4 reasons to create an E-commerce website

4 Reasons Why You Should Create An E-commerce Website

Selling online is no big secret – the rise in E-commerce over the last few years has been immense (accelerated in no small part by COVID-19), therefore more and more businesses are now assessing their options of where to market their products. 

It’s so popular, that the UK is the 4th largest E-commerce market in the world, seeing around $105billion of turnover. In fact, this makes Britain the biggest E-commerce market in Europe, which means you can’t afford to miss out on this crucial avenue for sales.

For many businesses who are looking to make the jump into Ecommerce, the big question is whether to use a 3rd party marketplace (like Amazon or eBay), or create your own bespoke website. 

While there are plenty of pros and cons to both, we’ve pulled together the four key reasons why you should create your own E-commerce website. 

Reduce Reliance On 3rd Party Websites

A quick way of building an online business is to use an existing platform – many small businesses are run entirely on external websites such as Instagram, Facebook, eBay, Gumtree etc. This can achieve quick growth due to the existing user base (Amazon alone has over 400 million visits per month), however the downside is that you are putting your entire business in the hands of an external company. 

A graph showing the most popular E-commerce marketplaces in the UK 2022
Amazon is the most popular 3rd party marketplace in the UK, with over 400 million monthly visits

Why does this matter? Well, if Facebook shut down tomorrow, many small businesses would lose their customer base overnight. If Gumtree suddenly started charging ridiculous prices for a listing, this would raise business costs making sales harder to achieve. If Instagram loses popularity to a hot new social media platform, then you’ll be back to square one having to build your brand all over again. 

Although the chances of this happening can be small, it’s not unheard of and big changes have affected businesses in the past (Facebook’s algorithm for showing content had a major effect on brand pages a few years ago).

By creating your own E-commerce website, you are in complete control over your businesses entire operation – everything from product listings, pricing, how the website looks, product text, imagery etc. is within your remit, which allows you to set everything exactly how you want it. 

Furthermore, there’s no chance of your customer base disappearing overnight due to changes out of your control, which makes your business more secure in the long term. 

Reduce Costs

For many small businesses, using an established marketplace like Ebay or Amazon is a great way to grow sales quickly, as you can take advantage of the huge customer base and existing traffic to obtain new orders. 

However, having access to these potential customers don’t come for free – Amazon takes anywhere between 8-32% of the selling price, depending on what the product is. Similarly, eBay takes around 10-15%, without even accounting for shipping or fulfillment costs which also need to be added on. 

Although obtaining traffic to your own E-commerce website can take more time, it’s a worthwhile investment as once your sales take off, you will get to keep most of the margin, which keeps your business more profitable in the long run.

Build Your Brand

Another downside to using a 3rd party marketplace, is that you aren’t building a connection with the customer. Each sale transaction occurs with the marketplace branding, so customers think they are purchasing from eBay when in fact your company is doing all of the hard work in the background. 

Without this connection, customers will simply keep returning to the marketplace as they are not aware of your brand, which means they could opt for any of your competitors without realising who they are buying from. 

By having your own E-commerce website, you can place your branding front and centre and tell your unique story which can create a deeper connection with the customer. 

Been a family business since 1943? Do you donate profits to charity? Are your products made from renewable materials? All of these messages on your own website not only increase the chance of a sale by creating a USP (unique selling proposition), it will also boost the likelihood of making a lasting impression on the customer, leading to a repeat purchase in the future. 

By building a brand and creating brand loyalty with your customers, you’ll be able to leave the 3rd party marketplaces behind and take your business sales from strength to strength. 

National/International Coverage

Having a physical store can be great for in person sales, however the downside to a bricks and mortar location is you are restricting yourself to the footfall in one particular area. By taking your business online, you are opening yourself up to a national, or even an international, audience, creating an almost unlimited potential for future sales. 

Not only that, it’s now common for in store visitors to follow up their trip into the shop by visiting the website afterwards, especially for bigger purchases where they may need time to think about it.

By having an E-commerce website as a compliment to your physical shop, you’re increasing the chances of securing a sale and ensuring those customers who walk out the door without buying anything are catered for later on that night when they are browsing online and more likely to make an impulse purchase.

Starting your E-commerce website from scratch can be a daunting prospect, however we’re here to make it easy – why not contact us today to see how we can help you start your journey into the world of selling online.

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