Selling Your Soap on a Website Vs. Selling Your Soap on Instagram

Instagram Page Vs. Website

 

Maybe you’re starting to think about selling your soap and you’re wondering if you should do it on Instagram or develop a webpage.  In this article I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of each and tell you what I think in the end.

 

Starting an Instagram page

Pros:

  1. It’s Free: Starting an instagram page is relatively easy. All you need is an email address and you’re set. It costs you absolutely nothing financially.
  2. It’s can be easy to have customers find you: You can ask your friends and family to spread the word about your account, and people will know about you page fairly quickly. And while people are spending a lot of time on their phones, you’ll have more opportunities to get eyes on your page
  3. It’s easy for people to communicate with you. Whether it’s a like, a comment or a direct message, people can quickly communicate, ask questions, and place orders.

 

Cons

  1. Growing your account takes time. Months and years. So you might get frustrated if you don’t see the number of followers growing as you would like.
  2. The instagram algorithm works by making decisions on how relevant your account is to your followers.  If your posts don’t get much engagement, the algorithm might decide to show your posts less. So the success of your account is dependent on your follower’s engagement.
  3. For your account to be successful you need to be consistent with your posts, and managing your account can feel like a full time job.
  4. It can feel hectic and time consuming responding to messages, answering questions and arranging delivery. Some customers can be really difficult to deal with too.

 

 

Starting a Website

Pros:

  1. Having a website is more professional.  All professional businesses have an online presence and it can show your customers that you are a serious business.
  2. Easier when dealing with customers.  You can post all the information about your products for people to read and learn about them.
  3. Easier for shopping.  Customers will have everything they need to know to place their order. All you’ll have to do is arrange for delivery.

 

 

Cons:

  1. Expensive.  Starting a website has upfront cost. From buying the domain name, paying yearly fees, and paying a designer to design it for you.
  2. On going  expenses: Yearly fee, payment gateway monthly fee, Zakat (Islamic taxes), any apps you purchase on your website will likely have monthly fees.
  3. You should know that the bank takes fees from each transaction, and the payment gateway takes a fee for the transaction too.
  4.  You will need to pay taxes. To accept payments online you will need a CR. Owning a CR requires you to start paying taxes. 
  5. Navigating a website can be difficult for some customers. There are some people in the Middle East that are so used to shopping on Instagram that they find shopping on a website uncomfortable.  They don’t have the knowledge and experience for shopping on a website. Some people don’t have credit or debit cards.
  6. If you don’t have a tech background, it can be difficult to learn how to navigate the backend of the website to make changes.
  7. If you don’t want to maintain your website yourself, you would probably have to pay someone a monthly retainer to maintain your website for you, which is an added cost.

 

Here’s what I think.

I think if you are just starting out, then start with an Instagram page, but plan on having a website one day.  If you find that your business is growing and your sales can cover the costs of maintaining a website, by all means start a website. Just make sure you study all of your options and understand how much the running cost of this website is. Another idea is to start an Instagram page and website, but don't use your website for sales. Use it as platform for showcasing your products and services. The only cost here would be the yearly website fee. Having all the information regarding your products and services in one place will save you so much time when dealing with customers, because you can just direct them to your website when they ask about your prices or a specific page on the site when they ask about details. When you're ready to activate the website and accept payments, all the hard work will be done.

What do you think?

Do you have an Instagram page or a website? Which were you planning on starting?

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