Kevin and Jason give you an update on their eCommerce store and some of the lessons they’ve learned in episode 51 of eCommerce Uncensored.
A little background…A few months ago the guys started an eCommerce store of their own at campinglifegear.com. Since this is what so many of their clients at Fast Forward Unlimited do, the guys thought they’d get into the mix to see what they can learn about the process first hand. To get the details on how they set up their Shopify store with drop shipping you can check out Episodes 40, 42, 44, & 46.
The first lesson learned was that the cheapest shipping method with drop shipping takes way too long. Even though alliexpress.com tells you a product may take up to 40 days to arrive – that really is a long time. A solution to this is to use a slightly more expensive shipping option called Epacket. This method expedites your order so that it arrives between 12-20 days, which is a fairly reasonable amount of time to wait for a free item. Another possibility to ease the blow of the long wait is to send a follow up email reminding customers that it may take some time for the product to arrive. This way you can avoid some of the unhappy “where is my product?” emails.
The guys original concept was to find a product that was selling online and just push it out for sale themselves. This proved not to be the best strategy because you don’t really know what you’re getting or how it is going to arrive. The packaging and quality of some of the products was pretty bad and wouldn’t be something you would want – even if it was free.
Remember, the goal of this process is to acquire new customers who will repurchase from you again. So sending someone a crappy product that takes 6 weeks to get there isn’t going to get you too many repeat customers.
An original concept that was challenged was that of the niche website. Going through the process the guys realized that having a camping niche website was backing them into a corner because of the type of products they were limited to. Not only is it hard to find a “hot item” in a niche market, it’s even more difficult to find a complimentary product to use as an upsell or follow up purchase. The guys are considering switching gears to a ‘general store’ type eCommerce business selling multiple ‘hot’ products. Since graphic and web design is something the guys at Fast Forward Unlimited do, switching gears to a is easy to do, but definitely not what the guys thought would work before they began this process.
Clearly some things the guys learned go against what they had originally thought would work, but that is why they started in this process. By making these mistakes the guys feel like they’re bridging the gap between themselves and their customers and audience.
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