Selling on an ECommerce Site Vs. A Social Media Marketplace

The Difference Between Social Media Selling & eCommerce

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared some tips on improving your eCommerce website as well as some of the different ways to sell on social. This week, I’m going to help you choose whether you should focus on selling on an eCommerce store or opt for a social media marketplace.

But first, a quick refresher:

  • Selling on an eCommerce store means you’re selling products or services on your own domain. You’re responsible for everything from web design to creating compelling content and managing SEO.
  • Selling within a social media platform or marketplace involves utilizing the platform’s selling capabilities to actively market your products. Generally, if someone clicks, they’re driven back to your website to complete the purchase.

You’ll have to figure out how to process transactions either way and install shopping cart software or drive buyers to a third-party site like PayPal.

Here are some of the marketplaces you can sell on:

  • Facebook Shops: Allows you to add products in different categories, communicate with customers and get insights around data.
  • Facebook Messenger: While still a part of Facebook, this involves communicating with customers (either manually or with chatbots) to reach your target audience.
  • Shoppable Instagram posts: You can tag brands and products in organic Instagram posts, then your audience can tap to see more details and buy the product.
  • Pinterest (stats show that nearly half of all users are logging onto the site just to shop).

The Differences Between Selling on an eCommerce Store & Social Media Marketplace

Now, if you’re selling on an eCommerce store, you can use a combo of SEO, content marketing and paid ads to drive traffic to your products or services. Because you can use your branding and content to your advantage, this can offer a more authentic experience to your customers.

If you’re using an online marketplace, it’s less time-consuming. The platform is already there, and you’re populating it with your images, copy and products/services. It may be easier for some small business owners to engage with their audience on a site like Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram vs. growing visitors to their website organically.

However, the competition is high. You’re competing against many other brands, both big and small. Your company could get lost in the noise, so to speak.

You’ll also often pay a fee to sell. For example, the selling fee on Facebook Shops is 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

So what’s a small business owner to do?

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READ: Your Guide to eCommerce Social Media Marketing

Your social media accounts aren’t just platforms for sharing content and engaging with visitors to accomplish those goals. From Facebook to Instagram, it can be a powerful way to market your products and services to your followers.

But despite these statistics, many small business owners still don’t understand the value of using these popular platforms to sell. That’s why I created this guide: to not only help you understand how important eCommerce social media marketing is, but to give you actionable tips to drive traffic, leads and sales.

Read more on our website.

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Sell on eCommerce First & Social Media Second

I recommend you start out with a website that allows people to buy what you’re selling on your own site. Then, as part of a bigger strategy, if it makes sense to your target audience, you can use a service like Facebook Shops to increase the size of your audience.

I don’t advise you to only sell on a third-party platform. Here’s why:

  • You have far less control over technical issues. If something breaks or the service goes down, it could create a negative experience for your customers-and you may not even know it.
  • If you are having a technical difficulty or issue with your online store, you’ll have to connect with the site’s third-party customer support vs. contacting your web development company.
  • There can be marketplace limitations around how your business can brand itself. Your own site allows you complete control over the visuals, content, coding, videos and of course, SEO.

4 Tips for Selling on eCommerce or on a Social Media Marketplace

While there are some important differences between selling on a third-party platform or on your own eCommerce store, there are some similarities in how you should approach things.

1. Build, don’t push.

Focus on building relationships, not pushing your products or services on people. You’ll have to spend time nurturing relationships and growing engagement, whether that’s through in-depth blog articles on your site or replying to comments on Facebook.

2. Know your customers.

There are so many questions that can help you understand your buyers. Who’s your target audience? What networks are they active on? Do they leave reviews? Do they prefer to consume video content or written content?

3. Understand your website weaknesses.

You’re driving potential customers to your site, so make sure it’s at its best. If traffic isn’t converting into leads or sales, it might not be your paid ads or product images.

Check your CTAs, look for broken links and take a long, hard look at your navigation. Also, check your Google Analytics data to learn what’s working and what isn’t.

4. Listen to your customers.

Whether you’re selling on social media or through your website, your reputation depends on how you treat your customers. Monitor your comments, answer questions and complaints promptly and keep tabs on online reviews on sites like Google My Business and Yelp.

So there you have it: if you can, take both approaches to connecting with your target audience! These two tactics can really complement each other and be a key part of your multi-channel marketing strategy.

However, there’s more to the process than buying a domain name and loading your site with products or services or creating a profile on a social media marketplace.

Hiring a professional marketing company can save you both time and money. Contacy us today to learn how we’ve helped many small business owners succeed.

To your business success,

Susan

How To Give Your eCommerce Site A Master Stroke With WooCommerce

Emerged in 2011, WooCommerce is one of the most trending eCommerce plugins used by thousands of businesses worldwide. According to developers, it’s the easiest toolkit that let anyone start selling anything they want online as easily and beautifully as possible. Anyone who is thinking to step into online business with a vibrant store can give a definite try with WooCommerce, because of its ease-of-use and supreme flexibility. There are ample of quality-oriented CMS for eCommerce available now which endeavour to help businesses sell things online innovatively. However, what makes WooCommerce better than them? Here’s a key takeaway on how this acclaimed eCommerce plugin that help in developing revolutionary sites for online merchants.

#1 Offers Friendly environment

It comes first in the minds of the merchants and retailers because of its familiarity and the fact that millions of websites are built on WordPress and a thousand of eCommerce sites are in WooCommerce. Thus, owners can figure out easily that it is a reliable toolkit to use for their online shopping solutions and they are less likely to meet any issues why deploying it.

#2 Provides scope for enormous customisation

WooCommerce is perhaps one of the least rigid platforms that give more room to customise, improve and tweak in the online stores to a distinct level. Owners have the option to pick from among 30+ themes, paid as well as free. To give more customisation power to owners, it allows them to set CSS styles, any coloured theme, play with codes, fine-tune the features after enabling a theme.

#3 Prioritizes a professional look at the site

Despite a free and open-source, WooCommerce does not restrain the look of any online site into a plain one. It lets developers create professional and subtle websites because that is what it’s capable of. Further, an online solution built with it can get tools for detailed order tracking and viewing customer engagement. It helps store owners to have records of the customer orders, update statuses of shipments and delivery, apply discounts and so forth, all that are vital for a professional eCommerce store.

#4 WooCommerce Themes to spark up your store

Probably, the best reason for WooCommerce getting insanely famous among the eCommerce merchants and startups is its comprehensive set of themes. Its WooThemes has gained great attention for a while by creating stellar stores according to the nature of the business or specific requirements of the retailers.

#5 Allow galore of apps integration in sites

The platform has an amazing capacity to aid online merchants with the set up and store operations simply and conventionally. It allows all kinds of extra functionality to integrate into their site for providing improved convenience to customers. From an array of extensions, paid or unpaid, retailers can get application plugins for payment gateways, accounting, analytics, reporting, checking payment options and much more.

To roll up things, WooCommerce is a lucid eCommerce platform that gives away enough room to retailers and merchants to grow their online businesses. It has some promising and out-of-the-box features besides being flexible in terms of nature and extensions. More importantly, a platform with robust specialities and familiarity saves time as well as sorts all commotions in creating an online site whilst reinforcing enough creativity.