A few weeks ago we have encountered a very interesting question. Do I still need a website for my product/service if we have other platforms that can do that?
Our answer is yes. And here are our reasons why:
When having your own website, implementing and managing can be easily done by following your own set of rules (most of the time coming from UX and design). Going to sell mainly on other platforms can give you obstacles and policies that you haven’t taken into consideration at the beginning.
Let’s take into example Facebook. As you may or may not know, they now have the Marketplace section, where you can sell or buy different items. Well, before selling there you should also take into consideration the set of rules the platform has. You might be restricted when selling specific products/services. The same idea applies to Instagram, Amazon and so on.
Other than the specific rules for selling, there are the less-known-among-business-owners Facebook page rules. In the past 3 years, Facebook has changed their reach and engagement policies for pages.
If at the beginning they were encouraging businesses to engage with their audience just by posting and being active on the platform, nowadays you need to do more than that. Generating a significant amount of content is not enough for you to reach your audience. In order to do that, you have to pay.
For example, if your page has 1 000 likes, your post will organically reach only about 20% of those 1K people. To reach more than that you need to invest. This being said, with the changes and everything they add/remove from the platform you might have unexpected costs.
Fast and furious.
Another thing to take into consideration is the fast-moving technology industry. As products do, platforms can reach their peak or the maturity stage. From this, it all depends on the owners of the platform if they will last in the public space or not. They will either manage to change and adapt or die fast.
Therefore, when you choose a third party platform you need to take into consideration the possibility of it going extinct. This is one of the main reason why having your own website can be your plan B.
Let’s say you sell notebooks on Amazon, but the platform goes down (which is very unlikely), you will have your back up store in your own website and you can direct your audience to it.
Taking into consideration the accessibility of the platforms mentioned above (and not only them), many people have started to use them to sell products, especially second-hand ones. Therefore, you can imagine how crowded these digital selling spaces are.
Having your own shop means that people will get to see only your products, no competitors, no distractions. It also means that your product will be at the center of attention.
As stated at the last point, by having your own website you can better showcase your products and its specifics. In the same time, you can only have your website as a portfolio for your products and redirect people to buy from the platforms you are present on. This is a perfect way of combining the two.
On the website you can simply have more specific details about the products (how is made or how to use them), and for those who wish to buy add them direct links to the third party platform you are using as a shop. This way, people will get to know your business more, and start to trust you through the content you offer them.
A final thought.
Just to be clear, the reasons we gave you above are just to make you think if giving up on a website is the right thing for your business or not. In no way, they are stated in order to bring negativity upon the mentioned platforms.
My conclusion is if your business is at the very beginning then trying out different platforms might be the perfect thing for you. This way you can test how your product/service does on the market and then invest in a website. Our assumptions are made solely by our experience in the market and through the clients we have.
We even have discussed this matter in the third episode of the Subcast.
For any questions feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading!