If you are considering running an ecommerce store, it’s likely that you’ve been trying to decide which platform to run it from. Of course, you could pay a designer to build you a personalized website, but this is expensive and is hardly ever the best option for a small business. So that leaves you with a few choices. Do you set up a store on an online marketplace like eBay, Amazon or Etsy, or do you use a standalone platform provider like Magento or Shopify? Here we take a look at these options so you can determine which is best.
Online Marketplaces and Online Store:
At first glance, you may think that selling on an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay is your best option. After all, you don’t need to build your own website, spend money on hosting or a domain name, and you can literally set yourself up within minutes. Online marketplaces also provide you with a host of eager buyers, which can help you to start selling products right from the get-go. However, there are fees involved with selling through platforms such as these, and there are also guidelines that need to be followed.
The main reason why many people choose to sell on online marketplaces is because of their potential for sales and the ability to reach customers who didn’t previously know they existed. However, in order to use them effectively, you need to be aware of the fees they charge and whether you can afford to pay these within your margins. You’ll also need to determine which platforms to use – you may prefer the professionalism of Amazon for example, or the ability to showcase your brand on eBay.
Online Shopping Platforms:
A step up from the online marketplaces are online shopping platforms. These give you full design over your layout, branding, and sales prices, and typically just charge a fee for the software, domain and hosting. Again, these are easy to set up and Shopify and Magento support is readily available from online companies if you need the help.
Shopify is an especially popular option for small businesses and even comes with an app that you can use from your smartphone. Magento is the far better option for ecommerce website stores that have high hopes for the future as it gives you full control over everything you could ever think of. This does mean that you’ll need to spend time learning how to use the software (unless you hire someone to help you), but the results will far outweigh your effort.
Of course, when using a online shopping platform, you will be responsible for your SEO and marketing in order to draw people to your site.
Which is Best?
Many people opt to use online marketplace whilst having their own website, and this is often the best course of action for small ecommerce stores. You will be given the ability to reach a wider audience, and can send leaflets with the items you post directing your customers to your online store. Long term, having your own shop is always the better option, but there is no harm in trying a few different options until you find one that you are happy with. This is the smart guide on Best Online Marketplace for Sellers.