The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

The Entrepreneur's Forum for learning how to build wealth and financial freedom the Fastlane way!

Say "NO" to mediocre living rife with jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence. Join our forum with more than 70,000 entrepreneurs who are making it happen.
Join for FREE Today
Get the books
Remove ads? Join Fastlane INSIDERS
(Registration removes this block)

Feeling Lost - How to move forward with this E-Commerce business

A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

Eric SDA

New Contributor
Jun 12, 2018
7
13
Hi all,

I'm going through a very tough time and would really appreciate some advice on my e-commerce company situation.

Background
I began work on the business (physical products) in April 2019 and started trading in August 2020. The model was to launch on Amazon (FBA), rank the products, get consistent sales and make a net profit. Then invest in marketing to drive sales to our own e-commerce website to grow the brand.

The 1st product launch didn't go well and the product never ranked. 2nd launch went better and the product ranked but competition is cutthroat and AMZ advertising costs (CPC) are too high, resulting in net losses per month just to maintain stock and stay afloat.

There is a market for my product (worth billions) but also a complete red sea of undifferentiated products and marketing.

Current Situation
The 2 Products are still selling on Amazon but barely breaking even (without accounting for stock purchase). Revenue is also on a negative trajectory at break even.

I began an organic customer acquisition strategy for our website via blogging and SEO and here's where we are
  • Grew traffic from 200 visitors/month in Jan 2021 to 2,100 visitors/month in May - June 2021.
  • The conversion rate remains low (0.75% or less) with an average order value of only £17 (we only sell 2 SKUS at £14.99 each).
  • The website is not optimized for UX and conversion.
  • Email list of 300, 30% Open Rate, 1% Click Thru Rate.
  • 2 FB groups about 300 members each. Unengaged.

Problem
I cannot find a way to differentiate my offering and grow my brand and revenue in a sustainable way outside of Amazon. Hence my marketing efforts and content strategy lack direction/clarity and of course any traction.

I also cannot figure out a way to monetize the website traffic in a way that the potential payoff is worth my time and investment.

Lastly, I don't want to buy more physical stock once the current inventory runs out as this is not sustainable.

Request
Can anyone help or offer any advice on how to move forward?
- Am I wasting my time in a fundamentally saturated industry with an undifferentiated model/product?
- Is there a different model I can pivot to, in order to monetize the website traffic?
- Should I try to build the site to 10k visitors/month or more, invest in optimization and try to sell it?

I don't hold a job and living off savings right now.

Thanks for reading and appreciate any legit advice. Not looking for business coaching.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

humananalytics

Contributor
Jun 7, 2020
41
79
USA
Perhaps not helpful advice, but I'm in the same boat and assume there are many others. Physical product that that loses money after paying for CPC.

Even with the highest price on the market, and a decent conversation rate, CPC costs too much.

I'm not sure the logistics of selling the product physically - haven't looked into it because I don't have time. However, starting to think getting the product into a brick and mortar store might end up being better than Amazon (with the exception of 30-90 day cash flow delay).
 

Alicia10

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
May 19, 2021
10
7
Jersey City, NJ
Hi all,

I'm going through a very tough time and would really appreciate some advice on my e-commerce company situation.

Background
I began work on the business (physical products) in April 2019 and started trading in August 2020. The model was to launch on Amazon (FBA), rank the products, get consistent sales and make a net profit. Then invest in marketing to drive sales to our own e-commerce website to grow the brand.

The 1st product launch didn't go well and the product never ranked. 2nd launch went better and the product ranked but competition is cutthroat and AMZ advertising costs (CPC) are too high, resulting in net losses per month just to maintain stock and stay afloat.

There is a market for my product (worth billions) but also a complete red sea of undifferentiated products and marketing.

Current Situation
The 2 Products are still selling on Amazon but barely breaking even (without accounting for stock purchase). Revenue is also on a negative trajectory at break even.

