5 Keys to a Successful eCommerce Business (E160)

  • Luc Simmons
  • Co-Owner of Scope16


  • 5 Keys
    1. Time
    2. Conversion
    3. Organic
    4. Data
    5. Money


Spark Shipping



Charles (00:00):

In this episode of the business. E-Commerce I talk with Luke Simmons about the five keys of a successful e-commerce business. This is the business of e-commerce episode 160.

Charles (00:19):

Welcome to the business. E-Commerce the show that helps e-commerce retailers start launch and grow the e-commerce business. I’m your host, Charles Buskey and I’m here today with Luke Simmons. Luke is the co-owner of scope 16, an agency that works with e-commerce retailers to help them scale from six to seven figures, I asked Luke on the show today to chat about what are the five key elements that are required for successful e-commerce business, like how he runs through this list. And they really are all things that you should be thinking about when you’re first starting or just trying to scale your business. And he helps to really set some expectations for a lot of retailers, usually early on that kind of starting what they should really be looking at and know what they’re getting into. I think anyone starting off this is going to be super helpful. He goes through the five different topics. I’ll link to those in the show notes, but let’s get into it.

Speaker 2 (01:09):

So, Hey look, how are you doing today?

Speaker 3 (01:11):

I’m doing really well. Charles, how are you? Good.

Charles (01:13):

Happy to have you on the show. I think I think this topic is great for people kind of starting off. I see a lot of retailers kind of trying to get going and they kind of get stuck right at that very beginning phase.

Speaker 3 (01:25):

Absolutely. Especially, you know, this well, everything that’s happened in the last 12 to 18 months, it’s definitely, everyone’s noticed that, you know, going online and e-commerce in particular has been something that, you know, a lot of people wanted to jump on and take advantage of and you know, don’t blame them whatsoever. So, absolutely. I think it’s definitely a question that relates to a lot of newbies, if you like, in terms of the e-commerce, I’m really getting their brand up and up and up.

Charles (01:52):

Yep. Yeah. We’ve seen ’em I know his hair, at least we’ve seen a lot of brick and mortar retailers in the past 12 months say like, you know, the brick and mortar is just zero. People coming in were shut down to some government you know, the government lockdown sort of thing. We need to do something and we’re like, we still have these distributor relationships. We still have all these products. We still have all the stuff we just need to sell it somewhere. So a lot of them jumping online just because of that, but it is different, right? Because let’s say you’re a brick and mortar. You’re used to, you know, putting on your sign, doing your local advertising and you’re competing against the people within a X number of mile radius versus you online. Now you’re competing against everyone in a it’s a niche. So it’s like this like virtual radius. And does a mind shift a mindset shift there?

Speaker 3 (02:35):

Absolutely. You know, everything from the way that you position yourself as a brand to, you know, even the community, because you know, like you said, brick and mortar, you understand the community that you’re living in, you understand what their needs and their wants going online and one competing, but also then trying to understand how your audience can change from whether they’re on the East coast or the West coast is completely different. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely not something that is just, you know, a quick fix and it’s definitely not something that you can just kind of jump straight into it takes time. But it’s definitely the place to be in my opinion right now,

Charles (03:10):

So. Sure. Yeah. So you have five reasons. I like numbers. I like less with numbers, so we know what we’re going to know. So

Speaker 3 (03:17):

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s, let’s do it. So, I mean, I’ve got the five things here and like you said, this is definitely for, you know, when you’re first getting into it, understanding five of the most important things to take into consideration to allow yourself to start building a long-term e-commerce brand. So the five things, I narrowed it down to a time website conversion using and leveraging organic side of things. So more, more on the social media side data and money as well.

Charles (03:47):

So organic, more tickets, some notes out.

Speaker 3 (03:51):

Yeah. number four was data and number five was money,

Charles (03:55):

Data and money. All right, well, let’s go into each one here, data. All right. So number one is time when you say time, what are we, what are we talking about specifically there?

Speaker 3 (04:06):

Time is, I think it’s just an expectation, expectation thing. You know, like I just touched on a minute ago, it’s people think, you know, owning, running an e-commerce store is something that can just be done and it can be done very, very quickly. But I think once you start diving into the world of e-commerce, you understand, it’s not as simple as just having a product and having a website for sure. You know, there’s been cases and, you know, people have got lucky, they’ve struck gold on the first go and don’t get me wrong. They’ve made a huge success of it. But on the whole it’s understanding that, you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day as I like to say.

Charles (04:40):

Yeah. I think I talked a lot to retailers in this and Hey, I have this launch on whatever, like February 20th and you start saying like, unless you’ve done this before, unless you have your marketing and your like locked down, figured out, really dialed in. It’s very hard to just say, Oh, on the 20th, we’re going to like open the door and there’ll be that line coming in. It’s not like, yeah, it’s not like you’re like at the beach and have an ice cream shop. And like you, Hey, we’re selling ice cream. People just like show up. You need to really get people there. So,

Speaker 3 (05:11):

And there’s so many, you know, in that particular example, there’s so many things to consider, like you said, inventory the buildup, you know, are you, are you going to be spending on paid ads leading up to that point? You know, or are you going to be spending ads on that day? Because you know, again, paid ads don’t just happen overnight. You need to find the right right time to start and prepare for it. There’s other things to get in place as well. And I think, unless you’ve done that a few times, you could be the most prepared person in entire world. There’s always going to be things that come up, you know, that’s life, that’s, that’s just business at the end of the day.

