Now that we’ve looked at the top third-party marketplaces, it’s time to consider creating and selling on your own site.
For many businesses, creating and selling on their own ecommerce websites yields the best return. Since 74% of small business websites don’t have ecommerce functionalities, there’s a significant opportunity for you to move into the online selling space using your site.
How to sell on your website
To start selling, you’ll first need to create or update your website.
Follow these steps to get started selling on your site:
- Select your website host.
- Register your domain name.
- Design your ecommerce site.
- Get your SSL certificate to secure your site.
- Set up a merchant account to start accepting online payments.
- Establish your pricing and start listing products.
- Create a plan for managing your inventory and shipping products.
- Promote your site with digital marketing services.
Designing and launching your ecommerce store is a daunting task, but WebFX can guide you through every step of the process. Contact us today to speak with an expert and start selling from your custom online storefront.
Cost of selling on your website
Selling on your own site requires an upfront investment, but for many SMBs, it’s the best long-term option.
When creating your site, you’ll encounter several fees, including:
Website design, development, and maintenance
On average, you can expect to pay $12,000 - $150,000 to design and launch a custom ecommerce site. You’ll also need to invest in routine maintenance, which can range from $35 - $5000 per month.
Ultimately, the total cost of selling on your site depends on several factors. For a custom estimate, check out our website cost calculator.
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If you want to drive long-term results with your ecommerce store, we also recommend investing in an SEO strategy.
WebFX offers ecommerce SEO services, starting at $1250 per month. In the last five years, we’ve generated over $1.5 billion in revenue for clients and driven more than 4.6 million leads for their businesses.
At WebFX, we understand the importance of creating websites that not only look great, but also function well and rank at the top of search results.
When you choose us as your ecommerce partner, you can rest assured we’ll earn you the best possible results — and you’ll enjoy more site traffic, leads, and online revenue.
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Ad options for your website
When selling on your own website, you can choose to run paid ads on platforms like Google Ads, as well as social media sites, to boost traffic to your website.
PPC ads appear at the top of search results — above organic listings. And they can help your SMB boost brand awareness, leads, and revenue.
Advertising on social media expands your reach and connects your business with a qualified audience — people most likely to purchase from your online site.
If you’re launching a new site, PPC ads can help you gain qualified leads immediately, while you work to establish your organic site rankings with SEO.
To get the best possible ROI from your paid ad campaigns, we recommend consulting a PPC expert.
At WebFX, our PPC specialists will take a deep dive into your goals and budget. We’ll also create a custom-tailored strategy to help you create and manage result-driving ads.
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Shipping options for your website
When selling on your own site, you’re responsible for fulfilling and shipping all orders.
Here are some things to consider:
- Shipping rates and methods: You can choose to pass the full cost of shipping on to customers or offer free, flat-rate shipping to absorb some of the shipping fees.
- Product size and weights: Recording product weights will help you establish accurate shipping prices, so you can provide value to customers, while still earning the best return.
- Packaging: SMBs can order packaging from USPS, UPS, or DHL — or you may choose to invest in branded packaging for your ecommerce business.
Keep in mind, you’ll also need to create a return policy and provide customer service to shoppers.
Pros and cons of selling on your own website
- You have greater pricing control: Selling on your site gives you full control over your pricing. While it’s wise to monitor competitors’ online pricing, you have greater autonomy when it comes to setting your pricing, sales, and discounts.
- You eliminate competitors: When you have your own site, you won’t have to worry about other competitors selling on the same platform. With online marketplaces, you’ll have to compete directly with other sellers and the third-party’s own products.
- You won’t have to pay a third-party platform: When you own your website, you may choose to pay for services like ongoing SEO and website maintenance. However, you’re investing that money into your website. You also don’t have to worry about paying regular fees to a third-party platform.
- You must have technical expertise: Setting up an ecommerce site takes a great deal of technical know-how. Unless you work with a web design agency, you’ll need to set up and manage your website’s hosting, integrations, site security, payment options, and more. You’ll also need to perform regular maintenance to keep your site operating effectively.
- You may not get enough web traffic: For many SMBs, especially those with new websites, it’s challenging to drive consistent, qualified traffic to your site. You can have the most beautifully designed site, but if nobody can find it online, you won’t drive any sales.
Investing in an SEO plan can boost traffic to your site, so people can find and contact you. Results don’t happen overnight though, so if you want a lot of eyes on your products quickly, you may consider selling on an online marketplace.
- You need to work harder to earn consumer trust: Depending on your business, you may also lack the reputation or social proof necessary to inspire purchases. A household name like Amazon doesn’t back your website, so you’ll need to work hard to instill trust in shoppers and keep them coming back to your ecommerce store.
Additional resources for selling on your own site
For more info on creating your ecommerce site, check out these resources from WebFX.
Want full control of your pricing and online sales platform? Creating your own website is a good option if you want to take the reins and position your business for long-term success!
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