Marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon and eBay are great. You pay them a small listing fee and they (hopefully) send you some sales. Sure, you have to pay them a commission on your sales, but if your margins can afford it, then it’s still a pretty sweet deal. After all, these are sales that you didn’t have to work for. Sales that you got just by being a part of their marketplace. Cha–ching!
By no means is this post trying to tell you that you shouldn’t be part of a marketplace. You should. As mentioned, it’s great for increasing your reach and gaining more exposure for your products.
HOWEVER, if you want to build your own brand, own the traffic you drive there, and have a professional and beautiful storefront for your customers… then you NEED to have your own website, in addition to your marketplace presences.
Build your own brand, not someone else's
Have you ever asked a friend where they bought something, and they say “eBay”, or “Etsy”? I think all of us have.
They never say the individual store name they purchased from, and this is because when your store is one of millions of other stores, it’s just really hard to remember it. The marketplace “brand” shines brighter, and that kinda sucks when you’re trying to build YOUR business!
When you have your own website, you have complete control over the look and feel of your store. And YOUR brand is what they remember when they purchase from you.
Own the traffic, stop losing it!
If you’re serious about building a business and generating sales, chances are you’re driving most of the traffic yourself, through your own promotional efforts. If you’re currently driving that traffic to a marketplace store, stop that, please…!
A marketplace is built for discovery. It’s job is to help connect buyers to relevant products that they’d like. When you’re driving your traffic to a marketplace store, you’re losing most of that traffic to the marketplace, because they’re drawn out of your store to look at “similar products”. In most cases, they will end up buying from another seller. This is generally how marketplaces grow. We call this “network effects”. This simply means that sellers bring the buyers and because the buyers are there, more sellers come… and it just grows and grows and grows from there.
When you have your own website, you own the traffic. They’re not going to be drawn to other sellers, because it’s only you and your brand on there. This is such an important point! You work hard to drive that traffic there… you need to own it!
This one’s pretty obvious, but worth mentioning. When you can use your own URL to direct your customers to your own website, that you’ve designed and customized yourself, that’s a feeling you can be proud of! A professional (and beautiful!) website helps to build trust and reinforce your overall brand.
Remember, marketplaces have a purpose. They help to give you exposure to more customers. Set up a shop there and just leave it to hopefully make sales for you. Then, set up a stand-alone website that you can drive all your customers to, through your own promotional efforts.
With Zibbet, you can have the best of both worlds. You get your own, professional, fully customizable, stand-alone website AND a store within Zibbet’s marketplace. Both are completely in sync and managed from the one dashboard. When you list (and sell!) an item, it automatically updates on both your marketplace store and your website.
If you’re not yet a Zibbet member… Sign up today, for free: www.zibbet.com/sell
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