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How Do You Think About Your Ecommerce Strategy?

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Bossgirl

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I'd choose a market/audience first and then decide how to market to them. After some thinking I came up with diabetics, they have to be very careful about taking care of their feet, and most sandals typically expose the toes and heel, areas that are most likely to get bruised/stubbed and cause problems for them.

I looked for an existing sandal that had both the heels and toes covered and found a popular one on amazon (over 3000 positive reviews) that currently sells for about $80. Then I go to the 3 star reviews, that's usually a gold mine for people who like the product but have something about it that they don't like, look for common complaints and design or look for a sandal to resell that fixes these complaints.

Create a very exhaustive piece of content around taking care of your feet as a diabetic (make it simple, fun and non-medical language) and send fb traffic to it and collect emails. Launch sandal to email list as early adopters at very discounted rate in exchange for amazon reviews.
 

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Kid

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I looked through and saw this,

Amazon.com | Teva Women's Tirra Sandal | Sport Sandals & Slides

They have a massive following on IG & FB, Youtube doesn't look to popular. But reverse engineering WHY this company is successful is an important thing to think about.


''unscripted'' moments :D
Gosh,just had new idea .
Led sandals need to be recharged via cable. PITA if you ask me.
So the idea would be the "self-charging led sandals" that charge batteries
while walking.

Led light seem to consume very little energy so maybe there would be enough of it in walking to power them.

But since its strategy topic - i would do this:
1. Create landing page with photo of color lighted sandals.
2. Tell public that those sandals "self-charge"
3. Add preorder button without having any product.
4. Advertise via Facebook.
5. Create Kickstarter campaign to find engineer and develop it.
6. Profit.

Or i would just do 5 and 6.


[edit]: Read next sentence to know i'm giving you idea on the plate.
OMG, put photovoltaics stripes to charge sandals during day and make them
glow at night - all technology already exists :) no need to invent a thing.

[edit2]:
(It seems that i'm not over yet :p)
Now we got led sandals, self charging.
What do we miss?
You got that right - smartphone app.
1) Choose any preset of lights from plethora of presents via app and play them
and
2) Sync lights with phone mic.
Imagine talking to someone and your sandals are blinking in the rhythm of your voice.
or just use them at music event and Awe everyone with music synced led lights in your sandals.

Ok. It seems i'm over now :D
 
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Sander

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The product I ordered is already in boatloads on Amazon.

Problem is, it's branded and designed for a different niche, not the niche I have in mind.

Cancelled the sample. Alibaba supplier just quoted me $35 in freight alone, while I can buy it on Amazon for a third of that and probably receive it faster. Exact same product and product images. Will order from Amazon now instead.
 
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biophase

biophase

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Sorry guys, I've been a little busy this week to reply to all the responses. But what is clear here is that there are many different ways to sell a simple pair of sandals. This is the type of thinking that I do months and month of before I even pick a product.

At the beginning maybe I wanted to sell brown sandals, but then I started thinking about the LED sandals. Then after another week, came the flat arch sandals. Your ideas changes as do your plan to market them.

Sometimes you may get caught in the paralysis analysis phase doing this, but you are often better off having thought through all these methods. Also, every time you think of a method, you also come up with reasons why it won't work. So you have thought about hundreds of possible scenarios.

Then eventually, you filter everything out to a couple possible products or marketing methods. Then you think about each one in even more detail.
 
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biophase

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Another thing I'd do is have some type of volley ball event or host a beach day party to get brand exposure, years ago I went to a LuluLemon yoga event on Kitts beach just down the street from the HQ. Thought that was pretty cool.

Let people try them on and close a sale.
Just wanted to reply on this one. This is interesting because I would never do something like this because it doesn't scale. Even selling 100 sandals at this event isn't really going to make your brand known.

However, if you could get 100 people to open up their app and purchase it on Amazon while at the event, and then give them an extra (different color) pair right there, this could kickstart your Amazon listing. In addition, you ask to get their contact into and then call/email each one to leave you a review in 1-2 weeks and email or call you afterwards.
 

sparechange

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Just wanted to reply on this one. This is interesting because I would never do something like this because it doesn't scale. Even selling 100 sandals at this event isn't really going to make your brand known.

