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NOTABLE! Dominating Online Ecom. Starting A New Store From 0

ZeroTo100

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Nice job here man. Have you done a thread about it? Would make an insightful read
Haha I would but that's one of the things I'm actually very good at and some of my tactics might not be best to share in the open public. I don't even think most of it can be taught.

I did pick up a lot of my skills running an event business for a long time. Took a lot of chances and made a lot of ballsy moves that could have buried me. Really learned a lot by getting creative.

Let me know if you need help with anything.

Steve
 

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hughjasle

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how are things going?
Haven't been able to put the time in as much as I would have liked.

Family duties, tax time, and household springtime chores have been piling up for too long and had to take some time to catch up on those while performing main duties to keep everything else running. That meant not nearly as much forward work got done.

I have tested a few products and they have not worked like I had hoped. Those are planned for but still not fun. The theme of the site is all built out now complete with product. The only trick now is to find the products that bring the customers in. Once we have them coming in we can really dig into seeing which product lines sell the most, optimization and customer retention etc.
 
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hughjasle

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Been asked to update this.

The short story is took some time to reflect on everything. My wife gave birth to our third child. My business parter and his wife just had their first baby. We realized that starting a new store and all the time it would take away from our little families and our main store was probably not a good move. So we have basically put everything for this new store on hold.

Instead we are doubling down on our current shop, fixing everything we did wrong at the beginning and growing that one. I'll come back and try and write up all that has taken. I'll need to take some time to go through the site and remember all that was done to get it where it is now.
 

LPPC

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Been asked to update this.

The short story is took some time to reflect on everything. My wife gave birth to our third child. My business parter and his wife just had their first baby. We realized that starting a new store and all the time it would take away from our little families and our main store was probably not a good move. So we have basically put everything for this new store on hold.

Instead we are doubling down on our current shop, fixing everything we did wrong at the beginning and growing that one. I'll come back and try and write up all that has taken. I'll need to take some time to go through the site and remember all that was done to get it where it is now.
Thanks for updating man!

Doubling down on what works and taking more time for family doesn't seem like a bad idea ;)

Congratulations on your third child!
 

Magneto C

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We have spent a good amount of money this past year on paid masterminds and courses and building friendships with guys who dominate their fields. From guys who crush amazon in the 8 figure+ range to email savants who know how all the ins and outs of getting your emails read and customers back. This has been crucial in opening our eyes to how dumb we've been in the past lol. The friendships and knowledge we've gained well worth the price paid to attend these events.
Hi hughjasle, congrats to your new born baby. I just finished this great post.

You mentioned earlier paid masterminds and courses. Can you suggest a few? Thanks!
 

HackVenture

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Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

I just had my first one recently too, what a joy eh ;)

Looking forward to updates on this thread!
 

JByers210

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It took a lot of time and effort getting the backend properly set up. Much more complicated than just setting up a Shopify store like I was used to before. Glad it's about done and time for the fun stuff. Paid traffic and product selection :)
What does properly setting a backend up do differently than setting up a Shopify store? Where did you learn to do it?
 
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hughjasle

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You mentioned earlier paid masterminds and courses. Can you suggest a few?
It really depends on what you are looking to get into. Ezra Firestone's stuff is pretty good. Really any meetup you go to will have value. The real value isn't about who speaks and what they say, it's about who you meet and build relationships with.
What does properly setting a backend up do differently than setting up a Shopify store? Where did you learn to do it?
Just setting up shopify is the bare basics. When I say backend I mean setting up email funnels, upsells, down sales, cross promotions, pixeling everything with Facebook, building actual presale pages, not just basic shopify product pages, creating content to draw people in, getting product rebranded professionally and matching the same design across all products and funnels and the entire site, setting up off site sources like Amazon, etc.
 

Walter Hay

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It really depends on what you are looking to get into. Ezra Firestone's stuff is pretty good. Really any meetup you go to will have value. The real value isn't about who speaks and what they say, it's about who you meet and build relationships with.

Just setting up shopify is the bare basics. When I say backend I mean setting up email funnels, upsells, down sales, cross promotions, pixeling everything with Facebook, building actual presale pages, not just basic shopify product pages, creating content to draw people in, getting product rebranded professionally and matching the same design across all products and funnels and the entire site, setting up off site sources like Amazon, etc.
@hughjasle You have opened up a very important topic that is sadly neglected by most people who start off in private labeling.

