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EXECUTION [MEGA THREAD] How To Build A Successful E-commerce Brand During A Global Pandemic. Step By Step Guide...

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biophase

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You can test ideas on Amazon by using FBM (ship it yourself) since I think FBA (Amazon's warehouse) is very risky.

If it sells - my advice is to move over to your own store before Bezos launches his brand of dog collars. Remember, he's got your customer data which you'll never have access to.
Amazon already has their own brand. It's just a dog collar, no branding. I'll be going directly against Amazon's brand. That was the whole point of this business. :)
 

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Sanj Modha

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As someone with a niche novelty-ish unique product idea, I’ll be following along.

Only difference is mine has to be designed and manufactured.

What’s your timeline looking like from idea to first sale?
Under normal circumstances, it would be no longer than a month since we are paid advertising masters but these aren't normal circumstances and things are taking 10 x times longer.
 

Alicia123

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Update #1 - Still waiting on the theme to be built. We're about 50% done and I'm waiting on the product photoshoot. Covid-19 is delaying things.

The product image is your shop window. Don't cut corners and grab shitty pics off Aliexpress. Take the time to do it properly and build that bulletproof brand (your competition won't be able to touch you).

Order a sample piece and send it to a photographer. You can find photography services on Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr.

If you're really stuck - use Craigslist. We use Craigslist because broke-a$$ college kids never turn down the money and they do a great job.

Tip: If your supplier is in Denver - find a photographer in Denver. The product will get shipped much faster.

Ask the photographer to take 2 types of photos: 'lifestyle' and lightbox. Lifestyle photos are aspirational - you're not selling a watch. You're selling who that person becomes by wearing your watch.
I am looking forward to following along. Thank you for documenting the process. I watched the video you did on finding products. You mention that you are still waiting on the theme to be built. Is your theme custom made? Could we go with Shopify's theme catalog and choose a free one or one of their paid versions? Does the theme have a lot to do with conversions?
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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I am looking forward to following along. Thank you for documenting the process. I watched the video you did on finding products. You mention that you are still waiting on the theme to be built. Is your theme custom made? Could we go with Shopify's theme catalog and choose a free one or one of their paid versions? Does the theme have a lot to do with conversions?
Your theme is your shop floor: the easier it is to checkout, the better your business will do.

We are using a custom theme since we're pros but you can start with Retina or Parallax. They're not bad and they're free.
 

pinonirvana

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Great post, I am going to follow along!
I am also working on an ecommerce website for a niche article , and I am building my own theme.
I will share this project with everyone here soon ;)
 
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Alicia123

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Your theme is your shop floor: the easier it is to checkout, the better your business will do.

We are using a custom theme since we're pros but you can start with Retina or Parallax. They're not bad and they're free.
Thank you. Looks like Shopify has Parallax and Retina now as paid themes. I'll go with Parallax and look to make the checkout easy for the customers.

I am going with an evergreen product in the beauty sector.
 

Nick.YoungTX

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Lifestyle photos are aspirational - you're not selling a watch. You're selling who that person becomes by wearing your watch.
If fully understood and executed properly, this concept can make you a lot of money.
This was a great reminder for me to step my game up in this regard. It’s too easy to snap a selfie with your product, when it can be more lucrative to snap a shot outside in “real life”, and with different models.
Sanj, thanks for this thread, I’ll be following it closely as we have an online store (via Shopify as well) and have been pushing it hard the last 2 years. I’m looking forward to bouncing ideas and following along!
 

Nick.YoungTX

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I am looking forward to following along. Thank you for documenting the process. I watched the video you did on finding products. You mention that you are still waiting on the theme to be built. Is your theme custom made? Could we go with Shopify's theme catalog and choose a free one or one of their paid versions? Does the theme have a lot to do with conversions?
We’ve had great success with our Shopify store using the Shoptimized theme. It’s dialed in to convert, although, I wouldn’t recommend turning on all the goodies it offers. Pick and choose what your audience would find helpful, while not being obnoxious. LOL (ex: deal of the day pop ups, cart expiring soon prompts, free shipping threshold pop-ups, count down timers, etc. ). I hope this helps someone!
 

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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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We’ve had great success with our Shopify store using the Shoptimized theme. It’s dialed in to convert, although, I wouldn’t recommend turning on all the goodies it offers. Pick and choose what your audience would find helpful, while not being obnoxious. LOL (ex: deal of the day pop ups, cart expiring soon prompts, free shipping threshold pop-ups, count down timers, etc. ). I hope this helps someone!
I do use Shoptimized but I don't like the spammy/dropship element to it like the fake timer, stock levels etc so we took all that out. I like it for the page speed only.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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Thank you. Looks like Shopify has Parallax and Retina now as paid themes. I'll go with Parallax and look to make the checkout easy for the customers.

I am going with an evergreen product in the beauty sector.
Ah OK, it was free when I started using Shopify about 5 years ago.

