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…the car heading to Georgia for an event and you’re going to start hearing a few of these episodes. We did a bunch of recordings in the car. We had about a four-hour ride each way and today we’re going to be talking about growing outside of just Amazon and really what other channels we can use to grow our business. All right. So, I just want to jump in here and give you that heads up so you’re not like, “Scott, where is the Ask Scott session for this week?” This is going to be in place of that. I will be back to do another one next week so stay tuned for that but in the meantime sit back, relax, enjoy this car ride with myself and Chris Schaffer.
[00:00:53] Scott: Well, hey, hey, what’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 523 and the reason why I’m laughing is because we’re on a highway right now and we are going to do this intro and there’s an Escalade that’s acting as if they’re in I think Indianapolis.
[00:01:12] Chris: Fast and the Furious 9. If you're driving an Escalade and you're from Georgia and you're listening to this podcast, it might be you. Obey the speed limit.
[00:01:19] Scott: Obey the speed limit. All right. Yes. We are in a car today in my car and we are heading to an event and we decided to fire up the mics. I’m holding a mic as I’m holding the wheel as well but I’m safe, guys. We’re cruising right here around 75 miles an hour. We’re in the slow lane by the way just to make sure that we’re safe
[00:01:41] Chris: We’re responsible adults.
[00:01:42] Scott: Yes, we are and we’re paying attention and, yeah, we figured while we had about 250 miles to kill, we might as well record a few episodes. So, Chris Schaffer, what’s happening over there in the passenger seat?
[00:01:55] Chris: Not a whole lot. I’m just looking out the window here, Scott, and laughing at all of the things that are laying along the side of the highway here as we drive through South Carolina and there’s like carpets and bales of hay and all kinds of stuff to look at out the window, but I’m actually really pumped. I’m excited that we’re headed to this event. It's kind of interesting because we normally both fly and you said, “You know, it’s going to take me longer to get through TSA,” and hope you’re going the speed limit because there’s a police officer.
[00:02:21] Scott: Yeah. Put the lights down.
[00:02:24] Chris: You said, “It’s going to take me longer to get through TSA and get on a plane than it is to drive there basically. I’m going to have to get up and go to the airport and that’s going to take three hours and it’s going to be a two-hour flight. We might as well just drive.” So, I flew to South Carolina and we’re driving to the event now.
[00:02:36] Scott: You actually flew to North Carolina.
[00:02:38] Chris: Whatever.
[00:02:38] Scott: And then I picked you up.
[00:02:39] Chris: That’s right. I flew in to Charlotte, so I am a liar and I just offended everybody in North Carolina. It’s like 10 minutes from South Carolina. What do I know? I’m from Texas. We actually have a few hours in the car which is rare for us and it’s just you and I.
[00:02:55] Scott: Yeah.
[00:02:35] Chris: It’s not our team. It’s not all the people that distract us with all of the other things, the things that we should be focused on.
[00:03:01] Scott: Exactly.
[00:03:01] Chris: And so, we have some time to kind of just chat about the future of everything that’s going on with the podcast and where we think everything is headed and what people should really be focused on beyond just that initial picture of we talked about for a few hundred episodes now of getting up and getting started and starting to sell on Amazon. So, I’m excited to dive into some of that stuff right now.
[00:03:23] Scott: Yeah. I know you and I were talking about what we should cover and there’s a lot we want to cover but we want to keep this focused.
[00:03:30] Chris: Digestible.
[00:03:31] Scott: Yes, and digestible. So, we are going to start with what we’re calling phase 2 of building your e-commerce business. And the reason why I’m calling it phase 2 is because phase 1 was something that I talked about at Sellers Summit and it was really about how we’ve built a six-figure brand in the past 12 months and we did it pretty much on Amazon and then we’ve done some list building and stuff like that which I talked about so that still in phase 1, but phase 2 is going I guess a lot deeper in building stuff off of Amazon, traffic, offers, free plus shipping offers, funnels, all that fun stuff that I’m calling digital marketing for anyone that’s brand-new. You’ve been hearing me talk about that. That’s what we were talking about. So, what I want to do today, Chris, is really talk about the three ways that you can really start phase 2 because there isn’t just one way. There’s one way that I see us doing it but there are a few different ways that you could do it. So, why don't we dive into those three ways? Before I do though, Chris, let me remind people of the show notes because there should be some show notes for you if my editor did their job which I’m sure they did. If you head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/523 and the show notes and transcripts and everything should be there so definitely check that out. And I also should probably mention if you’re brand-new and you’re listening to this and you’re like, “Scott, I want to do phase 1 then I would say probably head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Bootcamp and that will give you the foundation and really some training that we’ve done there to kind of walk you through and build that foundation for building that thing out before you could even get to phase 2. So, with that all being said, Chris, let’s rock ‘n roll. What do you say? Let’s jump in.
