Marketplace vs own website – this is a common topic that is often debated by most cost owners.
We live in a customer-centric world. As a course owner, the competition to sell courses online has increased manifold. This is especially true for career starters who are finding it difficult to succeed in this e-learning era.
In the past, your most logical choice to sell courses was in the marketplace. In fact, many of you would have visited a marketplace like Udemy in recent times to sell courses. Undoubtedly, these marketplaces have played a significant role in helping several online course businesses to succeed. Yet there are some cons associated with them that make your own website a much better place than a marketplace.
This post is a detailed analysis of partnering with a marketplace vs own website to sell your courses.
Disadvantages of selling courses via marketplace
They are not “your” customers
Let us assume you are having a course on a marketplace and it is making huge profits. Now you venture out and you start the same course elsewhere. You will be shocked to find that most of the customers will not be subscribing to your course. This is because it was the marketplace that sold your course in the first place and not you. More often than not, it is due to the popularity of the marketplace that a learner subscribed for your course and not because of your own brand value which is usually absent when you are in a marketplace.
This is another frequent issue faced by course owners while selling through marketplaces. Marketplaces levy significant fees to list your course on their website. On top of that, you have to pay a commission every time you make a sale. This has a huge impact on your profits.
Marketplaces are typically a platform for every seller across the globe to sell their products(in our case, the courses). This eventually builds up tremendous competition in the platform. In fact, there could be hundreds of course creators courses on very similar topics as yours. The audience will usually go for a course that has great reviews and quality content. If your competitor’s course is better in any of these two aspects, you are bound to lose the game.
Inability to conduct marketing campaigns
When you opt for a marketplace to sell your course, remember that you are indirectly promoting the marketplace and not your course. The marketplaces do not allow you to conduct your own marketing strategies like running Facebook ads or do some affiliate marketing that is capable of bringing in more leads. A marketplace has its own rules and regulations and you will have to go by their terms all the time.
Now that you have seen the disadvantages of selling courses on a marketplace, let us build our next section on top of our learnings so far. Let us look at the top reasons why you should sell online courses from your own website. In other words, a comparative analysis between marketplace vs own website.
Why should you sell online courses on your own website?
Creating a website is neither too expensive nor do you need the help of a professional web developer today. There are several no-code/low-code platforms that make it a piece of cake to build your own website. When you are opting for a platform like Learnyst to build your course, then building a website is entirely free and you can customize it as per your needs.
Wider audience reach
This might be surprising for you. You might wonder how one can reach a wider audience than a popular marketplace. The answer is simpler than you think. Selling from your own website does not create any geographical boundaries and you can reach any corner of the world through your website. Many marketplaces have limits to the number of audiences and to whom you can sell it.
Brand building is not easy but is worth every rupee you spend on it. Providing round-the-clock accessibility and help for your learners tends to increase the visibility of your brand amongst the audience and make your course recognized. According to statistical reports, 60% of learners buy online courses after reading the reviews. To get more reviews, keep your content top-notch and make the website user-friendly.
Freedom for marketing
Selling courses warrant a detailed marketing strategy that cannot be achieved in a marketplace. This is only possible when you have your own website for selling where you can detail out and follow any strategy as per your choice that generates leads to your course. You can even run advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to make people aware of your course.
Tracking customer insights
Catering to the requirements of the audience helps to earn loyalty from your learners. This is true even for a course seller. However, this can be done only from your website and not from a marketplace because your website offers you the advantage of tracking your customer visits and their needs to tailor a course according to their expectations. You can easily integrate the free Google Analytics tool to your website to view the visitor details.
Establish a connection
Selling from your own website has another advantage – you can establish an emotional connection with your audience. Every course creator should ideally have an interaction with their audience before the start of the course to know everything about them. This is achievable only when the course is sold from your own website. A marketplace does not provide an option for you to interact with your learners and you would never get a chance to know more about them.
This is probably the biggest difference. Unlike a marketplace, which offers only a standard templated webpage for your course, you can achieve significant levels of personalization when building your own website for your course. Personalization makes your course highly engaging and is one of the primary reasons for many learners to opt for your course.
As we have seen in the previous section, selling from your own website offers a greater ROI as compared to a marketplace. There will be no commissions, listing fees, or service charges usually that stand as a barrier to your profits. Every rupee earned from your website will be yours.
Further Reading: Build your elearning website with Learnyst Quiz Maker
Now that you have understood everything about marketplace vs own website, it’s time to know more about Learnyst. It is an LMS platform that is a market leader when it comes to creating and managing online courses. There are many career starters who have succeeded in the e-learning space with the support of Learnyst. Unlike many other LMS platforms currently available, Learnyst lets you create courses and market them by building your own website and mobile app.
So if you are a course creator, sign up for a free 14-day trial with Learnyst and start selling your course.