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EXECUTION Stage 1 - Ecommerce: The story to my first sale

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Zaent

New Contributor
Aug 5, 2017
11
4
17
28
Scotland
I'll keep the introduction short: I graduated June last year and worked mostly (past 9 months) selling cars. I've just gotten a job related to my degree and is much better hours than selling cars. It's a long-term back-up plan, will be something I enjoy, and I'll have more time to spend on entrepreneurial endeavours each week.

The grad job market is what led me to seriously look into my options for making money online, although I've considered it for a while. I did some crypto trading and, shockingly, lost money, and after reading the fastlane millionaire a lot of the ideas I had in my head were cemented or had new insights behind them.

Enter research that led me to Shopify.

It's not quite fastlane, but it's only stage 1. My goal with Shopify is to gain confidence and learn how to market with little risk. And hopefully raise funds that can support the next level.

I was pretty broke when I started so I wasted a lot of time over-analysing before taking the plunge. Eventually I just thought "f*ck it" and decided to go with dark coloured female clothing as my niche. I named it "sassyinblack".

29541357_333006203770152_2712674174996953836_n.jpg


I have mediocre experience with photoshop and design logos etc. myself using stock images or images provided by product suppliers.

My aim with sassyinblack was to offer options on options at a cheap as hell price, but I was just hitting and hoping. Mainly it was dipping my toe in the water so that I had a better understanding of the Shopify process.

I ordered one product from a supplier and it came in 2 weeks, which was enough testing for me. I launched the site using google adwords as well as facebook ads and had about 30 items on the site, most of which I had written copy for. This was very time consuming and I was realising it may not be the best way.

I managed to get a fair number of visitors, but it never did lead to a sale. It was summer, too, so black clothing wasn't the hottest choice of colour.

The main thing I took from it, though, was that I didn't want to write copy for that number of items. Yet I did want to try to sell each product to my customer as best I could.

Enter https://www.oberlo.co.uk/blog/made-8873-selling-sunglasses - a guide that details how a guy sold sunglasses and made good money doing so using shopify and dropshipping. I decided I was going to try and copy his methods almost identically and see where it got me. It was desperate, but I figured it was the best way to learn at the time. If I could imitate, I could then work to make it my own.

I basically copied the layout of his site except using a different product, still for females and still quite similar. I also tried to imitate his ad process for my own products. I cut corners, though. Designing my own logo, and using a default template for the site layout. I also ditched getting images with models.

It got me nowhere and I was forced to re-evaluate. The imitation template wasn't as good. My product images weren't as good. I bought some of my products to test but they felt shitty and there was no congruency with them - they were from the same niche but random in style.

I then had a look at big brand websites. Apple, Rolex, the creme de la creme. I redesigned the website to sell on desire big time, using the best pictures and having products that had a "classy" look throughout. Meaning no travel-based stuff or quirky stuff, so the look was consistent. The website felt a ton better.

I started up ads and spent around £50, just experimenting and figuring shit out. At around the £50 mark I got my first sale. After months of learning and messing around, I finally got one. It was pretty motivating but I was, and am, nowhere near profitable with it.

My site has had around 200 unique visitors. The conversion rate is pitiful. So that's my next lesson.

To up the conversion my plan was to reduce options to streamline the buyer experience and thus make my facebook ads laser focused. The ad is for one product, I make it clear in the ad that my product is all I sell. I.e. nobody clicks it unless they're interested in that product. In theory it felt good, but all it's meant so far is nobody will click it lol. £6 and 4 clicks, no sales.

Why no clicks? Either my creative isn't cutting it, I'm targeting the wrong people, or the product is a dud. I'm really not sure what the problem is right now but I imagine it's primarily the creative. I'm not building enough desire in that ad. I think what got me clicks when I had multiple products was the curiosity that there might be something good amongst my product range based on my ad. Now there's none, because my proverbial load is shot there and then. It's take it or leave it, and people are leaving it because there's not enough room to fully sell desire in the ad space.

Now, my primary aim here isn't to add value to a customer's experience. I won't mask it as such. However, I do provide a guarantee for the customer to give some security should they buy. The value isn't huge, though. My aim here is to learn marketing so that I can invest time and money into a beneficial product/service with confidence that I'm not going to go broke when I do it.

So this is where I'm at so far.
 

Boo

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 6, 2018
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261
165
Selling clothing online is incredibly hard. Keep in mind the average return rate is over 20% and conversion rate is very low - I believe that it's nearly impossible to make a profit dropshipping clothes at scale and I've researched the industry extensively. Customers expect free shipping within a few days and can buy better quality products from H&M and other stores for a similar price or less. Why would a customer choose to shop with you? You're providing absolutely no value to anybody.

I love fashion and have worked in fashion ecommerce to some extent and researched it heavily, it's a very very hard market to compete in unless you bring something unique to the table.

There are so many ecommerce threads full of knowledge on here, including those by Biophase. Go read those, see how much value they provide above their competition. Sorry, it's not as easy as throwing up a website and dropshipping people clothes that will take 2-3 weeks to ship to them. You probably wouldn't even shop on your own website if you were a woman.
 

Zaent

New Contributor
Aug 5, 2017
11
4
17
28
Scotland
Selling clothing online is incredibly hard. Keep in mind the average return rate is over 20% and conversion rate is very low - I believe that it's nearly impossible to make a profit dropshipping clothes at scale and I've researched the industry extensively. Customers expect free shipping within a few days and can buy better quality products from H&M and other stores for a similar price or less. Why would a customer choose to shop with you? You're providing absolutely no value to anybody.

I love fashion and have worked in fashion ecommerce to some extent and researched it heavily, it's a very very hard market to compete in unless you bring something unique to the table.

There are so many ecommerce threads full of knowledge on here, including those by Biophase. Go read those, see how much value they provide above their competition. Sorry, it's not as easy as throwing up a website and dropshipping people clothes that will take 2-3 weeks to ship to them. You probably wouldn't even shop on your own website if you were a woman.
This is why I moved away from clothes. It just didn't seem feasible. I realise my post was long, but I did say that I'm not selling clothes now.

I linked a guide from oberlo of a guy having recent success selling sunglasses. Unless the guide is fabricated, it shows that this can indeed be done, at least with those. His site is www.sunyez.com

That said, it doesn't mean it's realistic or easy. He's clearly experienced. But my product is similar and what I'm looking to achieve here mostly is to improve my marketing ability and turn a small profit. By no means the end game, and I don't expect to make 8k in a month.
 

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