You have awesome products to sell but where to sell them has sort of been a source of worry. You know you need to sell online but should it be on Konga or Jumia? The question to you is: “Do you have to sell on either, or would you rather explore a new style of ecommerce?”. Yes! I quite agree that making this decision may seem difficult. You may need to consider the pros and cons of both sides of the coin before before making this decision.
“But hey, these sites have huge traffic and that spells a lot of potential for my products,” you might say.
And that’s true. You are right. However, it is better to own your own online store if your plan is to create a marketable brand and grow a sustainable business.
Why don’t we look at the advantages and disadvantages of third party ecommerce sites (or online marketplaces) like Jumia and Konga. Then we consider the reasons why having your own store is key. It should help your decision making.
Advantages of Online stores
1. Huge potential for sales
This is due to the huge ton of daily traffic that these stores possess. Selling on Jumia and Konga will put your products in front of more potential buyers. But then, selling on these sites, as you might have heard, is another kettle of fish.
2. A sense of trust and credibility
Marketplaces like Jumia and Konga have been serving customers for a while and so they have built credibility and trust to an appreciable degree. Customers are likely to feel safer on these platforms since they are familiar.
Jumia and Konga have the features to host, reach and sell to a large amount of buyers daily. The reason why customers go to these marketplaces is basically for convenience of having an all in one shopping experience. One can compare products and also checkout easily. For those selling, business is easy because the marketplace handles the full transaction.
Disadvantages of Online stores
To set up shop with Jumia and Konga comes at a price. Your rent (permit me to call it that) is usually deducted from your revenue as a percentage on every sale you make. The rent of course, varies depending on which store you are using. It is best to find out this important piece of information before deciding on which store to set up shop. If your product margins are low, selling on these stores might not be a wise decision.
2. You get lost in the crowd
Just like offline marketplaces like Tejuosho in Lagos, Aleshinloye in Ibadan, a shop owner can easily get lost in the crowd on these online stores too. It might be easy to sell on these marketplaces but it sure wouldn’t be easy to beat other sellers in competition with you.
3. No branding
Know this: Jumia and Konga are not looking out for you. They are in this for themselves. Their focus is on the products and not on you. The page you own on their site is just an extension of their site and in actual fact, it distances the buyer from seller and so you almost unable to display and strengthen your brand.
4. Zero customer acquisition
Every seller knows the importance of having a repeat and an ultimately loyal customer. With Jumia and Konga, you can’t have that because they handle all customer information. None is passed on to the seller. If you have your own store, you will not only be able to gather important customer information, you will be able to use it in re-marketing.
Why should you have your own e-commerce site?
- You will have control over content and branding
Owning your ecommerce site grants you the liberty to present your products in your own way. You have the liberty to brand and market to your visitors as you so wish. You can now create the type of shopping experience you want your customers to have. Your creativity can’t be boxed as you can determine how to convince your visitors on why they should buy from you. Anything is possible from creating a blog, to having product videos or displaying new products. You are free!
- You have access to valuable customer information
If this was the only reason to own your store, it is absolutely worth it. This is what will enable you to build a sustainable business. When a sale is made, all customer information comes to you and that way, you have acquired that customer. What next? You decide. I bet you are screaming, “remarketing”.
- Promos and discount offers
You are now in control of the promotions on your products. You can use promos to build customer base, boost sales and clear out excess inventory. This is actually one of the best ways to build brand loyalty while also increasing sales conversions.
Marketplaces like Jumia and Konga are great platforms to get sales but they are very restrictive. If you are looking to build a long term business selling online, you should have your own ecommerce site. The importance of acquiring your own customer base and branding including marketing your own products and store the way you want to cannot be overemphasized. Own your ecommerce site. You might think this to be a difficult task but it need not be as we have created a kickstarter package to help you achieve a fully operational ecommerce website.
- Find out more about Kick start package here: https://www.tinklingd.com/smecenter/kickstart/