SGW 007: One Day on the Shopify Tour, 3 Mind Numbing Realities and how they relate to our Amazon Business, Private Label and FBA, and our Future
Woohoo, Episode #7! Something crazy every week. Yes, this episode came out of the blue, as many undoubtedly will, as I went to the shopify retail tour, and spent the day among experts, gurus, and aimless wanderers. Lesson learned? Canadians Rock. No really.
I walked away with an even greater appreciation for what we do, and how we are positioned in the online selling space. I know we’re here to talk about Amazon (for now), but allow me to digress for one short episode.
This is something that has the potential to propel your business forward.
We’d love to hear from you! Please, comment away, ask your questions, and of course, let us know what you’ve done crazy today at, www.MarketingCrazy.com/crazy/
Speaker 1: Test, test, test, test. All right. It looks like we’re doing good. Hello, everybody. Welcome to Online Sellers Gone Wild, episode number seven of our crazy, crazy podcast. This is an unscheduled episode because something cool happened to me today and I thought I’d share it with the crazy nation. What have you done crazy this week? We’d love to hear what have you done crazy in your business, www.marketingcrazy.com/crazy? Let us know what you’ve done that’s a little bit wild this week. We would love to know. All right, so I’m going to get right to Sellers Gone Wild episode number seven, One day on the Shopify tour. Three mind-numbing realities and how they relate to our Amazon businesses, private label, FBA and eventually, our future.
Heavy stuff, but it’s going to be a very short episode, very, very short indeed. This is just how I spent my day and then few big things kind of came up, then I decided I would share it with all of you. This is episode number seven and we’re talking Shopify. That’s right. We’re not going to talk necessarily directly about Amazon and that’s a little bit off because we just finished our kind of Amazon FBA overview, but today, just in my business, I was working on Ecommerce outside of Amazon on a shopping platform called Shopify. We use many different kind of tools to build our online stores that are off of Amazon and we also build stores in WordPress and things of that nature, but Shopify is actually a kind of online monthly fee where they make building a store extremely easy.
I’m new to Shopify, relatively new. They’ve been around for a few years and I to say that it was the easiest store I’ve ever built in my life. It was literally about an hour that it took me to build that store. I was pretty happy with it. We got our first sale in the store within probably one day of building it. It was a domain name that had already been used, but it was really quick until we got our first sale. I’m not a Shopify fanatic, but let me tell you, I’m on my way because it was really easy. It’s very fun to use and you can add functionality to your store very easily. Shopify is a way to build an online store outside of Amazon. It’s a supplement to your Amazon business.
I still think Amazon is the number one way to get started by far especially in the FBA private label or the private label side of the business. Amazon is so great and I’m going to tell you why in a second, but here is what happened. I got an e-mail that Shopify is coming to my town, San Franciso and I didn’t want to miss it. They’re going to be here all week and they’re going to have all sorts of vendors that are giving speeches and they have all sorts of how to use Shopify. I was excited and I ended up going there this morning and I ended up spending the whole day at what is known as the Shopify tour where they’re visiting many major cities in the United States. They’re actually a Canadian company which I’ll get to in a second.
Let me get to a few things I learned on the Shopify conference or the Shopify tour and why it’s important to us. One thing became patently clear to me as I entered this kind of Shopify office space. They rented out a converted firehouse I believe and it was packed with sellers. There are a lot of sellers. There are just a ton of people trying to sell stuff and they all need a lot of help. That was the first thing that was really clear to me and it was also kind of interesting. Let me get to it in a second. There is a ton of sellers out there, ton of them. When I walked in, I was talking to everybody, people who sat near me, people I walked up to. I talked to everybody.
I was amazed by the number of shop owners or kind of would be shop owners. They were besieging the Shopify people who were literally under siege. There were so many people there, but everyone I talked to didn’t really know the business that we do, the business that we’re talking about in the initial part of this podcast, the kind of Amazon FBA business. All of these people, all these tons of people are on the exact opposite side of the business. They are simply making Ecommerce stores. They’re not relying to or dependent on Amazon. The few that had tried Amazon that I talked to didn’t have any success.
They actually didn’t find success on Amazon which is unbelievable to me because I find it to be one of the easiest, if not the easiest platform to find success on, but they were really the other side. They really did not understand our Amazon business or kind of how we broken down our private label FBA business at all. I was just blown away with this, because there were a ton of sellers and they were being exposed to selling via building a Shopify store and trying to get clients. Now, Shopify is an awesome platform. As I said, it’s really, really cool. I don’t think you should start with it, but I think it’s really great and it may be one of the places you’ll want to move to after you built your Amazon business.
It’s a pay-to-play system. It’s got monthly fees and every time you add more functionality and more features, there are more fees. It’s a little bit difficult to kind of start there especially if you’re starting to build your own brand. One of the great things about the Amazon business which totally didn’t seem to get through to the people I was talking to is that Amazon is where the customers are. The customers are already at Amazon. All you have to do is pick a good product and put it in front of those customers and half of the battle that these people deal with every day getting customers is taken cared of for you by selling on Amazon.
They work significantly harder than we do, people involved in the Amazon business, because they have to actually find the customers as well as convert the customers and we don’t really do either of those things. I mean, we do. Amazon really finds the customers, but we have to convert the customers. No, not really. Amazon is doing a great job of converting the customers as long as we put on a fairly okay detail page with a few pictures on it. Amazon is taking care of almost eighty percent of the heavy lifting for us, right? They’re finding our customers. They’re telling us how to convert our customers in the best possible way and all of these people are coming at it from a way where they have to do all of that on their own.
