In this episode, Stacy sits down with eCommerce coach Anton Kraly. The two discuss Anton’s best practices for digital marketing to drive eCommerce businesses, why Facebook ads shouldn’t be your main source of traffic, and how to add 30% to your monthly revenue with email marketing campaigns.

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Transcript:

Stacy: 00:00

  • Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacey Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency, Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for top experts to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today. While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy or money. Whether you’re doing a DIY approach, or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.

Announcer: 00:31

  • Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. Here’s your host, Stacey Jones.

Stacy: 00:35

  • Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacey Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I’m going to give a very warm welcome to Anton Kraly, founder and CEO of Drop Ship Lifestyle and eCommerce lifestyle. Since 2013, he’s worked with over 10,000 people across the globe to help them learn how to build their own drop shipping stores. Voted best eCommerce course by Shopify in 2018, Drop Ship Lifestyle is now the top online eCommerce coaching program.

 

  • Anton and his team are constantly researching and testing to discover what works best in digital marketing and eCommerce. Today we’re going to talk about best practices for digital marketing to drive eCommerce businesses, including why Facebook ads shouldn’t be your main source of traffic, how to add 30% to your monthly revenue with email marketing campaigns, and how to earn more than your competition. We’ll learn what’s worked from Anton’s experience, what maybe could be avoided and where people are missing the mark. Anton, welcome.

Anton: 01:25

  • Thank you, Stacey. Happy to be here.

Stacy: 01:26

  • I am super happy to have you here. I do not know all that much about drop shipping. So, I’m looking forward to learning something that is new and having our listeners be exposed to it. But to start off, can we start getting a little bit more information about you and your background and what got you to where you are today?

Anton: 01:45

  • Sure. I’ve been building eCommerce stores now since 2007, which is crazy to think about. But at that time, I was just out of college, and I actually had a business. I had bought a business and that was a delivery route for a bakery in Brooklyn, New York. Literally, I was 21 years old, had this truck and was driving into Brooklyn every morning, driving to grocery stores, selling cookies, like grocery store to grocery store wholesale. What got me started with eCommerce was the book, The Four Hour Workweek, came out, had a friend recommend it to me pretty much right away.

 

  • There was a couple chapters in it. One was on eCommerce. Basically it said, anybody could build a store for $29. You don’t need to be technical. You don’t need to be some coding wizard or anything. And then there was a chapter on Google AdWords. I thought, okay, I have this cookie business, I have access the cookies, let me make a website and try to sell these things. I spent about a week doing that, set up Google AdWords, and that was my foot in the door to eCommerce. I saw that take off pretty early on and realized I didn’t have to drive into Brooklyn anymore for this delivery route. I didn’t have to talk to grocery store managers. I could just work on my computer and see orders come in.

 

  • Quickly after that, I just started to think, if I could sell cookies, why can’t I sell couches, and why can’t I sell desks, and why can’t I sell bathtubs? Like literally anything. Started to get more and more expensive and product ranges. Since 2007, that’s what I’ve been doing, just building more and more stores, selling all different types of products, mostly B2C home goods, but we’ve done some B2B businesses as well.

Stacy: 03:21

  • That’s fantastic. Have you ever gotten to that four hour workweek? Have you found that success?

Anton: 03:27

  • Yeah, the way that I think about it is like, I’ve got into … Technically, I guess, yes, because if I wanted to, let’s say, next week get on a plane and go to Europe, I could talk to my team and say, “Hey, guys, I’ll check in for our meetings Monday and Thursday.” And all would be well. I guess, technically, yes. But I think at my peak lifestyle design phase, I was still probably working two, three hours a day, but I enjoy what I do. So I didn’t see it as like a problem at all. I’m not trying to do that.

Stacy: 03:58

  • I’ve not figured out Tim’s success message quite yet. But one day, one day, that four hours is very highly appealing. You’ve started figuring out how to work smarter versus harder is basically what you’re saying by utilizing eCommerce. What made you come up with the furniture, the ideas of what you’re actually selling?