However, if you could get 100 people to open up their app and purchase it on Amazon while at the event, and then give them an extra (different color) pair right there, this could kickstart your Amazon listing. In addition, you ask to get their contact into and then call/email each one to leave you a review in 1-2 weeks and email or call you afterwards.
I'm surprised you don't like the idea, what do you think the reasoning is for Lulu to host this event then? Keeping in mind this is post sucess when Chip left the company (not when he was building it)

My thoughts are brand recognition and creating warm leads
 

Martin7677

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According to my opinion, E-commerce is all about creating demand and supplying it in time. So, it's all about following your customer behavior, How they purchase, what they do, and how they engage with you.
 

96wells

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Ok I really have NO IDEA about sandals and that's really the problem.

As a copywriter, the first thing I know I need to do is some market research. And this doesn't need to be hard because it's hypothetical.

One thing I noticed from some google-fu is that there are a lot of sandals.
-There are man sandals and woman sandals...
-Outdoor and indoor sandals...
-Sport sandals or dress sandals etc...
-high heel sandals and curve sandals and flat sandals...

So really, in a few minutes, I realize the picture is probably a flat sandal. So I just click on some google ads on flat sandals. And it turns out one of the ad leads to Zappos, which is a eCommerce store. In Zappos, there are a bunch of flat sandals with names... now more descriptive within flat sandals...
-firework flat sandals
-Gigi (from a great brand?)
-Jerusalem sandals.

Anyways, I realize now that in order to sell sandals I need to create some sort of brand (I might waste a lot of money if my sole strategy is native ads). The market COULD BE supersaturated, and that's why there are so many kinds of sandals... That means the market needs a reason to buy FROM YOU.

Ok, I know you probably already said to create a brand, but I was dumb about sandals. So after 5 minutes, I realize I have to study some famous brands. One of them is Steve Madden (which I would subscribe to just to see what they do). It's pretty standard what they're doing. They have a website, they have an email newsletter probably with coupons. And they have hot models.

So idea 1 is obvious, to get a recognizable model in a space that would help advertise the sandals. And in this market, it's important to have a sale or some sort of scarcity/urgency. It's what Steve Madden is doing...

I know this all sounds very obvious to you guys but now we really can narrow down a lot of sandals from others and see what they're doing, from style to function to social function (not exclusive or anything)...

-Can I make a sandal that works especially well at getting sand to dust off from the surface? (function)

-Can I make a luxury sandal made of some sort of appealing diamonds? (social function)

-What about a "bedroom" sandal that people can climb in bed with? (function)

-Can the sandal be modified to look like it's for free, independent college students, who are finally away from parents (style)

-Can the sandal make a person not only physically taller but look taller as well? Is there a color scheme for this? (function)

For every one of these, I will have to do more research and find out what the market actually wants, and then I'll probably know how to market it. For instance, if it's a sandal just for teens, making girls look independent, or even more youthful and naive, then maybe that's who I need to hire to display these sandals... or I need to find out where these girls shop...

Am I doing this exercise right? There are probably two marketing routes I would consider on top of my head, something general:

1) Make sure there's some sort of demand for whatever works (some examples above)
2) Create a website showcasing it, obviously showing something super unique about it that has the demand (Click Bank - landing page - Soul Insole)
3) drive some native ads to the website, or perhaps write a super quick and interesting advertorial about the sandals and then drive them to the website.

Or maybe another really simple one, just find an event that my market attends, and sell some prototype sandals there. Bedroom sandals? Maybe at a bed-con. I don't know.

I can't really be for certain these will work without more research and testing, but they're something... probably have to come up with 10-100 more ideas and test a few. Problem is I'm not sure how to test these ideas because I don't sell physical stuff and have no idea how to make a prototype, so hopefully, I'm not showing my ignorance. Can always stick with the market research in the beginning...

-Anti-slip sandals for old people, sell it to hospitals etc...
-"invisible" sandals, showcases people's foot because the sandal is transparent
- "anti heat" sandals, one that actually feels cool even if the temperature is hot, for people who are super sensitive to heat.
- toddler sandals that are made for those that just learned to walk, maybe something that helps them adjust to the environment or help their posture or something...

etc... (100 ideas later I'll pick maybe one or two to try)

So what I end up realizing (with my second set of ideas) is that I can't really copy that brand name guy. I can get some ideas but I have to

1) niche down, find a crowd, and create a specific product for them that has at least ONE THING better that distinguishes it from "diamond" sandals.

2) again, stick with the scarcity/urgency play. Whatever marketing play I do, there has to be this.

