Make Money

Don’t Start an E-Commerce Store. Do This Instead

I started an e-commerce store that was doing $2500+ a month in sales in month 6. I was more than a bit surprised, but when I think about the marketplace concept, not so much.

Like just about every human in creation who starts an online store, my first impulse was to start my own stand-alone website for that store.

So that’s what I did.

I picked a name, bought my domain and hosting, and got to work. I configured the payment platform settings and eagerly started loading product to my brand new site.

Once I’d loaded my products, I started marketing them online. I used Pinterest to do that.

Many marketers would ask why I didn’t use Google ads to market my store, and it’s because I don’t spend money on marketing until the store is making money.

I never do.

Being a mom on a tight budget taught me not to spend money if I don’t absolutely have to. My entrepreneurial efforts are no exception.

Your stand alone e-commerce venture will need you to spend money on ads and marketing to be seen. Without a doubt. If you don’t spend that dough, your store will likely languish and die for lack of traffic.

But spending that money on ads doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get sales either.

When you start that business on a marketplace platform like Etsy, you don’t have that issue.

Why You Should Start Your E-Commerce Journey with a Marketplace

An ecommerce marketplace is already getting traffic because there are already other people selling on it. Granted, there are those who would say that you shouldn’t sell on a marketplace platform for that same reason. But I disagree.

I’ve heard it said by some that you shouldn’t start your online store on a marketplace like Etsy because there’s too much competition between sellers. A potential customer could come to the platform for your product, only to end up buying someone else’s.

But that could also work the other way around.

Instead of thinking of a marketplace as a competitive environment, think of it as a collaborative effort. Everyone contributes for the good of all. Potential customers will visit for your product, as they will for the products of others. Some will actually buy your goods, and some will buy the goods of others. It all evens out in the wash.

In addition, e-commerce marketplaces come with their own built-in marketing methods. Etsy for instance, comes with what they call “Offsite Ads” where they pay for Google ads for different products/keywords.

The above 10 Offsite Ad sales contributed about $450 to my total for that month.

There are some sellers who complain about having to pay for things like Offsite Ads, but you don’t pay for that ad until you make a sale as a result of it. Etsy takes something like 12% of that sale for their efforts, but without it, I probably wouldn’t have got those sales at all!

Seriously! What’s there to complain about?

With my own standalone store, I have to pay for the ads whether I get a sale from them or not!

In addition, my own ecommerce website sold about $56 worth of product, in the same time period that it took my Etsy shop to do almost $6000 in sales.

It’s a complete no-brainer. Even if you build your own online store, and gradually move your customers to it, I still recommend that you start out on a marketplace. 

It’s well worth the effort.

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! Do both!

Let me know how it goes 🙂



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