Can selling directly be worth the hassle and expense? What are the real benefits, other than finding yourself an new unexpected revenue stream? To give some guidance to those companies trying to make this decision, we have done a brief comparison of the pros and cons.
- High margin revenue stream - by selling directly you can substantially increase your margin on each sale as well as encourage multiple sales in your own controlled environment.
- Data collection - Amazon do not allow you to collect data on your customers from both a sales and browsing perspective. By developing a community of users and building a profile locally you can tailor effective future communications
- Tracking and data analysis - On your own site you can track everything. Tracking user habits allows you to see trends - who is buying, what, and when, as well as identifying regional differences.
- Control of pricing & promotions - You are in full control of pricing and any promotional offers on products or bundles. You don’t have to cater to enforced discounts of 3rd party sellers.
- Breadth of catalogue and inventory - Whilst on your website your users will browse your inventory unlike shopping on Amazon. You can direct them to other recommended titles as well as authors. Direct messaging and personalised sales tactics allow you to tailor your sales messages and can give them a personalised sales experience on your website.
- Regional marketing capabilities - With an eCommerce shop (unlike a physical shop) you can reach anyone, in any part of the world, at anytime - allowing you to reach further afield. With complicated tax rates and pricing issues dealt with you can run regional carts from the same website.
- Personalised shopping experience - By understanding your users’ preferences you are able simply to prioritise which titles appear in which search, and give different titles different weighting/priority.
- Multiple sales models and tactics - You can provide a destination to all offline and online marketing whether from social, direct marketing campaigns or reader events.
- Selling new products ie) subscriptions - Amazon will not let you sell subscriptions for either ebooks or physical books. Loyal consumers will look to the subscription model. For example, readers of “romance” novels as a genre have taken to subscription sales in a heavy way.
- Budget - There is a cost to set up, and time required to manage transactions. You will need to set aside at least $4k to get a reliable shop integrated into your website.
- Finding the right solution - You need to ensure the fit is right for your organisation.
- Website and brand awareness - Identify if you want to sell and to whom. Retailers, wholesalers or direct to consumers? How are you going to communicate with them?
- Find the right distribution partner - Customers these days are interested in ‘instant gratification’ - you need to make sure you are capable of delivering this.
- Support & maintenance often need to have a dedicated person (or company) to manage the eCommerce part of your website. You’ll have errors with the cart, you’ll have people who struggle to use it and you’ll need extra/different resources to deal with that. Monthly costs will be in the region of
- Your customer can’t physically feel, see or touch your product. It’s important to have sneak preview feature so they can go and look inside.
When you look at the points above, it might seem that there are a couple of negatives to overcome, however with great customer service and the right investment your ROI may be handsomely rewarded.
For further information please contact Supadu - website and eCommerce specialists with tailored solutions for publishers of all sizes. Supadu’s solution allows a customer to integrate an e-commerce cart into their website in a matter of hours, regardless of which web platform it has been built on. The Supadu Cart will guarantee truly cost-effective global access to consumers, with lightning-quick build times. Costs will plummet and you’ll save 100s of hours of development time. LINK TO SITE
For “Distributor to Doorstep” - We are fully integrated with Ingram’s CoreSource as well as working with FireBrand, Longleaf and other distribution houses.