Charles (05:45):

Yeah. I mean, I’ve talked to some folks here that they run their paid ahead of time. Right. And they start generating email list and they’re really, and then they look and, you know, I have X number of thousands of people on this list and they know, okay. And they’ve done it over three months. So this list is warm. They’ve been communicating with them day one, they opened up and they keep kind of, Hey, it’s gonna happen in a week. It’s going to happen in seven, in five days, it’s gonna happen tomorrow. And then it happens and they just, and then the flood Gates open up. But just to say, yeah, I’m gonna start running a Facebook ad. It’s a little unrealistic that day.

Speaker 3 (06:16):

Absolutely. And I also think, you know, there’s, there’s always two ways to look at it. It’s, it’s looking at it from an internal point of view and thinking about your brand, but you know, with, especially like this last 18 months has been the perfect example, the external factors going on in the world, whether it’s to do with the pandemic, whether it’s to do with the change in predator presidency, they all play a part in how well your launch will perform. And that’s something that you have to consider. It’s not just, you know, it suits us and it suits our brand to do this. Yes, sure. But what’s happening at that particular point in time that could potentially lead to over for performing or underperforming you know, when, when you reached that launch date

Charles (06:55):

Yeah. How would you, what, what kind of the, the mental model there be on, you know, you’re a new retailer and you’re like, Hey, we’re gonna launch the end of February. How would you kind of get yourself ready for that and understand, no, like what should my expectations be? Should we be looking at you know, two week, two day, two year horizon? Like, how would you have been tell some about that?

Speaker 3 (07:17):

That’s a great question. And obviously it’s, it’s definitely case by case, but just to give you, I would say a general structure, the way that I would always start to think about these things is, you know, break it down to the basic. So of course, if you’re, if you’re leading up to a launch, the most important thing is, do you have the inventory and do you, do you have the ability to, you know deal with the amount of orders that you’re expecting as well. And then taking a step back from that, it’s also making sure that you have the things in place like paid advertising, or at least traffic, you could narrow it down to that, you know, is going to be somewhat in the same level or the same threshold to allow you to sell enough of the inventory. So the way that I would look at it from to answer your question in a simpler way is first of all, understanding the inventory that you need to have.

Speaker 3 (08:08):

And secondly, understanding from your audience’s point of view and your, you know, your ideal customer persona, what is it that they’re looking for? And then beyond that, it’s just being aware of those external factors. Like I said, once you’ve learned the basics, you know, you can almost over-prepare as long as you have the inventory and you understand that this is something that’s highly in demand, then yes, I would definitely recommend going for one of those hard date launches. If that isn’t the case, to be completely honest with Charles. And it’s something that you’re still in the early stages of learning and, you know, wanting to understand what the demand is for. I wouldn’t have such a hard launch day. It’d be something that I’d gradually built in and I wouldn’t have such an emphasis on it. It’s definitely something that I think having a hard launch date like that is something that should be built into a longterm plan for your e-commerce brands. You really have to understand who you are as a business and, you know, the customers that you’re selling to

Charles (08:59):

Two years as an entrepreneur, right? Like I think some people having that hard launch date that, that does something internally for them and they feel good and they’re going to push and everyone pushes, but other people, like I know myself, I dislike hard dates. Like I want to know if we get the night before and I’m like, you know what, I’m not ready. I want to be able to push it back or it’s nice having you do launch that day. And it’s, it’s a continuous soft launch, and maybe you don’t open up to a thousand orders, but you might open up and get a couple orders and then realize, Ooh, that, that like email sequence doesn’t really make any sense. Right. You know, now that I see it, it doesn’t, let’s dial that back. So instead of just like pushing a thousand people through that day one and realizing, Oh, that ended doesn’t make any sense. It’s a lot easier to correct.

Speaker 3 (09:41):

Exactly. And, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, even things I do on a basic, a daily basis, you know, you can, you can end up rushing things and that’s when you miss the little details. And like you said, you know, it can be simple things like, you know, the, the after buy buyer experience, you know, have you got that in place? You know? Yes. You could have a great short term gain, but have you got the backend sorted because once you’ve got people coming into your store and they’re buying, you know, products and and all sorts from you, is that something, is that an experience that they enjoyed and are they going to be coming back in the future? And that’s the other thing, you know, it’s not just about what’s happening in the present. It’s you need to be thinking, you know, a few months ahead and how they’re going to be affected. Yeah.

Charles (10:17):

And there’s all sorts of things and you, you learn, right. Like your analytics. So you’ll realize, Oh my Google analytics wasn’t set up. Right. I need to kind of go back and have these, like, there’s always this other thing that you forgot and having that like pressure behind you does help. So

Speaker 3 (10:31):

Exactly. It’s, it’s, I think it’s about setting realistic expectations at the end of the day. Yeah.

Charles (10:36):

When you said, so number two was conversion, what was that about?

Speaker 3 (10:40):

Yeah. So website conversion you know, us as an agency, we, we are specialists when it comes to paid ads for econ, but at the end of the day, you know, it’s like any service-based business, you have to understand that there’s other factors that will play a part in the service that you’re providing. And one of the biggest things for us is, you know, knowing that when we’re sending the traffic to an end destination, whether that’s a website, whether that’s a landing page or a funnel, we have to know that that is going to be to a, to a standard where it should be converting. Right. and I think, you know, especially when we were again talking about the early stages of an e-commerce brand it’s something that can often be overlooked in my personal opinion. And the worst thing that I’ve seen happen is, you know, in those early stages, the emphasis is put too much on paid ads and you start wasting thousands and thousands of dollars sending traffic to a website that just isn’t converting at the rate. It should be. And that, you know, that’s another thing that I’ll touch on throughout the course of this conversation, but it’s, it’s all about at the beginning, understanding the assets that you really need to get off the ground before you start spending money on driving traffic to those assets. Because if you don’t have those in place, you’re throwing money, literally down the drain, how would you get that

Charles (11:54):

Baseline? Because right. You don’t know, day one, you send to this page and don’t even realize it, should it be converting at a 0.5 or a 5% conversion rate, like, and it changes business to business. So you have no idea. And then you send paid traffic and you’re like, Oh, it’s converting at a four, you know, a 1%, is that good? Is that bad? Like you don’t even know. So how do you get that baseline data? Correct.

