What E-Commerce Platform is Best for Your Online Store?
Deciding what e-commerce channel is right for your brand to start selling your products should be a well thought out task. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, so we have broken down the options and weighed up the pros and cons.
1. Through your Website
Selling your product through an e-commerce platform on your website is the end goal for most online retailers. It gives the retailer the opportunity to customise their store completely to ensure that the site your customers are buying off is completely on-brand. It also allows you access to your customers data to help with future marketing campaigns. However, it isn’t always the best idea starting out.
However, just because it is the end goal for a lot retailers, doesn’t mean it’s always the best option. Running an e-commerce website takes a lot of time. The retailer will be in charge of the customers start to finish experience including site design, maintenance, customer acquisition and marketing, payments, customer service and more. If you are a one person, or small team, you need to prioritise your time. There are are also a lot of costs involved with running your own site so make sure the costs don’t outweigh the benefits if you are considering this option.
2. Online Marketplaces
Another way retailers can sell their products online is through an online marketplace like Amazon, Etsy or Down Your High Street. This can be a relatively easier way to sell your products than setting up your own website. They also give you a wider range of pre-existing customers to tap into that regularly browse and search these sites. Online marketplaces have usually got big teams devoted driving people to their websites so this route can save you time and money on marketing your products.
While there are a lot of pros involved with selling your products on online marketplaces, there are also cons. You will have very little control over the sites branding and design so it might be completely removed from your own style. You will also not get access to your customer’s information so you won’t be able to market to them after the fact. Also, most online marketplaces have strict rules about the types of products they will allow to be sold on their site, so you need to be sure your products aren’t restricted beforehand.
3. Social Platforms
A third e-commerce platform that retailers can sell their products on is social media platforms. This is quite an easy way to get your business up and running that won’t take too much time. Social media platforms let you access your customer’s information easily and you can market to them directly from the site.
Even though social media is a viable option for selling your products online it usually works better in conjunction with a website. Many consumers still don’t view social media platforms as the optimal way to purchase products and would prefer to be redirected from the app to a website or trusted marketplace. You will also have limited branding opportunities and customisation options.
Looking for more retail insights and advice? Visit Spring Fair our February show and take part in our free workshops and seminars.