[00:05:19] Chris: Let’s do it.
[00:05:19] Scott: Where do you want to start?
[00:05:20] Chris: Well, I mean, obviously when we’re talking about phase 2, we’re talking about selling places that aren’t Amazon and the whole reason that we want to do this is because we don’t ever want to be channel dependent. If you guys haven’t heard us talking about this in the past, you’re going to hear us beat you over the head with this but any business that is dependent on any one thing consistently going right is destined to fail over the long-term. Whether that is one product existing in perpetuity whether that is one place that is driving all of your traffic or whether that is one place where you’re getting all of your sales. Now obviously in the 1800s, the 1900s, and even the early 20th century and the 21st-century, you could launch a retail store and that would be the only place that you would get that. But we don't really have that luxury online because there's a lot of places that people can go to buy things. So, the question that comes up a lot is, well, what is that first place? There’s a couple of different ways that we can go about this. The easiest one for a lot of people is to list on other marketplaces. There’s a bunch of other ones. There’s Walmart, there’s Rakuten, there’s Sears and you can make good money on all of those marketplaces. We had somebody recently in the little mastermind that we did that – what was the requirements to be in there? They were all six figures.
[00:06:40] Scott: Yeah. Oh yeah, it was 250,000.
[00:06:42] Chris: It’s 250,000 or more.
[00:06:44] Scott: And we had a few people that were just touching a million.
[00:06:46] Chris: And he was substantially more if I recall and he wasn’t selling on Amazon. He was only selling in these other marketplaces.
[00:06:51] Scott: He started the opposite way that I would start but, yeah, he did and now he’s going to be launching his stuff on Amazon. So, fine, it’s another channel.
[00:06:58] Chris: Right. And that for a lot of sellers I think is going to be the easiest because you don’t have to learn any additional skills really. I mean to sell on Walmart, you basically just have to apply and then you have to figure out how to fulfill the orders. Rakuten is the same kind of way. You just basically set up an account and you can do that. Sears is the same way. It’s the same model that we’re used to and you’re able to pick up a couple of extra small chunks of the pie if you will. If Amazon is 50% of all sales online, Sears might be 2% or 3%. You’re going to pick up some sales from each of those just like kind of how I feel about moving into like Amazon.ca or.mx or whatever. Those are great strategies because you can pick up on additional one or two sales in each of these places. Assuming we’re selling 10 products a day, 10 sales a day, we might get one from Sears or two from Sears. That’s great and that’s one place that we can diversify but that wouldn’t be where I spend a ton of my time and my energy and effort because again once you kind of get that up, it’s not any different from what you’re doing on Amazon and you’re still 100% dependent on someone else doing the traffic driving for you which I think is a problem long-term. The number one skill that I think people need to master to be very successful in this long-term, one is product selection but, two…
[00:08:13] Scott: Market selection.
[00:08:14] Chris: Right. Two is being able to communicate with that market. So, if you’re able to pick the right market and you’re able to find a passion or niche…
[00:08:21] Scott: Just passed a Jeep by the way. If any of you have been following along the workshop, I reference the Jeep stuff quite often. So, if you haven’t, you might want to go check out…
[00:08:28] Chris: And we’re not in the Jeep so we didn’t get waved at.
[00:08:30] Scott: No, we didn’t. I wouldn’t want to drive the Jeep here honestly this long.
[00:08:34] Chris: We’re going to get blown around.
[00:08:35] Scott: Well, yeah, I mean, things like you got to hold on with two hands, I won’t be able to do this.
[00:08:38] Chris: It’s a tank.
[00:08:39] Scott: It is. It’s a beast.
[00:08:41] Chris: But I think the number one skill beyond picking the right product, picking the right market is really understanding how to communicate with that market and driving traffic. When you can master that, the other two ways that we can really start to sell outside of Amazon become very, very “easy” to do and I say easy kind of with air quotes because mastering traffic and understanding how to communicate with our audience is not easy. It takes work but the other two ways which is having our own full-fledged e-commerce site through something like WooCommerce or Shopify or any of those platforms or building out sales funnels where we control that experience a little bit more, it’s usually a little easier to get those up too. Both of those are kind of dependent on that but if you mastered that skill then you can apply that to either of those two and it makes either of those two in my opinion substantially more valuable than going to that first method which is just going to other people’s channels. Any time that we can own our own real estate, we are much better off in terms of long-term strategy. Renting is fine. Renting is great as long as your landlord is willing to rent you. If your landlord stops being willing to rent you, you need to find another place to live. And if it’s through house, nobody is going to kick us off.
