This week, we’re taking a step away from Amazon to talk about your brand’s own website. Unless you’re still in the pre-release stages of your product, you’ve probably got a website up, running and selling some of your products. The success of that site though, may not be exactly what you want it to be.
Why is it so hard to sell products from your site?
Well, there’s a few reasons, most of which are actually rooted in the advantages of selling on Amazon. They include:
- The routes to your site are more limited. Think about all the routes people take to get to your product on Amazon, and how the product exists in a whole environment. The way people browse when they go to a big name store – like Target or Walmart – that’s what it’s like for your product on Amazon or eBay. Your site just doesn’t have the same interconnection that Amazon has, and people tend to arrive through just a few channels – most likely, ads or Googling.
- Customers trust Amazon, as we’ve said before. They don’t have to sign up for a new account or re-enter card information in order to buy your product. This ease and comfort is a big deal, and it’s why 44% start on Amazon.
- Shipping, if you don’t take advantage of Amazon’s FBA extension program, this can be a challenge. If your online store can’t compete with that 2-day shipping, people are probably going to order from the big guys.
- They need a reason to go elsewhere. People are creatures of habit, which means they need a real reason to shop elsewhere. What reason are you giving them?
Why should I bother with my site, if it’s such a challenge?
Alright, so now that we’ve given you a list of obstacles, we’re going to switch gears and tell you why your site is totally worth the trouble. A few weeks ago, we talked about why Shopify is the best store cart – which is one of the big obstacles out of the way. Even though it isn’t necessarily a walk in the digital park, selling on your online store is a core piece of the ecommerce puzzle. Here’s why:
- Less distractions. You’re the only seller on your site. It might sound like an obvious statement, but it’s still important. On a third-party site, people are in “browse” mode, and there are ads all over the place pulling them to other products. On your site, that’s less likely, at least if they find your product to their liking.
- Easier price control. On Amazon, fluctuating prices on other products mean constant reassessment of your brand. On top of that, resellers can present a pricing challenge to many manufacturers who are trying to maintain the Buy Box.
On your online store, rather than having to constantly take into account shifting costs, you should be able to keep things fairly stable. Plus, you can easily run promotions or offer incentives to bring customers back. Still, of course, you’ll have to keep an eye on what’s happening on the big websites to make sure there isn’t a huge discrepancy.
- Higher profit margins. This one is, long term, one of the most important benefits of selling more products from your own site. Because you aren’t paying that cut to Amazon, you’ll have better margins of profit; every item you sell on your own site will bring in more money than one sold elsewhere.
- Hone your brand, make it beautiful. Your website is your product’s natural habitat, and you’ve got the power to make it awesome. Depending on your brand, this might mean telling customers your story, displaying some shining customer reviews or bragging about all those organic ingredients.
At the same time, you can build a site that has an aesthetic that matches your product, so customers feel they are in a “space” that fits your brand. If you do a good job with this element of the site, it will feel like going to a local store and visitors will really get a feel for your brand. Plus, if your product requires some buyer education – this is the place to do it.
- Build a base of returning customers. In your online store, you can build a contact list through customer sign-ups when buying products. Also, if you don’t mind annoying your customers briefly, it’s been proven that those overlay pop-ups are super effective (if done well) when it comes to bringing customers back to your site at a later date. And, getting those names on your list is a HUGE boom, especially if you want to run promotions, send our email blasts, retarget on Facebook, and more.
- Consolidation of your products. Especially if you have a good number of SKUs, people can shop around and see the wealth of items you offer. Also, you can make a beautiful set of menus if you offer things like a variety of colors or styles of a certain product.
So, there you have it folks, many reasons why, even though Amazon is pretty rockin’, you shouldn’t neglect your website either (plus, we can add a Shopify cart to your existing website as part of our onboarding!). At Whitebox, one of our favorite things is helping clients address their pain points – whether that’s on Amazon, eBay, or their own store – and move towards a more complete ecommerce operation. If you’ve got your own thoughts to add, we’d love to hear from you.