You’ve got the concept for a product or a line of products. Now the time has come to decide what kind of eCommerce store you should start. Well, the big three in this space are Amazon, Shopify, and a surprise contender, Walmart. Each one has its own sweet points, but which one has the right recipe to pair with your offering?
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each, and some tips for deciding which one will let you have your cake and eat it too.
We’ll start out of order with what has become one of the leaders in the eCommerce space. With the introduction of its shop app, Shopify is making a bid to upset the number one champion. But will that happen, and what does Shopify offer you?
- Branding: You control your own branding and website, so you can build your store the way you want to, with a lot of control.
- Powerful tools: Shopify has powerful eCommerce tools. These help you build your store for the ultimate customer experience.
The not-so-tasty bits:
- Cost: While Shopify has a powerful set of tools that come with the monthly fee, they also have some tools available to purchase on an app store. It’s easy to get carried away and let costs get away from you.
- Marketing: You can create a great store, but you have to drive traffic to it. And you are 100% responsible for this, although the new shop app may make that easier going forward.
The key is to understand what Shopify is and what it isn’t. Overall, the features are pretty cool, and if you’re careful, you can keep the cost of your ingredients in check and still provide your customers with the satisfaction they are looking for.
As the pandemic surged over the last year, consumers turned to eCommerce, and Amazon was at the top of the list of “things I love to hate” for many people. While many customers sought alternative shopping experiences, others were drawn by the gigantic marketplace, steady and reliable shipping, and more.
So should you throw your eCommerce store in with the grinning giant?
- Traffic: Lots of it. Amazon gets more eCommerce traffic than anyone else.
- Extra services: With Amazon’s vast network, they can handle fulfillment for you, too, making it easier for you to focus on other aspects of running your business.
The not-so-tasty bits:
- Competition: Lots of it. There are a limited number of winners. And if you have a great product, Amazon has been known to pick it off, make its own version, and promote it ahead of yours.
- Branding: It’s hard to build a strong brand on Amazon, as Amazon is the perceived brand when your products are in their store.
- Cost: Shoppers are price-conscious, and those extra fulfillment services can be costly.
What’s the bottom line? If you set up your shop only on Amazon, you have your work cut out for you. With thousands of sellers to compete with, you'll have to put in a lot of effort and money to stand out.
Another contender for your shop is the Walmart Marketplace, and while there is some recent integration with Shopify, we’ll address them separately. It is important to note that through the recent integration, you can install Walmart Marketplace as an app that’s part of your Shopify store. And you can still manage sales and inventory primarily on Shopify.
- Traffic: Walmart has a huge online presence and has gone all-in on eCommerce recently. This means you can potentially reach thousands of new shoppers through their online marketplace.
- Integrations: You can integrate your Walmart Store with the rest of your online presence and manage both easily.
The not-so-tasty bits:
- Competition: Like Amazon, your product will be competing with several other similar products, including some of Walmart’s own branded merchandise.
- Branding: It’s hard to stand out on the Walmart Marketplace, similar to the Amazon Marketplace. Because it is not your domain, you'll have difficulty controlling branding.
- Price: Walmart shoppers are price-sensitive, so much so that it needs to be a major consideration for the products you put there.
Is Walmart the right choice for your eCommerce business? The answer, as it is with Shopify and Amazon is, it depends.
To determine the right mix for your eCommerce business, you’ll have to look at all the options based on what you want and the amount of work you can handle. For example:
- Shopify is best for those who want to build a brand and their own web presence.
- Amazon is good for a limited number of products and for bringing in quick transactions and ready cash with little effort.
- Walmart is a great marketplace to sell your bargain products. It can also be ideal for getting exposure to any unique offerings that might stand out from other products in the store.
For most eCommerce brands, a blend of marketplaces is the answer. It’s a matter of finding the right recipe for your business. Sound a bit overwhelming? Contact our eCommerce strategists. They’ll taste test your current “marketing recipe” and then advise you on what you might be able to add or leave out to make your brand even more appealing. Contact us at CAKE Commerce today!