Ever since selling a product online has become possible, the competition for a brick-and-mortar type store has increased manifold. In order to increase the profitability, a store owner needs to ensure that his product reaches a wider market. When you decide to go online, you need to choose between two options, they are â€” setting up own website vs. listing on a marketplace.
Well, there are upsides and downsides of both the options. To decide which option is best, you need to consider things like, type of products you have, the intensity of competition in your niche market, marketplace fees and restrictions, and margin in your business.
Setting up own website
If you want to start your own website, you will have to select an ecommerce platform first. An ecommerce platform is a software solution that you will need to manage your online store. There are two basic types of ecommerce platforms available: hosted and self-hosted.
A self-hosted ecommerce platform is a software that you need to configure and install on your own. You need to do the hosting and managing of your ecommerce website on your own. If you don’t have much technical knowledge about it, you can hire an ecommerce web hosting service. Self-hosted platforms include Magento, osCommerce, ZenCart, and OpenCart.
A hosted platform, as its name suggests, provides hosting solution along with the software. A store owner doesn’t need to worry about installations and integrations. They can contact the platform support and get it done as per their requirement. These include platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
You can think of it like this, a hosted solution is like IKEA, when you buy furniture, you will have to put in minimal efforts to assemble it. On the other hand, a non-hosted solution is like buying planks, nails, glue, tools, and then coming to the home and trying to make furniture yourself, or hiring a local carpenter to do it for you.
You can read this Ecommerce Platforms guide to know more about each of these platforms.
Getting listed on an online marketplace
There are some big players in the market, like Amazon and eBay which are a go-to online store for any potential customer. They have such a huge user base that any product listed listing a product here increases the chances of your product-visibility many times. These marketplaces are like huge supermarkets which has products from different companies.
Moreover, setting up a product catalog and on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay is very easy. You can do it without any technical knowledge. They also provide you their user-search database so that you can target the customers more efficiently.
Own eCommerce Website vs. Marketplace: Pros and Cons
Having own eCommerce website:
- Can build your own brand-name
- Can give the feel and look of your brand
- Can edit the content or the whole design of your website anytime
- Can write blogs for your product
- Will be able to connect with your customers
- By using SEO techniques you can improve the rank of your website
- Once the customer lands your page, there is no competition since all the products listed there are yours
- Need to maintain a domain and a web hosting service
- Will have to make the changes in the product as soon as you come to know about it
- You need to be conscious about the content on your website
- SEO expense can be high and will take time to give results
- Need to know the technicalities
- Need to ensure that the website is scalable
- Will have to market your website yourself
Listing on Marketplace
- Don’t need to buy a domain
- Don’t need to get a hosting service
- No need to worry about the website content
- The security and privacy will be taken care of by the marketplace
- No need to worry about the website rank and SEO
- Don’t need to have any technical knowledge
- Listing your product here is very easy and fast
- Branding is not possible and is unfruitful
- Cannot have your brand’s look and feel
- Huge user base doesn’t mean they will come to you. You need to rank high in your product category.
- Users can rate you and comment anything on your product. You have no control over it.
- In many marketplaces, refunds are very easy and you will have to bear the losses for it
- You will have to share your profit, and might have to bear one-time listing charges as well.
- Have limited resources to highlight the use and USP of your products
It is tough competition between – eCommerce website vs. online marketplace. You need to decide which one is good for you by comparing their upsides and downsides.
A Piece of Advice
If you have just started a new business, you would want to concentrate on your product and increase your production. Here, going with a marketplace will solve your purpose.
However, in a long run, having your own website will be beneficial as it will cost you less per product. When the volume of your product will increase, you would want to reduce the price. In such case, giving even 2 or 3% to the marketplace will hurt.
Setting up your own ecommerce website is not at all difficult. There are many good Ecommerce design and development companies which can help you set up your Ecommerce website at inexpensive rates.
How can i-Verve help?
i-Verve is an ecommerce development company which helps in setting up an Ecommerce business. We have helped hundreds of businesses go online and leverage our expertise in multiplying their profits. You can contact us for any help regarding setting up your Ecommerce business and we will be happy to help you.