Ever hear of the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants”?
That’s what we’re about to do.
Sometimes knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to do. Learning from other people’s mistakes is like traveling with a map, instead of blindly wandering and getting lost.
In the world of online business, it's easy to get lost if you don't have the right map.
In last week’s blog post, we discussed my friend Adrian Morrison’s 5 step eCommerce process. Now we’re going to get into some common mistakes that people make when it comes to eCommerce. Some of these will stunt a business’s growth potential, while others will prevent an eCommerce business from even getting off the ground.
Now before we get into the 7 big mistakes most people make with eCommerce, I want to cover the essential information everyone needs to figure out if eCommerce is the right business model for them.
eCommerce: A Reliable Business Model
eCommerce is the business of selling physical products through an online store.
Most people are already familiar with this type of business. It is a blend of old-school physical retail and the new school of online businesses. That makes it a reliable hybrid that truly takes the best of both worlds.
It's a booming business. In the United States, 8% of all retail sales are done online.
We all know the big name that epitomizes eCommerce: Amazon. In the last quarter of 2016, Amazon generated over $47 billion in revenue!
The good news is that an online entrepreneur doesn't have to be a massive company that sells everything in order to have a successful eCommerce business. With the right strategy, it’s actually really simple and straightforward to start a profitable eCommerce business. That’s what we’re about to get into.
eCommerce is growing rapidly, all over the world, and boasts some serious advantages over some other business models.
3 Differentiating Factors of eCommerce
The Internet is a Place of Business
Yes, the internet is a place. It’s not physical, but it’s a place that people can visit and buy physical products.
It’s like having a store, but with the ability to work from anywhere in the world! How cool is that?
eCommerce bridges the gap between physical stores and the internet, uniting the benefits from both of those worlds. We can leverage all of this with a proven eCommerce business model.
eCommerce is Dynamic
Everything on the internet can be changed or updated in the blink of an eye.
- Want to change product descriptions?
- Want to change product pictures?
- Want to answer customer questions?
- Want to issue a refund?
All of those only require a few clicks of a mouse. That’s it.
eCommerce leverages dynamic technologies, which simplifies and automates every step of the process, from setting up a store to shipping the actual product.
eCommerce is Scalable
With a regular store, think about how difficult and costly it is to scale? Buying more inventory, buying a bigger space, hiring more employees, all of that is both time-consuming and very, very costly. And guess what? None of that is necessary with eCommerce.
When it comes to eCommerce, conducting 5,000 transactions is not much different than conducting 5 transactions!
It’s so much easier than setting up a physical store. Everything is automated. And once it’s set up, an eCommerce store requires virtually no upkeep.
Ok, now that we have some more background, let’s go over Adrian Morrison’s eCommerce system again…
A Simple, Proven eCommerce Formula
Adrian Morrison started out as an affiliate marketer. But his focus shifted to eCommerce when he realized he had no control of his business with affiliate marketer. He really didn’t even have a business at all. It was completely dependent on the whims of other companies and everything could be shut down instantly.
Here’s why control is so important in business:
- Having the choice of when to start or stop selling a product.
- Deciding what the profit margins will be.
- Building a list of email addresses. And owning that list to keep marketing to those people.
- Develop and promote any personal brand.
- Having an exit strategy.
These are all factors that come along with using Adrian’s eCommerce business model.
Adrian’s system is simple, straightforward and can be up and running in under an hour. It requires no inventory, no complex technology, leverages Facebook Intelligent Ads and allows people to make money with FREE products. I can personally vouch that this system works, and works well!
As discussed in last week’s post, Adrian has a 5 step process for his eCommerce system:
- Identify a Passion – Select a niche people are passionate about.
- Find a Product – Choose a product that will actually sell, with good profit margins.
- Use the Most Powerful Word—“FREE” – Drive eager customers with Adrian’s free + shipping model.
- Facebook Intelligent Ads – Run highly targeted Facebook ads to the people most likely to buy. And tap into some serious viral potential as well.
- Email Marketing – Leverage the power of email marketing to increase sales and create loyal customers.
This week, however, we’re going to focus on some potentially fatal mistakes that many people make when it comes to eCommerce. And, of course, how to avoid them.
7 Big Mistakes People Make With eCommerce
1. Relying on Other People’s Platforms
Yes, it may sound easier to build a store exclusively on something like Ebay or Amazon. And sure, it can potentially make some money. But this is amateur stuff.