The point is to keep it simple. Ready, fire, aim.
 

fmob007

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Awesome thread! Looking forward to your updates.

I was wondering, if you are launching your brand with a single product?

Also, have you calculated an estimate, of how much it will cost you, till you list your product for sale?
Or to put it otherwise, what's the minimum capital that you would feel comfortable with, to launch a new brand the way you do.
 

Ing

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Great thread. For me as not native English speaker the video is a bit hard to understand. But thanks for producing.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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Great thread. For me as not native English speaker the video is a bit hard to understand. But thanks for producing.
Just follow what I'm doing and you'll nail it too.
 

Alicia123

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We’ve had great success with our Shopify store using the Shoptimized theme. It’s dialed in to convert, although, I wouldn’t recommend turning on all the goodies it offers. Pick and choose what your audience would find helpful, while not being obnoxious. LOL (ex: deal of the day pop ups, cart expiring soon prompts, free shipping threshold pop-ups, count down timers, etc. ). I hope this helps someone!
Thank you for this resource. I will check it out today. At quick glance looks like a great converting theme and robust. I will definitely watch some tutorials.
 
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Sanj Modha

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How are you going to market the site? Facebook ads?
FB, IG, Google, YouTube, Pinterest, Snap, TikTok ads but not all at the same time.

We'll launch FB/IG and Google ads first and I'll show you how to do it.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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Thank you for this resource. I will check it out today. At quick glance looks like a great converting theme and robust. I will definitely watch some tutorials.
Be careful - Shoptimized has been spammed to death by all the dropship bros.

Plus, fake timers and stock levels violate several laws.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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BTW - I haven't been approved for TikTok ads just yet. I'm still waiting for the on-boarding team to get in touch.
 

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pumpking

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Hey Sanj, just so I’m clear, in this video are you using AliExpress, AMZ and eBay as a method to see what sells well only—and then sourcing from elsewhere? Or actually using them as sources for product?

- In the case of AliExpress, how do you speed up the sample process, shipping from China to the US on their site is 1.5 months, way too slow
- In the case of Amazon, products already seem to be marked up cost-wise. What costs $2 on AliE cost $10 there.

Thanks
 

Alicia123

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Hey Sanj, just so I’m clear, in this video are you using AliExpress, AMZ and eBay as a method to see what sells well only—and then sourcing from elsewhere? Or actually using them as sources for product?

- In the case of AliExpress, how do you speed up the sample process, shipping from China to the US on their site is 1.5 months, way too slow
- In the case of Amazon, products already seem to be marked up cost-wise. What costs $2 on AliE cost $10 there.

Thanks
@Sanj Modha I am curious to know too. You mentioned that you go straight to the manufacturer and don't deal with the middlemen and are not shipping from China. I found an evergreen product on AliExpress. How do I find the manufacturer outside of China?
 

Visionary96

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@Sanj Modha I am curious to know too. You mentioned that you go straight to the manufacturer and don't deal with the middlemen and are not shipping from China. I found an evergreen product on AliExpress. How do I find the manufacturer outside of China?
I believe OP is sourcing from China and getting them to deliver to a 3rd party fulfillment service. So yeah, produced in China and then all stock shipped elsewhere to be stored privately.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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Hey Sanj, just so I’m clear, in this video are you using AliExpress, AMZ and eBay as a method to see what sells well only—and then sourcing from elsewhere? Or actually using them as sources for product?

- In the case of AliExpress, how do you speed up the sample process, shipping from China to the US on their site is 1.5 months, way too slow
- In the case of Amazon, products already seem to be marked up cost-wise. What costs $2 on AliE cost $10 there.

Thanks
Yep, the video is just a product idea guide. It's not how to fulfil it (at least that's not how we're doing it).
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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I believe OP is sourcing from China and getting them to deliver to a 3rd party fulfillment service. So yeah, produced in China and then all stock shipped elsewhere to be stored privately.
Yep, we already have it branded and in a US warehouse.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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@Sanj Modha I am curious to know too. You mentioned that you go straight to the manufacturer and don't deal with the middlemen and are not shipping from China. I found an evergreen product on AliExpress. How do I find the manufacturer outside of China?
I'll show you on a future video.
 

Knicks

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Hi Sanj,

Nice thread, thanks for sharing!

I have a couple questions:
How do you overcome the lack of social proof on your own platform? On AMZ you obviosly have reviews and the big name with the A. Wouldn't the conversion rate on your site be relatively low since you're launching a new brand and have to acquire customers first and gain trust?

Do you use an email list to overcome this issue?

Why don't you consider AMZ as an additional sales channel for your brand? Wouldn't it be wise to launch multi-channel?

Thanks for your help!
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Yep, we already have it branded and in a US warehouse.
How do you handle packaging? Does your manufacturer do custom packaging or will a 3rd party fulfillment service handle that?
 

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