Speaker 3 (12:15):

And it, again, it ties back to the time, but you’re right. You don’t know initially, and you, th th there always needs to be obviously a form of traffic going to a website, and this is, you know, touching onto the third one. And this is why they all really come together. And tightly bond is the fact that there is so much available to us these days when it comes to organic methods, you know, across, you know, Facebook, Instagram, just to name the big ones. Obviously then you’ve got things like Tik TOK, which in this day and age is becoming almost one of the best platforms to really go viral on. And, you know, a lot of e-commerce brands that we deal with personally have leveraged that, and it’s really allowed their business to, you know, reach record months, time and time again. And to go back to your question about the baseline, the assets that really are important to get yourself off the ground is one having a, a website and not necessarily, you know, knowing the indefinite conversion rate that is going to have, but making sure that you have, you know, even if it’s family and friends and keeping it basic and just testing the user experience.

Speaker 3 (13:15):

So, you know, I land on your website. I look at the homepage, I get to the categories, or they can get to a product page. I add a product to car and I start to initiate checkout and make the purchase. How easy was that? Did I, you know, did I get caught on anything? Was there anything that, you know, took me to, to a destination that I wasn’t expecting? And it’s, it’s simple mistakes like that, that can end up costing you a lot of money if you haven’t got those basic checks in place at the beginning. So the first thing I would say is, is making sure you’ve got a website that’s at least being checked and the user buyer experience is acceptable and something like Shopify on the whole will allow that to happen. So that’s definitely the first asset, the second asset.

Speaker 3 (13:55):

And one of the most important is data. Again, data can be in so many forms. It can be through the Facebook pixel, through Google analytics, it can be through an email list. And when you’re first starting out, that’s not necessarily something you’re going to have. So again, this is where it all comes back to the organic side of things is that I’m not opposed to paid ads. You know, at the end of the day, that’s what we live and breathe. The agency at scope 16, but at the same time being realistic about it, you have to start to understand your audience and who you’re really targeting in my opinion, from an organic point of view, before, even the thinking and considering about using paid advertising to your advantage,

Charles (14:35):

Do you see people get stuck in this kind of chicken and egg sort of thing, where they want to cut? They want to start testing, but they don’t, you know, they need to run paid ads, but like, and they don’t know which one to do first. And should you wait for organic? Cause that can take how much time to kick in. So what do you kind of recommend people do to out of this chicken and egg?

Speaker 3 (14:53):

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s it’s, it’s definitely something that, and, and that’s the thing I, you know, it might have sounded like, you know, I’m almost saying don’t touch paid ads until you get to a certain point, but the truth is that’s not the case. You should definitely do a bit of everything, but you know, th the main point here is that when I’m talking about the assets that you need to have before you even consider paid advertising is the website. That is your biggest asset as an e-commerce brand. You know, people, that’s where people at the end of the day need to go in order to buy your products. That’s where you’re making all of your money. And, you know, that’s the biggest thing that you need to have initially then the first thing in the first few weeks I’m talking about, even in the first month, it’s about just understanding, you know, by putting content out there and by reaching out to family and friends and just getting some very, very preliminary and initial feedback on your product, you know, the sort of feedback you are getting now, if the feedback is positive and, you know, you start to see that actually there is a demand for it, even with, like I said, even if it’s within your close network, that’s when I would highly start recommending that you do start putting a little bit money into paid advertising.

Speaker 3 (15:59):

But what we do often see happening Charles is, you know, people are working from home, they set up an e-commerce sites. No one, not even their family members know that, you know, this is something they’ve built out. And then before, you know, it, they start running paid ads. And that’s the thing just use, you know, it’s like good old business. It’s, it’s not, it’s not what, you know, it’s almost who, you know, right. And it’s kind of using that to leverage the initial early days into a point where you can at least test your product with a few people before start, before you start wasting money and paid ads.

Charles (16:31):

Yeah. Well, I’ve always liked starting with paid ads, but not for actual, you know, you hear people talk about ROAS and like kind of tracking that, but at the beginning, you’re not actually looking for any sort of return on ad spend. You’re just looking to either, like you said, email family and friends, and give me some data because you know, I like you and we know each other, or just basically buy traffic to get that same data. Right. So I don’t know, maybe you have no friends and you don’t want to ask, you don’t want to hound anyone. You can just pay X number of dollars, get the traffic. And you’re not buying, you’re not looking for any return on ads, but you’re really not looking for any of that. You’re just looking for, I’m buying data right now. I’m just buying my convert. I’m basically buying my conversion numbers. I need to learn this number. And here’s how I get us.

