Once you have decided to sell online, you will find innumerable choices facing you. As in a physical shop, you look for the location that will draw the maximum footfalls, similarly in the online world, you have to evaluate which site will be the best to sell your products. The first choice that faces you is whether to go solo and set up your own online store or sell through one of the several online marketplaces. Both, online own store and marketplaces have advantages and drawbacks of their own.Sell on your own e-commerce website
If you choose to set up your own e-commerce website where people can come to view and buy your products, a further choice faces you. Choose between a hosted or self-hosted e-commerce platform. The difference is very similar to renting a house and buying a house. When you get your website hosted, you face the same problems that you face when you rent a house. You are bound by the terms set by the owner. When you self-host a website, it’s like owning your own house. You have the flexibility to decide how exactly your house will look and how quickly you want to expand and build.
In self-hosting, you will be running the platform from your own machine. As a result, it gives you a lot of scope for customisation and you can make changes whenever you want. In a hosted website, you are renting space to sell your products on someone else’s server. The benefit of a hosted site is that it is usually very easy to use even if you are a beginner or not tech savvy.Sell on an online marketplace
If you opt to sell on an online marketplace, weigh the advantages in comparison to your own e-commerce store. Some clear-cut advantages of an online marketplace are:
Gives you access to their huge customer base
Helps you create product catalogues and list them on their site
They facilitate the transactions as middlemen
They assist you with the logistics of the process
As compensation for assistance, they take a commission from each sale. As a seller at their site, you have to adhere to their regulations and policies. As a matter of fact, the store is yours, but the mall is theirs. On the contrary, your own store gives you a lot of freedom.
Here are some tips to increase your chances of selecting the most appropriate site to sell your products on:Understand Your Product
If you are just a retailer in popular categories like electronics or apparel, you are better off selling on a marketplace. But if you are a manufacturer or are selling a niche product, your own web store will give you the opportunity to develop your brand online from the ground up.Go by Marketplace Popularity
Several online marketplaces are very popular and the top channels are normally the choice of most consumers when it comes to shopping online. Selling on these channels mean that you get access to their huge customer base. The difficulty in selling on your own online store is that you will have to start from scratch.Build your Brand image
Online marketplaces don’t give you much scope to build your brand. Customers here don’t buy products from you but from big names like Amazon. You are the nameless supplier. On the other hand, when you sell from your own store, you get the opportunity to build your brand image through social media.Gauge the Competition
Top online marketplaces also see very high competition among sellers. There will be multiple sellers of the same products, differentiated slightly by little things like product description, different angles of photographs and differing seller ratings.Ensure Logistics Support
Logistics are important. If you start selling on online marketplaces, ensure that the channel can provide you logistic support around the area your warehouses are located. If you plan to start your own online store, find out about logistics support in your area.
You have to take all the above factors into consideration before deciding on a site to sell on. If you ultimately choose to sell on an online marketplace, Amazon, with its millions of customers around the world, would be glad to help you. Please register as a seller on Amazon here
, to make the best of this huge customer base.