Harvard’s Take On eCommerce

March 7, 2023

Selling on your own platform is critical because 3rd party intermediaries (like Amazon, Airbnb, or Shopify) take both a cut of the profit and simultaneously highlight your competitors! Talk about paying for a double disservice!  Why don’t you build your own website? Don’t be lazy, building a brand and having independent sales control is important, let’s see what Harvard Business Review has to say on this subject in its 2022 September-October magazine article  “Building Your Own Brand Platform.”

When you sell a product or service on Amazon or another eCommerce conglomerate, it puts them in control, Harvard points out that it “enables the platform to put its own brand front and center, effectively reducing product brands to the role of suppliers.”  Suppliers because the competition is so fierce, it really comes down to who has the best contract with a supplier to both compete on the lowest price and highest volume which is mostly a byproduct of the factory worker salaries, shipping costs, and productivity.  Imagine, you entrust selling your product to Amazon, but they push forward other products than yours, it’s a hyper-competitive environment. Harvard points out “product brands struggle to differentiate themselves from competitors on brand aggregators because the platforms standardize product presentation on their pages” - think how Amazon, Groupon, or Shopify show similar products or services to your own when a customer is on the fence for a purchase.  Also, you don’t have a live chat option like Convosio to immediately engage with potential customers to answer any thoughts that are hindering them before they purchase a competitor's item instead.  The odds are not in your favor to outperform competitors in conglomerate sales stores. Yes, they have volume, according to another HBR article in the same September-October 2022 issue, titled “Should Your Company Sell on Amazon?” Harvard points out “Selling on Amazon allows brands to reach millions of consumers—but that exposure comes with costs. They include smaller margins, more competition, the risk of commoditization, and less knowledge about customers.” Realize that if you can create a brand, you can have a community. If you have a community, then word-of-mouth and online reputation via Google star ratings go up….and that’s where real success happens exponentially …but how to create a brand?


Brand Flagship Platform

One of Harvard’s answers to building any brand hoping to get off Google shopping, Amazon, Shopify, or the rest is to create a “brand flagship platform.”  Think Nike Run Club or Nike Training Apps, these brand ecosystems go beyond just the retail or online store by selling customized sports apparel to offering “social events, challenges, and leaderboards provided by the community; expert guidance, motivational music playlists, and personal training” think maximizing user engagement.


With so much engagement, a brand flagship platform is kind of like your own Instagram where people interact, compete, or publish their own stories. Many businesses try to build their own flagship ‘communities’ via Telegram groups, Facebook groups, or even paid memberships to join a club, this is a great idea and works well on scheduling events with existing customers. Once a brand flagship platform is created, it’s a direct sales channel and creates an ecosystem around the brand.  Bloggers and influencers cash in on their personalities by having their fans pay to see them in person at events or buy merchandise. With flagship brand platforms, the owner and staff can speak directly to existing customers and service their needs more intimately than a live chat during the initial sales process. According to Harvard, “these platforms provide their mix of specialized products, services, and content by involving other participants—regular consumers, professionals, and third-party businesses.” True! A platform involves the customers as well, all helping each other, and making suggestions, at this point the brand ambassadors and store owners can just sit back and watch what people say about their product or service for new ideas or how to tweak it for more value.


Get Started

To get started on your independent eCommerce journey, create your own website today at MyDev.com.  MyDev is an entire ecosystem built around fostering entrepreneurs worldwide to pursue the sale of their products and services worldwide, all for one low fee. In addition, MyDev offers everything online businesses need, SEO software (Zuitte), reputation management (iReview), live chat (Convosio), a low-cost payment provider (iPaymer), a warehouse management system for drop shipping (Morsix), and many more applications to help companies work as efficient as possible and engage with customers.  Give it a shot, pursue your product sales goals today with your very own brand.


All MyDev-created websites are mobile friendly which is critical since according to Statistica, in Q4 of 2022, “the percentage of mobile device website traffic was 59%”. MyDev has all bases loaded for you to just take initiative, hit the market with a homerun product, and score big! Fortune favors the bold, push yourself, MyDev.com.

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