Amazon is often the first place you may think of for buying books. Etsy is the place people go to for creative products like notepads, card decks, and daily planners. But that doesn’t mean they are the ONLY places you can sell your books and products.
In fact, the best place to sell online is your own website!
The power of Amazon and Etsy are real, but selling online does not have to be an all-or-nothing choice. It’s not just your website, or just Amazon or Etsy. You can have it all by selling on all three!
First: Sell from your own website
Your primary sales option for customers should be your own website. Selling your book or products online through your own website/shopping cart (or Vervante’s Online Bookstore if you don't have or want to process credit cards), means more profit, control and connection with your readers.
Even if people don’t buy right away, by directing them to your website you’ve got a chance to create a connection, offer a free download, or opt into your newsletter. Anything that will put them on the path to staying connected, becoming more involved, and eventually become loyal fans that support your long-term success.
Next: Sell via Amazon or Etsy
The online reach of Amazon and Etsy is impressive, and using them as secondary sales options is a great way to help people discover you and your products. That first sale on Amazon or Etsy is like an introduction that you can follow up with strategic communications that invite them to become a part of your tribe.
But wait, how do I compete on Amazon / Etsy?
Selling from your website is obviously the best option for bigger profits and business-building results. Just remember this - It’s not about competing – it’s about standing out!
Give people a reason to shop with you vs. Amazon by creating an experience that makes you stand out. Exclusive offers, unique bonuses, VIP perks, and exceptional service are just a few ways to attract customers and create loyal, long-term fans.
If you use your own sales pages and shopping carts in addition to Amazon or Etsy, and you’d like to attract more buyers to your own cart vs. Amazon, here are a few ideas:
Exclusive Offers / Extras That Add Value
Attract potential readers by offering exclusive extras they can’t get from Amazon such as limited access to programs, complementary products such as stickers, notepads, and bookmarks, or free downloads such as worksheet, templates, checklists or sneak-peeks with each purchase.
How about creating a special box of goodies to include with the book order? You can create a custom-designed box/package and add a few products that elevate the reader experience. Top it all off by having it wrapped with colored tissue, stickers, and extras for a fun, hand-crafted “Etsy” type experience. You might even end up seeing your product as the star in a social media “unboxing” episode!
People love a VIP experience. Another idea to help your sales page stand out from Amazon is to offer a special ‘VIP’ print run that will be sent to special customers, connections and influencers to help spread the word. You can autograph your books, include handwritten cards, bookmarks or stickers, and give your readers an early, exclusive peek.
When you run the show from the moment they arrive at your website to the moment they receive their book in hand, you’re able to control the content and amount of customer service they receive, so make sure it counts. Be personal, be positive, and shower them with the kind of service you wish you could get. Share helpful information in fun ways such as by including colorful branded postcards with content that shares everything they need. Personalize your packing slips, follow up with emails after the fact to make sure they are enjoying their purchase, and share more info to entice customers to continue to follow you.
Creating unique and satisfying experiences is the best way to get the right kind of attention for your book sales and keep customers coming back for more. If you have ideas for creating products or experiences to help boost your sales, let us know, we’re here to help!
Vervante makes it super easy to sell on Amazon and Etsy! We've got the Amazon process automated and other than the 15% Amazon commission, our service is free. For Etsy orders, all we need is a copy of the order confirmation email - super simple and easy.
Your Team at Vervante
p.s. If you’d like to learn more about your options for selling on Amazon AND selling via your own website, check out the following linked article on our blog where we lay it all out. (hint: You can do both – and you should do both! Read here to learn why: “Retail Book Sales Success.”)