There are some major drawbacks to building a store on the back of Ebay or Amazon. There is absolutely no control there. The store can be shut down overnight. Profit margins can be cut instantly. If Amazon changes a policy that cuts into someone’s profit margins, a significant amount of their income can disappear.
Personally, I don’t want my business to be completely dependent on the whims of another company. This isn’t even a true business because there’s no real ownership or control.
We want something that we have control of. We want an actual business that can make an impact and leave a legacy. That’s why it’s important to have our own store.
Sure, we use platforms for different aspects of the business, but our business is not 100% dependent on someone else. That’s the big difference.
With Adrian’s eCommerce system, we build our own stores and have full control of the process from beginning to end.
2. Holding Inventory
Here’s a common misconception. Just because someone sells physical products doesn’t mean they actually have the products in their possession.
Holding inventory is a huge upfront cost and requires a lot of space, depending on the product. This is a completely unnecessary risk that we DO NOT have to take. We don’t have to buy expensive inventory, own a big warehouse and take on the massive risk of products not selling.
Buying and holding inventory is a thing of the past. Smart entrepreneurs don’t do this. This whole process can be outsourced and still be highly profitable.
With the technology Adrian uses, it makes it simple to run a highly profitable eCommerce business without having to touch any inventory or take on the risk of it not selling.
3. Picking a Dead Niche
This goes back to the first step of Adrian’s eCommerce formula: identify a passion.
Here’s a devastating mistake that a lot of people make. They think, “Oh, this niche seems cool so I’ll just start my business in it.”
DO NOT DO THAT. Don’t just assume that because something sounds interesting it will be profitable. The niche someone chooses will either ensure success or make it near impossible to make money even if everything else it set up perfectly.
Find a niche that people go crazy about. Find a niche with passionate fans. Don’t assume something is a good niche. Do some market research first.
Also, think about any potential headaches. For example, it’s probably not the best idea to start an eCommerce business selling food. There are a lot of factors that can make it difficult to do business, laws, food expiring, leaks…etc. There are too many potential things that can go wrong.
More potential red flags:
• Fads – Fads will only be profitable for a few months
• Niches where people don’t spend money – College students, people who are into budgeting…etc.
• Products with strict legal implications
• People who don’t buy online – elderly people or people in certain developing countries
Here are some questions to ask to avoid potentially dead niches:
• Are there any legal factors to consider before selling this?
• Is this niche a fad?
• What are the potential problems with selling in this niche?
• Will people be buying products consistently?
• Are people willing to spend money in this niche?
• Would people buy this online?
Here’s an example of a profitable niche: Cats! Anything related to pets is a huge industry. Especially the two biggest ones, cats and dogs. People love their pets and spend a lot of money on various pet-related items. As, shown below, a quick search on Ali Express for “cat” gives us over 311,000 results!
Remember, selling in a good niche will increase the odds of success. But selling in a dead niche will be an uphill battle to success, even when doing everything else perfectly.
4. Selling The Wrong Products
This is similar to choosing a good niche. It’s critical to choose products that actually sell!
Here’s the best way to do this. First, browse reputable manufacturer or wholesale websites such as Ali Express. We want to find products here in the niche we’ve chosen.
Do as much homework as possible. Check the ratings, feedback and the seller’s profile.
Also ensure that the product will provide good profit margins. It’s also helpful to check other sites for an idea of what price range the product can be sold for. And to see if people are even selling it at all. Remember this, if people are selling it elsewhere that means it’s a good product to sell!
Let’s go back to the cat example again. The product shown below looks like it could be a good option. It’s something people will definitely buy, has good ratings and is perfect to use for Adrian’s free + shipping model.
If we were to sell this for free but charge $10 for shipping, it would give us a $9.11 profit.
Also, test the products if possible. Order a sample first to make sure it’s good quality. Don’t sell low-quality products.
Sure we want to make money, but we don’t want to sacrifice our integrity in the process.
5. Not Leveraging the Magic Word Free
What’s the magic word? When it comes to marketing, that word is “FREE.”
Face it, unless someone is already a household name, people won’t just buy from them. If there’s not a huge incentive, very few people will even click an ad, let alone buy something from someone they don’t know.
This is why we need to catch people’s attention and entice them. The very best way to do this is by using that one word, “free.”
