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  • 36 Things I have Learned in Building An eCommerce Business

    So, my name is Collins Onwochei and a few years a go, I was a struggling IT manager for a fledgling startup.I was crazy enough to quit my 170k per month job because I heard money was in entrepreneurship. They didn't tell me that real life was different from reading Rich Dad Poor Dad. 

    But my biggest enticement for going into business was the freedom. Freedom to do as I pleased with my day but still have the ability to make the money that I needed.I was salivating.Until reality hit me in the face. 

    Account gree balance? I was running an IT consulting business, basically freelancing and selling IT equipment (laptops, printers, etc) on Konga and what not.But things were not adding up until... About 2 years ago, I got into social media and shortly after, decided to give ecommerce a try.That's when things starting happening. 

    I paid serious money to a number of gurus and spent hours in mentorship but what I'm going to reveal to you now are some very important secrets you haven't heard before that will make or break your success in this line.Let's get things straight:ecommerce has many names but it's basically buying and selling whether they call it mini-importation or arbitrage, it is still buying and selling.Only this time you are buying from d cheapest source abroad so you can make the most profit possible 

    So friends,Let's go.This list is by no means exhaustive and it is not in any particular order of importance. Also, there will be some new stuff that you will see and some other already known to you. Just know that they have all been tested on my journey so far. 

    1. The shorter the time between when the customer orders your product and when you deliver to him/her, the higher your chances of closing the deal. 

    2. Closely related to that, is the fact that you can't say you have made a sale because you see "12 New Orders" in your notification until you have delivered and money is in your bank account. 

    3. Pay on Delivery is a silver bullet that opens your customers' wallets faster than pay before delivery.

    Naija people still get serious trust issues for online matters and several broken promises by online retail giants is not helping that. But there's a huge opportunity in that 

    4. Deliver on your promise to your customers and you will have made repeat customers out of the most skeptical window shopper your convert.

    5. Don't deliver what you promise and you will need to spend more money for new sales every time. 

    6. Don't reinvent the wheel - successful products are hiding in plain sight. Model what works. 

    7. Modeling what works will save you time and money you would have used to test new products. The market is big enough for competition. May the best marketer win. πŸ˜‰ 

    I like this next one:

    8. A product that will do well is that product that pays for its ad cost, shipping and still leave you sweet profit. We can expound on this all night long but let's move on. 

    9. Focus on your immediate market and use the profits to grow from there. I initially started with only Lagos market because I wanted to get paid same day.

    As I got liquid, I started pushing to out of Lagos because I could afford to wait 1 week or more to get my money 

    10. You lose your fear of losing ad money when you see how much the ad brings back to your business. It's all in the proper deployment of the ad. 

    11. The more people see your product, the more sales you will make. More traffic = more sales. It's simple but most people don't know this. So pay for more traffic as soon as you can. 
    I'm having so much fun. the anointing is just coursing through my veins. Uncle @ronaldnzimora no tell me say to do thread dey sweet like this. 

    Are you enjoying this? Are you learning.

     12. Your product should not be easy to come by or else it won't do well. Your ad result will confirm this. 

     13. Even if you product niche is popular, you can still find a unique product that will be hot and sell well. Look well. 

     14. Too much orders at the same time can actually be bad for your business if you don't have enough logistics arrangement to deliver in time.
    Remember you have to deliver as quickly as possible. Better to sell as fast as your logistics can handle. 

    This one next is very important:

    15. Reinvest your profits. That's the only way to grow your business. Don't start balling immediately you start seeing money. Delay gratification. 

    16. Only about 3% of the traffic that comes to your ad will eventually buy - probably less if you the product or offer is highend.
    Keep that in mind so you can disappoint initial disappointments. 

    mentions 

    17. Stay online and respond to all inquiries if you want to improve your sales conversion. Some people will never go to your website to place the order. they will rather send a message or leave a comment. 

     Yes, you will get a lot of nosy lousy comments but stay with it. It's your money we are talking about here. 

    mentions We are getting there...

    18. Stay professional in all your communication. Resist cursing out the annoying customers - this is social media. One bad press can ruin your business. 

     19. If you can avoid product with sizes initially, do. they are problematic and suffer a high rate of return. 

    20. Exclude unprofitable regions from your ad locations. For example, we don't show our ads to people in Epe or Badagry (horrible roads) for some of our products because the expense to get it to them is high. 

     21. Say everything about your product in the ad and in the copy. Don't leave anything out. What you don't say may be what will sell that customer 

    22. When running ad, use the exact product you are selling especially when it has other variants (colour, size, etc). This applies if you are not starting with the full range of colours, sizes. It will save you a lot of headache and wasted ad money. 