Everything needs to be consistent if you want to establish a real and outstanding brand rather than just another ordinary product or niche name.

Even consistency in the use of fonts is important. People might not read everything you print, but consistency gives the impression of professionalism, stability, reliability, and permanence.

When it comes to design of labels, most tend to rely on a label printing company's design team (might be someone they hire on Fiverr), and in the process they relinquish control of the concept of the image they want to convey. They surrender their design control even to the choice of the label supplier's preferred label type as well as style.

OK if you want to use professional designers, but do they understand your product? Do they perceive what perceived image it is that you want to activate in the minds of the target consumer? If they can't perceive it, you can be sure the buyers won't either.

In my importing business, selling B2B I made a lot of use of direct mail, and color brochures played a big part in the success of the mail campaigns, but covering letters were vital, and I ensured that even in letters the style got the message across. Even the price lists had to maintain the image I had built for the business.

I never used professional designers or advertising agencies for the simple reason that none would take the trouble to gain an insight into the unusual niche I was in, or our position within that niche, where incidentally, my business gained a 90% market share in a major sub niche.

Walter
 

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amp0193

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Just setting up shopify is the bare basics. When I say backend I mean setting up email funnels, upsells, down sales, cross promotions, pixeling everything with Facebook, building actual presale pages, not just basic shopify product pages, creating content to draw people in, getting product rebranded professionally and matching the same design across all products and funnels and the entire site, setting up off site sources like Amazon, etc.

 

Fredyisgold

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You don't know till you test it.

BTW - I'm wrong more than I'm right. I just keep testing. I have fully custom products that I thought would be killer awesome, not sell at all. Mega bummer.
How do you go about testing multiple products? How would that work with the manufacturer(s)?

This is what I'm thinking. You set-up a store with your marketing, drive traffic for that particular product, check sales, growth, etc and if not as effective as you thought it would, do you move on to setting up a new store for a new product and repeat?

Or do you list multiple products on Amazon, verify needs/pains/simplify complexity and THEN set-up a store with marketing and drive traffic to it?

Thanks for your valuable time <3

-Fredy
 

Fredyisgold

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I'll answer the second question first as that is easier to simply answer, yes I do test before I go out and import almost anything.

I say almost because sometimes manufactures just send me sample products etc. Otherwise I'd never import in bulk something untested. Way too much risk.

This. How do you go about testing products without buying inventory? Maybe I'm just not too familiar with importing.

How would you recommend the Amazon course that comes with the importing book you have read and told us to read as-well? Really I'm more interested in Shopify/Infusion than Amazon, but, if testing product requires Amazon knowledge then I would jump on that course in the future. This way I can sharpen my entrepreneur skills and save up some cash and of course make peoples lives better.

Thank you again for your precious time!

-Fredy
 
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hughjasle

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How do you go about testing multiple products? How would that work with the manufacturer(s)?

This is what I'm thinking. You set-up a store with your marketing, drive traffic for that particular product, check sales, growth, etc and if not as effective as you thought it would, do you move on to setting up a new store for a new product and repeat?
Well, I already have my store set up. New products are added in. I test via 2 methods at this point. First, I get samples in generic "off the shelf" branding that the manufacturer has on hand. I use these to test them out. If I like it (good quality, passes my tests of something I like, then I'll go ahead and create a page for it. Then I'll send it some traffic to see how it does and what others think. If it's good, I'll get it fully done in my company branding and order a batch. If not, I'll delete it and move on.

Amazon is not my go to source so I don't test new products there. I just use it as a medium for selling my brands products.
 
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hughjasle

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This. How do you go about testing products without buying inventory? Maybe I'm just not too familiar with importing.
I have good relationships with my manufacturers so I get LOTS of samples, more than I'd like honestly. But you don't even need that for testing a product. You can test without having any product. All you need for the test is a completed page where someone can buy your product and put up ads. Put up the page with generic images you can find online, usually directly from the manufacturers themselves, or pay someone on Fiverr to do up a quick 3d rendering of the product you want with your actual design and logo and test that. Put that product in the best light and deal you can do and drive traffic to it. If you get sales GREAT! Then you know you are onto something. Refund those people and let them know that you will reach out to them when your product is in stock and give them a special discount code as a "sorry". Some people don't like that method, but it's up to you to do what you are comfortable with. If you have the money, just import small tester products. That way you also get feedback on the product.