[00:09:55] Scott: You have to pay your taxes.
[00:09:57] Chris: But again, right, technically you’re renting.
[00:10:00] Scott: Exactly.
[00:10:01] Chris: And so, anytime that we can own our own piece of real estate, own our own traffic, that’s going to be substantially better for us. So, I would really prefer that people kind of lean towards those other two in terms of a long-term solution. Do you feel the same way?
[00:10:14] Scott: I do. The other thing I know that people are asking themselves probably not all, but some, why don’t I just launch on the international marketplaces for Amazon versus going off completely of Amazon because they are kind of independent in a sense where if my one account got shut down, the other one necessarily wouldn't get taken down. What're your thoughts on that?
[00:10:37] Chris: And I can do some stuff in the UK that I can’t do in the US but at the same time you’re still playing on somebody else’s playground at that point. One, if Amazon does shut your account down for some reason then they understand that those are linked. They’re not stupid. They know everything I’ve ever bought, and they know everything I’ve ever sent to anybody else. They have the data. If they wanted to shut you down, they would. I think that’s fine, but I think that’s still phase 1 and if you want to go international and you want to deal with that, that's fine but for me, I’ve helped brands launch in the UK. We’ve helped brands launch on .jp and it’s nice. It’s a nice additional stream of income. You don’t really have to learn any new skills but when you do that, you’re still 100% dependent on Amazon and the whims of Amazon. And not that that’s not a good thing, not that Amazon is not a gift from the traffic gods in terms of how easy it is to get up and get launched. And not that it’s not where we want to start. We absolutely want to start with Amazon but for the long-term if we’re talking about building a real brand that we can sell, and we can get a good multiple on if that’s what we want to do or if we want to just be stable over the long-term, I don’t want to be dependent on one single place. And even though it’s technically a different place, it’s still the same place.
[00:11:58] Scott: Here’s the other thing though too like when you are launching or putting your products up on the other marketplaces within Amazon, you need a separate batch of inventory. So, now your cost have just maybe doubled in a sense and you have inventory that’s over there that now you have to deal with and then all of the other logistical stuff of doing that and setting up your different tax and all that stuff and I’m not saying that we’re not going to do that like we probably will sooner than later but that’s not like next move for us and I think that there’s a better way of figuring out your next move as far as like outside of Amazon traffic.
[00:12:46] Chris: Here’s my like 5,000-foot view of diversification within other marketplaces or even just within other Amazon marketplaces. So, your whole Sears, Rakuten, any of like the daily deal sites, any of those kinds of things are great but you don’t own the customer and if you want to build a brand over the long-term, you need to own the customer relationship. We cannot do that on Amazon. We cannot do that on Sears. We cannot do that on Rakuten. We can’t do that on any of these marketplaces because it’s setup that they are buying from Sears. They are buying from Amazon. That is who they are purchasing from and so you lose out on a couple of key things. One is the brand loyalty piece which you can kind of make up with an email list and some of those kinds of things.
But to the ability to actually target those people and turn them into a longer-term higher value customer, I can’t really do that on Amazon unless I have them on the email list and I’m doing all kinds of crazy marketing things to try to match up Amazon purchases to people on my email list. I’m trying to do an email append and all of these crazy things. If I sell it to them through my own website or I sell it to them through my own sales funnel, I already own that customer data and I know exactly what they’ve bought, and I can serve them exactly like Amazon does except I’m thinking higher margins with other complementary products that they may want. And here’s another great one, if I’m selling something that people would subscribe to let’s say a supplement. I guess we’re entering Georgia.
[00:14:13] Scott: It’s a giant peach right here. Did you see the giant peach? There it is.
[00:14:16] Chris: I did.
[00:14:18] Scott: There’s a giant water tower and it’s shaped like a peach.
[00:14:22] Chris: Next to Fatz café.
[00:14:23] Scott: So, yeah, the peach basket. All right. Anyway, Georgia is the peach state. I don’t know if you knew that.