I began an organic customer acquisition strategy for our website via blogging and SEO and here's where we are
  • Grew traffic from 200 visitors/month in Jan 2021 to 2,100 visitors/month in May - June 2021.
  • The conversion rate remains low (0.75% or less) with an average order value of only £17 (we only sell 2 SKUS at £14.99 each).
  • The website is not optimized for UX and conversion.
  • Email list of 300, 30% Open Rate, 1% Click Thru Rate.
  • 2 FB groups about 300 members each. Unengaged.

Problem
I cannot find a way to differentiate my offering and grow my brand and revenue in a sustainable way outside of Amazon. Hence my marketing efforts and content strategy lack direction/clarity and of course any traction.

I also cannot figure out a way to monetize the website traffic in a way that the potential payoff is worth my time and investment.

Lastly, I don't want to buy more physical stock once the current inventory runs out as this is not sustainable.

Request
Can anyone help or offer any advice on how to move forward?
- Am I wasting my time in a fundamentally saturated industry with an undifferentiated model/product?
- Is there a different model I can pivot to, in order to monetize the website traffic?
- Should I try to build the site to 10k visitors/month or more, invest in optimization and try to sell it?

I don't hold a job and living off savings right now.

Thanks for reading and appreciate any legit advice. Not looking for business coaching.
I'm in a similar situation in that I have 2 products I'm selling on Amazon that are barely breaking even. I'm currently working on my own e-commerce store to see if I can drive sales there in order to connect with my customers directly and eliminating dealing with Amazon PPC is a plus. I'm curious to see how that will pan out for me. If I notice anything that works particularly well, I'll let you know!

One thing that I wanted to ask was about your product. I know Amazon has a sea of products that all look the same. Do you feel that yours is distinguishable from the rest? If not, maybe go through reviews of the best selling products that are close to your product and look at the negative reviews specifically to see what customers take issue with. Then try to incorporate fixes to those negative things in your product, so you can be positively distinguished from the rest.

Also, in most categories you won't be seeing a high number of consistent sales unless you're ranked on page 1 for your target keywords. Have you tried any other ways to rank your keywords besides PPC?
 
D

Deleted85763

Guest
Hi all,

I'm going through a very tough time and would really appreciate some advice on my e-commerce company situation.

Background
I began work on the business (physical products) in April 2019 and started trading in August 2020. The model was to launch on Amazon (FBA), rank the products, get consistent sales and make a net profit. Then invest in marketing to drive sales to our own e-commerce website to grow the brand.

The 1st product launch didn't go well and the product never ranked. 2nd launch went better and the product ranked but competition is cutthroat and AMZ advertising costs (CPC) are too high, resulting in net losses per month just to maintain stock and stay afloat.

There is a market for my product (worth billions) but also a complete red sea of undifferentiated products and marketing.

Current Situation
The 2 Products are still selling on Amazon but barely breaking even (without accounting for stock purchase). Revenue is also on a negative trajectory at break even.

I began an organic customer acquisition strategy for our website via blogging and SEO and here's where we are
  • Grew traffic from 200 visitors/month in Jan 2021 to 2,100 visitors/month in May - June 2021.
  • The conversion rate remains low (0.75% or less) with an average order value of only £17 (we only sell 2 SKUS at £14.99 each).
  • The website is not optimized for UX and conversion.
  • Email list of 300, 30% Open Rate, 1% Click Thru Rate.
  • 2 FB groups about 300 members each. Unengaged.

Problem
I cannot find a way to differentiate my offering and grow my brand and revenue in a sustainable way outside of Amazon. Hence my marketing efforts and content strategy lack direction/clarity and of course any traction.

I also cannot figure out a way to monetize the website traffic in a way that the potential payoff is worth my time and investment.

Lastly, I don't want to buy more physical stock once the current inventory runs out as this is not sustainable.

Request
Can anyone help or offer any advice on how to move forward?
- Am I wasting my time in a fundamentally saturated industry with an undifferentiated model/product?
- Is there a different model I can pivot to, in order to monetize the website traffic?
- Should I try to build the site to 10k visitors/month or more, invest in optimization and try to sell it?

I don't hold a job and living off savings right now.