How would you recommend the Amazon course that comes with the importing book you have read and told us to read as-well? Really I'm more interested in Shopify/Infusion than Amazon, but, if testing product requires Amazon knowledge then I would jump on that course in the future. This way I can sharpen my entrepreneur skills and save up some cash and of course make peoples lives better.
I didn't do the amazon course pitched with the book so I can't comment on it. Honestly, I think there is MORE information and ppl willing to help you in Amazon on this forum that any course could ever offer. And no, testing products for online paid traffic has nothing to do with Amazon. You can use other people's amazon listings to fulfill your test orders if you want.

I just think for most people, Amazon is the low hanging fruit right now. Much easier to get into and make a solid income to get them out of their time consuming JOBS. Then they can focus (if they want) on other avenues. People are making money everywhere right now. Pick your poison.
 

WorkingOnIt

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Hey Hugh,

I own a BPO call center overseas (Europe) and have been reading your eCommerce threads, this and the first you created, from affiliate marketing to importing etc,.

Am really enlightened by how quickly you can make 40k in 4 days and ~1.6k$ in marketing costs.

I have, for the fun of it perhaps?...created a lingerie eCommerce store maybe a little over 2 years ago & wasn't able to get traffic to it and just wiped it off of my servers existence. I now find myself in wanting to start another- but not in lingerie of course with a decent 6-70$ estimated profit margin.

But in doing so, I want to say I want to somewhat/ or clearly :/ copy the process you have laid out.

1. Product that solves a need, (that I paid 120$ for as a "at the moment urge" purchase item, like the chocolate bars next to the aisles when you're buying something at the supermarket). Its a product that you don't really know exists, that can make your life much much easier (especially as a businessman/woman and hence also a product that you wouldn't go out there and "ask/search for." Honestly not sure why everyone doesn't have one. I do feel like the present players in it are greatly NOT marketing well enough to capture a greater market share. Will look into this thought more, as there is plenty of competition but no marketing. Perhaps people just don't "need" it... which I want to highly doubt. I don't know what I would do without it.

2. If I feel like everyone should have one, and they don't, it makes me think I'm on to something & it will just take some time to make it work.

So...

3. Create Shopify site, from top to bottom. Test the product, by paying for traffic to the branded* product page & see how much sales are made/yet also look into the math to see if scaling the amount of advertising funds used results to greater profits or a steadier income stream.

My question, if I may please ask is- when do you know you have spent enough on traffic/testing? If my margin is 60$, technically speaking I should say its okay to spend 50$ to make 10$ profit, whereas I would love to see 60$ profit and only spending 10$ in advertising to get a single sale (I did say copy :/ but I want to be honest/upfront with everything as I feel its always the best start when asking for help/tips.

4. After how many "test" sales should I shut it? Call it at 5 sales? 10? 25? ...that would be a comparable/perhaps close "enough" representation of the real results. For me its also about minimizing costs, I am in a country where the average wage is 3-400$ USD, of course this new business of mine will be targeted for the USA.

5. Accept the margins/results or find a new product. If accepted...( which I really hope testing proves sufficient of )...

Create all relevant social media in regards to FB and Instagram, Pinterest (sorry on spelling), and Linkedin (not sure here, but I think it can work, the audience is usually employed/working class/ in most cases and can be targeted fairly well, if my reasoning is correct).

Finish all things in regards to Shopify (will create a list of what you have mentioned you have done & read/implement them into place).

Then,
6...order the product, how many is enough, or too much or too little? You received 1,270 sales in 4 days from your other eCommerce business/thread or was it in a month? Still great results. I aim/hope for the same but at a flat, 50k profit in the month would make me the happiest man alive.

7. Run ads over again, directing traffic to my business. And ship/repeat as long as profitable?

8. Implement other avenues of sales, Amazon. Expand the line to related items while keeping to the quality I have in mind.