[00:14:31] Chris: I have no idea. So, I can serve them other products or if I have something that people would buy more than once, I can then I have a couple of chances to try to make them a subscriber versus them just happening to click to subscribe and save button on Amazon and ordering from me multiple times. I can run a Facebook ad and target them and bring them back into being a customer and then I increase the lifetime value of that customer. And we’re looking at e-commerce long-term. There’s a couple of metrics that we really want to look at. One is the average cart value or average order value which is something we look at on Amazon, just how much they’re spending per transaction, and then how frequently are they buying from us. Those are the two things. There’s only like three ways that you can get more money. You can either sell more to new people, acquire more customers but that can be expensive. You can sell more to the same people, get them to buy different products, or you can get them to buy more frequently. That’s really it. There’s not a whole – it’s not rocket surgery, right? We can’t control that portion of the experience through a marketplace. We can control that portion of experience through a sales funnel or through our own ecommerce site. Now, when we’re talking about those two things, Scott, I think everybody understands what a full-fledged e-commerce site looks like. You go to Shopify, you load up all your products. What is the difference in your mind between building out what I’m going to call, and all of our funnely friends are going to yell at me but I’m going to put in air quotes, just a “sales funnel” versus building out a full e-commerce site? What are the differences in your mind there and why might somebody listening choose one over the other?
[00:16:04] Scott: Well, your e-commerce site is really it’s a store of all of your products so if you landed there, you have a whole bunch of different like options. You have a whole bunch of different ways that you can interact. There’s really no sales as we call it funnel. There’s no process. There’s no sales process or there’s no direction. There’s no guidance once you land there. Yes, you might have landed there because you did a search for a garlic press and you end up on that and then you might see something else that might get your attention and then you might see something else and then you just wander around until maybe you leave so you're not really controlling the experience in a sense. With a sales funnel with even just two or three products, you can guide them and really get them to raise their hand in the beginning, so you know that it’s the right customer and what they’re looking for and then you can offer them things that are related to that kind of like frequently bought together inside of Amazon except the difference is you’re controlling that experience. So, that’s my thought on that.
[00:17:06] Chris: Yeah. And I think the answer isn’t one or the other necessarily and the reason that you and I like the concept of funnels in general is because for those you guys who haven’t run a ton of digital ads like Scott and I have done a bunch of the digital marketing stuff, anytime you’re paying to put somebody somewhere whether it’s through a Facebook Ad, AdWords, YouTube, Instagram, any of these kinds of things, we want to give them one thing to do. Why? Because every single one of us has the attention span shorter than a goldfish and this is new studies that they’ve done are showing that the attention span of the human being is now shorter than the attention span of a goldfish.
[00:17:44] Scott: That’s ridiculous.
[00:17:45] Chris: Just think about that. When you take somebody that you are paying for and you drive them to a place where they have 10 different options, chances are they’re going to hang out for a little while and they’re going to check out some of those things. But if you give them one option or two options, the thing that really is interesting is if they aren’t interested, they kind of leave right away. But if they are interested, they’re actually more likely to buy from us. An e-commerce store is nice if you can have traffic that you don’t need as much control over like somebody coming in from a Google search, I don’t necessarily have any control over which page on the website they land on. Now I can do some SEO to try to rank a specific page over another but at the end of the day, Google is going to show what Google is going to show and they’re going to land on one page.
And so, I have to have a little bit of a broader experience. I have to allow those people to show me what they want versus when I’m running an ad, I want to drive that to a page that I have as much control over as possible because I want to eliminate any of the things that might distract them from the thing that I want them to do. I either want them to leave or do the thing that I want them to do which in this case, buy. Now, I think if you have maybe 8 to 10 products, five or more is really where I would start with this then I would probably start with the e-commerce site to get that built and then start to focus on building some of those funnels. If you have fewer than that, I wouldn’t even build out a Shopify store or do any of those kinds of things. I would just start with the sales funnel. And you can actually do that in either case because you’re probably going to have one or two products that sell the best anyway and you can start by building a sales funnel in that way. Does that make sense?
[00:19:24] Scott: Yeah. The other thing I just want to add is like if you are creating an e-commerce store that's great and all. That's kind of like that’s your store. That’s your piece of property. That’s your real estate. But you still have to get people there. Yes, you can do SEO, search engine optimization, and you can work on that. That’s usually going to take some time but what you’re really going to probably start finding is that you’re going to want to drive paid traffic to this real estate, to these places. And when you’re doing that, you have to in your head think, “How am I going to get an ROI in this? Like, I’m spending money to acquire a customer. How much can I spend?” That’s number one. But really how can I get them to, number one, come there but not just buy but also like consume information that’s helpful but then potentially buy?
But when you’re paying for traffic, you probably want to get that done as quickly as possible because you’re like, “Wait a minute. I just spent money and I didn’t get anything.” So, you got to think about that stuff. So, having a store is like you said nice and it’s probably a must especially because if you're a brand you want to have a place that you can call home and there are different ways you can do it. I mean I think everyone should have their own website but also a blog component and then your store that’s attached to that as well because then it’s kind of like all of your home base is kind of connected. But…
[00:20:52] Chris: Well, and the people that are coming through that are going to be, again, the less controlled traffic.
