by Meaghan Brophy
Despite dominating headlines, Amazon is not the be-all and end-all of ecommerce. Many indie sellers are thriving outside the sharp confines of Amazon.com. “Amazon is not the only option for attracting ecommerce sales,” says Allen Kaplun, owner of GreenDropShip.com. “In fact,” he says, “Amazon only has 35 – 50% of the market share,” leaving the rest to other sellers and other platforms.
For online sellers, “Amazon is highly saturated,” continues Allen. Newcomers and small entrepreneurs are “competing against established sellers,” which makes it hard to break through and gain any visibility or sales. However, some of the most significant downsides of selling on Amazon are the strict compliance rules sellers have to follow, and the percentage cut that Amazon takes from each sale.
“A lot of sellers are scaling back from Amazon,” says Allen. Amazon used to be a useful tool for retailers to gain brand awareness. However, Allen says Amazon no longer “provides a chance to brand yourself. They’ve done away with adding seller logos. Amazon shoppers don’t even realize who they are buying from. It’s all an illusion of shopping directly from Amazon.”
Instead, many independent online sellers are choosing to set up shop on ecommerce platforms such as Shopify. “It’s not a race to the bottom on Shopify,” says Allen. “On Amazon, you’re forcing margins to stay low without building brand equity. On Shopify, there’s a higher ability to engage your customers, build loyalty, and margins.” Building a store on Shopify allows sellers greater control and higher margins. “Plus,” says Allen, “if you restrict yourself to Amazon, you’re cutting yourself off from a huge revenue stream from the shoppers not buying from Amazon.”
Setting up a store on Amazon may seem like an easy venture from the outside. However, all of the restrictions and compliance rules make selling on the marketplace quite tricky. Shopify has plugins to help sellers manage orders, shipping, marketing, and fulfillment. Suppliers like GreenDropShip also integrate with Shopify to offer easy order management and on-click dropshipping. Customers simply place their order through your Shopify store and GreenDropShip fulfills it. GreenDropShip’s Shopify plugin is scheduled to be released this month. Visit GreenDropShip.com to sign up for their newsletter.