Your online store isn’t just another distribution channel.

Your online store isn’t just another distribution channel.

In an age of “Fulfilled by Amazon” and selling your products right on Instagram, your store matters.

It’s incredibly easy in this multichannel-fixated era to become focused on your distribution channels that aren’t your own branded store. Getting your products onto Instagram, shoppable on Facebook, listed on Amazon and exported to a Google Shopping feed can take over the time you spend building your brand on your own store. Not to say these other channels aren’t important, but your store should come first.

It’s important not to neglect your store. Here are four reasons why.

1. You own the content.

You control your site content on your own domain. You can be expressive and true-to-brand without having to worry about restrictions other platforms may impose on you. The content lives on your site and can be updated whenever you want with whatever price changes you want. You can pivot quickly, not having to wait for updates to be approved or pass inspection by a team that you have no control over.

When your content is on your own site, it lives there forever and won’t ever get buried or “outbidded” by someone else.

2. Your branding is pervasive.

On your own site, you exist as more than a “sold by” tag beneath a product title next to a price that a user is looking at just trying to find the best deal. On your site, you get to brand yourself and drive the customer through product offerings in a way they never get to experience if they’re just shopping a product feed on another platform. You curate the experience for the shopper, giving them a branded shopping experience that other channels can’t provide.

By driving your traffic to your store you build your brand and increase shopper awareness.

3. You’re only competing with yourself.

Your product and prices aren’t pinned on the wall next to twenty others on your site. Every time someone sees your product on a multi-retailer channel, chances are they’re going to see a near equivalent product right next to it. Are your prices the best? Is your product copy the most engaging? If you’re slipping on any of those factors, you might get bested by the competition. On your site, the shopper is there because they’re interested in your product.

Think you’ve got a good phone case? So do 20 other companies.

 

Your website is your ivory tower. You aren’t listing competitors products so you can craft your product pages to really hammer home how much better your product is for them than the competition.

4. You retain your customers.

By bringing shoppers to your store, you gain exponentially more opportunities to open a dialog and learn about their shopping behavior. If you don’t get their email on the first visit, you can learn from their behavior by studying trends in analytics. This will lead to higher LTV (lifetime value) as you can reach out again and again to this potential customer, showing off your best content, sales, products and more.

You become more than a shipping email to your customers. You’re more than a followup email asking for a five star review.

Nothing is better than owning your customer data. You can reach them in ways that fulfillment channels can’t and provide them with the content they crave.

Your store is unique. Don’t just treat it like another fulfillment channel.

Hopefully it’s pretty evident just how different your store is from a listing on Amazon or a product image that’s shoppable on Instagram. At Engine, we believe that your store is the cornerstone of your online presence. We’re also strongly of the opinion that branded content plus commerce is the future of online retail. If you’re looking to build or improve your online store, let’s talk.

To help more companies, we’ve integrated our focus on content into Engine, our new cloud-hosted ecommerce platform. Engine makes creating shoppable content on your store dead simple. Our ecommerce platform makes it easy to improve your conversion rates, grow your email list, and increase the lifetime revenue of each customer through automated, personalized marketing messages triggered by their specific actions on your site and through productized content on your blog.

Looking for to upgrade your store? Let us build it for you. Email me at hello@engineinsights.com to see if we can help.

Written by
Blake is the Head of Product at Engine. Blake has worked for and with some of the largest ecommerce companies in Arkansas, growing teams and building digital products that have been used by millions. With a background in Computer Science and a passion for product and user experience, Blake leads the charge in building the next-generation ecommerce platform that is Engine.