Well the ease and comfort of buying from the Amazons of the world is undeniable. We are so accustomed to ordering from these e-commerce giants that we don’t even think twice about the hidden factors beneath each purchase. However, there are a bunch of consumers out there who are mindful about each purchase they make.
Here are a few key reasons why brand websites are a better place to purchase from instead of marketplaces
1. Brand Loyalty
We all have favourites. It doesn’t matter which brand, what price range or how old the brand is. The reasons could vary from comfort, the brand ambassador, the confidence it gives you or just an affinity to the logo design. Many buyers prefer sticking to a brand website for the simple reason of brand loyalty. And yes the brands do reward such customers for their unwavering loyalty. Starbucks’ membership programs work on rewarding clients for their loyalty. Once you link your coffee purchases to your Starbucks card, you earn points. Once you cross a certain threshold of points, the coffee giant rewards you with occasional free drinks and goodies. They also give you a free drink for your birthday. From special discounts to invites for private parties, the perks can be never ending. The only way to find out what’s in store for you is sticking to the brand website/app for your next purchase.
2. Access to a wider range of products
Yes you heard that right. The entire product catalogue is not always displayed on marketplaces. The best is usually kept at the online flagship store which is the brand website. Brands only want to display what sells fast and can be discounted in the front row on marketplaces. The best products are meant for the serious buyers who take the effort of researching and choosing the products which they are ready to pay a premium price for and not just be allured by discounts.
3. Authenticity guaranteed
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, authenticity is a big factor when you purchase online. Have you observed multiple sellers for a single product on Amazon? Well, the same product can be sold by multiple distributors or resellers of a certain brand product. We believe the product is listed by the brand company, but in reality its done by these resellers or distributors. Hence there is no verification barrier before the product is delivered to you. In the past few years, the amount of counterfeit cases have risen.
4. Manufactured for Marketplaces
During a recent meeting with the founder of a premium leather products brand, to show my allegiance, I purchased one of his laptop bags from a marketplace. The bag was available at a flat 50% discount. Goes without saying the product was quite expensive even with the heavy discounting. As I tried making a point in the meeting about how marketplaces are discounting the brand’s premium products, I received a sympathetic look from him. He then said that the products that we see on marketplaces are especially manufactured for marketplaces where the MRP being charged can justify the costs and still leave a good margin for the brand. The point is, for brands, they know what sells on the marketplaces and who buys from the marketplaces – price sensitive buyers. Brands can either keep their retail price and never let the foot traffic land on their products on marketplaces, or play the game and create products that fit the price competition these marketplaces set-up. Can’t really blame them for cutting corners on a heavily discounted product, can we?
5. Clearance Sale
If this term excites you, think again. A clearance sale is basically getting rid of the old to make way for the new. This means that the products have gone through their journey of wear and tear and in many cases refurbished to the looks of a new one. We all go to shops and see multiple versions of the same product. But we still choose the one we feel is slightly newer, devoid of dust and probably missing even a slight crease or scratch. Now imagine a reseller taking this call for you who is only trying to clear his old stock.
As the world is going more and more digital with each passing day, we need to be wiser as consumers. Marketplaces are here to stay and as consumers we need the ease and convenience of an Amazon or a Flipkart. This article is to help us understand the deeper complexities behind every transaction we make online and how the eCommerce market works behind the scenes. Be mindful, make informed buying decisions online.
P.S. – Nike is going to stop selling directly to Amazon.
The brand is now focusing on their own website. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/nike-to-stop-selling-directly-to-amazon-11573615633)