Anton: 04:19

  • Really what it was, is that first website I built with the cookies, as soon as my first Google Ads ever got approved, I saw people going to the website, they were placing orders, It really did just click. It worked. I was thinking, okay, I’m having these orders come in, many of them every day. I was starting to get bulk orders. I was thinking like, this is working, so, why can’t I sell more expensive products? I think my average order value was probably around $20 with the cookies. So, I thought, what are more expensive products that I could potentially sell?

 

  • Originally … I don’t do this anymore, but what I did back then was go to ebay.com. You could search for anything and sort by completed listings. You could see what products sell. Back then, I was going into basically all the top categories, and I was looking for completed listings, and I was looking for products that sold at buy it now prices. So, consistent sales, sales at high prices. From there I thought, Okay, let me try to sell similar things.

 

  • Back then it was before I even knew what drop shipping was. I actually went online on Google. I think I searched for maybe where to buy sofas, wholesale, or something like that. Found alibaba.com. Back then, I was actually importing containers of all these different products from China, at first to New Jersey and then eventually to California. We would have the products come in, we would have them shipped out. That’s how I was running my businesses for a few years until I found out about this drop shipping thing and realized I didn’t have to do that anymore.

Stacy: 05:53

  • I have a feeling that a lot of our listeners might not know what drop shipping is. If you can pull back those curtains and let us all know, because you were manufacturing the cookies, you were buying the product, but you found a better, smarter way to actually sell a lot.

Anton: 06:08

  • Yes. The way that I found out about it and the way it was originally described to me is I had companies reaching out to my websites, my websites where I was selling the products that I was importing. What they would say is, “Hey, we see you’re selling, I’m going to say sofas. We have sofas, this is our company, do you want to sell our products?” They told me, you don’t need to buy them in advance, you don’t need to store them in your warehouse. Instead, you can list them on your website, and whenever you get sales, you let us know, we’ll charge you wholesale and we’ll ship the product direct to your customer.

 

  • At first I was unsure of it because it sounds too good to be true, especially as they were coming to me. But what we did was eventually take one of these brands on and we started selling their products and it works. We got sales, they shipped it, we made money based on what we sold it for retail, what we paid it for wholesale. Again, didn’t need the product in stock anywhere and myself because they had it in stock, didn’t need to rent any more fulfillment center space.

 

  • Once I did see this start to catch on inside of our own businesses, that’s when I was like, okay, I could really scale now because I don’t need to lay out tons of money to China and I don’t need to test products by again, buying all this stuff in advance. That’s how it was introduced to me. That’s still the way that we do it. There are many different ways to drop ship. For example, even back in the ’80s, where there were a ton of mail order catalogs, and people would just flip through 200 pages and order stuff, most of those catalogs never had a warehouse that had those products in stock. They would just take the orders and then they would go to the brand or the manufacturer and they would say, “Okay, ship this thing to Anton.”

 

  • Drop shipping is not new. Some ways that people do talk about it now that we do not use, but they’re like the arbitrage model. What that would mean is, let’s just say you wanted to sell a sofa and you saw somebody selling it on eBay for 600. Well, if you made a listing on amazon.com and said hey, this is $700 and then you sold it and had it shipped from eBay. That technically is drop shipping too, but I try to like push people away from that as much as possible.

 

  • Also, right now a lot of people are drop shipping from China directly. I do not recommend that either, but it is drop shipping. The way that works is you would sell a product on your website and then after the order came in, it would be submitted to the factory in China, they would ship it directly there to your customer wherever they are in the world. Again, a lot of people are doing that right now but it’s getting more and more negative press the longer it goes on, for because packages usually take three weeks or more to arrive. Usually the boxes are just all Chinese lettering and the customer doesn’t know to expect that. It’s like, what is this? That’s drop shipping too, don’t recommend that, but they all fall under the same umbrella.

