We sell on eBay, Amazon and our Shopify Store. In order of performance, we sell:
#1 - Amazon
We sell on Amazon (UK, DE, ES, FR and IT) using their FBA service. This is by far our biggest sales stream. We also make use of their seller ads, which also increase the sale conversion quite considerably.
#2 - Shopify Website
Our next stream is on our website. I used to be on WooCommerce through the Wordpress service, but I got annoyed with how often they updated Wordpress and found that the plugin developers did not develop fast enough when the updates came through. We have seen an increase in natural traffic from Google and Bing since moving. On our own website, we send an invite using Yotpo to review our service and products for a 15% discount on another purchase.
#3 - eBay
I was reluctant to sell on eBay, but this has proved to be a steady stream of sales. I do feel that we don't get sales until the item listing time is coming to an end. I must be honest, I have not given a great amount of time to eBay as yet, so I could be doing something wrong.
What I am considering now is to have reciprocal promotional flyers with complimentary sellers to my products. For example, I sell glass bottles which are considered more healthy than plastic. I am looking at including inserts in the postal box for companies that sell smoothies, health foods etc. They will then also do the same. Obviously, I may have to contribute financially toward companies with far great sales volumes. But this could be worth while, only if the complimentary product is chosen well.
That's my input.
I work for the Amazon Home & Leisure 3P team and also own my own shopiy store. If anyone is interested in getting to learn about Amazon, please let me know and we can discuss at some point. As a point, my team only work with merchants who have the potential to generate >£2000 a week on the platform so please bear this in mind!
I find that Folksy / Etsy is ok for small home hobbies / crafting and lower priced products for under £50 - people browse and pick out jewellery predominantly - I have tried selling my luxury hand crafted £200-£400 on Etsy for several years and only ever sold x 1 £50 item in all that time. It's very diffifuclt to get found.
One good result of advertsing a shop on there was to get a leather supplier contact from being visible.
I have tried selling samples and slight seconds on Ebay but never sold - my products got lost in the millions of other cut price bag sellers - fakes mostly -
I have never tried on Amazon - I feel it also has a discounting and "cheap" vibe that doesn't match the branding level I want to create on my website - It's great for some people, but I think my customers would think my product had been downgraded if they saw in on Amazon. I am also not keen on them they have been accused of not paying enough tax in the UK.
I used to make more money selling through a website hosted by Mr Site but the platform was very unstable and always crashing, and the customer service was dreadful. I prefer the user experience of Shopify but I have found it hard driving traffic my store.
I spend about £20 per month on facebook driving new audiences to my website - which i can't see as having converted any sales.
Instagram has been better for me as it's visual and I can show my making processes - i have sold 3 bags at over £200 each via Instagram - they see what I am making - ask about it and then they buy through my website.
I think my best traffic is from other website referrals - if you write lots of blog postings and get other successful portals/bloggers to write about your brand or stock it - this feeds people to your webstore.It is a hard slog and not easy at all - I am selling only a few pieces each month which isn't great.But I wouldn't expect an American based webhoster to be promoting my store - it's me having the money to spend of paid advertising and blogging and getting referrals that will make that happen. Advertising budget seems key.
Hope that helps,
If anyone needs help, I am here to say that you can leverage ebay in so many ways. Their traffic
Amazon is a different game so you need to leverage their traffic in other ways via - - - wait for it... branding!
The first thing to do, is not get caught in the commodity game.
Ebay is about price, and if you try and compete you are dead in the water as you do not have enough economies of scale to compete with bigger players. It becomes a price war and you DEVALUE your own products and the industy as a whole.
A prime example is GM, ford and Chrysler who offer massive discounts to sell, but for every dollar discounted or rebated up front to earn the sale, it reciprocates and is taken away from the resale value of the brand . Pay cheap, brand is identified as cheap.
So the best way is to leverage ebay in a way that sneaks traffic away without devaluing your own products in anyway. Once you land a sale, you give them an expereince that they willl never forget and then they will frequent your shopify store more before ebay.
Thing about it ithis way. amazon, ebay, google, AirBnB all have little to no inventory, yet they make fortunes off of you and me. Ebay leverages their relationship with you so you do all the work and they take a nice slice. It is called relational leveraging and the biggest and best leerage this very business principle
Leverage them back and take those sales and direct them to your store, but rememeber it is the experience, that determines if they come back for more
The reason why most people go back and back to ebay for more, is not to many sellers leerage the traffic and sales and give the customer a REASON to stay on their shopify store. Price is perception ppeople....how many of you paid $800 for an iphone that cost 80 bucks to make. Create an experience and leverage these merchant platforms back
My two cents and sense
I'm surprised by how many people see Shopify as strictly a web platform. I run a retail store and the majority of my sales are in store. I chose Shopify because an Internet store is essential for modern brick and mortar business and Shopify gave me an integrated platform for my in store and online sales. I have tried eBay as well but with zero success.
i have my product on shopify, amazon, ebay, rakuten, cdiscount and priceminister.
i find that i get 25% of my shopify traffic from these sites combined which is a good thing.
customers are clearly doing their research.
we put our prices up on the shopping platforms to cover the fees and also encourages customers to buy from our shopify site which has much less fees.
i think it works for us as we have a unique product which not many people sell, not sure this statergy would work for less exclusive products however.
I have been amazed at how many books I have sold on Shopify. Certainly ten times more and Ebay or Amazon. I am directing traffic to Shopify page though. Would recommend Shopify to any body looking to have an Online shop.