[00:20:56] Scott: Exactly.
[00:20:56] Chris: Not necessarily what people were paying for. There are people that read a blog and then saw a product that they were kind of interested in and so we link them over to the Add to Cart page which is fine because again we’re kind of eliminating some distractions there. We’re not going to link it over to the homepage of the store. We’re going to link them specifically to that product and kind eliminate some of those distractions but they’re still going to have other places that they could go.
[00:21:18] Scott: Okay. So, let’s just dig into that real quick because there’s different ways that people can do this even ourselves like we’re thinking of different ways to have people come over to our property and then now with Facebook Pixels and all of that stuff we can do all of that fun stuff which we’ll probably talk in another episode about that advanced strategy as far as how you retarget and follow-up and build custom audience and all that stuff. But if you have a piece of content that’s on your blog or your website and you’re directing even page traffic there, you’re hoping to educate them enough to where they’re going to want to click on the links inside that post that get them to order your product eventually like that’s what we’re hoping that they do. Now, with Facebook Pixels and retargeting and build a custom audience and stuff, we have more chances at that even if they don’t buy that day. But let’s just talk about that real quick because if you are driving people to your store, I would recommend driving them to a piece of content that educates and explains or maybe compares and then has your product kind of woven through that post. You want to just speak to that real quick?
[00:22:36] Chris: So, I guess in that case though you wouldn’t be driving them directly to the store necessarily.
[00:22:40] Scott: No. We’d be driving them to a piece of content that is helpful and useful but then has the opportunity for them to click over to the product that's listed in our store.
[00:22:50] Chris: Right.
[00:22:53] Scott: So, I guess what I’m asking you there is between doing that and building a sales funnel, what one do you prefer or would you prefer someone to do first?
[00:23:03] Chris: The answer is it depends. The answer is do whichever one you feel most comfortable with first. If you are a person who feels comfortable creating content, content is going to create a lot of long-term value for you. A sales funnel at least the way that we build them is generally going to be dependent on paid traffic and that’s fine because that’s a way that we scale rapidly. Content is not generally going to be dependent on paid traffic. We’re going to get traffic from social media, from Facebook, from Twitter, from Instagram, from Pinterest, from all of these kinds of fancy places and then from search engines, from Google, and from Bing. And if you look at what we’ve done in the new brand, Scott, we’re doing somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000 monthly uniques I think if I remember those numbers correctly depending on the month. We had half a million people hit the site within the first 12 months and half of that came from social, half of that came from organic, almost none of that was paid.
Now, some of those visits were people that we had because the giveaway was listed there but we’re not really counting that because that’s different traffic. Let’s just say even if it’s 400,000, 400,000 people, that’s pretty substantial. We’re not necessarily selling anything directly from there though, so we have to link that back to a product at some point to actually see some ROI on that. If you’re comfortable creating content, then that is the thing I would focus on at first because you’re going to be able to get a base of stable traffic that way that you don’t have to pay for. If you’re not comfortable creating blog posts because here’s the thing, you and I have a little bit of background there. We know some of the things that we need to do to titles, to descriptions, the types of content that we should create. You and I really sat down in that brand, looked at the analytics after we published a few blog posts and said, “Here’s the stuff that’s working, here’s the stuff that’s not. Let’s focus on this.”
[00:24:51] Scott: Right.
[00:24:52] Chris: And we did more of the stuff that’s working. Again, 80% of business is doing more of what works and less what doesn’t.
[00:24:56] Scott: Exactly.
[00:24:57] Chris: But not everybody has that skillset. Not everybody wants to do that. It’s something that everybody should learn but it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to do for a lot of people. And so, if you’re not somebody that feels comfortable creating video, writing blog posts, creating content of any kind for your audience, a sales funnel can be nice because all you’re doing is putting an ad to the landing page and you’re saying, “Hey, you have to create one piece of content,” that’s the ad creative whether it’s a video or a photo and the text that you put on Facebook and you’re writing a couple of words on the landing page and sharing some pictures. And you’re putting in front of people who are potentially your customers and you’re saying, “Go buy this.”
Once you’ve mastered that skill, you can scale really, really quickly but you’re still missing the other half of that equation which is the organic people, the people who aren’t ready to buy right now. You heard me throughout this in the past and I don’t know if it’s accurate, but I heard it somewhere years ago and it’s always kind of stuck in my head and it’s a good kind of rule of thumb, 3% of people at any given market are willing to buy at any given time. So, 3% of cooks are kind of actively looking for a garlic press. If they saw a garlic press that was interesting to them, they would buy it. But that leaves 97% of people out. No matter how good our ad is, no matter what happens, they’re just not ready for that.
