To have a website or to use an online market for your eCommerce business? That question has perhaps plagued every person who has started an eCommerce business. Though putting up your wares on a commercial platform hosting other companies (think Amazon, Etsy, etc.) can have many pros, having your own website for your business is usually a decisive move for an eCommerce business.
It’s essential to your business to have your own website. It means that you can:
Market directly to your customers
Having your own website means you can build your customer list and market your services directly to them. Marketplaces like Amazon do not provide you with a direct link to your customers.
With your own website, you get to have your own customer email list. You can send your customers promotional materials, special coupons for loyalty, membership perks, etc. You should avoid spamming your customers, however. One way to ensure that your customers don’t feel like they are getting bombarded with unwanted marketing emails is to find the right members for your marketing team. Straddling the fine line between marketing and spamming can be quite a mean feat.
You can also keep tabs on which customers buy what from you. Which means you can focus on individualizing your approach to your customers. This makes them feel you know them and pays attention to their preferences. Which you actually do. This kind of treatment makes your customers keep coming back.
Establish your own brand
How you present your products, layout, and product descriptions have limits when you use a marketplace. Your wares will look just like the wares of every single one of your competitors. Your customers will need help telling you apart from everyone else selling similar things.
But you can choose your colors, logo, and vibe when you have your own website. You can set your company apart from the rest. When done effectively, branding can make customers associate your products with your brand.
Control your website
With your own website, you have complete control of everything. You don’t have to conform to the generic layout of any marketplace. Instead, you decide how you want your website to look and work. You can also create backlinks to your website on other platforms to get traffic. Finally, you can employ a good PPC strategy to get people into your website. The way your website looks and feels will keep them coming back.
Make use of do-it-yourself platforms
There are many plug-and-play platforms where you can build your own website even if you have no programming background. These websites usually have builder plugins that give you greater control of how your website will look, even if you use their templates. However, your website will still look and feel uniquely your own, with your own style and branding.
Many platforms allow you to integrate outside software like those used for order fulfillment. They also make adding and updating your products and product descriptions easy.
What do you need to build your website?
A solid strategy
You need to figure out two main items when building your own website:
If your website cannot address your customers’ needs, you will have an unsuccessful, albeit pretty-looking, website.
When it comes to your objectives for your website, make sure they match or follow your business objectives and goals.
Functionality and usability
How your website functions and its ease of use. These things are some of the more important aspects when building your website. For example, what features do you include on your website? What data are you collecting? Is it a user-friendly website? Will using your website satisfy your customers’ needs?
Content is the most significant thing your customers will see. Therefore, your content has to:
Give customers what they are looking for
Help you achieve your goals for your website and business
Whatever your customers want to see, represent it
Your content is part of your brand. Therefore, it should reflect what you are as a business.
Remember that your customers will be entering their data into your website. Sensitive data like their names, contact details, and addresses, possibly along with their credit card information. This means that your website security needs to be so tight that your customers are in no danger of having their data breached and stolen.
There are legal repercussions should there be a data breach on your website, especially if faulty website security causes the breach. Apart from legal consequences, customer trust will also be affected if your website is known for having weak security.
Making your own website is a move in the right direction for the growth of your eCommerce business. First, however, you need to make sure that your website improves user experience, keeps up with the trends, and ensures the safety of your customers’ data.