When should a marketplace seller open their own online webstore?

There isn’t a marketplace seller out there, looking at that bill from eBay or Amazon every month, who doesn’t think about setting up their own independent webstore.

It’s a lovely prospect: a tailored website, freedom to sell without rules and fear of suspension and noone else taking a cut.

In the Tamebay Guide sponsored by XSellco we showcase a selection of opportunities when it comes to building your own online store. It’s something that should be on your to do list, but when do you start?

In terms of timing, it seems to me that the sooner you start the better. Lots of aspects of the process do just take time: building an email list, finding a search engine profile, getting purchase on social media. So it really is a case of grasping the nettle when it comes to opening up you web retail shop front.

Here are a few things worth remembering about opening your own, branded, independent online web store:

It’s easy

There are so many options out there. A basic shop front, off the peg, can cost you peanuts each month. Semi-bespoke is a bit more expensive but is well worth while if you have ambitions. When it comes to a full bells and whistles solution, you don’t have to start from scratch and systems like Magento are available and fully flexible. Scout the options: you could be up and running within the hour.

It’s really hard

You may begrudge the expense of the marketplaces but when it comes to launching your own online shop you may well come to appreciate exactly what it is they do.

Your biggest challenge will be marketing and getting traffic to your website. eBay and Amazon and the others spend millions on that and have years of experience too and global brand recognition. As a small player, getting profile can be bloody difficult and very expensive.

It takes time to find momentum

Everyone has heard of eBay and Amazon. Nobody has heard of you. That’s the biggest challenge. Even as you build out your website, it’s a struggle to find buyers and get the traction you expect. It will take time to get sales on your website and likely your website will just be another channel alongside the marketplaces adding welcome extra sales. Dreams of ditching the monolith will likely be unfulfilled. So don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t take off overnight.

You’re already doing it

As a marketplace seller, there really is nothing different about selling via your own website. You have the systems and processes in place already. You’re buying in stock, listing it with written descriptions and photos and also storing and shipping the goods too. The only real additional skill is that of managing a webstore.

Every day is a schoolday for ecommerce sellers and, frankly, the new skills you need to develop when it comes to taking the plunge are relatively minor compared to the journey you have already taken by embracing ecommerce.

So what are you waiting for?