If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
The days of beating Amazon and other major marketplaces like eBay and Walmart as a small business are essentially long gone. There are still many ways to build a unique brand and sell a lot online through your own website, however, reaching the level of success of the major marketplaces is almost impossible unless you have the eCommerce chops of Jet founder Marc Lore and a ton of funding.
Hence the phrase “If you can’t beat them, join them.” If you are selling to consumers or even businesses, chances are most of them are buying your products or similar competitor products off Amazon, Walmart, Newegg, Jet, and other marketplaces. I think Amazon Business will continue to explode just as Amazon does, and I know we do the majority of our business shopping on Amazon to save time and money since its just so much easier than buying from other vendors.
As a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer I think you should sell on the marketplaces to capture this market, that will simply be impossible to steal on your own, and often times be a new market of millennial business owners, millennial consumers, etc.
Now I am not advocating to hand your business value over to the marketplaces and completely rely on the overlords that are Amazon, Walmart, etc…
Use Marketplaces as a way to funnel revenue to your own eCommerce website!
There are a few ways you can do this. One is to use your own website as a central point in which all product updates and improvements are synced between marketplaces and your website. This way as you improve your marketplace operations in regards to product data you are also improving your website.
Sync Product Data – There are many connectors to marketplaces such as M2E Pro, Channel Advisor, Skubana, and much more that can allow you to do this. You could also connect a PIM like Salsify and Sales Layer to your website and marketplaces.
Be Unique – The other way is to start providing loyalty, unique customer pricing, and other special things that only you can offer just on your website so that people buying from you on Amazon or other marketplaces eventually realize they can buy from your directly from you for cheaper or more conveniently via your unique offerings online. This could involve creating some sort of product customizer or another unique aspect to your website.
eCommerce is growing at 10 to 20 percent per year and the vast majority of that growth is on the marketplaces, Amazon, Walmart, Jet, etc. The longer you avoid this fact and neglect building your business around this, the harder it will be to catch up. It may be the ugly truth, but if you can’t beat them, join them!