Speaker 3 (17:14):

Yeah, exactly. And it’s, it’s like you said, it’s, it’s, it’s having that expectation again. You know, a lot of people think you put, paid out, you’ve put money into paid ads instantly means you’re getting a ROAS. Yeah. Like you said, it’s, it’s, it’s the expectation. If you’re willing to put, put it into paid ads at the beginning, just understand that it you’re playing the long-term game at that initial point. You know, once you start to get the feedback and you can make the relevant tweaks, whether it’s to your, to your product, whether it’s to the, the, the creative side of things, when it comes to how you’re displaying your product, or even you know, certain parts of the user experience, then you can really start to expect to see a on ad spend. But you’re absolutely right within those first 30 to 90 days is the crucial time period in my personal opinion. So use all these organic methods to really give yourself as much of a advantage before you start running paid ads. But on the other hand, if you want that ahead, that you know that headstart and you have the money to put into it, of course do it, but don’t expect to see the return on ad spend. It just

Charles (18:13):

Allows you to move faster. That’s at the end of the day, right? Like you’re going to get there. If you build organic traffic, you can build a Facebook following. You will get the data. But if there’s one of the day today, I can pay for a thousand people to come to my site and just see what they do and absolutely right. To get a thousand people through organic, you will get there. It just takes, it will take time and using ads just as like a shortcut to this method.

Speaker 3 (18:35):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, pay paid ads is, is something that in any e-commerce form is a must. It’s just, you know, knowing when to use it and how to use it. Like you said, at the beginning, the objective is different. It’s sending people to your website so that you can learn test and then obviously impotence your website. And then obviously as you start to get into it is to build that consistency when it comes to the return that you’re making on the budget that you’re investing.

Charles (19:03):

Yep. We said, organic, you started touching upon that. And I was expecting you to go through to the SEO route, but you kind of went with Facebook and some other social, organic, social, organic let’s call it that. Why would you do not classify SEO in that bucket anymore? Or because it’s 2021, SEO is a whole different game. What are you kind of see that growing

Speaker 3 (19:24):

Agreed. A good question. It’s actually something I’ve never really thought about it like that. SEO is obviously it’s something that it’s, it’s definitely, in my opinion, when it comes to any form of organic or any form of marketing, it’s obviously that real long-term game. And again, it’s something that’s vital to have, but it’s definitely something that a lot of people don’t think about until, you know, their eCommerce brand becomes somewhat established. So I would consider organic, but if you, if you like it, that would, I would consider it the slow organic methods, the, the organic methods I’m thinking of have the potential to go quick, don’t get me wrong. They definitely don’t go as quick as paid ads as we just touched on, but they have the potential to, to go a lot quicker and start sending traffic to your website a lot quicker as well. And it gives, it gives you that, that balance between it not taking forever, if you know what you’re doing, but at the same time, it’s still a free resource. It’s still something that you can leverage without having to make the investment.

Charles (20:23):

So you’re saying, get out there, start an Instagram start posting and just do the work to basically build a following on Instagram, a tech taco, wherever

Speaker 3 (20:31):

Exactly. It’s, it’s something that is, is quite often neglected. Because like you said, that’s the thing it’s, it’s finding the balance. You know, a lot of people will go to heavy paid ads. Some people go way too heavy, organic, and it’s finding the balance. Social media should be something that is done, you know as an omni-channel you need to be. And that’s why by building them up from day one even if you are going to be using paid ads, you’re you have, you have then platforms that you’re able to send people to and keep people connected with your brand. You know, if you don’t have a Facebook page set up, if you don’t have an Instagram profile setup, even tick-tock, whatever it may be that you use, if you’re not using that from day one, you’re potentially missing out on keeping in touch with those initial customers that come your way,

Charles (21:14):

Do you feel like it’s very industry dependent on which platform to go with? Because I know some people you hear like Tik TOK is like the thing and other people, like, I don’t, you know, I sell to, I sell print, just a dentist to talk just isn’t like doing isn’t moving the needle for me.

Speaker 3 (21:29):

Yeah, yeah. That’s exactly what was actually going to touch on. So, absolutely right. It completely depends, you know, on the, on the, on the sub niche or the category of products that you’re selling. And one of the big ones I think again, is, is definitely in 2020, and also the beginning of 2021 we’ve noticed is, is, is really playing well again, not for everyone, but for specific products. And that is Facebook groups. You know, there are certain products out there which allow you to build a community off of, of course, if it’s going to be, for example, a, a clothing store, a Facebook group is unlikely to be something that, you know, the users or the buyers would benefit from. On the other hand, though, if you’ve got a product, for example, that’s selling something along the lines of candle supplies that say, just thinking of previous clients, but let’s say candle suppliers, you know, that’s something where obviously people are buying products and then at home are actually creating something.

Speaker 3 (22:25):

And that allows you to then start to build a community of people we’re doing the same thing, have the same interests. And, you know, rather than just having a following on Instagram, a Facebook group is going to be something that’s much more unique and is something that you’re then able to build up over time. And it’s about finding, like I said, for your own particular brand, which of these platforms is going to work best. You know, again, if you have one particular product that, you know, works incredibly well and is almost, I like to put it into a category of an everyday product, but something that stands out from the crowd. So, you know, you’ve, you’ve, you have an everyday product, like for example, a water bottle. But it’s something that, you know, offers something slightly unique. It allows you to create videos, which something tick-tock is great for is kind of comparison videos, right?

Speaker 3 (23:09):

You know, this water bottle can do this compared to a standard waterfall. So they can’t. And you know, that’s talking in very basic terms, but Tik TOK works in such a good way when it comes to those types of videos and creatives. And the other thing I wanted to touch on with organic is social proof is by far the best type of content that you can use both organically, but also most importantly, and paid ads as well. And, you know, there’s no better way of getting that other than actually starting to build these organic channels from, from day one.

