This is quite an interesting question. Most business managers will be told that they absolutely have to build an ecommerce site for the small business while others will be told that investing in a larger existing platform is always going to be a lot better. The truth is as always in the middle. It is really important that you consider both options. They have advantages and disadvantages you will want to never forget about.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Ecommerce Site
The option that is preferred in most cases is this one. That is mainly because of the associated advantages:
- Complete control of the online selling process
This is really important for most small business owners. They want to be 100% sure that they control everything. With the ecommerce website it is quite obvious that you can control everything from the font to the last tiny pixel in the graphics. Always be careful about the platform that you use though. Some are better than others in specific industries.
Also, it is worth mentioning that you will need to do eCommerce SEO and use other promotional strategies. Without them, it is very hard to promote your business.
- Unique branding
Branding is important for all companies out there. In the event that you do not have the possibility of branding something, all becomes difficult. With the ecommerce site you end up with something that is completely unique in the world. You have the perfect platform that you can use for branding purposes.
Disadvantages of using the ecommerce site:
- Price – you will end up having to pay quite a lot to get everything running properly when compared to using the larger websites.
Advantages And Disadvantages of The larger Existing Platforms
The larger existing platforms are sometimes preferred by the small business because of the exposure that is gained. Let us just think about Amazon and Polyvore. When you have a store on Amazon it is so much easier to be able to reach a large audience when compared to running your own ecommerce website. You want to be careful and you need to always consider this opportunity because you can end up selling more at the beginning of the business, which is exactly what you want, right?
The problem with the existing platforms is that you are highly limited. It is quite difficult to get approved and after you are, rules have to be respected. The freedom that you thought you have is not that high. The limitations are normally not that much for the smaller businesses that are willing to just grow slowly but they are great for those that have a really long term investment plan.
On the whole, the truth is that the ecommerce option will be the best for some people while the larger platforms will be a lot better for others. What you have to do is remain focused on what you want to do with the small business. At the same time, there is absolutely no reason why you should not seriously consider running both at the same time. You can so easily have an ecommerce website set up and then start selling in the larger platform sites.