Sell Products or Services Online in 2021
Breaking the inter-dependency cycle for a successful e-commerce venture
A walk down the Suez Canal memory lane
For 6 days and 7 hours, the Ever Given, a 400-meter long container vessel, ended up wedged across the Suez canal, blocking traffic along the busiest and most crucial sea routes. The world’s dependency on the Suez Canal costs $9 billion a day. German insurer Allianz reported that the event could reduce global trade growth by 0.2% to 0.4% on an annual basis.
Many lessons were learned in these 6 days as businesses waited for supplies and realized how even the smallest events can create ripple effects for people around the world.
Re-routed ships took longer to reach, retailers suffered losses as cargo didn’t arrive in time, manufacturing was disrupted as machine parts and raw materials couldn’t reach the factories, and ships with perishable goods suffered the risks of damage to the goods before they could reach the destination port.
Just like the world’s dependency on the Suez canal route created losses and uncertainties on a global scale, a business owner’s dependency on third-party applications becomes the reason for risks and uncertainties that the business cannot fathom.
Just like the Suez canal solves the problem of taking the longer route for delivering goods and services, centralized e-commerce platforms claim to offer the same solution to business owners. It helps you quickly start your online business by allowing you to sell products online without having to build a website. But just when you start thinking that all your problems are solved, you would realize that the e-commerce platforms create challenges in their own right.
To address these challenges, your resources are directed towards amplifying your presence on a third-party platform; when these resources could have actually been used for creating a stronger brand presence through your own website.
Competing in a bubble
Centralized e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay create an online space where their audience comes and buys products from a selection of brands.
It offers its customers the convenience of buying everything from one place. The tradeoff for this convenience is borne by the brands who have to adopt a large number of marketing techniques to promote their products within the platform.
It does not give the brand any real presence outside the bubble because the brand exists only within the platform. This reduces audience reach and involves expenditure for promoting the use of the centralized platform instead of promoting your own brand.
With central e-commerce platforms, businesses have to prepare for the risk of unplanned outages, which can disrupt sales and affect your user experience. While downtime is a common concern for individual websites too, using good web hosts can help you reduce the risk of uncertainties related to outages. You can plan downtimes for regular upgrading of the website.
These planned downtimes can be scheduled at a time when there is very little web traffic on your website. It can reduce uncertainty and help you improve the user experience. Having your own website for selling products helps you reduce the uncertainties and risks involved in managing e-commerce.