Charles (23:40):

Yeah. And the nice part is, like you said, compared to just SEO, it can grow a lot faster if you kind of find that, like that hook. I’ve seen people, we had a user here a while back and they emailed us just friend little notice, Hey, we’re launching they work with all the influencers we’re launching so-and-so on Thursday and we’re thinking and I don’t know who that, I don’t know who that person is, but okay, cool. And they turned it on and it was like a plug it open. And I’m like, Oh, I should probably look, I should probably know who this person is like this influencer. And it was someone in tech talk. I still don’t know what they even do, but it’s impressive. You see some of these numbers and like the orders just flooding in were really it was something. So if you, yeah, if you’re on there and you have the following, you just, you know, start selling Luke’s candles and all of a sudden you get your candle store going. And it’s great. So

Speaker 3 (24:31):

It’s great. And I think honestly, you know, and it it’s trends of course, but you know, they’re, they’re, you know, Instagram used to used to do the same thing, but in this point in time, right now, there’s honestly nothing like tech talk in terms of how quickly you can go viral. When my personal opinion, you know, there’s accounts after accounts that are doing very simple, basic things, but people love it. People love it, and it’s going crazy. And like you said, you know, the numbers are, mind-boggling just how quickly they can grow. And, you know, if that’s something that you’re able to build up, even if you’re getting, you know, in the tens of thousands of followers and likes, that’s sending traffic to your website and guess what, you’re building content in the background. It’s not costing you anything to do it. And that’s also going to help you when you come to paid ads and you’re building this whole ecosystem of different networks and social media profiles, that’s going to allow you to really build that strong foundation for your e-commerce brand.

Charles (25:25):

Yep. I guess. Yeah. So data let’s get into that. I like the data section. What do you do with all this data? Right. Because I feel like there’s, there’s two sides. People that don’t look at it and then people that go like data crazy and you install something like that’s a good one on like Google analytics or some of these different things, like time on page and you get some of these, you know, data points. You’re like, what do I even draw time on page? Do I want that number to go up, but do I want to go down? Like, what do I even do with these numbers? So like, how do you use data to actually make decisions?

Speaker 3 (25:56):

So that’s a really good question. You’re absolutely right. You know, I, there’s two things I wanted to talk about with data. It’s obviously what data should you have as an e-commerce brand and what should you be looking to acquire? And at the same time, how would you interpret that data? Like you said, Charles. So I think when it comes to interpreting data, if we go with that first it’s, especially, let’s look at paid ads. You know, if we’re looking at Facebook and Instagram, because, you know, that’s majority of where people start, when it comes with paid ads, it makes sense, you know, largest audiences on there. It’s going to tell you a lot about your brand and your users’ experience. Again, that’s in relation to the Facebook pixel. So where are people getting held up when they land on your website?

Speaker 3 (26:38):

Are they, you know, staying on the homepage and then clicking off your website or hang on a second, are they actually staying on your homepage, reading everything and then making their way through to the, you know, the, the potential hot buyer areas. So, you know, looking at products, adding to cart, initiate checkout, when you start to see the rhythm, if you like of people actually landing on your website, and you’re starting to see the ratio from view content, add to cart, initiate checkout, and you can see this smooth progress. Of course, it’s going to decline, you know, you’re onto something good, but it’s also going to, on the same time on the reverse side of things, allow you to see potentially where you’ve got these holdups, where you’ve got these bottlenecks that are preventing you from you know, increasing the conversion rate for one, but also improving the bar experience at the same time.

Charles (27:23):

Yeah. And I think what I’ve always done with data is just from day one, just start collecting as much as you can, but don’t focus on just almost nothing at the beginning, just collect data. And then at some point when you’re ready to start optimizing, just find like that one or two data points that you’re just trying to optimize going from this page to that page, going from, you know, the product page to a checkout page. Like that’s the only thing you care about at that point, optimize that and then move on. And I think a lot of people got hung up on, they’re just looking at all these numbers and you get overwhelmed very quickly.

Speaker 3 (27:54):

Absolutely. And like you said, it’s, you know, data’s not something you can control. You just have to, you know, the most important thing is to make sure that you have a way to collect it. If you have the, the, the infrastructure in place to collect the data, you’re in a good point, but you’re going to drive yourself crazy. If you think you can control the amount of data and the type of data you’re getting through and whether that’s good or bad data. And that’s another thing, you know, w whether the data you’re collecting is good or bad, and there’s definitely ways that you can ensure it to certain extent that it is good data you’re getting, and there are ways as well that you need to be careful because, you know, there are certain ways that you can use paid ads that unfortunately will drive bad data to your website.

Speaker 3 (28:34):

And unfortunately the pixel collects that, and that can lead to problems down the line. But you’re right. There are the, the biggest thing when it comes to data and interpreting it in my personal opinion is like you said, don’t get distracted by the bells and whistles telling you someone’s been on this page. And they were looking at this page for five seconds. It’s okay. To a certain extent, it’s going to tell you a little bit, but it’s not going to give you the overall picture. And then, you know, from that point of view, I would really focus on the main, the main stages in the buyer’s process, and always relate it back to that buyer’s process. So they’d land on your website. They go to the product page, they potentially add it to cart. They go to checkout and start initiating checkout. And obviously, hopefully they complete the purchase. And that’s what you should really be focusing on on a day-to-day basis. Everything else of course can be looked into more detail, but as long as you’re looking and tracking that data, that’s going to give you everything. You need to start building a converting website.