Stacy: 08:58

  • I imagined returns can be little messy with that too.

Anton: 09:01

  • Big time. Especially because the way most of those products are sold are through very hippie marketing. Then the people get it. Again, it’s not what they were expecting at all. Especially even if they remember from three weeks ago. Lots of complaints, lots of refunds, and it’s just not really sustainable business model.

Stacy: 09:19

  • I think that hit the fashion industry in the last few years quite hard, where you saw a ton of people on social media talking about the cute little dress that they ordered. Then they came in a size of baby doll.

Anton: 09:32

  • Exactly. There was the one, it was like the red swimsuit. There was a woman wearing that and it basically went viral and this company was getting an insane amount of orders, millions of dollars. It came out, and it was these two kids that had no idea what they were doing. They just put it up and some big influence promoted it and just kept getting spread around. The products can take off like that, but then you really do run into a huge issues. So, I don’t recommend anybody try that.

Stacy: 09:56

  • Well that speaks a lot to the power of influencer marketing at least.

Anton: 10:00

  • No, big time. If you have a good product and you pair that with influencer marketing, then yeah, you’re in great shape.

Stacy: 10:08

  • Okay. To more safely do it. How do you find a supplier? How do you go out and say, this is what we are going to do. We’ve set up a shop. What are the first steps to even doing that?

Anton: 10:19

  • We really just use Google. Once you have a product type. I’m at a stand up desk right now. If I wanted to sell these, I would build a standupdeskstore.com. Whatever it’s called. Then I would go on Google and I would type in standup desks and I would start looking at all the companies who make them. And then what we do is we still use the phone, we reach out. I’d call them and say, “This is Anton from standupdeskstore.com.” Basically, we frame it almost as you would as if you went on a job interview. We call them prepared to talk to them. Say, “I’ve been on your website we really like products X, Y and Z. They’d be a great fit to our site. Also see that you’ve been manufacturing these things before anybody else, and we love that. Talk about their company and why we want to work with them.

 

  • From there, it’s pretty much just them saying, “Okay, we’re going to send over a new dealer form.” That’s what we would fill out and then send back to them. After that, they send you all the information like product, photos, product names, prices, descriptions, specifications, all that information you need to then publish on your store so you can start selling them.

Stacy: 11:26

  • You make it sound like everyone should be able to have an eCommerce store-

Anton: 11:30

  • It’s simple, but it’s real work. That’s the way I describe it to people. It’s not rocket science, anybody could do this, but it is a business and you do have to put a lot of effort into it, especially when you’re building that momentum. Once it’s set up. It really is like one of those lifestyle businesses where you can spend maybe 30 minutes a day managing it. But you don’t just say I’m going to do this in day one, that’s how it works. You got to build up to that.

Stacy: 11:52

  • Not magic.

Anton: 11:53

  • No, no, no.

Stacy: 11:55

  • How can … A lot of our listeners are from the agency or brand business, corporate world? Where can drop shipping actually come in and complement the businesses that they’re already in?

Anton: 12:09

  • I’ve talked to different people about ways they can do this. Some people that have, let’s just say, electronic music websites, right? There was somebody that I was talking to that has a brand for that. He was saying, “Is there any way I can incorporate this?” I said, “Definitely.” What I recommended was to reach out to all the different companies that make different speakers that his audience would be interested in. Maybe even some starter DJ kits for the segment of the audience that would be interested on that. What you do then is incorporate it to your current website where you already have your content, your videos, whatever else you’re sending people to. You simply just add one more link for a store. You could have that built in as an extra revenue channel.

 

  • The really good thing about it again, since you’re not buying any inventory in advance, you’re not laying out a whole bunch of money and hoping does this work. If you already do have an existing audience, you can ask them like, “What do you want? What do you buy? What products are you interested in?” From there, you can reach out to the brands that manufacture these things, and you can say, “My audience wants this. Let’s get approved, we want to sell your stuff.”

