One of the questions, when getting your business online is: Do I even need my own website?
Couldn't we just upload all our products and services on Amazon and Upwork?
To help you make the best and most informed decision, I will provide the pros and cons of each operation
Running your own website
Flexibility and control
You have full control and flexibility in the way you want to present and operate your selling business. No one can impose rules on how you design your website and can fully be customized to your desires.
If you are looking to be in the business long term, having your own website may be a better representation of your brand. You are able to build your brand and the culture of your business by making the customer experience more personal or unique compared to other brands.
You take advantage of avoiding any transactional or monthly fees that a third party seller would typically take whenever you make a sale. You also have the freedom to choose your own merchant provider for taking payments like credit cards.
Need to find a host
When starting your own website, you will need to find a host that will serve your website on the internet and need a design for your website. Here are the Top Ten Cheap Web Design Services with Hosting I'd recommend.
Maintaining your own website
You will also need to take care of the website and maintain the content. Any performance issues are your responsibility and you will need to contact your host accordingly
Need to market yourself
When starting your own website, you will need to either advertise or do some sort of marketing to bring traffic to your website.
Using a Third Party Service
Easy setup and uploads
With a third-party seller like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, you can just directly upload your products without the entire website set up and time for looking for a reliable host.
No maintenance required
You are not responsible for the performance of the server and maintenance of any functionalities. As long as you upload your products, you are good to go.
Traffic provided by third party
Another great thing about third-party is they already have a lot of traffic and future potential customers can find you through searching or recommendations.
You will need to pay transactional or monthly fees to keep your products on the third party website.
Limited ways of presenting and branding
You are limited to their own styling of the website and under their rules/restrictions when uploading your products
No control or reliability
You don't have any control over your business and if the third party seller decided to stop selling your items, you have no choice but to be removed.
Here are some comparisons of the two operations when running an online business. With your own website, you have flexibility/control over your business and avoid any fees charged by third parties. With the third parties, you are able to quickly set up and already have some traffic provided by the third party customers.