Charles (29:29):

Yep. I like that one tip. I found too when you’re starting off start with Google tag manager, Google tag manager GTM from day one. I see a lot of people don’t do that. And you install you’re, ah, just cool on what X and then, all right, we’ll do the Facebook pixel and like, all right, we’ll do this other pixel. And then by whatever point a year from now, you’re like, Oh, we have like 30 pixels on the site. And you’re just trying to like change one. And what goes, where, and then worst case you bring some on a marketing and then every pixel change, they need to email like someone with different access. And it breaks something like if you install tag management day one, it just gives you this really nice place. And it’s a little confusing at first, but, you know, if you’re, if you’ve never used it, but then you give to the marketing person later, they’re like, Oh, thank you for they. Like, they’re all universally excited about that. So that’s one of those things just started from day one. Cause a lot of stuff is difficult to set up and requires tweaking over time.

Speaker 3 (30:21):

Absolutely. A hundred percent agree with that. You know, and, and funny enough, you know, talking more about as an agency, you know, that’s, that’s one of our qualification processes. We, we need to know that you have the data and, you know, from an e-commerce owner’s point of view that just letting you know how important data is, if we don’t have that data to use, there’s, there’s no way that we can even think or, or, or guarantee any source of results because the data is going to tell everything and tell us everything that we need to know.

Charles (30:49):

There’s no baseline, right? So you can’t, you can’t say we’re going, we increased X percent because you don’t know where you’re starting from. So there’s no, yeah. There’s nothing to work with. Right.

Speaker 3 (30:56):

And I think, you know, a lot of people will agree in marketing, you know, no matter your personal preference about a product or however, anything looks, you know, you can, you can look at a product and think it’s the best products in the world, but if there’s no data to back that up, you know, more often than not people are wrong from their initial preferences, you know, when, when you start getting it out there to the big wide world and you start testing things, that’s when you really start to see actually what works and what doesn’t work, having these presumptions before it gets out there can often be the wrong thing

Charles (31:26):

When you mentioned bad data. What’s an example of dash, like where would actually cause more issues on harm than good.

Speaker 3 (31:33):

Absolutely. So you know, this, this, the easiest way or the, the most common way that we come across, this is when it, when we’re running paid ads, you know, specifically talking about Facebook and Instagram here again you know, it’s just, you know, thinking about the, the, the campaign objective you know, obviously the most, the most common one is conversions, but then, you know, a lot of people will use or have used traffic in the past. And that’s, you know, that can be because of a lack of knowledge or it can just be down to the fact that they want to, you know, achieve results for the lowest cost possible. And the problem is with, you know, not understanding the difference in both of those objectives is that actually traffic can sometimes lead to driving the wrong people to the website.

Speaker 3 (32:15):

Cause Facebook is simply, you know, driving people to your website. They’re going to take a certain action, but unfortunately the truth, you know, 90% of the time is that they aren’t actually going to be the particular audience that are going to be buying from you on a regular basis. So yes, you’re going to get more data coming through, but the data you’re getting is painting or unrealistic picture. And that’s the thing, you know, again, talking about data and looking data you shouldn’t be so fixated all the time on, you know, whether your numbers are huge or big. It’s actually, you know, how, how trustworthy is this data I’m looking at? Because you could have, you know, a hundred thousand website visitors in a month, but if you’re driving that traffic from a source, that makes no sense. And as an end result, they’re not going to be purchasing from you. All that data is going to do is sway the data that actually matters. So in comparison to a thousand legit customers that have a very high chance from buying from you, that’s going to tell you a lot more than a hundred thousand unrelated buyers word.

Charles (33:12):

Yeah. I think when, and I don’t know if you could still do this on Facebook, just say campaign, objective lights, like I just want likes to my page and you do stuff like that. You underestimate, there’s just people out there that like doing that thing, like liking a page or just clicking on an ad. They don’t buy. Like, they definitely don’t buy it, but they love clicking on ads or love liking pages. And I’ve run some of those just as kind of a test and seen like, who are these people? And then you go to their page and you realize they like maybe a thousand different pages. It’s like, they just like pay, like, that’s what they do with that day. So whatever objective you pick Facebook will find people that will do that thing real well. And like you said, if it’s clicking on something, they they’re good at finding people that like to click on buttons. But yeah, it trying to get people to actually put them in a cart. Those are much, much more difficult to find. And you’re gonna need a lot more data, a lot more time, a lot more money. So

Speaker 3 (34:04):

Exactly. And it’s, you know, like you said, that that’s one objective also engagement, you know, like you said, Facebook finds people that are going to put random comments on your, on your ad, which is it. And that’s another story, you know, just how they do that. And, you know you know, it’s incredible that they can, but the problem is is that yes, it can be good for certain things, but again, you have to be aware that actually, if you’re using that as your main, as your main method to driving traffic to a website, it can lead to problems down the line.

Charles (34:31):

It’s a tool, right? It’s a, it’s a toolbox and you have a tool now when you run a new ad, starting off with an engagement campaign just to make it right. No one wants to see the ad. And you’re like, Oh, there’s zero likes. And no one commented on it. Cool. Like you just kind of move on, but when you look and you’re like, Oh, there’s, you know, 700 likes, 50 comments, they’re all these like positive things. Maybe there’s something going on here. So using that engagement as a tool at the beginning to just generate engagement, but realize like, I’m not going to get any sales. I’m just making my ad look, you know, decorating my ads. Exactly. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (35:01):

And it’s just understanding that it’s just understanding that and when is the point to use it and when is the point of then, you know, switch to, to the right strategy. And there’s obviously, you know, aiming for conversions and collecting the right data. So yeah, absolutely. On the same page.