 

  • That’s a big way. Also, if anyone’s listening to this and their audience isn’t on a website, if it’s on social, if they have an Instagram following or YouTube or Facebook, you could do a lot of stuff that’s pretty creative now through Shopify, which is who we use for our eCommerce platform. But you can basically push all of your products to Instagram to make Instagram shoppable. You can have your whole products been uploaded to Facebook so people can see everything right there. Even if you don’t have the website with all the traffic, you could still mix it into your existing platform.

Stacy: 13:47

  • That’s awesome. You really can curate almost anything that you’d want to actually sell.

Anton: 3:52

  • Definitely, 100%. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to sell everything. In fact, I recommend getting as specific as possible with your product types, because that really does give you an advantage over a site like Amazon. Of course, Amazon’s always going to get as many sales … They’re going to take most of the market. But one thing that we do is try to be like, okay, this is our thing, this is our expertise. And then again, let’s say standup desks, the whole site would be themed around that. The documentation on the website, the FAQs, the about page, the product videos, all of the buying guides we put out would all be tailored around that product type. That way, when somebody really was looking to maybe go a little deeper into their research, or looking for some helpful advice, then that gives us an advantage over a site that just lists everything and anything.

Stacy: 14:41

  • Right? Then you’re also not working necessarily with one manufacturer, you’re working with multiple on your site.

Anton: 14:47

  • Right. The goal is every manufacturer that has legitimate good products, you want them. If there was 100 stand up desk companies, I would reach out to 100 of them and continue to until I got as many approvals as I possibly could.

Stacy: 15:00

  • Then, what happens if someone orders two different standup desks, his and hers? Because we need his and hers stand up desks. And then if you’re getting it from different stores, you have different shipping policies as well.

Anton: 15:15

  • Yes. Typically, the way that will do like shipping policies, it is manufacturer based. We have it on our product pages where it’ll show like in real time. If we know that supplier ABC usually can get products to customers within three to seven days. Then on the products page for all of that suppliers’ products, it would say estimated arrival date, and it would have that window. And then if there was Supplier D, which took 10 days, it would say estimated arrival date and have that date out in the future. If an order came in and it was like that, it was split between two different suppliers. Either way, we would just have them shipped as soon as possible.

 

  • The way it works with Shopify is, you can enter tracking numbers for the orders. If product A shipped first, we would enter a tracking number for that, that would be sent to the customer and then maybe three days later tracking info would be entered for product B, and that would be sent to the customer. Its really never been like a big deal that we’ve experienced issues with. Because the way I typically describe it is like, sometimes people are worried like, “Oh, isn’t the packaging going to say the brand name or where it shipped from or something?” It will, but if you went to just say bestbuy.com and ordered a Sony TV and LG speakers, and then you got two different boxes. You wouldn’t be like, what is this?”

 

  • People understand that we’re retailers and they understand they’re buying other brands products. That’s actually how we get traffic by using other brand names, product names, skew numbers, things like that.

Stacy: 16:43

  • And then, as a customer would you have to pay for shipping for both products?

Anton: 16:47

  • No. One thing we also do is focus on high end products. Our lowest product prices, usually $200. Our average order value is closer to 1,000. We basically, across the board offer free shipping on everything. Meaning that we pay for it. We would definitely save money if his and hers desks were ordered from the same brands because it would be bundled. So we would just make more money in that order. But typically, we’re paying for it regardless.

Stacy: 17:14

  • Okay. So, you’re just playing with your margins there.

Anton: 17:15

  • Exactly. Yep.

Stacy: 17:16

  • Okay, very cool. Then, how do you market all of this? Which is why you’re here today. You’ve got awesome background, by the way. How do you go about marketing your drop shipping site?