    23. When you get the right ad for the right product delivered to the right audience, don't be afraid to keep it running month in month out. All you need to do is manage your cashflow properly and you will be fine. Don't turn of your ad for anything! Just make sure you have enough inventory.

    24. Closely related to that, start scaling once you have the right product + profit combination. 

    25. Scaling means you are ready for bigger bucks πŸ’° You do that by increasing sales and profit by increasing ad spend. Where you were spending $10 before, you increase to $15. I was scared shitless when I was about to start increasing ad spend. "What if they don't buy". Nevermind that chicken voice in your head. Just monitor sales. It will increase. Make sure you can meet demand. 

    26. Automate.

    automate as many processes as possible. For example, we have a chatbot that greets first time web visitors. It offers a code in exchange for emails. We build our list that bot also alerts us there's someone on the site who might need help visitors also chat with us via the app. It costs us $15 a month to keep the app running but it's worth it.

    Another, example is automating emailing folks that abandoned their orders. But story for another day. We move. 

    27. To win loyal customers who buy repeatedly and refer other people to your business, only sell products that deliver on the promise. The more spot on to meeting their needs, the more loyal customers you get. 

    28. To create a good ad that pull in the visitors who turn into customers, you have to understand your product in and out. Only then can you dangle the product's uniqueness before the prospect in an eye-catching ad.

    You have a very short window to win their click & maybe a sale 

    29. Don't be greedy with your profit margin. Your goal should be building a brand not a fly-by-night business. Here today, gone tomorrow. The great Claude Hopkins said "It is a well-known fact that the greatest profits are made on great volume at small profits" Volume is key. Some people want to make all the profit on one sale and when the customer realizes, this thing is not worth it, they start returning the product in droves. Make your profit, just be reasonable with it. 

    30. Human beings are generally lazy. Make buying your product as easy as possible. One extra hurdle (e.g. DM for price) is multiple lost sales. 

    Number 31 is related.

    If you have a multiple page web store, set you landing page to the exact product you are advertising. NEVER put your home page as your landing page from your ad. Unless you have your product only on your home page. Anything else is guaranteed lost sale. 

    32. it's a good idea to have 2 lines of similar product at different price points. Most people will never be able to afford certain prices. Best to capture those sales with a lower priced item. 

    4 more to go...

    33. If your logistics can't deliver same day and the cost of delivery is higher than normal to certain areas, collect a deposit amount from buyer. This is not America. People wake up the following day and start wondering why they ordered your product. If they haven't committed anything down, the next thing they will do is tell you they travelled or downright not pick up the item when it arrives.

    You won't be able to do anything but curse and lick your wound and loss. Protect your money. In the US, even people who pay can demand Charge Backs and refunds. let alone people who haven't paid anything. 

    34. I touched on this slightly in part 1 but here it is in better light; Avoid starting your eCom businesses with products that involves sizes - e.g. shoes, clothes, etc. The headache of return due to poor fit is too much for your small business to bear. 

    When a shoe doesn't size Angela who is size 28 and the shoe size says 28, what do you do? Fight her and say you told her to measure her foot? Too much bad blood, too much drama. Ditch it. 

    35. If you are intending to sell anything heavier than 1kg, make sure to price it properly. That extra weight is going to show up in the cost per product which will push the selling price higher because you want to make a decent margin. Heavier products are also more difficult to handle. So be conscious of this. ECom is generally about products that weigh light and small in surface area. Source products accordingly. 

    36. Finally, this is a very important one:

    If we were still running ads based on just interest, our business would have closed or ads become too expensive. As quickly as you can, transition from an interest-based audience to a look-alike based audience for your facebook ads I'm no facebook expert, I just learned along the way and the results have been great.

    If you can hire one, do so. They start the ad on your account, you can take care of it from there.

    Russel Brunson said once he had never run a facebook ad once and his ClickFunnels product is one of the fastest growing tech companies without VC funding. So no shame in that. Do what you can and get others who can do what you can't. 

    There u have it: 36 things I've learned so far growing an eCom business to more than $3000 in sales every month.

    There's more I can't effectively share on a thread. So join my list where I will be sharing top level secrets as soon as it opens. go here:

    Friends, I have to stop here. πŸ˜₯😭And I have even more but the time has flow by.Shall we continue this another day?Let me know if you've enjoyed this today.

    Cheers. 

    Thank you for coming out. I hope this helps you move closer to your goals 

    Author

    Updated on 4:00-am December 21,2019


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