Mainstream Piggy back
When you use sites like Amazon and eBay to market your website and you don't have your own website
As with the Bricks and Clicks eCommerce businesses, we've divided this sector in two.
PiggyBacking is the use of someone else's infrastructure to get your products to market. That infrastructure usually includes:
Website and payment system
2. Brand awareness
3. Customer database
So all the piggybacking business has to do is find the products, process, and send the orders.
The benefits to the eCommerce business can be huge:
Speed - you can get your products in front of prospective buyers within minutes, and be generating sales within hours
Investment - you don't need to build a website or a payment system - so the set-up costs are negligible
Legal - all the legal faff of selling online is dealt with by the company whose site you are piggy backing (e.g. PCI DSS, Cookie Laws, 3D Secure, etc.)
Possibly the biggest benefit is that you can use this system to build and test your business. You can work out what sells, what things need to be priced at, and you can build up a customer database ready for when you go out on your own.
- Mainstream PiggyBack
This is using sites like Amazon and eBay, where you are tapping into their huge infrastructure and customer base.
You can sell pretty much anything through these organisations, and you don't need your own website at all.
Biggest challenge for the Mainstream PiggyBack eCommerce Business:
Deciding when/if you should create your own website
- Niche PiggyBacking
In several sectors, there are niche sites where you can PiggyBack. Sites like:
Hotels and travel - laterooms.com, hotels.com, etc
Craft and vintage - Etsy, Folksy, Boticca
Books - AbeBooks
Rather than getting you in front of the world, these niche businesses get you in front of segments of consumers who want your products.
Usually, in these niche PiggyBacking arrangements, the consumer's visibility of you as the seller is far greater - so it's more obvious that they are buying from you, not from the site you are piggy backing.
In most cases, you'll also want your own website, because the products you are selling gain in value depending on the amount of information you are able to provide to the consumer. So, if you are an Etsy seller, you want to have your own blog with more information about what you do and examples of previous work and new projects. If you are a hotel, you want your own site to answer the questions you can't fit into the Laterooms formats.
And many niche piggy backers will also be selling via eBay and Amazon.
Biggest challenge for the Niche PiggyBack eCommerce Business:
1. Building a good reputation on the Niche PiggyBack site
2. Choosing the right site to PiggyBack on