Anyways, this might really require some real leg work to find the specific crowd. And you know what, let's just start with a small crowd. It doesn't have to be big or something so I'm not creating a regular ole' sandal...

-Sandals that people who are on a diet wear to showcase their skinny feet...
-sandals specific for certain elect officials like the MAGA hats...
-Sandals that, as crazy as it sounds, are designed for the wintertime...

etc...

You know what, I remember one thing... there was a shower mat that had a lot of cultures on it, and people who step on it wet would feed it, and the mat would grow all these cool stuff. It could be appealing to a selective group of people who are nerdy with that. If there is a bathroom sandal that complements it, then there is essentially a brand right there for a really small crowd. This could be a bit riskier without some knowledge but it's an idea. Maybe there is a simpler version without that much risk...

I'm going to stop now before I really devote myself...
 
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biophase

biophase

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I'm surprised you don't like the idea, what do you think the reasoning is for Lulu to host this event then? Keeping in mind this is post sucess when Chip left the company (not when he was building it)

My thoughts are brand recognition and creating warm leads
The event is just not the best ROI in terms of your time. Just because Lulu did it doesn't mean it's right for you. Maybe Lulu did 50 of these a year with a staff of 30 full time people? Maybe they had other goals.
 

TheKid

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I'm starting a sandal company. I sit down and think, how am I going to sell these? Because your answer here will determine your product design. There are so many ways we could go with this:
OK, great, I have a list of 20 different product-market fit ideas written down. How do I decided which one to actually pursue? What tools or methods do you use to back up your hypothesis with actual data?
 

SIDI

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With all these threads about selling on Amazon, I thought I'd start a thread about how I go about starting a new ecommerce business. It may surprise you that I don't actually think about the product that I'm going to sell that much. I mean I do think about it, but that shouldn't be your main focus. Your main focus should be to determine how you are going to sell your product. Not where.

Here is an example, let's say you notice that the world can use another flipflop sandal company. So you decide that you want to make a more comfortable flipflop, maybe you use a special rubber with neoprene. You make new designs and great colors and spend $10k on your first shipment. You get them at home, launch your Shopify store and send a bunch to Amazon FBA. Everything is in place and...

crickets...

no traffic... no sales...

So now you start your Amazon PPC and bid on sandal keywords. You start Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, you get 100 likes, 100 followers, 100 subscribers... and again

crickets...

no traffic... no sales...

So what was the problem? The problem was that on the day that you decided to start the sandal company, you only thought about how cool looking your sandals would be. You thought about how comfortable they were and what the perfect colors would be.

You didn't think about how you would sell them.

And that's what I do. I do that months before the start of any business. You notice that I have a thread about saving bees that was started in Aug 2019. You may see me launch a business in 2021 involving bees. But the thought was started a long time ago.

So getting back to the sandals. This is what I would do.

I'm starting a sandal company. I sit down and think, how am I going to sell these? Because your answer here will determine your product design. There are so many ways we could go with this:

1) Sandals for charity or a cause, maybe giveback to cancer, ok make our signature sandal pink, really really bright pink. How do we market this? Probably partner with the american cancer society? Get influencers?
2) Sandals for running on the beach, maybe make the sole stiffer, maybe it is a little tighter? How do we market this? Make them in beach colors? Give them themes like turtle colors, sea shells?
3) Sandals for MMA fighters, maybe make them all black, get a fighter or rapper to wear them?
4) Sandals for after the club, make them foldable to put in a purse, probably don't need to be that durable, price them cheaper
5) Sandals for driving, I know mine are too big to drive stick.

So you can see that if you decide on how you are going to market them, you can build that into your product. And better yet, you have direction on what you are going to do while you are waiting for your shipment to arrive.

Let's say you decide #5, sandals for driving. Well then it is easy to create a FB and IG page for them. It is easy to know who you are going to target for influencers. You can starting following, car forums, street racers, drifters, etc...

So let's do an exercise. The sandal below is your first product. Landed for $4, most sandals sell for $20 on Amazon. How are you going to sell this sandal? Let's give it a brand name and then a marketing strategy.
View attachment 29665
Thanks for this Kenric.
A quick question on this, do you do anything to assess the need up front? Or do you just go for it and test in the market?
Clearly the testing would be the most concrete confirmation of need, but wonder if there is anything you do up front to potentially limit the downside?
Thanks
 

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