I have my own Shopify website outside of work, and I spend more time managing the shop after work. During this period of time, I have also made several successful products. Because I am still working on these products, it is not convenient to disclose too many details. However, I did summarize my own set of methods. To provide you with some ideas on the plate.
Why do you need to review？
- We often only know one thing about our own success because we are too lazy to think. If we don’t know the ins and outs of the whole thing and the root cause, we can’t use it systematically. Through the review, we can understand the logic at the bottom of the matter itself to guide us better. But, of course, many times, one thing is done by luck rather than ability, and what’s terrible is that I think it depends on ability. The replay allows us to understand whether it depends on luck or ability.
- I hope that my review can give some inspiration to the team that just started Shopify. You should set predictable goals for yourself and compare yourself with each other, getting better day by day and getting better year after year. Of course, it is best not to compare with others, which will only increase anxiety. Instead, get closer to your goals. Master your own progress; as long as there is no problem with the method, success is a matter of time.
- We all love to read articles that directly share the method, but the method will always be outdated. If more people know the method, it will not be so effective. The thinking process is the most important thing. I hope readers can get some inspiration from the review and help you establish your own methodology.
How did I discover this product? Once I browsed a certain sub-category of Amazon and found that the Best Seller of this product was good. Then I took a look on Facebook, and no one posted an advertisement for similar products. Judging from user comments, this product is very popular with a certain segment of the population. If you can make some minor changes to this segment, you can easily succeed.,
Later, I inquired about the product on AmzChart. I probably looked at the price history and user reviews. The product was moderately priced, with high profits and good user feedback. It is worth mentioning that AmzChart is indeed a good product research tool, and it is necessary to know about it as an Amazon seller. Amazon BSR analysis is instrumental!
After getting the samples from the factory, it is confirmed that the quality is ok. I started advertising, and there were sales a few days ago, but the cost was relatively high, so I closed the advertising. Later, I optimized the ad copy. When testing the new ad copy, I adjusted the target audience, and the advertising effect directly reached the extreme.
When modifying the ad copy, I used Bigspy to view the copy of the competitor’s ad, and I incorporated the excellent copy content in BigSpy. After the modification, it did have obvious effects.
Targeting the crowd, I re-targeted using the Facebook interest targeting tool – AdTargeting and entered the core keywords into AdTargeting. I got new interest, and detailed audience analysis really helped me.
What are the characteristics of this product:
- A certain sub-category of Amazon belongs to Best Seller. By checking the comments, there is market demand, but the sales volume was not very high at that time (there should be no in-site promotion).
- The number of reviews is not high, and there are no follow-ups, and there is no flooding on Amazon.
- After investigation, it was found that almost no one is doing independent stations, and no one is advertising on Facebook.
If you dig deeper, I believe you can still find some similar products on Amazon. So here I want to share what I think is very important: to carry out product research with “category thinking,” and the horizon will be more broadened.
If there is no technology or capital, we don’t need to risk developing a brand new product from scratch for the time being. Instead, we can explore products with the potential of “being the first in a certain category.” Many such neglected products are suitable for independent stations in Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and even AliExpress. But, maybe due to various reasons, no one did it.
Choosing a certain product must meet certain users’ needs and solve certain pain points of users. Can we improve it and make some differentiation? Differentiated to a certain extent, such as improving only for a certain segment of the population, it may be a brand new category. The new category is the blue ocean. For example, smartwatches are a category. However, even if they are a new category, children’s smartwatches solve the pain points of parents in real-time control of children’s safety. Compared with ordinary smartwatches, the difference is that it is smaller in size, simple in functions, etc., and is more suitable for children.
This product belongs to this new category. When I launched them on the independent station, there was almost no competition.
Summary and suggestions:
- Product research is the most concerning issue, and there are many ways of online product research. There is no way to select a product with a 100% success rate. You can only try more and continuously improve your product selection success rate. Especially if you have not developed your own explosive products, you have to cast the net widely. Again, the most important thing is to master your own selection method finally. Don’t forget to check the top Shopify stores; it will also be beneficial to you.
- In some sub-categories of the e-commerce platform, many potential explosions are ignored by everyone, which is suitable for independent website startups. (Especially at this stage, many platform sellers have not yet started to do independent stations, but in fact, they are often the real product experts.)
- From Shopify’s store rankings, you can also find some good categories and products. Many people are staring at the shop at the head, and opportunities can be found even more from the shop at the waist and tail. For example, open the Shopify store ranking list (ranked by traffic), and after you turn directly to a few hundred pages, turn over these websites. Many new categories can be found in these stores and the “hidden champion” products in these categories. These products or categories will give us a lot of inspiration. Unfortunately, there are also some deficiencies in the design and promotion of the websites themselves. If we can do better, we can directly compete with them.
- The spy tool is a good choice. Many people reject third-party tools, but I have to say that such tools can help us save a lot of energy and get effective products quickly.
- I am the only one who does product research work. After all, people are inert, resulting in product research work that cannot be carried out effectively and continuously. I have looked for a service provider, but the effect is mediocre, which has something to do with my lack of training. If only one person is doing product research, the product research link will be a bottleneck in the entire e-commerce process. Establish a reproducible product selection SOP (standard operating procedure) to produce explosive products that can be drained continuously.
After selecting the product, put the product on the shelf and enter the promotion stage. There is no need to spend too much time on the website during the testing phase. The most important thing is to set up the basics first and start testing as soon as possible.
At this stage, Shopify is undoubtedly the most cost-effective website building tool. There is no need to consider paid themes, countdown plugins, or email marketing. This is not to say that these things are not important. However, each stage has a priority that should be given priority. For example, it is most important to run the process in the testing stage as soon as possible.
