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Advertising and Marketing Your Business Online

The ways different ecommerce websites can help or hinder you.

There are a million blogs sharing peoples ‘top tips’ of how to market or advertise your business using digital marketplace platforms.

However, they never quite seem to delve into what road bumps and costs are involved for a small business with listings on ecommerce websites like eBay, Amazon, Not on The Highstreet and website builders like Shopify and ShopWired.

Here is where we come in.

We have done the leg work, trawling through all the terms and conditions and pricings to help you optimise your marketing and advertising! (obviously, these are subject to change or fluctuate so we would always recommend that you read terms and conditions yourself before signing up).

Within this blog post we will be covering marketing and advertising costs on these platforms. If you would like a more in depth look at costs across these digital marketplaces, please visit our blog post ‘Set Up Shop’ here.

Amazon

Pros:

You can easily make an amazon.com storefront without needing coding knowledge.

Cost- per-click advertising tools: Product and Brand Sponsorship tool to advertise select items or businesses on Amazon. Amazon Display ads can remarket to people who have actively looked at your products or storefront, on third-party sites.

Bigger investments: Audio ads with Amazon music. This type of advertisement has a minimum budget of $25,000. The cost of the audio ads is based off cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM). Video ads that will be shown on and off Amazon with their video making tool. This also has a minimum budget of $35,000 to consider. Amazon also offers campaign placements. This can include homepage takeovers, Fire TV placements, customised destination pages and more.

Metrics: The Amazon Attribution tool allows you to analyse metrics and success for no extra cost. Metrics are great for monitoring and improving your business’ success and keeping track of KPIs.

Cons:

You cannot advertise or market for customers to buy your listed items directly from your own website instead of Amazon.

No prices are stated for campaign placements so this could become an expensive route.

Etsy

Pros:

Cost-per-click advertising tools: Etsy Ads- Etsy enters "bids" for this ad space on your behalf based on a daily budget you set. Off-site Ads- Etsy pays all the upfront costs of advertising on affiliate social media accounts. You will be charged an advertising fee on these orders. You are auto enrolled for these.

Shop-Specific Ads: Sales Ads- This is a tool that allows you to promote when you have a sale on. Coupon Ads- non- public code for a discount; you can use the targeted offer tool to distribute coupons as you see fit. Sales and Coupons are forbidden from being used to commit fee avoidance.

Bigger investments: Etsy Pattern- Pattern is a standalone website that will appear outside the Etsy marketplace. It is free for 30 days and then $15 per month plus a 3.5% transaction fee if listed on both sites (no transaction or listing fee if only listed on your Pattern website).

Etsy Local: Etsy helps to promote local Craft fairs, Markets, Pop-up shops, and Special events to help support local economies and the wider Etsy community.

Cons:

You can only opt out of the auto enrolled off site ads if you earn less than £10k.

When promoting your team/ brand you need to make sure to include the phrase, “Organised by a Team of Etsy sellers”. You cannot use the word Etsy as the sole part of your team/brand name.

Etsy Pattern has limited customisation and there is also a card processing fee as all payments will be redirected to the Etsy site. It is also not set up to allow you to implement effective SEO.

Not on The Highstreet

Pros:

Tools that come with the initial £199 (£238.80 including VAT): Auto enrolled marketing campaigns- Their own letterbox catalogues and multiple social media and advertising campaigns. NOTHS acts as your commercial agent implementing their services that contribute to increasing the Seller’s goodwill, promote the Seller’s Products and encourage Customers to place orders with Sellers. Not on the Highstreets’ own CMS (Configuration Management System) allows you to communicate with customer feedback.

Bigger investments: Pop-up stores and specific marketing campaigns- Prices and further information are only given as campaign opportunities arise.

Cons:

VAT is not ever included in their prices, but it is up to you to comply and pay for VAT.

There is a 25% (plus VAT if not VAT registered) commission fee for each sale.

