1 – You own the asset (the store)
On Shopify, your store is hosted under your domain and is your property. You have full control over it; the design of the store, how it looks, the designs of the products, your upsells & cross-sells, the number of products in your listing, the product range, your suppliers, your opt-in pop-ups, your blogs, your content, etc.
It’s all yours and all under your control. If one day you wake up and decide to switch to another supplier or add new products from new suppliers, you can!
On Amazon, you are fully limited.
You can’t upsell or cross-sell, you can’t collect emails and data about your customers, you can’t stay in touch with your customers to build loyalty and generate repeat sales, you have limitations on the number of products in your listing, you are limited in your product designs & descriptions, your sole supplier will always be Amazon and nobody else, your product range is limited to their offer and that’s it!
Amazon has full control and they can close your account anytime and for any reason; your poor performance, your bad designs, your descriptions, copyrights infringements, or anything else that violate their policy!
2 – Printful ships internationally (Amazon ships in USA, UK, and Germany only)
It is seriously hard to understand why Amazon won’t ship to Canada or any other countries other than USA, UK and Germany!
To get some samples of my own t-shirt designs, I had to ship through stackry.com and FedEx charged me $60 of clearance! Half of the order total price.
What I learned from this experience…
(a) FedEx, never again for international shipments (… same for UPS)! I recommend using the US postal service (USPS).
This way, it will be delivered through your country postal service. To my experience, the clearance fee is much lower when it comes through Canada Post (and I assume it should be the same for your country’s postal service).
(b) That said, even if Printful ships internationally, make it clear to your customers that customs duties and clearance fees may apply.
You want to avoid any surprises or inconvenience especially when your clients are part of your loyal audience!
3 – Your brand and website alone benefits from your advertising efforts
Many vendors choose Merch by Amazon because the Amazon marketplace is popular and generate a lot of traffic, so they expect to get sales with minimal efforts.
But, in reality, it won’t be enough to just post your designs on Amazon and expect sales.
No matter how big and popular Amazon is, you will still need to generate traffic to your products either through paid advertising or social media self-promotion.
Otherwise, you won’t sell anything!
Either way, you will need to invest time or money or both to generate traffic on Amazon (not to your blog).
Why wouldn’t you do it to generate traffic on your website instead!?
This way you will get a whole lot more benefits.
You will :
- be in control of your listing, your designs, your descriptions, etc.
- collect your clients’ information,
- upsell and cross-sell your products (and your blog posts!),
- generate traffic on your personal website,
- track your customers with Pixels,
- personalize your advertising,
- build and strengthen your brand
- build a base of returning customers
- improve your site SEO
- collect emails with lead magnets and much more!
4 – You build a brand and a social community around your own store and social media pages
Could you imagine that big brands like Ralph Lauren or Nike wouldn’t have their own sales channels, would have their own website?
Could you imagine that those brands would sell only on Amazon? No way!
It is the same for your brand of merchandise.
You are creating a brand, you have your own website, keep building your brand around your website and link all your social media pages to this branded website! Not to Amazon.
You can certainly sell your product on Amazon, but do it as a merchant, not through Amazon Merch. And name your merchant account the same as your store name.
5 – You own the customer data
That’s a big deal!
The customers are on your website, meaning from the moment they enter your website until the time they make their purchase you can interact with them in various ways.
You can chat with them, you can track them using a Facebook Pixel, you can upsell and cross-sell them with smart recommendations of products or content, you can offer them freebies to get them to subscribe to your email list, you can offer them to subscribe to your push notification list and finally you can possibly make the sale.
But what really matters is that, even though you don’t get the sale, at least you have a chance to get a new subscriber to your email list or push notification list, a subscriber to your social media pages or just a future returning reader interested by your content.
On your website, you can convert your visitors in many different ways all equally valuable one another.
Yes, you invest in paid-advertising or you invest your time to self-promote your products in social media, but once you get your visitors, you get the full benefits, not only the final part of the play; not only the one-time sale!
6 – Printful offers not only t-shirts but a large range of print-on-demand merchandise
Amazon offers only t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts.
Printful carries a large range of products: