What percentage of your sales do you make via your own webstore?

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This week, the question of building your own webstore seems to have cropped up in a number of discussions I’ve had with readers and suppliers. And not just when and how to establish a standalone transactional website distinct from a marketplace but also how to make it a successful revenue stream for your wider business.

Here are a few reflections on the various discussions:

When to start your own online webstore?
This depends but it seems to me that once you’ve got a marketplace operation on the go, you should consider starting a shop. Nothing fancy. Just an off-the-peg operation that you can brand with a little design work.

What happens next?
Probably not a great deal. You’ll probably start to appreciate what the marketplaces do and provide in way of traffic eyeballs and sales because with a webshop it’s hard to get any traction at all. I read somewhere that Superdry actually sells more via eBay than it does on its own webstore. It’s hard to be found online and just opening up shop isn’t enough.

Marketing your shop.
A whole book could be written on this subject. Consider all the channels. SEO, build an email list, social media marketing, traditional PR, even blogging. Its always a case of test and lean with marketing a business, especially online, but you’ll want to keep a close eye on costs as well as success. Google Analytics is your friend as you assess what’s effective and what’s not. Hopefully your efforts will pay off and soon you’ll see at least some sales and that those sales grow overtime. But from my experience I’ve very seldom found a marketplace seller who has ditched marketplaces because their own website has been a rip-roaring success story.

Which leads me to my original question: What percentage of your sales do you make via your own website? Of course, that assumes that you have a webstore at all in the first place. If not why not? But if you do, what do you get from it?

10 Responses

  1. We have a magento ecommerce site but because of business onjectives we dont push it very hard – however the biggest difference we find is the gross margins (twice the size of marketplaces) and of course reduction in marketplace fees.

  2. we get around 250 orders a day. of those 1 or 2 will be website.
    so less than 1%

    i think to get a healthy number of orders on your own, requires a massive marketing budget, and it’s high risk – so no guarantee you will ever get it back.
    (find me an seo consultant who can guarantee SALES and I’ll change my mind)
    we spent money a few years ago, and never got it back.

    i see ebay/amazon as a clearer path, with good sales potential so this is where I focus our time and money.

  3. Less than 5% of my sales come through my own webstore – to be honest, I spend very little time updating and promoting it, so it’s probably as much a reflection on my effort as anything else.

    I’m increasingly concentrating my efforts on building my stock and sales on Etsy, which I’ve found to be a much nicer marketplace to trade on than eBay. Buyers are – for the most part- smart, pleasant to deal with, polite and fair. The platform itself is easy to navigate and use – and the fees are reasonable. No punitive measures levied against sellers either – what’s not to love?!

  4. My orders are 25% website, 25% amazon and 50% ebay
    No massive marketing just some adwords and fliers in the orders I get from ebay and amazon

  5. Very little in the way of orders at the minute, 1 or 2 a day. All items go out with an invoice containing a discount code to buy direct from our site

    Our web site is the hub, it runs the stock control on both Ebay & Amazon, it collects all the data of each order: name, address, telephone number, email address etc. (Amazon does not provide customer email addresses).

    I have tried Facebook ads with little success, I am currently trying to load items to Google Shopping and may try some Ad Words campaigns.

  6. We started a simple Shopify webstore about 4 months ago, and last month our website sales just outstripped our eBay sales.

    Just a small Adwords budget and a touch lower prices than our eBay store and it seems to be working well.

    The overheads are lower than the eBay fees, but mainly its the lower level of stress and time wasted having to deal with all of the pain that comes with just managing treading water on eBay, trying to make ends meet. Soon, we’ll be just using eBay as a ‘clearance corner’ to get rid of older or graded stock.

    Best thing I’ve done so far in this game!

  7. Website 60% Amazon 25% eBay 15%.

    In the early days, I focused entirely on the website for the first 6 months – we did not have any marketplace accounts at all.

    The objective was to build a strong brand and identity – we marketed within our niche and built a strong reputation, which require serious patience possibly even a little naivety. We trade on Amazon (UK, US, Canada, Germany, Spain and France) and eBay but we put very little effort into them. We view them as a funnel to our main business, and we may not list new products for a week or two outside of the website to encourage customers who know we trade in various places to keep checking our website for new products.

    We also add 10-15% (not including the ‘free’ delivery) to all listings to make it obviously more attractive to buy through the website, and we keep the same business name across all marketplaces. I have never understood why businesses with a site do not use their site name to encourage customers to look for you.

    As mentioned above, we also use our website as a hub and everything is pulled into the backend.

  8. Tough in our business to get a look in via all the corporations we have been up 2 years now.
    We cannot afford the adwords bids, so google is pointless, we get a bit from Adwords Express. Our Facebook marketing is our main way of getting custom to our website, and only because my brother is one of these you tube celeb types and does not charge me and has a decent fanbase.
    Plus we flyer all ebay and other customers 10% for first purchase. Facebook and direct marketing are our most successful ways to get people in-store, plus we are 20% better priced than on a marketplace, some people eventually click on to that fact and engage their brains away from AMAZON.
    We tend to sell the vast majority overseas however.
    Customers in the UK have been brainwashed by the corporates.
    We use open-source and maintain it so it does not cost much about £4 hosting and a SSL security cert.
    Speaking about 2% UK and 10% from the EU. It pays for itself but we know it will only ever go so far.


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