As online marketplaces go, eBay has long been a popular choice for sellers worldwide, catering for major brands, individuals getting rid of unwanted items and the multitude of small businesses who use it to retail their products. However, even with eBay’s vast reach and reputation, sellers should not overlook the many advantages of setting up their own website. In this post, we look at the benefits that having a website brings to eBay businesses.
- Brand identity
One of the first reasons to create your own website is that it provides eBay sellers with an opportunity to build a unique brand identity. While eBay offers a platform to display products, when it comes to creating a brand, the options are limited by the constraints of eBay’s own design and interface.
However, by creating a business website, you can control every aspect of design, layout and content, enabling you to build a distinct brand image. This is important as it can help distinguish you from your competitors on eBay and improve trust in your company. A professional website shows potential customers that your business is established and credible, and this can be vital in driving more sales.
- Beyond selling
While eBay is tailored for individual product listings, a website can be adapted to showcase entire collections, brand stories and details of how you operate your business. These can be especially valuable for sellers with niche or handcrafted products. By sharing this type of information, you can better engage with your customers, encouraging loyalty and repeat purchases.
- Customer interaction
Direct interaction with customers is somewhat limited on eBay. While it is possible to send and receive messages, this is done via the eBay portal. This is eBay’s way to prevent sales from taking place without it receiving its selling fees.
With your own website, however, you can engage with your audience directly via comments, online chat, email and newsletters. This enables you to not just answer questions, but also send marketing communications, special offers and other forms of promotional content.
- Data collection
With your own website, you can take advantage of powerful analytics tools, like Google Analytics. These provide valuable insights into visitor behaviour, popular products, conversion rates and much more. Analysing this data gives you a better understanding of your audience, how they interact with your website and which of your product pages gain the most traffic. This information can be invaluable in driving your business forward.
- Greater control
While eBay is a powerful sales platform, it also comes with its set of fees and regulations. By directing traffic to your own website, you can avoid some of these costs and retain a larger portion of your income. In addition, a website gives you much more flexibility in terms of sales promotions, bundling options and pricing strategies, without the confines of marketplace rules.
You also have greater control over what customers see. On eBay, the site’s algorithm has control over which products are ranked highest when buyers search for them. There’s always the chance that your product may be so far down the list that no one ever sees it. This doesn’t happen on your own site as there are only your products for sale and you can highlight the ones that you are pushing to sell.
- Another sales channel
Relying solely on one platform for sales can be risky. Should there be any issues or unforeseen circumstances with eBay, such as an outage or change in policy that directly affects your business, you could be left without a sales channel at all. Sellers with their own websites have a backup channel through which to continue their trade. This not only provides a safety net that protects you if you cannot trade on eBay, but also expands your reach to other customers online.
- SEO and marketing
While some eBay listings show up in Google search results, you have much more chance of your products being found online if you have your own website. One of the reasons for this is that you can optimise your site for search engines using SEO techniques. Doing so will improve your products’ chances of ranking in search results, potentially driving more visitors and generating more sales.
Additionally, a website lets you use a much wider range of marketing techniques, such as pay-per-click advertising, affiliate marketing and content marketing – all of which can significantly boost visibility and income.
While eBay’s huge number of visitors makes it a valuable tool for selling products online, there are very sound business reasons for having your own website too. From forging a distinctive brand identity and having greater control of your business to harnessing powerful marketing tools and extending your reach beyond eBay, a website can be the ideal complement to your eBay operations.
If you are an eBay seller looking to set up your own website or online store, check out our Website Builder, WordPress Hosting or Magento Hosting plans. Build professional online shops with ease and benefit from a wide range of features and tools that make running your site a breeze.