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Sell on a sales platform or on your own site?

Photo-blog-Sell on a sales platform or on your own site?

Wednesday 1 march 2023

In the project that currently concerns us, namely 'Belgian e-shops', we require that each e-shop has its own online sales website. But we also wanted to look at the differences (and therefore the strengths too) that exist between selling online on a marketplace or on your own e-shop. We'll break it all down for you.

1) Be the owner and manager of your site

The most important point: ownership. If you have your own site, you own it, so it's yours to do exactly what you want on it. If you sell on a marketplace only, the day that marketplace decides to close, raise its prices or simply no longer accept you, you have no alternative or anything in hand to 'continue' or ' take back your community and notoriety. When you sell on a marketplace, you must comply with its rules and policies. This means you may have limited control over pricing, shipping, and other aspects of the sales process. On a personal website, you have more flexibility to set your own policies and make changes if necessary. Having your own online sales site means having all the reins of your business in hand.

2) Build your brand image and your community

By having your own site, you will build your brand image and message in a more controlled way. It is also easier to set up a customer experience and build your community around your site and your universe: Your subscribers will be redirected to your site, your newsletter points to your site, your social networks are linked to your site, in short , it's your customers, you and your world above all.

3) Know how to target more precisely

A sales platform attracts a lot of people and is very broad, which may seem attractive at first. However, by creating your own community, your audience will be more qualitative, closer to you and therefore more committed to buying from you: favor quality rather than quantity.

4) The strength of the marketplace

The great strength of the marketplace is its notoriety and the (perceived) ease of being able to open your online store. However, this also has the other side of the coin: it is difficult to differentiate yourself from thousands of other similar stores and to stand out, the customer does not become loyal to a store, but only buys on the platform, so ultimately, we work on the notoriety of the platform, and not that of our company.

5) The price and percentages on the sale

In terms of price, making your own site has an initial cost, as do updates. However, it does not underestimate the % recorded by the platform on sales. These % can go up to 30%, not including fixed costs (subscriptions, putting products online, etc.). This is a calculation to seriously consider.

6) Managing customer testimonials

Social proof is currently the most important point to attract a future customer. Indeed, impeccable, available and attentive customer service will appeal as much and sometimes more than a price or a photo. On a platform, enormous pressure is put on store owners to respond as quickly as possible to customer testimonials, to only have 5 stars, with demotions at stake for those who are less quick. This race for the stars can become insane, where on one's own site, customer responses will be just as important but less stressful.

7) The obligations of your own site

Indeed, on its own site, there are also obligations: updating and maintenance, GDPR, cookies, anti-spam, etc. Similarly, like a store that has its own sales space or a store that rents its location. This represents time and cost, and you should not hesitate to seek professional support for this important aspect.

Ultimately, a good compromise would be to have both in order to reach a wider audience and diversify sources of income: an own site and also selling on a sales platform, this regardless of the ethical questions that this represents, but this subject will be described in another blog article. This amounts to proceeding like brands that have their own stores and a network of resellers in parallel: more customers and more management.


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