Planning an E-Commerce online business is not a breeze. A lot of planning goes into it. In all probability, you will get to know your plan of action right from what you wish to sell – products and services. You may have planned on a supplier or even have designed your own product. However, one of the challenging assessments you need to make is deciding whether to sell directly through your E-Commerce website or use a third party site such as Amazon, Flipkart, eBay etc. We are going to gauge the pros and cons of each option so that you could take the right direction for your business. Let us begin.
When starting any business venture, one of the biggest concerns is how much capital you may have to invest initially. In fact, third-party E-Commerce sites have an initial advantage rather big one at that; by creating a seller account on one of these sites without any cost to you. There will be a marginal upfront cost involved if you want to build an E-Commerce website of your own. You will be required to buy an appropriately named domain befitting your business, pay monthly rent/fee for hosting and E-Commerce package.
Additionally, a one-time web designer cost for creating your site is inevitable. On the other hand, third-party E-Commerce sites do not come for free – they are here to make a profit at the end of the day. If you employ a third-party site, you may be charged a listing fee and also a certain percentage of the price of each sale you would be born. Eventually, this could end up costing you more than setting up your own site.
It is an assumption, as to which option triumphs on the cost factor. In case you are just trying to get an idea, it might make sense to start your new business on a third-party site to make sure what you will sell. However, if you are thinking for the long run and have surplus capital to spend, then building your own website will be a sound investment for developing your business.
Working out the costs in the beginning, then incorporate them into your business plan with the price of your products will be a viable proposition whichever option you opt for your business.
There is the scope for an advantage from third-party E-Commerce sites instantly. However, the catch here is this advantage is short-lived.
Attracting customers for any new business has remained a challenge…always. The good news here is third-party E-Commerce sites bear the pressure by exposing your products to an existing customer base.
If you build your own site, you will need to devote time for marketing your products and services on social media, running pay-per-click advertising campaigns or working on your search engine optimization (SEO). Monitoring of your website is required constantly.
Nevertheless, this is nothing but the issue of cost and a case of short-term v/s long-term gains for a business. Chances are a third-party site may give you an initial enthusiasm but you have to remember that you still need to do promotion of the products. Thus, it is the third-party site that reaps the long-term benefits of your promotion. Therefore, when you get some sales from such links in the short term, you may not be lucky with the long term benefits.
On the other hand, if you are selling on your own site, links and social media mentions will be about that, as long-term benefits of such links with mentions will be all yours.
Everybody wants their enterprise stays for eternity. In the same way, if you are building an online E-Commerce business, you would definitely want to ensure your store should be around for a long time. If you are building your own store, you need not to worry about your store being shut down any time soon, as long as you use branded products and keep things backed up. However, if you decide to go for a third-party E-Commerce site, there is a fair chance, that the site may go out of business, sometime in future. If that happens it is bad for you as you would be left with no choice. One of the key benefits of building your own site is that you will have complete control over it and would not face the prospect of building up a thriving business only to close down because a third-party has to shut shop.
You must have read the pros and cons, and may probably be in a position to take a decision about building your own site or use a third-party E-Commerce site. This is partly because it is not always an either/or decision as you can use both in reality. We must also take a look at a few different small business setups and check whether a third-party E-Commerce site or a standalone eCommerce website will work best for their respective business.