Charles (35:13):

Yeah. I think a lot of people, the first time you see those objectives and you’re like, what, like, it’s just like overwhelmed. And I think that is a benefit of going with an agency of someone that says, okay, we’re going to run an engagement campaign for the first three days, get a bunch of likes, then we’re going to add get some clips through there just to kind of get people on the site to Rican, retarget them. Then we’ll go into our actual, you know, the big campaign we’re going to really kind of double on exactly whatever your process is, but at least someone with a process, right?

Speaker 3 (35:42):

Yeah. And you know, this is the other thing as well, you know, over the last, you know, especially, you know, every year it’s getting more and more competitive on, on these paid ads platforms, you know, it’s, you know, even, even maybe four or five years ago when I honestly was just starting out, you could, you could pretty much throw money at Facebook and you would somewhat see some sort of return, you know, but in this, that now fast forward to now, it’s honestly not the case. And I think that’s a big miss misconception is that it’s, it’s as easy as just placing money on Facebook and you’re going to see a return. It’s just understanding it’s not as simple as that. And it’s for your own benefit as well. You know, doing it right from day one is going to allow you down the line to reach Heights that you just wouldn’t imagine.

Charles (36:24):

So last but not least money, what is that about? That’s an issue. I think people don’t realize how money works in e-commerce when you go into it. You think it’s a money printing machine and you realize that when you’re scaling up, it’s a money like eating machine. Oddly. So tell me about money.

Speaker 3 (36:40):

It’s absolutely. It’s like a, it’s like a car, right? It’s like a, it’s like an ongoing expense. Like you, you know, you get a puncture, you have to, you know, you have to change something on the car. It’s, it’s constantly expense. And I think like you said, Charles is like a lot of people when they first open the e-commerce store, it’s like, Oh, Roaz, I’m doubling my money. They just, it’s just thinking about it even down to the inventory level. Yes. You’re doubling your money, but now you’ve got customers that are demanding a product from you. You now need to have inventory that you you’re purchasing for and, you know, preparing for that inventory in advance. And that means in essence, at least for the first six months, you need to be prepared to be out of pocket a lot of the time because you’re playing catch up yes.

Speaker 3 (37:22):

Down the line. That’s when you can see these amazing money printing machine examples, but definitely, you know, money is something that at the beginning, it’s not, again, there are examples out there where you can start with a very small budget and people have turned it into millions and millions dollars back. But on the whole, there has to be a certain expectation that actually, if you’re pumping money in, you need to be doing on the right reasons and just going full circle with this. You know, if I’m first starting out in those first 39, 30 to 90 days as an e-commerce brand, you know, the way I like to look at it that first, you know, two to $3,000 I have, if I had to put a price tag on it, they’re going to be focused fully on getting my assets 100% or to the best of my ability ready for real serious traffic.

Speaker 3 (38:10):

And like I said, I’m talking about website, I’m talking about making sure I have the right content. And I have the right social proof. They’re the biggest assets and also data, sorry that they’re the four main assets that I would really want to make sure I had in place. Once I’ve got those assets and you have, you know, you know, you have then money to invest into paid ads. Absolutely. Go ahead and do it, but also be prepared to, to not see a return straight away and why you see people still working a nine to five alongside, right. Because it’s not something that you can quit your job nine to five straight away in most cases. Because you have to have that certain expectation. That’s going to take time to build up to a point where the profits you’re making makes sense to take it full time.

Charles (38:52):

Yeah. I see a lot of interesting stuff going on now about just investment in e-commerce from like a line of credit perspective. And a lot of folks are starting to do different things around this. And I think that’s one of the next big things, right? Where you have folks and you can start a store easily. You could start collecting that data. You can start getting those baselines, but then when you actually say, okay, let’s jump in the pool head first, then all of a sudden you look and you’re like, Oh, we need like a war chest to really do this. We need to really like our ad spend could be thousands, tens of thousands per month, weekday at some point. And as that ramps up, you’re gonna have to buy more inventory. And then you gonna have to spend more on ads with more inventory.

Charles (39:30):

And there’s just this ongoing, like cash eating machine. So I think there’s a lot of people out there and I think there’ll be services come up in the next few years on lines of credit or just ways of them looking at order flow data, analyzing and say, okay, we can give you a line of 40 K or whatever that number is to then be able to increase. And if that works then go up from there, because I think that’s a wall as soon as, as soon as you have a little success, that’s a wall, a lot of people here.

Speaker 3 (39:55):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And that’s the thing, you know, the first year in any business, there’s always going to be one of the hardest. And you know, it’s, it’s just having, it’s just understanding that, you know, it’s, it’s not, it’s not that, like you said, cash making machine. But at the same time, you know, you know, this isn’t, this isn’t to put people off from, you know, running, you know, running in trialing, you know, e-comm stores like fruit, you know, hand on heart. It’s one of the best things that you can do at this current point in time. But it’s just knowing that actually don’t expect, you know, within the first three months to have a fully fledged, you know, established e-commerce brand, that’s going to be able to sustain you. And your lifestyle is actually something that, you know, it has to be treated like a brand.

