There are so many "channels" to sell your products on in 2020: Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram.... to name a few. Many makers and creators start out selling solely on these sites. But if you want to grow your business, just selling on these channels is holding you back.
They control your audience.
The number one thing you're missing out on without having a dedicated online store for your business is control over your audience. Not in a creepy, controlling people sort of way. It's about access to your customers.
At any point in time, websites like Instagram and Etsy can change their policies and cut you off from your audience.
It's happened before. Once upon a time, Google made it free for online stores to upload their product feeds and show up in search results. Many small online businesses relied on this for their traffic. One day, Google decided you needed to pay up to have your products show up on search results. Guess what? Many online businesses tanked because they depended on Google for their audience.
A similar thing happened on Facebook. They decided that you needed to pay to "boost" your posts. So many small businesses lost their audience practically overnight.
With a dedicated online store, you are in control.
Once a customer buys a product from your website, even if they check "no" on your newsletter, you can build a relationship with them. Your order confirmation email can say, "We appreciate your business; here's 10% off your next order." If someone orders from you off Etsy, you can include a small card in the box with a 10% off coupon to your website. And that mailing list for the customers that do check "yes" to your newsletter, if you treat them right (don't spam them every day), no one can take that away from you.
Your website is how you strengthen your brand and connect with your customers.
We live in a world with what seems like infinite options for things to buy. The psychology behind what we buy is complicated. After all, we're human. Sometimes we shop for items, like a USB drive off Amazon, and we want the best one for the best price. But products like jewelry, or a custom storage box for a bicycle, or t-shirts made by an artist...we buy these things because of who we are. These products are rare, unique, or cool...not to everyone, but for people like us.
For products made by you, the maker/creator, you are in the identity business. The better you can communicate who you are and what your products are about, the more connections you will make with the audience that "gets you." And the more you'll sell!
Your website is an opportunity to grow your brand and your audience, not just "another place" to sell your products. All those channels like Etsy and Facebook are valuable, and a great way to find your people (customers). But the internet changes constantly, and they might not be around forever.