Is it better to sell your products through your own store or through an existing marketplace like Amazon.com, eBay.com or Etsy.com? When making this decision, it’s worthwhile to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy.

Advantages of Selling Through a Marketplace

  • It’s typically easier to get started selling through a marketplace than it is to start your own ECommerce store from scratch.
  • Some marketplaces do their own advertising and marketing. This creates a possibility of customers finding your store through their efforts.

Disadvantages of Selling Through a Marketplace

  • You give up a substantial percentage of your revenue to the marketplace.
  • Many marketplaces will not allow you, or any of their third-party sellers, to market directly to customers acquired through their platform. What this means: They consider the customer to be their customer, not your customer. This limits your ability to solicit repeat purchases, and repeat purchases are essential to the success of many small businesses.
  • Your business is subject to the policies of the marketplace; you might or might not like or agree with their policies.
  • The marketplace can make changes to their policies, platform or procedures at any time. This will directly affect your business, but you will not have any say in the decisions they make.
  • The marketplace has the power to revoke your privileges to use their site at any time, and you have no control over their decisions in this regard.

Advantages of Selling Through Your Own ECommerce Store

  • You are able to keep and allocate the revenue generated by your business; you decide which business expenses are worth paying for.
  • You are able to retain and use all the data from your business, including customers’ contact information. Thus you are free to continue marketing to existing customers within the framework of existing laws in your area.
  • You have complete control over your store policies, and you are able to change or adapt them as it suits your business needs.

Disadvantages of Selling Through Your Own Store

  • Setting up a store is complex and requires skills that may be beyond your capability. However, this is not a long term or serious disadvantage; you can easily outsource the setup for your store in the current marketplace.
  • You are completely responsible for customer acquisitions and marketing of your business. This is also not a serious disadvantage; the truth is, even if you were to use a platform like Etsy.com or eBay.com, you would need to do substantial amounts of marketing. If you are going to spend time and money on marketing a business, it’s a good idea to spend that time and money marketing a business that you fully own and control.

Keep in mind that you do not need to decide between creating your own store or using a third-party marketplace. You do have the option to use both strategies, and utilizing both can be advantageous for sellers.

How to create your own online retail store

If you decide to create your own ECommerce retail store, you have many options for getting it set up.

  • It’s helpful to seek IT consulting for guidance that will be specific to your business needs. Retail IT consultants can help you simplify all the complex decisions and details that could overwhelm you otherwise.
  • You can research software specifically created for retail ECommerce.
  • Hire a retail IT consultant to choose the most optimum retail software as per your needs.
  • Hire a IT consultant / software development company to help you.

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of your options when it comes to choosing whether you want to sell through a marketplace or your own store. We hope this information will be helpful to you as you decide on the best approach for your business.