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The secrets of selling Furniture online: E-commerce Marketplace vs. Personal Website

The furniture and home furnishings niche are ideal if you want to carve out a place for yourself in the global online marketplace. Everyone needs furniture and the growing trend of shopping online does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

As you venture into the e-commerce world, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is where you want to sell your merchandise.

E-commerce website vs. personal website

If you want to sell furniture online, you have the option of either building your own website or using an e-commerce marketplace. Thousands of SMEs prefer e-commerce marketplaces for the convenience and traffic they offer. Krrb, Shopify, Chairish, Etsy, Craigslist, and Amazon are some of the trusted e-commerce marketplaces that facilitate buying and selling of furniture online.

A personal website allows you more control over your online shop, and you get to keep a larger percentage of the sales income. However, the freedom and control come with numerous hassles. For example, when you create a new website, you have to attract the traffic. This means marketing campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO) both of which cost money.

The cost of setting up to sell furniture online

For a 15% commission on your sales, you can get a slice of Amazon’s global pulling power. By simply uploading photos, accompanying descriptions and prices of your products, you can set up shop on the retail titan. Amazon will also store and dispatch your goods for an additional fee. This makes it very easy for newbies to set up their businesses online.

Setting up an e-commerce website is not as challenging and expensive as it used to be. SMEs can now easily afford it. For example, setting up a small e-commerce business now only sets you back around $2,500. This will cover product listing and display, navigation structure, search features, shopping cart facility and secure payment gateways. This checklist is however bound to upsurge as the business grows.

Ease of use and the benefits of tools and add-ons on e-commerce solutions

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) add-ons can provide you basic e-commerce website functionality to get you online and trading for $500. A range of tools from e-commerce solutions such as Shopify dramatically helps in analyzing customer data. They make it easy for “non-techies” to analyze data on customer lifetime value, purchase frequency, net profit, gross margins and so much more.

You can also get technical help such as furniture website templates and SEO support for as little as $4.50 from DIY website providers such as Weebly, SquareSpace, and Wix. However, these cheap solutions are not always the best. You may need to spend more hiring a developer, which may cost you upwards of $5,000.

The value of the control that selling furniture on your website affords you

After you have set up your website, you cannot just sit back, relax. You have to improve and adapt your website to meet arising needs constantly. For example, if most of your website visitors are using mobile, you have to optimize for mobile to give them the best user experience. This is an advantage for proactive business people who would want to adjust their websites in minutes.

In a nutshell, setting up your furniture business on your personal website is more expensive and hectic than using a trusted e-commerce platform. However, if you are committed and do not want to rely on or give control of your business to third parties, a personal website is the perfect solution for your furniture business. Creating a bespoke website with an easy to use and intuitive e-commerce platform like Shopify could contribute significantly towards the success of your online business venture.

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