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I wanted to share this Lightning Talk I gave recently. Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.

You can read a summary below, or check out a video recording starting about 48 mins in here:

Maybe I'm preaching to the choir here but...

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir here but….

If you’re selling on Amazon, Amazon is only lending you access to its customers.

Even if somebody buys your product, they are still an Amazon customer.

This makes it very difficult to build a relationship with shoppers and earn their loyalty. I say Amazon because they are the $280 billion gorilla in the room. However this idea applies to pretty much any platform that you don’t own or fully control. That includes Etsy, eBay and even something like SquareSpace.

I’m not trying to say that everyone selling online should try and create their own independent payment gateway. Or that i never use Amazon (maybe i should try harder). However this is an important idea that we should all consider.

When you sell products on your own website, it’s much easier to keep customers. If a customer is yours, instead of borrowed from Amazon, you can use digital marketing to grow your business. For example, If you notice that a lot of shoppers aren’t completing checkout then you can try changing their experience. Maybe instead of having a couple screens to confirm a purchase, it becomes a single click? Or maybe offer a coupon for free shipping?

When a customer is yours you can try and do what’s best for them. Which in turn, is best for your business. A happy and engaged customer is much more likely to become a repeat customer.

It is going to be almost impossible to compete with Amazon when it comes to price, scale or speed. However you can absolutely compete when it comes to making a connection! That is how you can grow your business. So if you’re selling online, I urge you to consider selling on your own website, instead of on Amazon.

Thank you very much!