Some still exist; you have to left swipe through a gazillion queried pages to find the ones that have survived through business domination and did not rank high for SEO. Maintaining an eCommerce site is NOT an easy task; most think once a website is up and running, people will search, and they will come! The SEO algorithms that exist are tightly controlled and are not open source for obvious reasons. It is highly recommended that eCommerce businesses diversify their digital marketing efforts. The goal is to generate traffic to generate revenue, and solely relying on Google PPC and SEO is not a smart business choice in my opinion; furthermore, SEO is not a onetime configuration and you are all set.
Maybe a bit off topic, but, the question is, how do you promote your brand, products and/or services? DO NOT WAIT FOR CUSTOMERS, GO GET THE CUSTOMERS. Generate a following using social media (Facebook and Twitter), provide fresh content on your website DAILY, Guest blogging is another way to generate traffic to your site (Just be very careful here), EDDM flyers, and believe it or not, good ol' door to door sales. I believe any business can survive from online domination if they have the right tools, resources, and knowledge.
A few years ago it was much easier to get found and for low cost on Google. Once Google started charged for google shopping placement, then many of the no frills companies died out. Also, do to the fact there were so many companies drop shipping items, a typical margin on an item was under 1%. I have seen $500 cost wholesale CCTV cameras selling for $520 which is roughly making $1-2 after credit card fees. Then customers complain there is no support, order tracking is minimal and it takes forever to get the items, items listed online that are not in stock, etc
Distribution wise, most drop ship sellers buy from Scansource, Tri-ed, Wynit, and some Ingram micro. I know scansource used to carry alot more security items before and have scaled back, so less companies to resell.
Overall running an ecommerce only business these days is tough if you want to scale it beyond a very lean operation. Margins are non existent unless you focus on a a few key brands and can provide a value add. I did it for 7 years now, and have seen a marked decline in volumes. I believe most are buying from BH photo, and Amazon as those big players now have access to products that up until a few years ago, that only a few websites could get access to. Addionally, many vendors and distributors are selling direct and to Amazon direct so resellers are getting pushed out.
We have scaled back our service and support and only offer direct sales. We still do around ~$1million a year in sales, but with the margins the way they are, is almost a side business now as you cant support infrastructure of a business on that. With little value in selling security items online for a small player, honestly I make 2x more money building out ecommerce platforms and systems for Enterprise customers.
Pro Focus LLC | 10/22/15 04:39pm
The one last issue I have with Amazon is their search sucks. That, and they will have five listings for the exact same part. That part of Amazon is worse than eBay. At least eBay's search is pretty decent.