[00:26:11] Scott: They’re not ready.
[00:26:12] Chris: Because they just bought one, because whatever. And so, that’s where the content side of that comes in. So, I would say focus where you feel most comfortable up front. Now, that we have Amazon up and stable and maybe we launched on Amazon.com, .uk, wherever, whatever other marketplaces we want to launch and we’re ready to move into phase 2, sit down, have an honest conversation with yourself and figure out where you feel most comfortable. I think you need to do both, but I would start, and I would focus on whichever one I think I could do the best first. There’s no wrong answer.
[00:26:46] Scott: No. Let me just kind of go back at what we kind of did from the very beginning and again it was kind of our long-term play knowing that over time because SEO and kind of getting your pages ranked in Google and all that stuff takes time, we knew that eventually, we would have some organic traffic if all we did was published our content on a blog and eventually we would add the store component to that. And then when you add that store component, yes, you’ll probably get some searched but we’re not really caring about that as search. We’re just looking at that as being another piece of real estate kind of like a little addition that we put on a house. We’re putting that little extension on there so this way here we have a place to now send those people but, in the beginning, and if you are just starting right now, or maybe you’re six months in or maybe you’re a year in, maybe you’re two years in and you haven’t done that yet, start doing that just as a regular thing for your brand.
And over time you’re going to start getting some organic traffic and then you can do some cool things like we’re talking about now that you’re going to get free traffic as well and you’re going to have places that then you can drive paid traffic to a blog post that did really well or that got a bunch of shares or that got a bunch of comments or any of that stuff. So, as you’re building your brand, it's never too soon, in my opinion, to just start writing content on your platform and in this case it's your websites/blog and from there then you can start to rework it or look at your analytics and see what’s doing good, what’s not doing so good, and all of that stuff and then you can do more of what works and less of what isn’t working or hasn’t worked in the past. So, I just want to throw that out there for people like no matter where you are right now you should be doing that because it will pay off eventually.
[00:28:37] Scott: And maybe we should probably do a whole another episode even talking about like how to optimize and really like do the basic SEO stuff for content whether that’s on YouTube, whether that’s on your blog or whether that’s on Facebook or whatever like there’s different components for different platforms. In this case, we’re talking more of Google but maybe we should even drill into that in a future episode to get people to kind of where they need to be there. So, let’s just kind of wrap up though, Chris, here as far as if you’re already selling on Amazon you’re doing okay meaning you’re selling where you believe is at your potential or your rate about the max and you’re ready to start going off of Amazon. Let’s kind of do that recap real quick. You want to run them through that?
[00:29:30] Chris: Run them through which?
[00:29:32] Scott: Well, the three different ways.
[00:29:32] Chris: When they know or the three different…?
[00:29:33] Scott: Yeah. Well, no. I think really, I just want to give people those three different things that they can do when that time comes.
[00:29:39] Chris: So, before they do any of these three though and you just touched on this, we need to be at a place where we are stable. We’re not seeing big spikes and dips in sales unless it’s seasonal. We know that it’s seasonal because we’re selling snow shovels in July and it’s the same kind of thing. Everybody wants to know when they pivot. When do I go to product 2? When do I go off of Amazon? The answer is when you’re consistent. There is no like green lights that mysteriously appears in your dreams. There is no like, “Oh, absolutely I would go.” It’s okay, no matter what I kind of do on Amazon when I raise my budget for PPC, when I drive extra traffic, I might eke out an extra sale a day but really, I’m at 15. I’m at 14 today. I have 16 tomorrow. I average 15, doesn’t matter what I do. That to me is stable. Once you are there then you can start to look at one of those in three ways and those three ways that I would take a look at are, one, other marketplaces. So, not even including your .co.uk, your .jp, your .mx, but other actual brand marketplaces like your Walmart.com, your Rakuten, your Sears, those kinds of places.
Or then going to kind of pivot and look at like a paid traffic strategy through a sales funnel or more of an organic traffic strategy where we’re really building brand equity and all those kinds of things and then launching our own ecommerce, our full-fledged ecommerce story if you will using something like Shopify or WooCommerce. Now, with those last two, Scott, there is something that just popped into my head and it’s a question you and I get all the time and it’s something that I think holds a lot of people back from this and I say, “Don’t I need to fulfill those orders myself?” And the answer is no. Dirty little secret, Amazon will ship your stuff to your customers even if they don’t buy from Amazon and it sounds too ridiculous to be true, but it absolutely is. Whether you’re using Shopify or a ClickFunnels or a WooCommerce or any of those kinds of places, you can have Amazon fulfill those orders for you as long as you have that inventory at Amazon. Now, over the long-term that may not be the best strategy for you because you’re still dependent on the fulfillment service but it’s the easiest way to get started and it holds a lot of people back because they say, “I don’t want to ship my inventory.”