Anton: 17:29

  • We use a bunch of different channels. My favorite is still Google Ads with Google Shopping. What that is, is if somebody goes to google.com and they type in any product name, it could be like a generic thing like stand up desks or it could be like a supplier name, a manufacturer name, or it could be a skew number, or any combination of that. What you’ll see on the top, sometimes it’s right across the top, sometimes it’s on the right column is a bunch of product images. It’ll also show prices for those products and it will show the product name. It’ll show the store name. Those are Google Shopping ads. You pay to be there.

 

  • What’s great about them is everybody that clicks them has intent. Because again, they see the price, they know they’re going to a store. What’s really great about them is you can set it up so you’re only appearing when people are searching for exactly what you’re selling. That’s why a lot of our focus is trying to get people not when they might be interested in let’s just use like a surfboard. If somebody wanted a surfboard, I don’t want them coming to my website, if they’re on Google typing in surfboard. Because what are the chances they’re like, credit card in hand, I’m going to pick one out right now and buy it. Instead, we focus on those long names, those long tail keywords, and we get the traffic from Google Shopping and it converts really, really well.

 

  • Typically, that’s where they come from. From there, we obviously use Facebook in a big way where we’re retargeting them and remarketing to them on Facebook and on Instagram through Facebook. Also, through Facebook Messenger and through Google display ads as well. Once people find us, we definitely stick with them around the internet for a while.

Stacy: 19:07

  • But you have a very sticky spider web that you cast out.

Anton: 19:08

  • Yes. Yep. The reason is, our stores, they do very well, but we’re not huge names that everybody knows. If somebody was just searching for a product and maybe they’re on their phone, whatever at work, and they see our website and they’re not ready to buy yet. But they’re thinking like, “Oh, I’m going to buy this thing this weekend.” They’re just going to go on Google again that weekend and probably search for the product again. Then they wouldn’t even remember us.

 

  • Once we have them. If we know they found us by searching again, for something specific, then we definitely do invest into making sure they don’t forget about us and they can come back when they’re ready.

Stacy: 19:41

  • That’s awesome. And then with that as well, what are you doing when your Google Shopping and you have to brand name and you know the his desk that you want versus hers. How are you being price competitive? Because everyone out there can just be like, okay, I’m $5 less. Well, I’m $10 less.

Anton: 20:03

  • That is a problem. One of the big things we look for when we’re making new deals with different suppliers and brands is if they enforce pricing policies. There’s something known as MAP. It stands for minimum advertised price. Big companies have this, some small companies have it, but there’s MAP, for example, on iPhones. If you wanted to buy a new iPhone without a contract, and you went to AT&T, and then you went to BestBuy, and then you went to Verizon, and then you went to Target, it would be the same price everywhere. That’s not by chance. It’s because Apple says like, “Hey, if you’re going to sell our stuff, this is minimum advertised price, and everybody has to adhere to that.

 

  • The benefit of it from in this case, Apple’s side is that it protects their brand value, because AT&T can’t be like, “Whatever we’ll do a loss leader and sell it for 500.” It also prevents really unfair competition. It keeps all the brands retailers happy, and it keeps the perceived value of the brands higher. Because now it’s still $1,000 phone or whatever it is.

 

  • We do the same thing when we’re working with different brands, we want ones that do have these pricing policies so you don’t get into this bidding war till someone’s making 5% profit margin. What we do to get creative and work around that a little bit, is incentivize people to choose us over maybe five other stores selling the same thing.

 

  • One thing we do there is include bonus offers. Let’s just say we were selling a $1,200 stand up desk. We might say, okay, if you order from us, we’re going to include a free wrist rest, or a free monitor arm stand. Maybe something that’ll cost us $20, but it will allow us to still sell at MAP, and get a sale that might make us $400 net profit. That’s a creative thing that we do to get around the pricing policies and to get more people to choose our stores over everybody else.

Stacy: 21:55

  • You have the free little gift with purchase and then you also can play with your shipping because you don’t charge any shipping.

Anton: 22:02

  • Exactly.

