169 Create Your Own eCommerce Store with Steve Chou Part 2 of 2
Back on the show today is Steve Chou from MyWifeQuitHerJob.com.
In the last episode with Steve, we explored his story of going from the corporate world to the eCommerce world, and how to get started on Amazon. In this episode, we discuss transitioning from having an Amazon store to your own eCommerce site. This information is most relevant for sellers who have been on Amazon a while. That’s the time to create your own eCommerce store. It will take some time to get going and it’s a long-term investment.
Create Your Own eCommerce Site and Build Consumer Trust
The way you structure your site is like a long-form sales page. You have your value proposition at the top, all the testimonials and the good things about your product, and an “Add to Cart” button at the end. You can use software like ClickFunnels, which makes it easy to sell individual products online.
If you want to create your own e-commerce store, the key is making sure the consumer trusts you like they already trust Amazon. There are multiple ways to do this. Testimonials, trust seals and satisfaction guaranteed offers, as well as high-quality images, will go a long way. Steve’s whole site is set up like this if you want an example. Check out bumblebeelinens.com.
You also have to replicate a lot of what Amazon does already. Such as free shipping, no-hassle returns, a phone number, and contact information.
Common Mistakes when You Create Your Own eCommerce Store
A common mistake people make is thinking, “Why bother even thinking about my site when the Amazon revenue keeps growing?” Then a year passes and they don’t do their site. But then something goes bad with Amazon, and not only will they lose revenue but they’ve lost a year’s worth of customer-building on their own site.
The most common mistake is not having systems in place to bring the customer back over and over until they’re ready to buy. Be aware that the average conversion rate on eCommerce store is 1 – 2 %, which means 98% of people aren’t buying. If they leave, and you don’t have a way to bring them back, they’re gone for life.
With Amazon, you only worry about getting the listing up, optimizing the listing and maybe advertising. When you create your own eCommerce store, you have to have all the links in the chain ready to go in order for it to work. E.g. email marketing, retargeting, Facebook and Google, push notifications, and everything designed to bring people back to your site.
Amazon versus eCommerce
The main difference between Amazon and having your own site is that with Amazon there is a big audience. However, it’s mostly one-off customers. With your own site, you have the opportunity for repeat customers. In fact, this is where you make the majority of the money, by bringing your existing customers back to your site. There’s no real brand loyalty on Amazon. Your own site is designed to bring repeat customers back and establish a brand, which you cannot do on Amazon.
If you have chosen products that fit under the same umbrella then you can create an overall brand that encompasses all of those products. There must be unity within the brand in the long run. The idea is to treat Amazon like cash flow. The customers there aren’t loyal but there is a huge audience and money to be made. It’s not long term consistent money. Amazon isn’t long term. When they change things like FBA fees and feedback processes, and rankings, that impacts revenue. The only way to maintain consistent revenue is to find other ways to generate income on your own, hence building the brand. Repeat customers who feel loyal to your brand are low effort customers.
The Long-Term View
Driving traffic is what you need to be focusing on when you create your own ecommerce store. Amazon’s marketplace drives all the traffic if you’re an Amazon seller, but on your own site, the two primary channels are Google Shopping and Facebook Ads. Google SEO is another one but it’s long-term, not short-term. SEO brings in free traffic but takes a while to start ranking.
If you have a single product and a single long form sales page, start with Google shopping and some sort of Facebook ad to get the customer to spend any amount of money at all. Get their email address and pixel them so you can retarget them.
To begin, run a Facebook ad to a piece of content where the aim is to get an email address. Remember, people on Facebook are looking for content, not to buy necessarily. The aim is to nurture them and introduce your company so when they are ready to buy they think of you.
Steve’s Overall Advice
Assuming you’ve already found something you want to sell, proceed with caution. Do not buy a large quantity of anything unless you’re reasonably confident that it’s going to sell. Start off on Amazon, do some research on TeraPeak (for more on this see Part 1) to make sure there’s that safety valve. Then once you’re confident you will have the product long term, set up your website straight away. Your website will take longer to ramp up so start it right away. Get the email list and pixels building right away. Down the track, you’ll be glad you decided to create your own eCommerce store.