Ecommerce Business – According to data from iPrice, during a single online transaction within the half of 2020, a Singaporean spent S$113 online from January to June 2020. With the Covid-19, ecommerce business has seen a significant rise, and many retailers have been seen moving their business online. If you are a business owner that intends to go on the eCommerce business scene, the next question would be whether to start with a third-party marketplace or build your eCommerce website.
What is third-party marketplaces
Third-party marketplaces like Lazada and Shopee are popular platforms that retailers like to start with while building their ecommerce business. With a user-friendly interface and marketing support business owner with little IT knowledge, it will set up the store in minutes and start selling.
Easy to set up
You will need to submit the product description and upload pictures of your product in most cases, and you can start selling. There is also a customer support hotline that will assist if you face any issues during the setup period.
Large Website Traffic
Popular third-party marketplace bolsters heavy traffic to the site, which will save your marketing cost and with the right price and description, you will be able to get your first customer in due time.
For a big event like 11.11, platforms might offer free delivery, which will lower your cost. You may also engage the forum to assist with marketing; however, note that fees might be incurred.
The use of these platforms would incur a fee, and some of the costs include; platform fees, service fees, delivery charges etc.
There will be rules and regulations to be followed and there are also things that are not customizable, such as the layout of your shop, etc.
Highly likely there will be sellers selling a similar item to yours, and what sets you apart from the rest could only be the price, reviews etc.
Low Customer Loyalty
As mentioned earlier, due to many sellers selling similar products, customers will usually go for the one that offers the most value.
What is Ecommerce Website
Having an ecommerce website is similar to owning a store but in an online environment. The main difference between running your eCommerce business on your own website rather than being on a third-party marketplace is that you get to control what you want the customer to see on your site. You can decide on things like promotions, banners, products, and having articles to get your customer informed.
Having your store, you will build your brand and market presence based on your business. You will also customize the details down to the buttons or fonts that align with your brand guidelines.
One the perks of having your store also means that you can decide how to run your store. You could start with little products and grow along the way as your business scales.
Retain your customer
You will be able to maintain your customer list, and with a platform, e.g. Mailchimp, you will be able to retarget your customer and reward your customer for them to revisit your store.
Third-party marketplace usually limits the data that you receive, however, with your website, you can see more information, e.g. heatmap of the customer, how long customer spends on your site, and all this information will give you insight on changes to make on your site to increase your revenue.
Having your website built on, e.g. WordPress, would cost you significantly less in the long run as it is an open-source platform with thousands of free plugins you can leverage.
You might need more time to set up your e-commerce business site
For all the customization you need, you will need someone with IT knowledge to set up the store based on your needs, and you also to engage an agency to assist with setting up the store.
Marketing efforts are needed.
Like having your physical store, you will need certain marketing efforts to draw crowds to your store, and luckily, there are many tools you can leverage to bring those crowds in. You can start by having your own Facebook Business Page and start blogging on your site to gain more visitors.
In Summary, a third-party marketplace allows business owners to quickly get on the eCommerce market without having the hassle compared to having your eCommerce website. However, the ease of it also comes with losing the identity of your businesses and competing with similar sellers. With your e-commerce business running on your own site, you will be able to gain more control. Though the setup will take a bit more time, you will be able to incorporate your business identity into your site, which will be favourable to your business in the long run.
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