What are your thoughts?

I wish I could tell you the product to discuss things, but you would be able to wreck me if you knew what I have in mind.

Thank you for your time, I greatly appreciate it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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hughjasle

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when do you know you have spent enough on traffic/testing?
This is hard for me to put an solid number on since everyone wants it to apply to them. So my answer will be "When you have done enough to get the feel for what it will be like when you are actually selling". This really answers your #4 question as well. The entire point of this testing phase is to have SOLID numbers. To know for sure that you can get sales at $x marketing dollars for the sales price you are asking. The more you cut corners here, there more you have to risk later on with purchasing the product. Some ppl prefer risk with product in their hand, I prefer to over test on ads as and extra $1k in ads can save me from buying $10-50k of inventory.

.order the product, how many is enough, or too much or too little?
This comes down to many factors, never order more than you can, your financial situation will be the greatest influencing factor here. For me, I try and order as little as possible for a first run. I usually base it on minimums provided by the manufacturer for bulk pricing. I don't want to order so little that my costs are crazy. So for example if I want widget A, I can get 100 for $8 each, or buy 1000 for $4 each, I'll get the 1000. Then I'll compare shipping as well in that. If the cost per unit has any significant decrease in shipping costs, I'll try and get up to that number. And on my first orders (and most) I do air shipments to get the product quick and usually the Cost per unit for shipping isn't bad when you order enough. Sure it can be dropped when doing sea freight, but in online marketing, if your product is a winner, you will have copy cats willing to beat you to market by sacrificing the cost for speed and beat you to market by going air. You can switch to sea once you have your numbers locked down and properly planning in place.


The rest of your strategy looks solid to me. You will quickly find that it's never so neat and easy in real life vs on paper ;) But keep pushing and you'll get there.

“The courage to take a chance is half the battle. The other half? Viewing failure as a teacher and not an enemy" Chip Gaines LOL
Try things. Try lots of things. Figure out why they didn't work or why they did. Soon enough you will be a master at testing and making things work. Become that kind of master and the world will be yours.
 

WorkingOnIt

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...So my answer will be "When you have done enough to get the feel for what it will be like when you are actually selling". This really answers your #4 question as well. The entire point of this testing phase is to have SOLID numbers. To know for sure that you can get sales at $x marketing dollars for the sales price you are asking.

..........So for example if I want widget A, I can get 100 for $8 each, or buy 1000 for $4 each, I'll get the 1000. Then I'll compare shipping as well in that. If the cost per unit has any significant decrease in shipping costs, I'll try and get up to that number. And on my first orders (and most) I do air shipments to get the product quick and usually the Cost per unit for shipping isn't bad when you order enough.....


The rest of your strategy looks solid to me. You will quickly find that it's never so neat and easy in real life vs on paper ;) But keep pushing and you'll get there.

“The courage to take a chance is half the battle. The other half? Viewing failure as a teacher and not an enemy" Chip Gaines LOL
Try things. Try lots of things. Figure out why they didn't work or why they did. Soon enough you will be a master at testing and making things work. Become that kind of master and the world will be yours.
I cut some things out just for myself when I go back to this thread and re-read things.

I do greatly appreciate the answers to the questions. Basically, when I feel that if I run the same ad cost it would be profitable doing so for my product...

I think courage is something that people don't really mention. But I have to say it definitely half the battle. If we only took x% more chances, we would likely succeed at a rate of x% more.

I'm doing this for certain, will open a progress thread, hope it works at even 5k profit a month I'll be a happy happy camper. If its a null/no-good, just continue with the next product in mind. I always thought the other way, to buy the product, then test/fear the loss of the money on goods purchased, whereas, I might as well "put some $ into something productive, marketing."

------------
As reading your thread/as starting to work on my shopify site today... I have been wondering if for my present company, I can leverage marketing to my benefit to out weight the cost. We offer a service, and yes advertising is needed/marketing, but I don't think I ever really sat down to do that...where obtaining new clients is crucial for growth :/ I need to take a look into my bread-butter and see if I can add some tea to the morning's mix.
 

hughs

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awesome thread, its inspiring. I'm way behind you in the earlier stages but similar goals. keep up the good work.
 

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