For a small business selling online, it can increasingly feel like there is no way to operate without working with Amazon. This can come with massive downsides for the company, as Amazon has business practices that shut them out of a direct relationship with the people who buy their products, in addition to charging them enormous fees for the privilege of listing on their platform. For many years, some small business owners have tried to leave the Amazon goliath and set up independently. However, it can be tough to sell sufficient quantities of products to make a profit.
This is where we come in. We've built a network that makes it easy for potential customers to find the small businesses that make the products they need. Rather than being locked into a race to the bottom with dropshippers and other companies trying to charge the lowest possible price, no matter what damage it does to their long-term prospects, our website and app allow businesses to focus on the benefits of their products. It also makes it possible for them to directly own the relationship with their consumer and offer the very highest levels of customer service during every transaction.
Don't Pay High Fees on Every Transaction
Amazon's behavior towards small companies has all the classic signs of monopoly business practices. It has won businesses over to its platform by charging very low fees. Once they are established on the platform and reliant on the platform for a significant proportion of their revenue, Amazon pumps up its prices. In some cases, it has even begun to sell its own versions of popular products previously offered by small businesses. Thus, leaving those businesses in the lurch, as their previous customers start to buy directly from Amazon instead, often without knowing they are even doing so.
All of this means that relying on Amazon as an income stream is a precarious proposition for any small business. One simple change to an Amazon policy can completely ruin a business model that has traded successfully for years. What's more, while Amazon's conditions say that they will endeavor to give their partner businesses a warning before any such change is made, they are not under any obligation to do so.
In real terms, this means that even the most successful Amazon partnered business is just a few days away from potential collapse. In some cases, being too successful may be a problem in its own right. There have been examples in the past of businesses having their products copied by Amazon. These Amazon copies are then sold at loss-leader prices and promoted to the very top of the search results page. This leaves companies that previously saw Amazon as their supporter and business partner out of money and faced with a choice between rapidly pivoting their business model to something completely different or shutting down entirely. In many cases, their once loyal customers may not even realize that they are now dealing directly with Amazon and not the small business that they had once put their trust in.
Truly Engage with Your Customers
Good businesses are built on trust and strong relationships between the owner and their customers. Listing on this app and sending traffic directly to your own site will allow you to do exactly that. At every stage of the relationship, from the buyer's first visit to your website to an order that they place several years from now, you are in charge of the process. This means that the offers you make, how much you charge, and every other part of the process are in your hands, and you don't have to rely on anyone else to get things right.
Many business owners don't realize quite how much control Amazon takes away from them until something goes wrong. Only then are their customers stuck dealing with the many-headed monster that is the Amazon customer service department. In most cases, business owners are not permitted to intervene directly in order to resolve a problem. All communication must go via the central Amazon customer services department. Because of its scale, Amazon uses automated decision-making tools to determine many of its customer services cases. This means that responses can be impersonal at best and flat-out wrong for the circumstances at worst.
Once Amazon customer services have decided on a resolution to a problem, it can be almost impossible for the small business involved to change the decision, even if their proposed solution is more favorable to the customer than the one that Amazon is suggesting. This can be immensely frustrating for everyone involved and leave customers with a bad feeling (and the desire to spread negativity about the small business in question) without the owner ever having put a foot wrong throughout the entire process.
Other Advantages of Independent Trading
As well as avoiding all of the downsides that come with marketing through Amazon, selling directly to customers comes with many advantages. Firstly, the small business has the right to contact their customer directly to solicit feedback or inform them about new products and services. This makes it far easier to upsell customers or bring them back for a repeat purchase. In the Amazon world, the shop that is selling the product has no automatic right to do this, and the algorithms will not account for which particular business sold a product when making a recommendation about future purchases.
Additionally, it is far easier to offer a generous returns policy, even free return shipping, if this feels appropriate for the particular situation. It's also possible to run loyalty schemes and other incentives that will encourage customers to return to your virtual store on a regular basis and make further purchases.
All of these factors add up to an excellent case for selling directly to the people that matter to you and cutting out the middle-man that comes in the shape of Amazon. A free listing is the first step to doing this.