Stacy: 22:02

  • Then that takes away the Amazon barrier at the same time so that you’re not looking at people like me, who are Amazon prime shoppers, and like I’m going to get it for free to get-

Anton: 22:13

  • One other thing, if anybody is listen to this and they want to sell large and heavy items. One thing that you can also do, assuming again, the products are expensive enough and your margins allow, but most companies when they sell something like a huge desk, they offer free shipping, but they offer free curbside delivery, it’s called. What happens there is literally like the customer will get a phone call from some random delivery trucking service, and they’ll say, “Hey, we’re outside.” They’ll lower this thing and just leave it in the street.” A lot of people don’t know that’s going to happen when they order but that’s usually how it works.

 

  • Again, if your margins allow you can offer free White Glove delivery, which first of all sounds fancy, but there’s also a huge incentive because it’s the items brought into the customer’s home, the boxes taken away. Something like that maybe it costs you as a retailer an extra hundred dollars. But if it’s bringing new sales all day that again, or making you $400 or $500 net profit, it’s a big way to stand out and capture a ton of market share.

Stacy: 23:12

  • Right. Really, you’re looking at any way to stand out from competition.

Anton: 23:15

  • Exactly.

Stacy: 23:16

  • Or you’re paying for advertising or to stand out from competition, one of the two.

Anton: 23:21

  • Yep. Ideally, both. Do as much as possible. You get little lifts from all of those things. The more you can do, just the more you’ll grow.

Stacy: 23:30

  • Okay. What about email marketing? You and I were talking about that a little bit earlier before we started the podcast. What are the do’s and don’ts there?

Anton: 23:39

  • Sure. The do’s are, first of all, just do it. It’s one thing, I always heard when I was first starting out, like, “Oh, the money’s in the list, you need an email list.” I don’t know why I just never collected emails besides when people bought from me and they had to give their email address. Maybe after three or four years in business, I finally was like, Okay, I’m going to put, you know, little things on my website that will collect email addresses in exchange for coupon codes, things like that. Almost as soon as I did it, and started sending emails, I just noticed making a lot more money for not doing anything else, relatively not doing anything else.

 

  • At this point, email marketing makes up about 30% to 40% of our revenue. That’s on top of what it would be if I just did things the old way, which was collect emails when people buy or when they start the abandon card process. But now we actively collect emails at all different stages on our website. Not just that, but we have different email campaigns that are automatically going out, based on where the person is at in our sales funnel. Where they’re at in the buying cycle.

 

  • Doing that not only has new leads become customers, but it has existing customers that would have just forgotten about us buy from us. At this point, some of them even five years later, because they’re still on the email list.

 

  • One thing I would say that people shouldn’t do if they want to get into email marketing is just email everybody the same message. Again, this might be something people have heard, but segmentation really is huge. It’s about the message matching up with where the person is at. If you can get that right again, it could all be done automatically. But if you can get that right, that’s where you start to see massive returns, even if your email list is relatively small.

Stacy: 25:23

  • Sure. And then are you using like a MailChimp or constant contact or something like that in order to manage your mail list?

Anton:  25:31

  • For our eCommerce businesses, for our physical product businesses, we use [inaudible 00:25:34], which is an app that integrates with Shopify. For our info stuff and general marketing, we use Infusionsoft. But when people come in, regardless of if it’s like an info business or a physical product business, we use the same campaigns.

 

  • One easy one that I would recommend everybody do when somebody opts into their email list is have what we call an initiation campaign. What that does is send three emails over three days that are just trying to form a relationship. So, new person’s on the list, you have to assume they don’t know your company yet, they don’t know you yet. What we do is just try to provide a few facts, but do it in a fun way. And then try to provide some useful stuff that would benefit them. If it’s a physical product, it’s either like a buying guide, or just a coupon code, or reminding them that they might get this bonus.

 

  • If it’s a info business, then we’re doing stuff like sending them to some of our best resources where they can get value. Even if you just do that, there’s no direct selling involved, but your chance of them coming back and buying something is still just massively increased. That’s an easy one that again, I neglected for a long time.

