If selling products is your only goal, then the “Amazon-only” approach is perfect, but if building a trust-worthy brand is what you are looking for, you need a robust off Amazon presence as well.
Let me clear one thing first: this isn’t a “vs.” or a “pros and cons” blog. We are not here to know what’s better: Amazon or your own website, because in my opinion, choosing any one of them won’t be a wise decision. Sellers often ask, “Should I sell on Amazon or my own site?” My go-to answer is: why not both?
Have you ever wondered how social media influencers gain so much success and recognition in such a short span of time? The reason is simple – they are aggressive on ALL social media platforms. Try finding a successful influencer with a presence on only one social media account? I bet you won’t find any. Obviously, there is one social media platform where they have a substantial presence, but they will make equal efforts to increase their followers on all the platforms. Similarly, having a strong presence on Amazon isn’t enough. You need a backup. If you still aren’t convinced, remember the age-old quote: “Never put all your eggs in one basket.”
Don’t desert Amazon because you already have gained momentum in sales there, but at the same time, don’t grow just on Amazon; that’s risky. The most practical option is to build a presence everywhere – on Amazon, your website, social media platforms and any other sales channel you know. Not sold yet? Here are 7 reasons that will immediately prompt you to hire Shopify development services and make your own website:
#1: Your website is your back up
When you invest in the stock market, real estate, or virtually anything, you do not want to be reliant on a single stock, property, or sales channel for your income. Then why just live off Amazon? Amazon is truly the e-commerce mogul and the best place to sell online, but at the same time, it is cold, unforgiving and not-to-forget, highly competitive. Things might be great for you at the moment, but you should be prepared for the “what if’s.” Every day hundreds of accounts get suspended because of policy infringement or black hat tricks and they have been thrown out by competition overnight.
Remember the pesticide update? Top selling products of thousands of Amazon sellers were blocked for days and they weren’t even related to pesticides! Just recently, during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic, sellers weren’t able to ship and sell products, even when they had a demand. What if anything like this happens to you? Do you have a backup ready? Your website will be the knight in shining armors in such tough times. God forbid, but if someday you don’t have Amazon’s customer base, you are not out in the cold. You know how to start over and this time, you will have your website’s customer base with you.
#2: You can build a 1:1 relation with your shoppers
Technically the shoppers and the sellers are both Amazon’s customers, but the retail giant always chooses to favor the shoppers. Sellers cannot engage with shoppers, communicate with them, ask them to follow on social media, or build a relationship with them because Amazon is too scared the sellers might woo the shoppers away. But by having a website, the equation with your shoppers will totally change. You can interact and get in touch with them and this opens up enormous marketing possibilities.
Your customer retention rate will increase on both – your website and Amazon. Every seller will agree that repeat customers are the best kind of customers because acquiring a new customer can cost up to 25 times more. Moreover, on your website, you will have access to the shopper’s email address with which you can leverage the most powerful and profitable form of online marketing available – email marketing.
#3: You will have access to valuable data
Although you have access to detailed analytics data on Amazon, it isn’t as thorough as your site’s analytics. For example, on Amazon, you can view the session, conversions, sales and orders, but on the website, you can get details about how long a shopper spent on your page, which pages they visited and a lot more. This valuable and meticulous data won’t just help you create a better and stronger website, but you can leverage this data to optimize your Amazon store. Of course, you cannot make any structural changes, but the price, content and images that work on your website might as well work on Amazon.
#4: You can actually “build a brand”
5 out of 10 people don’t realize that normal people can sell their own products on Amazon. Customers who shop from Amazon think that they are buying from Amazon even though it’s your product they are buying and Amazon absolutely owns nothing. In short, Amazon gets credits for the products you sell and sellers have zero brand equity. It’s not entirely the shopper’s fault, though. Take a close look at Amazon’s product detail page and you will understand why shoppers don’t recognize your brand. There’s just a teeny tiny link through which shoppers can view your brand store. And sellers can make Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (A+ Page) to share their brand story. Apart from this, there’s no other way shoppers can know you as a brand. Resultantly, building your brand in Amazon’s sandbox is increasingly difficult.
Ironically, you can’t build a brand on Amazon, but you need a robust brand to sell on Amazon and beat the competition. The question is, how is that possible? Answer: with your website. A professionally made website by Shopify Store Development experts combined with SEO and marketing efforts can help you turn your brand into a powerhouse that would one day be on the tip of every shopper’s tongue.
#5: You can sell B2B
B2B selling is, without any doubt, the most lucrative way to sell your products. B2B buyers are your repetitive customers and they buy in large quantities. However, Amazon is completely focused on B2C selling. Rarely any wholesale transaction takes place on your Amazon store and so by putting all your eggs in Amazon’s basket, you are, in a way, throwing all your potential B2B customers out of your window. But if you have a website, you can provide what your B2B customers want: a trustworthy brand that can deliver what they need.
#6: Your website will act as a validation for your Amazon shoppers
We all have done it. Finding products on Amazon, checking the seller’s website and coming back and buying it from Amazon just because you got a better deal there. The point here is that, just by simply having a website, your shoppers were able to trust you, “This guy has a full-fledged website…he is trustworthy”. A website acts as a proof point of trust and brand validity for anyone looking at your product. The more expensive or complicated your product is, the more critical role your website plays in closing the sale.
Besides, having a website will help customers differentiate between you and the fakers selling a cheaper version of your product. Everyone knows Amazon is infamous for counterfeits. Despite the many attempts from the retail giant itself, the bogus sellers haven’t left the marketplace. So it now rolls down to the sellers to make sure their customers are not being cheated. If the sellers fail to do so, they would have to face the consequences like lost sales, negative reviews and the worst – losing customer trust. A website can make a real difference here because it will help shoppers know whom to trust. But yes, make sure you hire Shopify theme developers and create a professional and impactful website, or else it will make things worse.
Related blog: Fight off the fakers on your listing with our anti-counterfeit tips
#7: You can create a passive income
Who doesn’t like to earn some extra bucks? Probably not as much as you see on Amazon, but you will definitely see some good sales on your website too. Amazon accounts for almost 50% of the total online sales in the U.S, but what about the other 50%? With your website, you can cash on the remaining chunk of shoppers and increase your total revenues. Plus, you will be able to increase your brand’s visibility and you know the drill: What is seen more, sells more. Shoppers saw your product on Amazon; the other day, they saw your product on your website, the next day, they saw it on their social media feeds and in the next week, they bought it. It doesn’t matter from which sales channel they bought as long as the money got transferred to your bank accounts.
Let’s make it happen!
Why choose one when you can have both! Having your own website and an Amazon store is like the best of both worlds. You are getting the perks of being an Amazon seller, having your own store and are, in a way, taking steps to grow your brand. But hey, don’t get too overwhelmed with handling two sales channels at once. Whether it’s Amazon or your own website, use our Shopify ecommerce development services to make the experience hassle-free and profitable. Happy selling!