If you are an Amazon seller who is now considering whether to start your own e-commerce store, then I would say the time is right to take the bold step! Here I am going to explain 7 precise reasons why Amazon sellers decide to ditch one of the biggest e-commerce marketplaces to start their own e-store.
The giant e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon aim to create a beneficial business environment for both buyers and sellers. As an Amazon seller, you benefit from the heightened exposure as your offerings quickly reach more buyers worldwide. At the same time, e-commerce platforms like Amazon benefit from an expanded inventory range without having to build any physical stock.
Although selling on Amazon seems to be an irresistible opportunity for any online seller, but there are some important facts that often remain undisclosed to a beginner. Here I reveal 7 reasons to start your own eCommerce store, after gaining enough experience as an Amazon seller.
Limited Access to Customer Data Is One of The Prime Reasons To Start Your Own E-commerce Store
Simply put, if you sell on Amazon, you are allowed very limited access to key details of customers who purchased your products. You can view the customer information, once the product is ready for shipment. The seller is provided the buyer address and contact number, only for carrier and shipping purposes.
You can send a direct message to the buyer, for direct product promotion. Every message to the buyer has to go through the Amazon platform.
This essentially means that you do not have the arsenal at disposal to follow up and promote your new products to loyal customers for future sales. For them, you are a ghost, and to you, they don’t exist. Not being able to contact your customers, directly, is a threat to your business.
Down the line, for instance, after 5 years, if Amazon decides to bring down your listing, there really is no way you can reach the people who love your products. Perhaps, for all these years, you have made a fair bit of money, but now, you are left with nothing. Your existing customers are lost – lost forever – and you will have to start over again from scratch to build up a new consumer base.
Start Your Own E-commerce Store To Have Total Control Over Your Brand
Selling on Amazon does not give you public recognition. When you sell on Amazon, consumers are neither interested nor enthused about your brand. They are, in fact, super excited about buying on brand Amazon. This is because you are piggybacking on the global brand image of Amazon to sell your products, rather than trying to create a brand of your own.
Along with your competitors, you have basically tied your brand to Amazon, without striving to differentiate yourself. This in turn means, you never attempt to stand apart from the crowd. The approach can actually bury your brand if the customer goes for a filter-based search.
Now on the other hand, when you set up your own eCommerce store, you will have the liberty to design your store the way you feel like. Obviously, the eCommerce website would have a brand-first strategy, and definitely, would not be something boring or generic.
Most importantly, your eCommerce store is all yours, so you will have the opportunity to showcase your brand personality to the world. You will also have total control to create amazing shopping experiences for your customers. This certainly explains why Amazon sellers decide to start their own eCommerce store.
Stiff Competition and Competitive Pricing Are The Key Reasons To Start Your Own E-commerce Store
Even though the product you are offering is unique, still, there is no scarcity of similar products at competitive rates, on Amazon. There’s always someone somewhere attempting to grab the attention of your potential customers!
In an excessively crowded marketplace like Amazon, chances are, your product may not perform well, especially if there are other cheaper alternatives available. In addition, your rivals can target customers visiting your listings. They can place ads on your pages as well, for all their products.
Due to this stiff competition that you might face in your niche, you won’t possibly enjoy enough visibility. This could make things difficult to scale higher goals.
Scale Bigger and Scale Faster
Although the primary goal of every seller is to find a way to end-users, this does not mean that you should be pigeonholing yourself in Amazon’s maze to sell your products.
By selling on Amazon exclusively, you are plainly limiting yourself from reaching out to other channels that can help you get more customers. To be specific, you are restricting your growth by not engaging with business houses that can refer you to new clients, and sell your products.
For example, let’s assume you are a seller of home furnishings and accessories. Surely, on Amazon, you will be able to reach many shoppers who are searching for similar products. Now, what about the section of people who interact directly with your target audience on a regular basis? These individuals and businesses can be real estate developers, home planners, or interior designers. They all help your target audience to smarten up their dream homes! But what are you doing to tap them?
These people, in all likelihood, won’t recommend Amazon to their customers, simply because there is no financial benefit in doing so. They need an affiliate link of an eCommerce store, to which they can direct their clients. By selling exclusively on Amazon, you are essentially ditching strategic partnerships with industry people, leaving behind the scope of generating recurring referrals and bulk orders. This, unquestionably slows down the growth potential, which is a major factor why Amazon sellers decide to start their own eCommerce store.
You Have More Advertisement Opportunities on Your Own eCommerce Store
Advertising options, on Amazon, are severely limited. You can either pay to get your listing displayed on the product pages of your competitors, or you can make a bid on relevant keywords to amplify the visibility of your products. Though somewhat helpful, such advertising mechanisms would not be enough to bring you big sales.
On the flip side, when you have your own eCommerce website, there is a myriad of advertising opportunities that you can make use of. You can promote your products on multiple social media platforms to reach specific consumer groups, or utilize the PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertisement model to make your products appear on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Additionally, you can apply the right SEO techniques to enhance the ranking of your eCommerce website on popular search engines. The steps eventually, will drive the flow of quality traffic to your store. All these advertising options greatly increase the exposure of your online store by catering to your eCommerce website to a wider audience.
Amazon Keeps Changing Their Terms and Conditions Which is Why Amazon Sellers Decide to Start Their Own eCommerce Store
No matter if you are an Amazon seller for a day, or for a year, you must have noticed that Amazon’s terms and conditions are intimidating. It isn’t difficult to comprehend that Amazon’s top priority is the consumers who spend on their platform, never the sellers!
Their customer-centric rules and regulations are often tweaked to make the lives of consumers better, and this could dump the sellers in a pretty bad place. Moreover, Amazon is continuously trying to modify its terms and conditions to provide consumers with a better shopping experience. Yes, such turns and twists in rules can make things even tougher for sellers.
Amazon’s Highly-Demanding Fee Structure
The fee structure for selling on Amazon usually includes referral fees and account charges. Amazon’s referral fees are in the range of 6 percent to 20 percent on the selling price of a product, while the account charges could go up from 0 to 39.99 dollars per month.
Sellers also have to take care of order fulfillment and shipping, the charges for which can widely vary depending on several factors. The fact that sellers have little control over Amazon’s fee structure is one of the most common reasons to start your own e-commerce store.
The upsides of setting up your own e-commerce store are crystal clear. With an e-commerce website, you can expand your customer base, increase profits, and scale your business faster, without having to care about the whims and fancies of Amazon.
If you agree with the above reasons to start your own e-commerce store, make sure you have done a detailed groundwork, before taking the plunge.
Anirban Mukherji has been in the content creation industry since 2013. His passion for helping small online businesses streams in the form of new ideas and strategies that translate into a formula for success. Besides writing content for small enterprises, Anirban also creates SEO-friendly pieces for institutions of all sizes. Connect with Anirban on Facebook.