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Amazon vs. Your Online Store: Which Is Better?
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
It’s not unusual for eCommerce sellers to get sucked into the Amazon vortex, and it’s no wonder: The Amazon Marketplace offers tremendous sales potential to retailers, so that’s where they focus their efforts.
That being said, many sellers have discovered the benefits of selling on their own eCommerce websites as well. In our recent survey of 1,600 Amazon sellers, nearly 40% said they also sell on their own websites. Moreover, 29% said they planned to expand their websites in 2017.
Which channel is better for sellers? The answer is that both are effective, but for different reasons.
Below are some of the pros of selling on Amazon, as well as your own website:
The Benefits of Amazon
1. High Traffic
Amazon draws an average of 183 million monthly visitors to its site, which means that selling there gives you access to lots of customers that you wouldn’t have otherwise. In addition, many customers prefer the marketplace experience, where they can purchase all of their goods in one place. As a result, a good number of retailers sell primarily or even exclusively on Amazon, because often that’s where they are likely to generate the most sales.
Amazon has the added benefit of being a well-known, trusted name. Shoppers know that they are likely to be satisfied with their purchases, and if not, they can return them easily. Because of this, many customers are much more willing to purchase from Amazon than from a retailer’s own store.
3. Support and Infrastructure
Amazon’s platform can track inventory, manage tax collection, and process credit cards. If you use FBA, then Amazon also handles sales, fulfillment, returns, and customer service. Knowing that these details are taken care of means that you can hire less people for your business, and still know that the job will get done.
The Benefits of Selling on Your Own Store
1. More Control
If you work with Amazon, then you have to get used to doing things the Amazon way — and that way may not necessarily be in your best interest. You will need to abide by Amazon’s rules and procedures, even when you don’t agree with them. Take, for example, Amazon’s recent change in its return policy that has third-party sellers up in arms.
On your own website, you can design the look you want, manage transactions independently, and determine the best way to fulfill your orders. In short, you will be fully in charge of how you run your eCommerce business.
2. Cheaper Costs
On Amazon, a portion of your profits go directly into the eCommerce giant’s pocket. Your own website will be cheaper to run, because you will not need to be paying marketplace fees the way you do on Amazon. Fully 100% of your profits remain with you.
3. Less Piggybacking
On Amazon, other sellers can easily see which are your best-selling ASINs, and can then use the same image, title, and description to create a different listing with a lower price. Because of the increased competition, winning the Buy Box becomes even more difficult. On your own website, the only seller that customers will see is you.
Just as financial planners recommend a mix of investments in a portfolio, it’s best to sell your inventory on both Amazon and your own website so that you can take advantage of all the benefits. Keep in mind that price parity is important, so be sure to use an Amazon repricer that can automatically adjust your prices on all your channels.