Blog Why your own Website?

Why your own Website?

11/17/2021


With so many platforms why would anyone consider setting up a website? There’s no right or wrong answer here but there is an answer – and it’s the one that makes the most sense to you! But I do want to share why having your own website may be a good thing!

First, let’s talk about that using a platform you are in essence competing to be seen amongst 100’s if not millions of other handmade artists! I know some incredibly successful artisan brands that make a living from their shops on any platform, and I also know people who have seriously struggled to make it work. It depends on your product and your target customer a lot, and as with many things in business & marketing – it’s not one-size-fits-all.

WHY SELL ON OTHER MARKETPLACES?

  • Little to no Setup Costs
    Anyone can set up a shop which means no hosting/domain fees, or design costs! Some fees are collected later.
  • Short set up a time
    You don’t have to pull your hair out when it comes to choosing a website platform and then setting it all up – this can sometimes take days if not months! Although – when everything is said and done I’ve built websites in a day!

  • Greater exposure (*potentially!)
    People often create shops on marketplaces because they believe it’ll help them get exposure as customers browse on the platform. And that may be true in some cases but I stand by this: you are a business owner and responsible for marketing!

  • Trustworthy to customers
    Customers trust the marketplace to process their payments because of their policies that protect customers.

  • Reliable
    Shopkeepers don’t need to worry about their shop having bugs or going down for technical reasons. Of course, it is possible, but very rare as most have a tech team on board!

  • Community
    There is a community on most marketplaces of other artists and makers that it’s nice to be a part of. Local groups organize events regularly, and there are forums to talk and ask for advice, etc.

SO WHAT ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN WEBSITE?

While marketplaces are great for all those reasons I’ve listed above, the one issue with most of them is the amount of competition on the platform (and how accessible your competitor’s shops are while customers are browsing your shop!) and the lack of brand awareness for your own business.

If you want to grow a strong brand that people will remember and follow, it’s very hard to establish that if you’re just using a marketplace. The platforms are full of distractions and your competitors’ listings, as well as having limited design options for your shop front. The whole purchase journey is done through the marketplace/shop.

With your own eCommerce website, you basically have unlimited design options and as much space as you need to creatively get your brand across. You use as much copy as you need to hook the customer in and tell them your story, and use imagery to get across the mission and personality of your business.

You also have more say in regards to your shop policies, and payment processors take a much lower cut than the marketplace fees on each item sold. As well as this, you can add so many more areas to your business offerings – including a blog, or an events page, and you can create sign-up forms to start an email list too. Having your own website is like having your own home on the internet; you’re in charge of everything on there, and it’s all personalized to your business.

One of the main reasons people are scared to have their own website is the myth that they’ll need to do more marketing in order to have their website found. But there are so many ways to market your business to be seen and heard and found.

WEBSITE CONSIDERATIONS

  • Set up time & cost
    Of course, creating your own website takes a lot more time than getting set up a shop. If you’re doing it yourself it can take time to learn and get it right. Of course, you can hire someone like me to do this much quicker and more professionally for you, but that requires a setup cost (my packages are designed to be affordable for small businesses, starting at just $2 for a single page or $500 for 5-page set up). You’ll also need to bear in mind ongoing hosting costs and paying for your domain, but you can sell as many products as you want without having large cuts taken – so it may save you money in the long run!

  • Maintenance & management
    With your own website, you are responsible if there are any hiccups or things that go wrong on your site or shop, but just a quick reminder on your calendar an help you navigate that – and if you are adding items to your shop on a daily or weekly basis you’ll know when it needs updating. I also help with that when and if needed for a small fee!

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Rebel Handmade is a Website that supports Handmade Artisans Worldwide! Every Week we offer new Featured Shops and Shout Outs, Challenges, and more! The goal is to help support Handmade Artisans and share their creations with the world! We Love to promote Handmade! In addition to promoting Handmade Artisans, we have added an Artist Directory to our site. 

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