Thanks for reading and appreciate any legit advice. Not looking for business coaching.
I think to be successful selling a product online the product has to be unique, in demand and sold at a price with a high enough margin to earn a profit. By "unique" that could mean a common product but is marketed in a way that gets many sales, such as using before and after photos that competitors do not use. Unique could also mean a product that is proprietary and/or simply not being sold by anyone else. Demand can also be created. Direct target marketing is very effective for specialized products. Mass marketing is great for general products. Often the difference between marketing success or not is a few right effort clicks of a mouse!

Pricing is critical. Sales are easy, making a profit is difficult, online or any type of sales. Experiment on a small scale and try to get a "hit" product. I believe that's the only way to come out ahead. Well, that's my theory at least.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited by a moderator:

Xeon

All Cars Kneel Before Pagani.
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Sep 3, 2017
2,143
4,155
Singapore
The only people making money on Amazon are the early birds.
 

door123

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Speedway Pass
Apr 4, 2020
157
158
West Coast
I am facei
Hi all,

I'm going through a very tough time and would really appreciate some advice on my e-commerce company situation.

Background
I began work on the business (physical products) in April 2019 and started trading in August 2020. The model was to launch on Amazon (FBA), rank the products, get consistent sales and make a net profit. Then invest in marketing to drive sales to our own e-commerce website to grow the brand.

The 1st product launch didn't go well and the product never ranked. 2nd launch went better and the product ranked but competition is cutthroat and AMZ advertising costs (CPC) are too high, resulting in net losses per month just to maintain stock and stay afloat.

There is a market for my product (worth billions) but also a complete red sea of undifferentiated products and marketing.

Current Situation
The 2 Products are still selling on Amazon but barely breaking even (without accounting for stock purchase). Revenue is also on a negative trajectory at break even.

I began an organic customer acquisition strategy for our website via blogging and SEO and here's where we are
  • Grew traffic from 200 visitors/month in Jan 2021 to 2,100 visitors/month in May - June 2021.
  • The conversion rate remains low (0.75% or less) with an average order value of only £17 (we only sell 2 SKUS at £14.99 each).
  • The website is not optimized for UX and conversion.
  • Email list of 300, 30% Open Rate, 1% Click Thru Rate.
  • 2 FB groups about 300 members each. Unengaged.

Problem
I cannot find a way to differentiate my offering and grow my brand and revenue in a sustainable way outside of Amazon. Hence my marketing efforts and content strategy lack direction/clarity and of course any traction.

I also cannot figure out a way to monetize the website traffic in a way that the potential payoff is worth my time and investment.

Lastly, I don't want to buy more physical stock once the current inventory runs out as this is not sustainable.

Request
Can anyone help or offer any advice on how to move forward?
- Am I wasting my time in a fundamentally saturated industry with an undifferentiated model/product?
- Is there a different model I can pivot to, in order to monetize the website traffic?
- Should I try to build the site to 10k visitors/month or more, invest in optimization and try to sell it?

I don't hold a job and living off savings right now.

Thanks for reading and appreciate any legit advice. Not looking for business coaching.
I am facing the same issue on Amazon right now, CPCs too high, cutthroat competition.

The only way to bootstrap on Amazon is to launch products in completely new sub category like @MoneyDoc did. ex. gluten free supplements
 

theOfficialRJ

Contributor
Dec 31, 2017
28
49
27
Canada
I don't know what your product is but here's what I can tell you from my own e-commerce success. You need to get off Amazon and build a brand around your product. Get your own web store, build up TONNES of social proof (you can never have enough). Make your product different from the competition. Look at the feedback on your more successful competitors' stores. Take note of the most common complaints and improve your version of the product based on those. Lastly, don't sell a product, solve a problem and sell a lifestyle. PM me if you'd like more help with e-commerce and good luck!
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Guest post submissions offered HERE.

Must Read Books...

must read books
Download FREE and share!
Download
Explore books recommended by MJ DeMarco and other members of the Fastlane entrepreneurial community.
Fastlane Bookstore

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top