Paid promotion is simple and rude. Facebook and Google are undoubtedly the most effective platforms. There are many other platforms to choose from, but I don’t use others at present. It also depends on which platforms your products are more suitable for.
It should be noted that the quick test is not too subjective. Some people can spend thousands of dollars to test a product. But for people who have no experience in explosives, this test method is not cost-effective. I have learned a critical method: small steps, fast iteration, and an important idea: lean entrepreneurship, minimum viable products (MVP). The selection can also be made in this way.
Let me talk more about the problem of subdivided groups. But, first, this is a better understanding of some common sub-populations, such as pet dog lovers, pet cat lovers, and guitar lovers.
There is also a more abstract segment of the population. For example, your product is health care products for the elderly, and your target population is not the elderly but adults whose parents have sleep problems. In fact, in my opinion, this is also a subdivision of the population; how to position this?
As mentioned earlier, when I first started testing this product, the positioning problem bothered me. I came up with a few interest groups and positioned them on Facebook, but they all failed. Later, instead of targeting interest groups, Facebook went to machine learning, but the effect was better. This is also the problem that I previously suggested that the segmentation of the population should not be too small, and machine learning is not necessarily effective.
Take health care products for the elderly as an example. For adults whose parents have sleep problems, this “subdivided group” is big enough, right? In this case, at least in Facebook positioning, you don’t have to worry too much and leave it to the machine to find the audience automatically. Instead, focus your energy on testing material, especially pictures and videos, followed by copywriting. We can’t control the positioning of these problems that involve platform algorithms. It is better to keep them as simple as possible.
Advertising is not about building a rocket. You don’t need to be so rigid. It’s the best method that suits you. From time to time, some netizens ask me some advertising questions, such as how much does it cost to test a product, how many days the advertisement runs, how high the CTR and so on. One point I want to mention here is to determine your own baseline. According to your own profitable advertising, you can roughly determine the profitability baseline for different audiences, categories, countries, and other scenarios. In the future, it is more reliable to refer to your own baseline than to refer to human indicators when running advertisements.
If you don’t have a suitable baseline initially, you can refer to ADCostly, where you can get the cost baseline of different interests, and the CPC and CPM data are clear. For example, ADCostly can easily help you get Facebook ads to cost.
After Facebook ads stabilized, I expanded to Google at the same time. The volume was not large, but the effect was perfect. I’m doing advertising myself. Because of my limited energy, I didn’t expand on other platforms. It stands to reason that I should expand other traffic horizontally.
Summary and suggestions:
- A good product is half the battle. If product research is done well, bad advertisements can also be profitable. The product is bad, no matter how good the advertisement is.
- Expansion must be fast, as fast as you can within your abilities.
- Cold start is easier to cut into subdivided groups.
- The subdivided population is not necessarily the niche population, the crowd is too small, and the expansion is not easy to expand.
When doing Dropshipping, if users contact us with questions, we have the opportunity to solve the problem. If we let them feel our sincere customer service, we can basically retain these customers who may be lost. On the other hand, if the after-sales service is not well done, the customer acquisition cost increases in disguise.
After-sales work includes emails and handling complaints about payment channels, leaving messages on the Facebook homepage, and advertising comments. Because I am the only one doing it, it is conceivable that it is impossible to reply promptly, so 60 points for after-sales work is not bad. I have looked for a service provider in the Philippines before, but the training was not done well, and the service provider’s work was not ideal, so I gave up later. The main difficulty for service providers is to find people and training, which is the same as recruiting employees. You can only spend your time and money to test and find a suitable service provider, which is your own asset, which is generally not easily shared by others.
I didn’t do well in the after-sales service because I didn’t enable telephone customer service. Customers often send emails and ask them to call. Most of them want to confirm that you are a decent company, not a scam company that can’t reach people. Understandably, many Facebook users are also saddened by companies that send out empty packages and incorrect versions. As a result, they are becoming more and more cautious about shopping on Facebook.
Summary and suggestions:
- Even if you lose money, you must satisfy your customers and make money by repurchasing.
- Telephone customer service is essential; it is beneficial to increase trust and conversion rate.
Once you find that your product is profitable, competitors will flock to it.
After this product became popular, competitors quickly followed up. I knew that there were at least 10 or more companies, and I reported a few that directly used my material. Others do their own product design. As a result, the website looks much more upscale than mine, which is very embarrassing.
If there is luck in choosing an explosive product, whether it can continue to be ahead of the competition depends on its ability.
Let me take my failure case last year as an example. Last year, based on an explosive product, I established a niche station. Later, I encountered several competitors. One of the strongest competitors just started to carry my videos intact. When I found out, they had already run a lot. They began to expand their categories and expand their traffic to Google rapidly. From Similarweb’s point of view, their traffic is now huge and stable. Later, their website may be closed by Shopify because of too many complaints, or they switched to other systems themselves. If you do not lead, you will give others a wedding dress.
How to lead and build a competitive advantage? What I thought of, for example, can the product be protected in terms of intellectual property rights? Can you quickly expand the product line? Can you continue to optimize the product? Doing some complicated things can be relatively ahead, but these are not absolute barriers. After a little breath, it is easy to be overtaken by others. So the brand is the ultimate goal, and the brand is the real moat.
Team aspect: the formation of outsourcing, or full-time team, is the next important and urgent thing.
On the website:
- Vertical expansion: Existing sites expand other traffic, such as SEO, social traffic, etc.; the most important thing is to establish stable passive traffic. In addition, we dig deep into categories, continuously optimize old products, and develop new products. It is necessary to find dropshipping niches.
- Horizontal expansion: multiple stations are advancing simultaneously, and successful stations continue to expand vertically.
There is only one goal; the project can be replicated and developed sustainably.