Any self-promotion in any way for a customer to buy directly from you instead of Not on the Highstreet is prohibited.

eBay

Pros:

Marketing tools with no further costs: Cross promotions- advertises relevant products to people looking at similar items or your products. Customisable shopfront and Unique URL- This comes with metrics which means you can easily track what marketing techniques are working well and what needs improving. Multi buy discounts- add discounts to a bulk of products or services at no further cost.

Email Marketing- allows you to create a mailing list to promote relevant products. The cost depends on what kind of selling account you have: Basic shop- 1000 free emails then 1p per email once 1000 emails have been exceeded. Featured Shop- 2500 free emails then 1p after. Anchor Shop- 5000 free emails then 1p after.

Favourite Seller top picks- You select items for promotion then you can notify customers with new matches to their saved searches. The cost is your chosen ad rate of anything between 1-100% of the item’s sale price.

Sales event markdowns- visible on the product display page and can increase conversion rates by up 20%. There is a limit to how many listings you can promote at one time.

You can add promotional inserts in your packaging for your own website. You can also customise your branding easier on your eBay storefront than on Amazon.

Cons:

There is minimal seller protection if the customer does not pay.

They do not have any hands-on approaches to help with advertising. They offer marketing tools for you to build your own marketing but not for adverts or marketing campaigns.

ShopWired

Pros:

Marketing and Advertising tools at no further cost: Integrations- Amazon, eBay, Facebook, all other social medias and reviewing sites like Feefo. An app for your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tools. Promotions, vouchers, and a points-based rewards system can be set up on your site. Metrics and tracking for visitors, ecommerce activity, conversions, and Facebook campaigns. Related products and upselling features as well as advanced stock control.

However, the original price changes depending on which package you choose and the packages you can pick are dependent on turnover limits: Pro- £29.96 per month + £5 per month for the ShopWired Connect Apps Advanced- £59.95 per month Premium- £119.95 per month Enterprise- £149.95/ £249.95 / £499.95 per month (depending on which package from the Enterprise subscriptions you pick) The most expensive Enterprise package comes with a marketing account manager.

Cons:

ShopWired is not as popular as brands like Shopify meaning they have less 3rd party support and a smaller community.

The theme customisation is not as user-friendly as others.

No limit to how or where you want to market BUT that does mean you have to do it yourself. The packages give you tools to help build a website that has good marketing features, but advertising is not covered, and neither are marketing campaigns. Therefore, marketing costs could inflate/ deflate depending on your own marketing efforts.

Shopify

Pros:

Integrations- Shopify has over 4000 apps that you can affiliate with or pay for to add extra features and functionality to your website.

Simpler to use/ All in one place- Shopify has its own app and POS hardware/ emailing system that allows you to keep track of all metrics and marketing campaigns from one place.

Email – 2500 emails free then $1 per 1000 additional emails.

Google Ads- You set the budget and Shopify supplements up to £120 for the first 30 days. The listings are free.

Facebook selling- no extra charge by Shopify but Facebook does have selling and chargeback fees.

Kit- this tool is someone you hire with Shopify to help with all your ads on Facebook, and Instagram. It helps with SEO, leveraging positive customer reviews, ad retargeting, promotional campaigns, and discounts. The cost is (as a US brand) $10/month and then Kit Pro $25+/month (based on number of likes).

Cons:

This can end up getting expensive with transaction fees and costs racking up from the need for multiple 3rd party apps to get the functionality you need.

Although there are more themes to choose from, they are more expensive.

There’s no wholesale functionality options.

Some of the code is hidden from you so you can’t customise features without going onto the more expensive Shopify Plus Plan.

So, at the end of the day, every site has their pros and cons.

However, this blog post should show you what different marketplaces have to offer and highlight the importance of doing your research of the terms and conditions before signing up to anything. It always pays to be well informed!

Now that you know how different marketplaces and website builders can help or hinder your marketing and advertising efforts, you should have an idea of which sites can are best suited to your business' growth.