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Do you really need a website? Do you really need your own domain and a place to call home?
With platforms like Facebook trying to be your home and creating systems and services that basically fulfill all of your business needs, why should you have your own website? Well, let’s first talk about what platforms like Facebook are offering and will be offering in the future.
Facebook is going to be much more than just a platform where you deliver a message to your customer or your audience.
It’s going to be an ecommerce platform, meaning you can sell your products right there on your Facebook page and people can buy them in a single click. It’s going to be just like Amazon.
It’s Getting Easier to Buy
See, Facebook has your information. They have your address, they have your credit card, and they’re going to make it to where you can buy something super easily and get it delivered to you. Even if they don’t have your information, they’re about to. As soon as you make one purchase, they have your address, they have your credit card, and they’ll make it easier and easier to buy things in the future.
As a business owner, this is enticing because you don’t have to build the system. Facebook already has the ecommerce platform and the website. You don’t have to do any work and you can start selling products to your audience. Now, because Facebook has their address and credit card, it’s very easy for people to buy. And because it’s easy, people will buy more, which means more sales and more money for you.
Of course, Facebook will take a cut of this, but if you’re willing to give that up, you could sell a lot. Now, all of this has yet to happen, but I guarantee that it will. Facebook wants to be that middle man. They want to be in the middle of the transaction where they can get a cut. They want to be the place where things are bought and sold.
They’re going to provide those systems and platforms to you, which means you get to sell things without doing any of the work. It sounds really enticing, so why would you not want to do this?
Why You Should Have Your Own Platform
First of all, you lose a cut to Facebook. That’s part of the reality. The other thing is: where do people go to find you?
That’s a question you need to ask yourself. Where is your home? Where is your website? Where do people go to find you? Where do they go to buy from you?
You need to know this because you need to tell people and you need to point them somewhere. Right now we’re conjecturing about Facebook but that’s only one example. There are a lot of platforms where you’re going to be able to sell—platforms that are not your website and you don’t control, meaning you don’t set the rules and when these platforms change the game on you, you’re screwed.
The only platform you can control is your own.
When you build your home on someone else’s platform, you’re at their mercy. You’re at the mercy of their long-game, their end-game. They’re trying to close the deal. They want to keep people on their own platform. When you sell on places like Amazon, you don’t get the customer data. You don’t get the email addresses, which means you can’t follow up.
The Lifetime Value of the Customer
If you’re smart, you know that the most amount of revenue is going to come from the lifetime value of the customer—that repeat business. How are you going to get repeat business if you can’t stay in touch? If you can’t continue the relationship? If you don’t have their email?
If you’re short-sighted, you’re only thinking about the fact that on your own platform, you might sell less than you would on someone else’s platform. The problem is if you compare, let’s say, 10 sales on Facebook’s platform to 2 sales on your own, what you have that you don’t on Facebook is the customer data.
You have their email, which means you’re able to follow up with them and potentially sell more or sell higher-tiered items. The customer lifetime value is greater and the depth of your engagement with this customer is also greater.
When you consider the big picture, you may make fewer sales on your own platform but you’ll have a greater customer lifetime value without all of the risk associated with being on someone else’s platform.
You don’t have to lose sleep at night being concerned that they could change the game on you. I’ve been on other peoples’ platforms before and they’ve changed the game on me. They made it to where I couldn’t change the price. They locked me in. They started sending out discounts to people when I didn’t want them. I couldn’t control that. I couldn’t control the experience.
You have to control the experience to make sure people have a good brand perception of you and ensure they’re repeat buyers.
I hope this encourages you not to be short-sighted and to see the importance of building your own platform, creating your own website, and a place to call home that you can point people to.