Should you choose an independent station or a third-party platform for the business model of cross-border e-commerce?

What is an independent station?

The independent website model, as the name suggests, is a business that establishes a brand official website to directly face consumers. The overall website domain name selection, visual effect style, product type, price level, etc. are all determined by the businessman and implemented in the official website. Another name for this model in the industry is also called self-built website. According to the basic characteristics, self-built website is an independent website, but the title of self-built website will emphasize that merchants rely on their own investment to build sales websites from scratch, such as the establishment of entrepreneurs. Our own technical team starts with code design and completes it step by step. The title of the independent station reflects the characteristics of the sales channel it presents.

The reason for the rapid development

The cross-border e-commerce industry itself has entered the fast lane of development due to the rise of the mobile Internet in recent years, and has become the main consumption platform for the younger generation of consumers. At the same time, since last year, due to the continuous fluctuation of overseas epidemics and the impact of city closure control measures, many users who rely on traditional offline consumption have gradually shifted their consumption channels online. The overall market growth potential is huge, attracting The eyes of global businessmen.

A third-party platform or an independent website?

Now that you have seen the market opportunity and are ready to enter the market, the next step you need to think about is how to smoothly insert your own brand into the entire market demand system, which needs to be explored according to the operator's own development plan and brand positioning.

At present, the more mainstream cross-border e-commerce sales models are third-party platforms and independent stations.

The essence of the third-party platform model is that many merchants enter a centralized cross-border e-commerce platform at the same time, and sell goods to consumers through platform channels. It is significantly different from the stand-alone station. The third-party model is characterized by strong centralized management. Since all basic service content is provided by the platform, the platform has a firm grasp of the business's big picture from the entry threshold, product types, store visual style to marketing methods and operation methods. Partial autonomy, the source of merchant traffic mainly depends on the platform. The foundation of the independent website model is that merchants can achieve complete independence. Merchants build their own websites, decide their own brand development strategies and marketing models, and face consumers with a more independent and mature attitude. Their traffic is more dependent on their own marketing effects in the market.

Consumers shop through independent brands

Today, when the cross-border e-commerce industry is gradually entering a mature stage, third-party platforms and independent stations have become the two most mainstream ways to go overseas. A large number of domestic merchants sell their products to consumers around the world through platforms or brand official websites every day. hands. And according to the development direction of the merchants after entering the cross-border e-commerce and the different stages they are in, we can roughly divide the domestic overseas brands into several groups with distinct characteristics.

According to the development direction, the more representative ones are the merchants who use the mature domestic industrial chain support to develop the standard product strategy, and the non-standard product strategy merchants who hope to build their own brands, go out of the circle with the advantages of differentiated products or deeply cultivate in the vertical field. Secondly, according to the development stage, it is divided into new start-up merchants and mature merchants who have experienced initial development and are eager to break through the bottleneck.

Merchants who implement the standard product strategy, relying on a mature supply chain, can achieve very low commodity prices, attract consumers with the advantages of high quality and low price, and achieve income growth in the early stage through the drainage of third-party platforms. The original traditional model of "Made in China" in the traditional foreign trade industry, that is, entering the market from the end of the industrial chain relying on cost advantages. For this kind of start-up merchants who implement the standard product strategy or some just starting out, the third-party platform can better meet their needs, relying on the platform to drain traffic, and the merchants do not need a lot of marketing investment.

However, with the development of the domestic economy, the demographic dividend is gradually disappearing, and the low-end supply chain is transitioning to the high-end, and the cost advantage of commodities is declining. Many enterprises, especially those who started out with OEM in the early stage, are faced with fierce inter-industry prices. Competition, profit margins are gradually shrinking, and enterprises are facing the crossroads of transformation. This kind of in-roll competition will make brands miss opportunities for all-round upgrades in product technology, functional quality, and brand image, thereby gradually losing their core competitiveness.

Therefore, more and more domestic entrepreneurs take product differentiation and brand value enhancement as the leading development direction at the beginning of the brand's establishment, avoid the already fiercely competitive and low-profit standard product market, and make full use of online sales. The advantages of building DTC brand strategy. Create a long-term brand value story from top to bottom, constantly polish products, always keep in line with market demand, attract those consumers who recognize the brand and have sufficient loyalty, and form long-term core competitiveness.

For these merchants, the independent station model that can better reflect their brand image, build brand value, and directly face consumers has become a necessary option on their overseas development path.

Finally, from the perspective of the different roles played in the industry process, the third-party platform model and the independent station model have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the market positioning of the two sides is still complementary.

Independent sites are more suitable for mature merchants who want to build brand power from the beginning, have certain independent marketing capabilities, and can obtain traffic by themselves to open up the market. For novice merchants with zero experience in cross-border e-commerce, at the stage where the operation model and brand development ideas have not yet been perfected, it is more suitable to use a third-party platform to assist themselves in opening the market, and improve the selection direction and product selection at a lower cost of trial and error. Operational ideas.