Stacy: 26:41

  • That’s awesome. I know you’ve mentioned Shopify a couple of times. You would always build an eCommerce site on Shopify versus WordPress.

Anton: 26:50

  • Yeah, definitely. At this point when I was starting it was Yahoo stores back then. We’ve used all different platforms over the years, but for the past maybe four or five years, maybe even more, Shopify is the winner. That’s assuming you don’t have some like, what I would call enterprise level store that has 200,000 products. If that’s the case, then you probably want Magento or something custom. But for almost everybody, Shopify, they are the best right now.

Stacy: 27:18

  • If you become an Ikea, you need to maybe upscale yourself.

Anton: 27:22

  • Right. Yeah, definitely.

Stacy: 27:25

  • Okay, that’s awesome. Where does some of this all go wrong? What are some of the mistakes people make along the way?

Anton: 27:33

  • With eCommerce in general, I really do think it’s those inexpensive products. I consider that anything under $200. If your goal is to have, let’s just call it a $50 widget. And your goal is to build your website and run ads and be profitable, it’s extremely hard. Because traffic isn’t cheap. Even if it’s a long tail keyword traffic, you still have to pay for it. If you’re only making … Let’s say you didn’t pay for advertising, and after a cost of goods sold and shipping and merchant fees, you were making like $20 an order. I don’t understand how anybody could really effectively drive in sales by paying for it. Not in a way that would make them cash flow positive in a short amount of time.

 

  • The biggest thing that I would say is just focus on these expensive products. Because if you’re making $300,000 $400,000 $500,000 every time you get a sale, you have so much more wiggle room to experiment with buying traffic. To be able to scale your ad budget, to be able to bring on a team when support picks up. Because again, with those low ticket products, what will happen is hopefully you get a bunch of sales. Maybe you do something like with an influencer and they send you an insane amount of orders in a few days.

 

  • Well, if there’s nobody there to actually take care of these people when they’re emailing in and to make sure problems are resolved, then the business is going to crash and burn. Again, a lot of times the margin with those low ticket products doesn’t really allow for a team. As you grow, you need help. Having that margin built in allows for that. I would say that’s another big one. And then when it comes to traffic and paying for it, what a lot of people want to do now is just go straight to Facebook as an ad channel. I love it. We use Facebook, spend a ton of money there on ads, it works great, but it’s not the easiest wins.

 

  • If you were just starting out, or just starting out with paid traffic, and you were selling physical products, my advice would be do not start there. Start with something that is intense based, like Google, where you can get people that are searching for what you have. The chances of them buying are so much more likely than you just sticking in front of them on Facebook and being like, “Hey, I have this thing.” That would be another big mistake I see people start with.

Stacy: 29:55

  • I think the rule of thumb is that there’s somewhere around 3% of people who are actually in the buying mood at any one time. If you’re only targeting that 3%, you’re going to have a lot more of a chance than the 97% that aren’t quite ready yet.

Anton: 30:08

  • Mm-hmm (affirmative) Definitely.

Stacy: 30:11

  • Awesome. That is super helpful. Anything else our listeners should know about that would be helpful?

Anton: 30:19

  • Yeah, I would say if you’re looking to add eCommerce onto your business as an additional revenue channel, it’s worth considering no matter what business you’re in, not only are the margins great, especially again, if you’re focusing on more expensive products. But when you do this over time, as you build it up and start to have this revenue coming in, these businesses become very valuable assets. We’ve been selling websites since, I think 2012 is the first time I sold a network of stores. Back then it was just because a business partner and I were talking about buying each other out. We were like, oh, we don’t know what this is worth. Let’s talk to a broker. We were like, what?

 

  • The evaluations on eCommerce businesses has only went up year over year since then. There’s a lot of people looking to buy them. Add it on to your business, start to earn some extra money. And then if you ever want to sell even just that part of your business, you can have another really good payday from it.

