Every online retailer dreams of growing a successful business, one where product consistently streams out, income rises, and profits rise too. However, Forbes reports that sadly 80% of businesses fail. And while the former lists five reasons for this, we here at RepricerExpress have a sixth: opting to go with your own store instead of a proven marketplace like Amazon.
Here’s five reasons why merchants are selling on Amazon instead of their own store — at least initially anyway.
1. Amazon has the Numbers
This is not intended to be a mean question at all, but if you polled 100 people in the street, would they be likelier to have heard of your store or Amazon? Amazon and other giant online marketplaces have a cachet to their names because of how big they are and how long they’ve been around.
Also, because you haven’t publicly earned your stripes the way big-name online marketplaces have, customers are less likely to trust you. This in no way means you’re a bad online retailer, only that you’d have a lot more work on your hands establishing that trust with your own site than if you went with an existing marketplace.
2. Infrastructure That’s Hard to Compete With
As a disclaimer, we’re not telling you to abandon your site completely. After all, if everyone with a genius idea did that, we’d never have the likes of Facebook, Amazon or Google. But keep in mind that you’re going head-to-head with really big players, the likes of whom have invested billions of dollars in infrastructure and technology to create an amazing buying experience regardless of platform.
Money can achieve a lot in the online world. Having a fat wallet may not automatically guarantee a spot in the top three, but it can buy the things, ideas and people that make it possible. And Amazon has continually used its money to build out an ecosystem that would be almost impossible for a new seller to replicate in any way—its scale allows for super-competitive pricing and its structure and business model ensures millions of active third party sellers choose it as their primary online sales channel.
3. Fees or Large Overheads?
We often hear about the fees Amazon charges, and how they can eat into profits, but looking solely at the fees is a huge mistake. Remarkably, the online sellers who choose to build their own online store as their primary sales channel to avoid continuing fees, simply ignore or underestimate the huge overhead in time and money of both building an ecommerce store and of driving traffic to it (on an on-going business)—not to mention the risk involved in pouring a large sum of money into a venture that has no guaranteed success. Amazon’s route allows you to start selling online with little risk and most of its fees are only incurred upon selling, so they’re predetermined and easily accounted for in your pricing structure.
4. Customers Value Ease of Shopping
One of the best things about ordering food at McDonald’s is you know that no matter which restaurant you go to in the world, it’s always going to be the same, easy experience: line up, tell the cashier which numbered meal you’d like, and then wait to be asked if you want to upsize it.
Unless your online store closely mimics the kind of experience shoppers have come to expect from marketplaces they’ll get confused. And if they get confused, they’ll go shop somewhere where they won’t.
Of course, you can still maintain a unique brand on marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon and eBay, and you don’t have to sacrifice individuality nearly as much as you think. Three ways you can do this are to bundle products and offer a better deal on them, sell brands that are truly new in the world, and find a marketplace that allows you to sell personalised items—Amazon now fits the bill with the Amazon Brand Registry programme.
Your online business — no matter if you plan to make it your sole source of income or a side hobby — deserves to get all the breaks it can. One of the easiest ways of establishing a solid foundation is to go with one of the tried-and-tested online marketplaces like Amazon, giving you much more leverage than you would tend to with your own store.
Another tip that’ll pay off handsomely in the short- and long-term? Using RepricerExpress’s repricing software when selling on Amazon. It will help you automate and maintain competitive pricing, to free you up to run other parts of your business. It’s a no-brainer, and so is our 15-day free trial.