[00:31:38] Chris: And I don’t know who the best third-party logistics or 3PL provider are. I don’t know all of these things. Well, you don’t have to learn anything new there. Let’s move with a minimum viable product and say we’re going to use Amazon for now knowing that it’s going to be more expensive upfront to have them do it than it might be to have somebody else do it but at least I know that if I can make it work at the most expensive just like we do with air shipping upfront if I can make a product work with air shipping, if I can make it work with Amazon’s third-party fulfillment and I can make a profit then I can definitely scale it.
[00:32:07] Scott: 100% yeah.
[00:32:08] Chris: Because I’ll be able to save a dollar or two or maybe even more on my fulfillment cost when I move to somebody else when I’m ready to do that, but we can take it one step at a time and I think that last thing is something that holds a lot of people back and is one of the reasons that they’re not doing this stuff once they’re at that stage.
[00:32:23] Scott: Yeah. No, that’s a good point. A lot of people think that they have to ship the stuff themselves and you don’t. You can actually connect that through. What are we doing right now? I don’t want to get too in the weeds here but what are we doing right now to connect that to make that work for us?
[00:32:40] Chris: We’re using ShipStation.
[00:32:41] Scott: Okay. So, and what is it like to set that up without again getting too technical?
[00:32:45] Chris: It took 10 minutes. It was one of those things I went in assuming that it was going to take a lot of time and effort and it really didn’t. You sign in, you give your Amazon API access basically, and then you just have to copy and paste your SKUs into ShipStation and when an order comes into ShipStation whether that’s through Shopify or ClickFunnels and there’s actually a better way to do this than when you and I set it up now but when we set it up we use ShipStation. It costs us like $10 a month. And anytime we get an order into any of our sales funnels into the e-commerce site, it goes into ShipStation. As soon as ShipStation has it, they tell Amazon to ship it. And if there’s an issue with the address or anything like that we get emailed. So, we can kind of jump on that too because as we all know, people that buy stuff are not always the smartest and they fat finger things. I type in my address wrong all the time so if that’s a concern for people, they kind of hope you resolve that as well, but it costs us like $9 a month.
[00:33:40] Scott: Yeah. And so, what I really want to really wrap up here with is that building a business is complicated sometimes if you allow it to be. If you chunk it down, if you break it down into phases and that’s kind of what I’m doing now, and this is something that I’m doing different than I did two-and-a-half years ago too. It’s like phase 1 is this, phase 2 is this, and phase 3 will probably be something additional.
[00:34:10] Chris: It’s just world domination and things.
[00:34:11] Scott: Yeah. Well, exactly or maybe that’s the exit. I don’t know. But right now, we talked to a lot of people at Sellers Summit, people that were listeners of the show and they’re like, “We want to hear more of this,” and that’s what we’re going to be doing moving forward. Now, if you’re new, I’m not going to be leaving you guys behind. We’re always going to have our resources and we’ll even have episodes that touch on those beginner level stuff, but we are going to be talking a lot more about digital marketing, about scaling, about growing, about building outside channels, all of that stuff that we’re doing and that we’re also helping other people do and we’ll definitely be bringing that to the podcast. So, I just want you guys to know, you don’t have to do it all, but you have to simplify things and also only do what you can do right now where you are right now. And the one thing that I will leave with is you talked about like when do you decide to do that? And that’s when you’re stable.
The only thing I would add to that is I would like to see you have three to five products because, with the three to five products, it makes sense to build out a Shopify store or just a store in general. It also makes sense to then roll out a sales funnel because having a sales funnel with only one product is probably not going to work that well. Not unless you can have multiple units being purchased then you can say, “Oh, you bought this? Well, how would you like three more for this?” Like that could work but you have more options when you have more things that you can plug in to offer on the backend. And I think a good example of this, a lot of people have bought through Vistaprint. A lot of people have bought through GoDaddy. Those are two great examples of how you offer people more of what they just bought or additional things on top of what they just bought that will help them. So, if you buy from GoDaddy, they’re going to offer you hosting. They’re going to offer you an extra email address. They’re going to offer you protection of the domain like all of that stuff.
[00:36:11] Scott: If you go to Vistaprint, you just bought business cards. They’re going to offer you more business cards. They’re going to offer you postcards. They’re going to offer you stickers. They’re going to offer you magnets. They’re going to offer you all of that stuff that could also assist you in what you just bought.
