Marketplaces Vs. Shopify 3 Things to Consider
One of my favorite memes that I see all over Pinterest goes something like this: When something goes wrong in your life, yell “PLOT TWIST” and move on.
Seriously, it makes me laugh every time. I’ve experienced those kinds of moments A LOT myself, especially when it comes to my ecommerce businesses. But I’m not alone, and today I’m being joined by Taylor Glaus, founder of Something New Bridal Box, who has gone through it too.
Taylor didn't plan–or want–to learn to pivot in business. In fact, it came from a situation completely out of her hands.
She didn’t give up. Instead, she took a hard look at her ecommerce business and how much control she really had over it.
3 Things to Consider When Selling on Marketplaces vs. Shopify
Let me give you some background.
First, living in New York is expensive—especially when you have little kids and your husband is in grad school. Taylor decided she needed to do something to help make ends meet, just like so many of the other entrepreneurs featured on the Because I Can podcast,
Okay, so $50 may not seem like much to some people, but when things are tight, it’s a HUGE deal to spend it on something besides food or diapers or other necessities. Taylor scraped the money together, then she headed to the craft store with the intent to make and sell on Etsy.
She’ll tell you that her first products didn’t do as well as she’d hoped; in fact, only a single product sold. (And it was the one she thought wouldn’t!) But she kept on going, and eventually she had a warehouse full of products along with almost 40 employees.
And then the unthinkable happened.
Her stores were closed by the ecommerce marketplace—with no reason given. Her business was in jeopardy, and she was ready to give up. I’m tell you right now that I have been there too, and you’re left wondering what on earth happened.
Fortunately for Taylor, she has a great mom, who told her, “You are going to look back on this and it’s going to be one of the best things that’s ever happened to you.”
You’ve got to love a mom who steps in and lays down some wisdom like that right? I mean, serious mic drop right there. Boom! Oh…and she happened to be very, very right.
It was time for a plot twist, and a big business pivot.
3 Things She Learned Along the Way
#1: Marketplaces do have some advantages when it comes to ecommerce.
Selling on marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, and Etsy can have certain advantages in terms of helping new entrepreneurs gain their footing. You can test products out, and sites like these handle a lot of your marketing for you. These advantages did help Taylor get her business started, and she did very well at first.
#2: Marketplaces reduce the control you have over your ecommerce business and your connection to your customers.
The downside of marketplaces is that you have little real control over your business. A change in algorithms can send a successful store plummeting. They also restrict your ability to connect directly with your customers.
Taylor had paid for a custom website that brought in a few hundred dollars each month outside of her Etsy business—but more importantly, it gave her a mailing list. That let her share offers with customers who knew her bridal business and who’d purchased from her in the past. It completely changed her ecommerce business model.
#3: Selling on Marketplaces vs. Shopify can restrict growth.
Listen–I love Shopify, and I don’t make any bones about it. Here’s why: It’s easy to set up, they have a great support team, and you can scale your business to pretty much any size you want. You also have complete creative control over your site—something that you can’t get when you work with marketplaces.
Taylor chose to start using Shopify instead of relying on her custom website. Plus, she learned how to place her own social media ads for her company, directing them to SomethingNewBridalBox.com.
With an always-increasing email list, a great social media presence, influencers who love her, and a cost-effective site that is easy to maintain, she is CRUSHING it. As in, she made ONE MILLION DOLLARS in just 11 months! That’s crazy amazing!
You will learn so much from Taylor—I cannot WAIT for you to listen to the entire podcast. I made a list of my Top 10 Takeaways, but there are so many other gems in this one!
Top 10 Takeaways from Taylor Glaus
- Pivot, don’t quit.
- Don’t put all of your business eggs in one basket.
- If one offer doesn’t work, try another one.
- Know your numbers.
- Sometimes you just have to throw things out there to see what sticks.
- Listen to your customers,
- You don’t need to have a big store to start.
- Take control over your own business and brand.
- Be open to different options when working with influencers.
- Find a cheerleader, coach, or teammate.