made it simpler to build an online store faster than you could have ever imagined. There was a time when building an eCommerce store was extremely hard. You were required to hire someone who knew how to code to create the site for you.
Nowadays, you can do this tedious process with just a few clicks. You never have to hire website developers who you can’t afford anyway.
An eCommerce website builder enables you to build your online store with just a few clicks and can even allow you to easily sell on online marketplaces such as Jumia.
Is it expensive?
Initially, a good online store might seem a bit expensive. However, when compared to the profits you can make, that’s nothing! The online world is growing rapidly and it is directly leading to rapid growth in online sales.
Benefits of having a Web Store Site
1. Online Store Owner vs The Marketplace
When you choose to be in a large marketplace like Jumia, Konga, or Jiji, thousands of similar brands to yours will be displayed and featured, even if you are selling a unique product.
Your items can get lost in a sea of competitors, and you’ll have a hard time making them pop and stand out.
Yes, these markets receive a lot of visitors, but so does a search engine! Access to a global audience is one of the advantages of selling online. The fact that an online marketplace receives traffic does not imply that YOUR BRAND will receive any of it.
With your own web store site is that you can focus 100% on your brand and your niche. People that arrive at your store are there because they want to know more about your product, not because they’re searching for a general topic and happened upon your products.
A big advantage of being an online store owner is that you develop and execute your campaigns as you wish, making them as unique as possible while reaching thousands (even millions) of prospective customers.
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2. Your Web Store, Your Brand, Your Rules
Branding is critical to the success of your business. Every online store can benefit from a brand strategy and it is one of the biggest advantages of having an independent eCommerce site. Why?
When you buy online from Jumia or any other big marketplace, everything from the product description to the box you get delivered to your house is branded to the marketplace. The online store owner (you) rarely gets mentioned creating a disconnect between you and the customer, which can lead to weak brand identity.
Creating your online store sets you apart from the rest. It gives you the power to control how the store looks and how the customer gets to experience it. Design matters. How you present your products shapes your customer’s experience and enables you to build trust. The more the customer believes you, the higher their chances of making a purchase and coming back are.
Branding might seem small but most customers are buying and researching what to buy online. Controlling the way your brand is presented is key. Control is power.
3. Loyalty is One of the Benefits of Selling Online
In commerce, word of mouth and customer loyalty are important.
The lack of customer loyalty in marketplace stores makes it difficult to create repeat customers. Selling from your own online store allows you to create a more personal relationship with the customer because of the extra options your customer has to contact, communicate, and learn about your eCommerce site and your products.
In your own web store, many strategies can be applied to grow your customer relationships and create a loyal community.
Customer comments provide social proof that serves as a personal recommendation of your brand. People want to hear from real customers, their feedback is important and you should include it in your marketing plan. You can use rating and commenting apps to increase the interaction and engagement of your customers with your eCommerce website.
You can reward the loyalty of your customers by providing them with discounts or shipping deals. Even a small token of appreciation can go a long way when you are starting out. Showing appreciation to your loyal clients not only increases sales but also forms a bond between your buyer and your brand.
Blogs and Newsletters
Creating a blog for your web store site can be a great hook and a great way to increase traffic to your store. Integrate MailChimp or any other mailing list platform that you use to send out newsletters to your customers and keep them coming back for more.
A standalone eCommerce site enables you to guide the conversation how you please, you can have photo galleries, a podcast, a blog, video tutorials, the sky’s the limit.
4. Cut Out the Middleman with an Ecommerce Site
When you work with a marketplace store you will have to pay several fees for listing, final sale, seller rights, and transactional costs. This all adds up. One of the benefits of selling online is the low cost to start and run your Web store site. Nobody is claiming you won’t have costs, but when dealing with big stores you are mostly a commodity, not a priority.
The complexities of online marketplaces can also make it tough to understand your margins and your real profit at the end of the day. If you are selling products without a full understanding of obscure fees you may end up spending more than you make.
An independent Web store site gives you the option to sell directly from Facebook with an online store. This feature expands your audience without adding a layer of extra fees.
Read more: 10 Essential Features of an ecommerce store
Having a less prevalent middleman and running an independent Web store site makes it easy for you to scale your business. You can then invest that capital into other aspects of your business.
5. Returning Customers
Capturing customer email addresses is one of the benefits of selling online for standalone Web store sites. Marketplace platforms give you little to no access to this important data. Why is this information so important?
This data helps you create returning customers. You can send personalized emails to your clients with targeted mailing lists, create discounts that bring them back to your web store site, and create automations that move interested customers into your sales funnel.
This information is also valuable as you promote your business. The better you understand your best customers, the better your advertising to attract new buyers will be.
6. More Money
As the owner of your growing business, you decide your prices based on your necessities and costs. Marketplace platform competition can quickly undercut your price in favor of another online store owner or supplier.
Marketplaces will often have multiple restrictions on what you are able to sell online. Their categories or site structure may not favor the products you sell and who you want to attract to your products.
An independent web store site is part of the global market. You can choose margins that favor your bottom line. You also have constant access to the decisions your competition is making through search queries of your target keywords.
7. In Ecommerce, Analytics is King
Marketplaces limit the data you can collect about your customers and traffic. With an eCommerce site, you have access to Google Analytics data on how long a customer spends on your site and what steps they take before a purchase.
You can use data like this to make decisions that can grow your business at an exponential rate.
As you can see, there are more upsides to having a Web store site. Plus, you can overcome the challenges by being persistent and implementing the solutions mentioned above. Ecommerce is a booming field, and we only expect it to grow in the next few years.
Fascinated by eCommerce? Willing to give it a go? Check out our eCommerce Web sotre services before you start. They’ll help you better navigate the process of launching an ecommerce business