Doing business online is one of the luxuries that we get to experience in the 21st century whether we are buying or selling. We can pick up our favorite products with a couple of clicks online and we can sell through various website channels, but how do you know that you are ready for the next step? How do you know when you are ready to start your own online store and need to learn how to start a successful online store?
Knowing when it is time to launch your own online store is an important step to the next level that your brand might be ready for. Let’s go on to talk about 5 signs you need to get started with this project right away.
1. You’ve Hit a Plateau
When you are selling your products through a platform like Amazon or eBay, you may be seeing a great level of success. You could have been experiencing great growth for the past couple of years even, but if you’ve hit a plateau, it can be very frustrating.
You may be doing all of the right things and following expert advice, but you can’t seem to move the needle. While this may be frustrating, you shouldn’t keep through money ad ads if you have maxed out the platform. If you are not able to increase your growth, it could be time to move to the next step and open your own online store for your business.
Make sure that you have consulted professionals to help you grow your business on the current platform so that you aren’t leaving money on the table, but also know when you need to branch out on your own for additional growth opportunities.
2. You Need More Sophisticated Tools
Depending on what platform you are on, you might have more or less control over how you can operate and serve your customer. There are many technical parts that go on behind the scenes with any given platform and it can be easy to get spoiled when these companies are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for your business.
There is a trade off when you are working on another platform vs your own store. You don’t have to worry about a lot of the behind the scenes, but you also can’t customize and give more options to your customers if you see fit.
Oftentimes the shopping cart is not able to do exactly what you want it to since it is a mass solution tool and not something that has been customized for your business.
When you are trying to decide if you should go to another platform because of the functionality, you need to figure out if you are experiencing a shiny object syndrome moment or if you are truly seeing features that you need. Ask yourself if your customers need to take certain actions and they can’t or if you just want a new toy.
3. Fees Are Eating Your Profits
Any platform that you are operating on and selling through is going to take fees out of what you sell. This is one of the big ways that they make their money. If you are just getting started out, it might make sense to you to stay on a fee based platform. They are taking care of everything that you don’t know how to do and you only have to pay whenever you make a sale.
Once you get more knowledgeable about how things work and you start making more sales, it can start hurting your wallet and your heart when you see the fees flying out of your bank account.
If you are operating on your own online store, you won’t have to worry about fees coming out every time that you make a sale. You get to keep all of the profits from any sales that you make. Do the math to figure out how much more money you would be making on your own platform to see if it would be worth setting up your own online store.
4. You Aren’t Diversified
There is nothing worse than not being diversified and that rings true with your online platforms for selling your products. If you are only available on one platform and that business decides to change their business model, you may be in for a hit. You never know how you could be affected. Some people have lost their whole business overnight because of a boardroom decision and the boardroom wasn’t their company.
What is the platform that you are working on decides to shut down? Or what if they decide to no longer allow outside sellers on their platform? If your business is going to collapse, you definitely need to start your own online store as soon as possible. You do not want your business’ fate to be in anyone’s hands except for your own.
5. You Have a Specialty Product
Selling your specialty product on someone else’s platform doesn’t make it seem too special. While you may need to do this in the beginning to find more buyers while you are getting name recognition, if you want to build a sense of exclusivity, you want to have your products on your own site. When was the last time you saw a luxury brand officially posting their products on Etsy, eBay or Amazon?
Do you have any experience with starting or running an online store? If so, leave a comment with your thought and helpful tips in the section below.