Stacy: 31:18

  • That’s awesome. That’s really helpful. I can think of so many businesses where this would be such a good add on for them. Whether it is a doctor’s office who wants to be able to add in some sort of specialty equipment for people. Or even any sort of retailer as well. Because it doesn’t have to be their own branded items.

Anton: 31:39

  • Exactly. Yep. If they have their own branded items, this is something that we do as well. But you can build another store. Let’s just say you sold makeup remover and you wanted to build a website that was allmakeupremovers.com, you can list the other 30 brands and then have your brand listed there as well. You get traffic from every other brand that people are searching for. But on your website, on your sidebar, in your best sellers, you have yours being the one that you’re promoting the heaviest.

 

  • People will still buy the others, but you can also again, capture that traffic and be heavily promoting yours to the audience. So, it’s a great way to bring in extra sales if you have an existing physical product company already.

Stacy: 32:18

  • That’s brilliant, actually. So you can really actually get some insider information that you want to have also on the marketing habits of what’s going on with your competition.

Anton: 32:28

  • Yep. You see what people are searching for, you see what they’re buying, you see what questions they’re asking. What they like, what they don’t like. It’s a really good way to earn money and get data at the same time.

Stacy: 32:37

  • And then do you stay away from Amazon with all of this completely?

Anton:                          32:42                We do, and that’s because … What I say is, if I had, let’s say, like a product, maybe some hundred dollars that we sold through our own websites, then I would have it on Amazon. I would have that as a sales channel. But the type of stuff that we do and the brands that we sell for, even when we’re getting approved, and we’re signing those papers. They say, you’re not going to sell through any third party sales channels. Usually, it calls out Amazon and eBay specifically. Even if we wanted to, they would tell us, no, because I don’t think they want 20 companies selling the same thing there. But not part of our business at this point.

Stacy:                           33:14                That makes sense. I know you mentioned some of the casualties of war that have happened with partnerships and drop shipping out of China as an example. But are there any other countries that are more successful or less successful to partner with, or should you really try to be drop shipping, that it’s easier within the U.S if you’re in the U.S, or in Australia?

Anton:  33:38

  • Yeah, exactly. That’s usually what I recommend. We have suppliers in the U.S, and we have members of our community in the UK, they have suppliers in the UK. Same thing in Australia, New Zealand. It’s all local. With that being said, just to clarify this, people have thought products that are made in the U.S … That’s not what I mean. The products are usually made in China anyway. They’re just already in the U.S, in somebody’s warehouse with their brand name. Just as long as they’re already near you, that’s what you want. That’s the faster shipping times, that’s usually brands that already have some equity built up, and that have better support for retailers like us.

Stacy:  34:13

  • That’s awesome. Okay, so you have given us so much valuable insight and information. I’m walking away here ready to open up stores. I’m not, I don’t have the time and bandwidth right now, but really, really, you’ve made it sound that it is doable for someone to do if they invest the time in it. You have a course that you then provide more detail, which I can’t even imagine that there’s more detail, but you have more valuable insight. Can you share with our listeners how to find that.

Anton:  34:40

  • Yeah, if you go to dropshiplifestyle.com. So, dropshiplifestyle.com/marketingmistakes, we’ll post up a bunch of resources there you can go through. I’ve been posting content up there since 2013. So, a lot to go through. You can see the course, see some free training and that’s where I would recommend anybody that wants more info, get started.

Stacy: 35:00

  • Perfect. Then we’ll also put that on our blog and podcast page as well so that they’ll be in the show notes. You can go there if you’re listening and not writing as you’re driving or walking or doing whatever you might be doing while you’re listening. Anton, I want to thank you so much for your time today. It was incredibly valuable.

Anton:  35:19

  • Thank you.

Stacy: 35:21

  • All of our listeners, I want to thank you guys for listening and stopping by Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I hope that we have helped shed some light on how you can make more money and save some time.

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