Speaker 3 (40:37):

It’s something that has to be built up over time has a journey. And you have to be prepared to go with there on that journey. And as long as you always remain on that core idea as to why you have this product and why you’re selling it, you’re going to be in for the longterm. And I think that’s the biggest thing is, you know, you have to have a brand that you’re passionate about. It’s like anything, you know, when you’re, when you’re growing up, it’s like, you know, make sure you try and find a job or a career that you enjoy because then you’ll never have to work at Daniel life. And it’s finding something like that, that you’re passionate about, because I think as long as you’re passionate about it, you’re not there to just rush and make quick money. That’s not the way that e-commerce works. But that being said, if you understand how it works in the time that it does take the benefits are endless.

Charles (41:21):

Yeah. I think that’s a great place to end us. And I think most people, if you’re getting into it, just get into it, knowing that this is going to take, you know, I, I could be in this five to 10 years, so this needs to be something like I can pitch myself waking up eight from now and like doing this and the job is going to change, but you’re going to be still working. You’re going to be solving this problem for years to come. So you just make sure it’s something you can do that on, but absolutely. Yeah. I think that’s super helpful if people want to kind of see what you guys are working on. So tell me more about the agency and what do you guys do though?

Speaker 3 (41:51):

Yeah. Perfect. So yeah, we obviously work with e-commerce and also info-product brands, predominantly e-commerce brands. You know, we really specialize in helping brands that want to take it to that next level. So a lot of brands are coming to us you know, a lot, a lot more recently because of, you know, the pandemic and everything in those early stages. And we have, we actually have a very good support team in place that actually allow them to basically free up their money while still getting the support they need. Right. I think that’s the most important thing is that getting an agency isn’t always going to be the most economically wise choice to do at the beginning. And that’s why we actually have two main services. The main service is obviously a done for you program. And these are for the brands that, you know, have got past that sort of 90 day stage and have really starting to see sales come in.

Speaker 3 (42:40):

And a bit like we touched on earlier, Charles is, you know, now they’re starting to deal with serious inventory issues and making sure that all of these different moving parts are aligning that’s when you know, the right time is to come in for a done for you package. That being said, though, like I said, there’s a huge demand for people wanting to start their own e-commerce brand. And the other side to our businesses is helping those people without, you know, having these huge monthly retainers it’s actually giving the ability to have, you know, world-class support and guidance from our coaches that have their own e-commerce stores as well. And being able to take that to the next level and we give them full support from actually setting up their own initial campaigns, how to optimize them, how to scale them. And at the same time, just giving overall good business advice as well.

Charles (43:23):

And what does that like a monthly coaching program sort of thing?

Speaker 3 (43:26):

It is it’s actually a six weeks intense training program. And then after that we have ongoing support. That’s basically, you know, as part again of a Facebook group and we have four to five weekly calls where, like I said, coaches, join, jump on. We have a special guest speakers at jump on again, talking about their own experience and their own e-commerce brands. And sometimes it can be about particular topics, you know, you know, a website conversion rate, for example, someone, you know, we have website specialists coming in and really, you know, one-to-one analyzing, you know, what’s going on on someone’s website, potentially how we can start improving that convert.

Charles (43:59):

Right. Yeah. I always liked the idea of having kind of groups, whether it’s coaching or a mastermind or just some group you’re in some community where you’re going to have these odd challenges. Like there was something the other day I was sending, I was wiring money to whatever country and I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know how to apply money from here to there. Like I’ve just never done that. And I’m in a couple of groups and they’re like closed groups and just kind of ping people on there and you’re like, Hey, I’m trying to do this. And there’s like multiple people that like, Oh yeah, I wire money there all the time. You’re like, Oh, great. Okay, thanks. Here’s what I use has a service, how much I pay, like, thank you. So like you could go around for, you know, all this stuff, right? Like what when you start a new Facebook campaign, like what objectives should I use? Like you can go and watch videos, but it is nice having someone there that you can kind of just ping and be like, Hey, here’s what I’m working on. What do I do? And you just get an answer a lot faster. So

Speaker 3 (44:49):

Absolutely at the end of the day, you know, any sort of, you know, coaching, anything that’s out there is on the internet. You know, that’s, that’s how everybody learned. You know, a lot of people learn is for YouTube ads. It’s one of the best resources that everyone has available. But you know, the, the coaching side of it is that, you know, if you want the ability to, to know where you’re potentially stepping off the track and you don’t want to spend months, months, and thousands of thousands of dollars, figuring out those own mistakes yourself, where the ones that are going to be able to put you and keep you on that track so that you can reach success as soon as possible. But you’re absolutely right with, you know, that community feeling. It’s, it’s something that going online is definitely different to the brick and mortar that we spoke about right at the beginning.

Speaker 3 (45:28):

You know, you couldn’t imagine almost having a tight knit community and having a Facebook group, you know, with, with, you know, let’s say for example, you know, supermarkets competing, you wouldn’t imagine them being on the same group, whereas even on a, on a Facebook group, like our coaching group, you know, you have people that are trying to run their own e-commerce stores, but there’s no, there’s no direct competition. And I think that’s the nicest thing about it is that there isn’t, there isn’t any, you know, love or hate relationship. Everyone is able to help each other, every there’s enough room for everyone to succeed, as well as the big thing.

Charles (45:59):

Love it. Okay. If people want to kind of find you reach out, if there’s more questions, what can they do that? Yep.

Speaker 3 (46:04):

So two places we’ve, we’ve got a scope, 16 marketing Instagram page, and also Facebook page. But please feel free to reach out to me at Luke Simmons. I’m on Instagram as well. And we’ll, we’ll get you speaking to the team.

Charles (46:17):

Awesome, Luke. Thanks a lot for coming on. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

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