[00:36:25] Chris: I think the other good example there that people may have gone through if you haven’t gone through either of those two is something like a 1-800 Flowers or ProFlowers.com. And I went through this experience recently. We had a holiday. Sent my mom some nice flowers. I’m a good boy. I called her too.
[00:36:40] Scott: You called her too? Wow.
[00:36:41] Chris: I keep getting pictures. She keeps texting me pictures because they keep, I guess, they send them as buds and they keep blooming and it’s getting fatter and fatter and she’s getting kind of excited about it. But when you go and you buy something, you go and they say, “Okay. It’s $49.99 for the flowers.” You going to buy the flowers and then the very next thing that they show you is, “Oh, do you want teddy bears? Do you want chocolate?” And it depends, they actually have it broken out pretty well like if you click on like the romance section there’ll be like teddy bears and chocolates and I love you cards. It might be an additional $5 or $6 for the card, another couple of dollars to send them a teddy bear or whatever else. For the Mother’s Day stuff, it was like mylar balloons which is, “You’re my favorite mother,” which I thought was kind of weird because if you have more than one or whatever. “You’re my favorite mom or whatever. Happy Mother’s Day.”
[00:37:29] Scott: Best mom ever.
[00:37:31] Chris: Any of those kinds of things and then they had, “Do you want to double your flower order?” So, they have the regular and then they have the deluxe. If you’re really a good son, you would get them the deluxe.
[00:37:40] Scott: Can you send them to someone else? The reason I asked that because maybe if you are buying some for your mother but then your spouse wanted, could you ship another order?
[00:37:49] Chris: I don’t think they have it set up that. I may have just missed that what they do on the backend. So, they walk you through this process and it really is a sales funnel and we’ll dive into this in a different episode but if you’ve ever gone through that process, you understand the concept at the very least.
[00:38:03] Scott: Yep, and you’ve probably been upsold.
[00:38:07] Chris: Whether you thought you’re going to be or not.
[00:38:09] Scott: You’re going to a dentist office, you’re being upsold. You’re being sold additional things like, “We can do this, we can do that, here are your options. We suggest this.” You go get an oil change, “We should flush your fluids. We should do this,” like all of that stuff. It’s marketing 101 but we can control that process really easy when we have our own properties and that’s why phase 2 for us is really building out those external properties that we get to control and by the way, you are building assets in your business that then your business will be worth more if you ever decide to sell it. So, it’s another huge advantage there.
[00:38:43] Scott: So, Chris, I think that’s going to wrap up. We’ve killed about 40 miles, maybe 45 miles and probably about 45 to 50 minutes or so. You can look right now on the recorder.
[00:38:55] Chris: Thirty-eight.
[00:38:56] Scott: Thirty-eight minutes so just about 40 minutes. Wow. So, that’s pretty impressive. It’s still recording, right?
[00:39:01] Chris: Yeah.
[00:39:02] Scott: Good.
[00:39:02] Chris: It’s counting up so I’m assuming it’s recording.
[00:39:05] Scott: All right, guys. So, like I said, this is phase 2 of what we’re talking about here as far as depending on where you are in the process but phase 2 is really taking the business now and the brand and bringing it outside of just Amazon so you’re not dependent there. I will also remind you if you are brand-new and you’re saying like, “I just don’t even know what market I’m going to go into,” or, “I’m not even sure where to start,” or maybe you’re in your market and you’re not sure how to add additional products to that market, I would suggest our training, Product Discovery Bootcamp and that really is how to find your market, really drill down into that market and then find three to five products out of the gate so you can build the brand inside of that market. So, if you’re interested definitely had over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Bootcamp. The show notes to this episode can be found at TheAmazingSeller.com/523 and all the show notes and transcripts can be found there. And guess what, Chris, want to know something?
[00:40:12] Chris: Yes.
[00:40:13] Scott: We didn’t get an accident driving recording this episode so that’s good. So, we might be able to record one more before we get to the event.
[00:40:20] Chris: I think we got time.
[00:40:22] Scott: All right. That is going to officially wrap this car cast up with myself and Chris Schaffer. Remember, guys, as always, I’m here for you, I believe in you, and I’m rooting for you, but you have to, you have to, come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, Chris is going to say it with me and I don’t even have to count today. You ready, Chris? He says yes. He’s looking at me. On the count of three let’s do on three. One, two, three. Take action!
[00:40:45] Chris: Take action!
[00:40:47] Scott: Have any awesome amazing day and I’ll see you guys right back here on the next episode as long as I don’t hit this U-Haul truck in front of me right now.
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