Choosing the best selling channel for online business is most important for all e-commerce entrepreneur. This is the era of information and technology. The internet has changed many aspects of our lives. By dint of the internet, we now can communicate everywhere in the world. It has also changed the way we buy and sell our necessary commodities. Many entrepreneurs have modified the physical shop to online shop and they sell their products in online. As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you must need to have the knowledge of different selling channels in the internet. You must need to choose the perfect channel for selling your products online. Choosing a fit platform for your online business will help you promoting your brand among crowd. It also brings a healthy revenue for your business. There are several selling channels for your online business in internet such as Facebook Page, Online Marketplace and Own Website.
Let’s we discuss about these three channel’s advantages and disadvantages.
Facebook Page: A Facebook business page is one of the best way to connect with the customers. There were 44,330,000 Facebook users in Bangladesh in December 2020, which accounted for 67.3% of its entire population and the number of Facebook user is 2.8 billion in the world. So, you can take your business to huge customers through Facebook business page. It has some merits and demerits as well.
Some advantages of Facebook business page:
1. It is free of cost. You can create a Facebook page without spending any money. You just need to have a Facebook account.
2. It is the best way to reach to your target audience.
3. It is the best way of communicating with your customers. Customer can easily share their thought, like and dislike by commenting or messaging in your page. Thus, you can develop your services.
5. It needs very less marketing cost. You can easily boost your sale post and reach it to your targeted customers.
6. You need not much technical knowledge to operate your page.
Some disadvantages of Facebook business page:
1. It looks unprofessional. When you are selling through Facebook page only, you look like amateur entrepreneur. Customer will know that you have zero investment in your business. They will have less confidence upon you.
2. It is unsecured. Facebook page can be disabled or your account can be disable or hacked any time. So, it is very risky job to depend on Facebook page only.
3. It is impossible to integrate payment gateway in Facebook page.
4. As per Facebook’s rule it shows your latest uploaded product first. So, customer will not get the product you uploaded some days before. Because most of the customers are not willing to scroll much down in your page.
5. It is quite difficult to receive order when many customers come to your page since the process is manual.
6. There is no opportunity to see inventory status, sale report, transaction report etc.
Online Marketplace: An online marketplace is a type of website where third parties provides products and services. The market operator is responsible for its front-end and back-end system and others technical issues.
For example Alibaba, Amazon, eBay etc are the most famous online marketplace in the world. In Bangladesh, we have Daraz, Ajkerdeal, Bagdoom, priyoshop etc.
An entrepreneur can start his/her online business with this platform with less investment. Though it is the most popular channel for online business, it has some advantages and disadvantages. Before engage with it you should know about its merits and demerits.
Let’s we know some of its advantages.
1. A popular online marketplace attracts high traffic and more customers. So, you will have more earning potential from it.
2. You will not have to bear any technical disturbance. Because they take care of its backend system, security and web development activities.
3. They process purchases, billing, financial transactions, delivery and returns. So, you are free from this hassle.
4. You no need to spend money for marketing and advertising of your products or services.
5. It’s an excellent and quick way to expand your online business.
Some disadvantages of online marketplace.
1. You must follow their rules and regulations. It may constraint your activity.
2. You can’t build your own brand. Because customers know only the marketplace not you. And the marketplace builds its own brand by your products and services.
3. You have no chance to communicate with your customer. It can be a barrier of your overall business development.
4. If their business goes down, you go down with it. As you are a portion of it.
5. With so many rules and constraints, you feel like you are working for the marketplace not for your own.
6. You have to pay for selling in this platform.
7. You are a tenant on their domains.
Apart from these merits and demerits there may some others point. You should know about them before you going to sell in any online marketplace. Different marketplaces might have different terms and conditions and policy. So, take your decision wisely.
Now I will discuss about e-commerce website.
An e-commerce website is the main asset for your online business. You can use Facebook page, group or you can sale your products in online marketplaces. Amid, you must have to have a website for your business identity. You will be considered as an amateur entrepreneur unless you will have a website. A website plays the most vital role to promoting your e-business.
Let’s have a look, why does a website most important for your online business.
1. Your website is your business identity with its unique domain. There are a lots of e-commerce website over the internet world. Every website has a unique identity that is its domain name. No one will be able to create a fake website pretending to be you. So, you will have a unique identity in the e-commerce world.
2. You can decorate your products category wise which is helpful for customers to get their desired product in short time.
3. In case of online purchase, online payment is must need. You can integrate payment gateway in your website. Your customers then can happily buy from your website paying any online payment method they are available in.
4. You can see your business statistics anytime you wish. To analysis your business, you are able to use Google analytics and others insights and analytics like sales report, order report, transactions report. It makes your business very easy and comfortable.
5. You are freedom here in your own business website. You can set your own terms and conditions and your business policies.
6. You can customize your website any time you need with the growth of your business as per your demand and choice.
7. Payment methods, delivery method and inventory management are under your control in your own website.
8. There is much potential to generate many organic traffic from search engines by search engine optimization (SEO) of your website.
9. You can create customer database in your website. You can communicate with your customers and can get their reviews and suggestions which are helpful to provide better service and expand your business.
10. Website plays a vital role to build your brand of your company in the e-commerce field. Without website online business doesn’t get its exact opportunities.
Apart from these aforementioned benefits there are so many other benefits of a website in online business.
Some disadvantages of own website.
1. You have to buy domain and hosting and you have to renew them every year.
2. You have to create a website and to do so you have to spend some money.
3. You have to hire a web developer for your overall technical task.
4. To bring customer in your website, you must need advertising, SEO and engage with social site like Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.
In conclusion, we can say that, it is badly need to have a website for online business. Many newbie entrepreneurs think that creating a website is much difficult and expensive. So, sell their products in Facebook page or group and different marketplaces. But there is a hassle-free way to make your online store. There are two types of E-commerce website.
- Self-hosted website:
In case of self-hosted website, you have to look after all your technical issue like website design and development, security, maintenance etc. If you don’t have enough knowledge to do so, you have to hire an expert and spend money behind him/her.
- Hosted website:
Hosted website is the easiest e-commerce solution for your online business. You neither need any coding knowledge nor hire an expert. You can simply create your own website.
In this case, storrea can help you to make your own website without any disturbance. Storrea is the easiest e-commerce solution which provides all the technical service including domain, hosting, payment gateway integration, SSL certificate in a single package. To make your own website in a simple way visit Storrea.