Anything with the word “FREE” gets people’s attention. And Adrian Morrison has a strategy that leverages the word “free” to drive lots of customers. Then actually make money off of free products! This is the “free + shipping” model we mentioned above and discussed in last week’s blog post.
Think about what people do for Black Friday sales? It’s madness. Now imagine what they would do for something that’s FREE. It will create quite a buzz, to say the least.
Here’s how to leverage the word free. Choose inexpensive products, offer them for free and build profits into the shipping. It’s exactly what we did in the cat toy example above.
6. Wasting Money on Advertising
Most people in eCommerce just blindly run ads and get sub-par results. They just throw their money at everything and hope something sticks. They target everyone instead of focusing on the people most likely to buy their products.
Blindly running ads, with no clear strategy or goal, is a black hole of wasted money.
We need to have a cohesive strategy, with a clear goal and choose wisely. We also need to target the right people who will actually buy what we’re selling. This is where Adrian’s Facebook Intelligent Ads come in.
Facebook is the best advertising platform for eCommerce right now. Facebook ads are inexpensive to start, simple to run and highly targeted. This means that we can put the right ads in front of the right people.
Facebook is smart. They collect a lot of data and know what people want. Adrian found a great way to leverage this, and he’s done it over and over again.
Let’s use the cat toy example again. If we’re selling cat toys, we can run Facebook ads to cat lovers. Create an ad that targets people who like cat-related pages and who have “Cats” listed as an interest. It’s very simple, but very effective.
There’s one more amazing factor when it comes to Facebooks Ads: Shareability
Offering a free product gets people to share and can make an ad go viral! The magical word FREE gets people to take action, share it and creates massive viral potential.
7. Not Collecting Email Addresses
If someone isn’t collecting email addresses, they’re leaving free money on the table.
Collect the email addresses of customers! I cannot stress this enough!
I say it over and over again: email is king. Social media is great and I use it all the time, but there's a reason why someone is 6 times more likely to respond to an email than they are a tweet.
Collecting email addresses is how to get repeat customers and loyal customers. If not, people will forget and never visit the store again.
Don’t worry about the details. With Adrian’s eCommerce system, the collection of email addresses can be built into the automated technology of the store and put this on autopilot.
By collecting email addresses, we’re earning money while building a list. Awesome, right?
And we all know how much I love email marketing. Its benefits are profound:
- Having full control over marketing
- Being able to market directly to people at no cost
- Building relationships with customers
- The ability to sell to people again and again
Back to the cat example one more time. If we have a store that sells cat toys, we can email them useful cat-related information. Maybe some tips for cat owners or a list of fun facts about cats. As we build rapport, we can also sell to customers on our list, giving us a pool of loyal repeat customers. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Collect email addresses. Anyone who doesn’t do this is literally leaving money on the table.
How to Avoid These Mistakes
Here’s the best way to avoid the common mistakes in any type of business…
Learn from someone who has already done it!
That’s why I reached out to Adrian when my wife was struggling with eCommerce. And when she applied his strategy, it worked like gangbusters!
So instead of wasting time and money figuring everything out, follow a proven system. Adrian’s eCommerce model is a proven system.
Be aware of the 7 Big Mistakes People Make With eCommerce:
- Relying on Other People’s Platforms
- Holding Inventory
- Picking a Dead Niche
- Selling The Wrong Products
- Not Leveraging the Magic Word Free
- Wasting Money on Advertising
- Not Collecting Email Addresses
All of these mistakes can be avoided with Adrian’s eCommerce system. He learned the hard way. Now here’s an opportunity to capitalize on everything he learned.
Adrian is hosting a FREE training opportunity, discussing his eCommerce system in even more detail. I highly encourage everyone to take advantage of this training.
In this free training, Adrian will reveal:
- How he’s made $5M with Products he NEVER Sees, Touches, or Ships (no inventory & no upfront investment)
- How he’s destroying print-on-demand in exchange for done-for-you licensed artwork
- How he’s utilizing the most powerful word in the world—FREE—to make money selling trinkets
- How to create wildly successful Facebook Intelligent Ads
- How he sniffs out winning products in less than 30 seconds for any niche
Now don’t jump ahead and start buying products just yet. There are some finer points that Adrian lays out in the training.
eCommerce success is within reach right now! Sign up for Adrian’s free training and take the first step of owning a profitable eCommerce business.