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Does your small or mid-sized business need an online storefront? are you looking for platforms to sell online? if you nodded your head yes, it’s likely that you’ve considered selling on Amazon at some point. And why not? as the world’s largest E-commerce marketplace, it comes with a readymade user base. If you’ve been debating between selling on Amazon and opening your own online store or even doing a combination, we’ve put together a handy list of considerations to help you decide the best way to sell online (it’s okay, you can thank us later!).

Reach

Amazon: it’s true that Amazon hosts over 300 million user accounts and over 100 million prime members. But what’s also true with Amazon is that you’ll feel like you’re wheeling your business into the corner stall on the last floor of a ginormous shopping mall filled with shoppers. The catch? these shoppers have already found what they’re looking for on lower levels and might not take the trouble to come all the way up to yours. Over time, you might gain some footfalls, but you’ll always be a small fish in a big sea.

Self-owned shop: if you have your own e-commerce website, it’s yours to do what you will with it. You have 100% control over the landing page design, the checkout flow, the product display, and everything in between. You’re also cutting out competition that you would otherwise have on Amazon. of course, it’s always wise to keep a track of what your competition is up to. Are they selling on Amazon? is their checkout flow easier than yours? what does their product display look like? emulating a competitor’s successful strategy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you go big with marketing and promotions and pump up your search engine optimization (SEO) engine, you can grow your brand to have its own identity, on your own terms. Sales, this way, are a done deal.

Customer Base

Amazon: when a customer opens Amazon, they’re already looking to make a potential purchase. They’re looking up products, comparing them, adding them to their wishlist, and ordering items. The bottom line – buyers feel safe on Amazon. One study even shows that nine out of ten buyers look up a product on Amazon even if they’ve found it somewhere else.

Self-owned shop: on Amazon, Amazon is the face of your sale. There’s no personal touch and there’s little scope for relationship building or loyalty programs. You’re really borrowing customers, not owning them. When you’re making a sale through your website, on the other hand, every sale is backed by a customer that is authentically yours. An owned customer can mean magic for your digital marketing efforts, letting you go big with social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising to achieve organic sales.

Analytics

Amazon: Amazon gives you access to customer analytics, but it only just scratches the surface. You can’t see how long a customer has spent on your page, or the pages they visited thereafter. You’ll never know whether they bought a competitor’s product or whether they logged off without a purchase. Not knowing why a customer didn’t complete a purchase can feel like a cliffhanger with no end.

Self-Owned Shop: robust analytics can be life-changing for you and your business. You can gain insights into order completion rates, top-selling products, how long customers spend on each page, and where and why they lose interest. Let’s say you have abandoned cart insights. You can create an email campaign focused on recovering these carts and converting them into orders. You can also offer discounts and coupons along the way. And you can revisit your checkout process to understand why customers are dropping off before checkout. There are a whole lot of things you can do with owned customers, whereas Amazon can stunt your growth in the long run.

Convenience

Amazon: let’s face it – there’s nothing like having someone else do the heavy-duty work for you when you’re building a business. Amazon is that someone else. Amazon manages your payments, web hosting, maintenance, and management costs. Plus, it gives your customers a safe and secure shopping experience.

Self-Owned Shop: running your own business might make you feel like a hamster on a treadmill, but what’s profit without a little pain? by hitting the ground running, you can blitz the market and claim your share. Plus, with boutique technology platforms like Windo, you don’t have to worry about setting up a store from scratch. You can create a store in under 2 minutes!

Pricing Wars

Amazon: there are over a million companies that sell on Amazon. So, you’re literally one in a million – and not necessarily in a good way. If you’re in an industry with stiff competition, your profit margins may be wafer-thin – even if you’ve opted for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Amazon’s culture of competitive pricing can lead to pricing wars, especially because price plays a big role in determining how far up you are in search results (remember – 64% of shoppers click on one of the first three returns). The more competitive your price, the higher up you go. eep.

Self-Owned Shop: when you’re running your own shop, you can channel all your energy into creating a unique product at a unique price. No doubt, it’s important to be mindful of competition pricing, but if you’ve got a novel product, skimming the market on price could just set you apart.

Cost

Amazon: Amazon has several seller fees including a seller plan (individual or professional), which serves as a license to sell products on Amazon; a referral fee, which grants you access to Amazon’s buyer audience; an FBA fee (this is optional), for if you choose to outsource your shipping and deliveries to Amazon; and a bunch of other fees such as variable closing fees, rental book service fees, and high-volume listing fees. If you’re serious about selling on Amazon, break down the costs to figure out your return on investment. Self-owned shop: you can sell online for free with Windo. You don’t have to spend a dime to set up a Windo shop. Sign up, complete your profile and you’re ready to start selling! you can always upgrade to a subscription if you’re looking for tailored customizations, but you don’t have to. It’s no pain, all gain.

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