Is your shop system important any longer…?
9th January 5 Comments
I recently had an interesting discussion with a customer. Regarding an option that would make his online shop available in an optimized version for tablets and mobiles, he argued, that he think it’s nice, but not so important for him, since he sells most of his stuff via other channels.
The merchant explained to me that he makes most of his turnover – around 90% – via eBay, Amazon and little of that on some other market places. The ecommerce shop was for him just a kind of addition to the existing channels with its 10% turnover. Therefore he deemed the stuff I was discussing with him unimportant (I wrote my opinion on that in my post last week). I was quite surprised, because in my view the shop system still is kind of the home for a merchant and his shop.
Sure, the marketplaces – especially the big ones – developed as an important channel for the merchants, in many cases with more turnover than the original shop. And it’s also important to spread your offerings as broadly as possible to reach as many customers as possible. But I’m still kind of stunned about this point of view. So is the classical shop as we know it an old model that will become obsolete for small and medium sized merchant?
I still think that it makes sense to have your own shopping cart system if you sell stuff for a living (“to have” includes self-hosted and SaaS here). The shop displays your corporate identity. All of your product range. Your service information. The shop is the homebase for you as a merchant. Your showroom to the world. Anyway, you link back there from the marketplaces if allowed. People that love the stuff you sell or how you sell it will find it and buy directly instead of buing via the marketplace (if you have attractive conditions there). Also your own shop means independence to a certain degree. Sure, a lot of the smaller merchants can’t live without eBay or Amazon today. But what happens if they change their conditions and you have to quit? If you do not have your own shop – you have nothing left. Anyway in most cases you need your shopping system to maintain your product assortment and the orders. So if you think like that merchant, you may be should think again. Your shopping system is not a burden or an add-on to the channels you work with. It’s the base for all the things you do. Simply your home as a merchant. What do you think?
Picture by Dave_B_