Now, Shopify, once again is great. There’s tons of themes you can choose. You build your own store, but in terms of conversion optimization, my gut feeling is that Amazon is a lot better at converting a cold customer than your random Ecommerce store regardless of the platform that it’s built it on. I would have to say that, they’re with small business owners everywhere, absolutely everywhere. They did not know about the Amazon opportunity that kind of I’m so crazy about right now and I find that shocking. It was also fairly difficult to actually talk about it because it was so gung-ho and ruptured with their Ecommerce businesses selling on Shopify with their own websites, et cetera.
I love that. I’m the same way, but I also view both sides of the pictures. One side of the picture is building your Ecommerce store. One side of the picture for me is Amazon and once I found Amazon, that was just clearly the place where I was going to spend most of my time initially before building out my Ecommerce platforms with things like Shopify. Now, I got to say, I have about six Shopify stores. I’m certainly Shopified as it were, but don’t take that to mean that we only have Shopify stores because that’s not true. We actually have regular stores as well, HTML-built websites that operate as Ecommerce websites on top of that. We all see is Bigcommerce which is a competitor I supposed of Shopify as well.
Let me talk really quickly about the fact that the Shopify people where overrun with questions from these kind of small business owners who trying to figure out the platform and maximize the platform and I got to just say, Shopify is awesome. I mean, the people who work at Shopify are freaking awesome. Of course, I mean, they’re Canadian. They’re so friendly. They were like smiling the entire time, super friendly, absolutely loved being there. They seem to be a really cool company I just have to say, really, really cool company. The Americans, the other people that I dealt with, the experts and the service providers, there were some hits and misses on that front, but I spoke to absolutely everybody I could.
I actually got to sit down with some “experts” and “gurus” and kind of work on Shopify store. That was great. Another crazy thing which may or may not play into anyone’s greater knowledge of Ecommerce is the fact that it was completely dominated by women. Small business owners were everywhere, yes. If the conference has any indication, it’s completely a market skewed towards women. It was like seventy five percent women. I’m not quite sure why that is, but that was certainly apparent and I’m going to go back again tomorrow actually. I just wanted to record this really quickly and get it out there because I think it’s cool. It’s a different part of the Amazon business and of course, my next podcast episode will go right back to Amazon.
Right now, I’m completely Shopify crazy. I better go get that domain name, Shopify Crazy. Shopify Gone Wild. I may get that domain name too. The second kind of biggest thing that I noticed is the mindset that we have as private labelers, that we have as building our business on Amazon and private labeling and creating our own products. We create things. We see the world differently. Our eyes are completely opened and this business forces us to open our eyes to the world around us in a way that … Initially, I told you, I had not understood that every product, almost every product that you see, if it’s not completely brand new built in a factory owned by the company is likely a private label.
That just never occurred to me. It’s completely … It’s mind blowing to this day. I think most people don’t see that. I think that there’s so many facets of our business of really … our Amazon business that are taken cared of for us which is what gives us such a huge benefit, such a huge benefit. There’s so many facets of online business that aren’t really talked about in the Amazon space which we’re going to be talking about in a podcast later after we get through Amazon, but there’s so many facets. It’s just fascinating because Amazon really takes care of us so much, finding us all our customers in optimizing their check outs and allowing people to be prime members and get their products super quickly and dealing with a lot of customer service, a lot of customer support.
Not that we don’t add on to that, but I just had to say that this conference made me feel lucky. I hope that somehow, giving that thought to you, it made me feel lucky. We have a lot of benefits in the business that we’re in and it became super, super clear through this conference how far ahead of the curve we are. That was a great feeling. That was a really great feeling. We are lucky. That was kind of the number two thing I took away. The number three thing I took away and this is what I’ll end with is everyone is talking about one form of promotion. Well, we’ll get to it later. We’ll do a whole podcast episode on it, but it was so clear in that conference that there were really two areas of social media promotion that we’re just dominating.
I just went to a conference called Social Media Marketing World. Social Media Marketing World, that’s quite a name for a conference. It’s in San Diego every year. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. It’s not a super high level conference in terms of the content covered. It’s not like an internet marketing conference, but it was just really, really good. I mean, I found the information, the people and everything about the conference really, really good and I actually bought the ticket for next year. Shopify today, they were talking about two things, Pinterest and Instagram, Pinning and Instagramming, two things that I really don’t do even after I went to Social Media Marketing World, but this is rapidly changing.
There’s been courses now released on Pinterest and how it relates to Amazon products and things of that nature. I have not done that. I’m dying to hear from people out there who’ve used Pinterest and/or Instagram, how they’re using it in their Amazon businesses, what they’re doing with it, what kind of results they’re getting. If you are one of those people, that’s great. If you’re not, don’t worry. I’m probably going to end up talking with people and buying courses and figuring it all out and sharing it with you, but Pinterest and Instagram were both extremely …
They were talked about quite a bit in the conferences, just ways to drive traffic, but there’s million ways to drive traffic, but everyone was talking about it as a way to drive very qualified traffic which I’ve approached everything with a little bit of like, “Will you prove it to me?” Because I’m not sure how qualified people who look at pictures on Pinterest are going to be to buy products, but I have been proven wrong before and I think this is going to be one of those times where I’m proven wrong again. I think investigating Pinterest and Instagram especially after listening to the two talks today on each of those platforms really showed that there is a significant way to drive qualified traffic to your Amazon business and/or your online stores through these two platforms.
I’m going to investigate that and that will be coming up in a future episode. Specifically, how it’s applicable to Amazon as well. Anyway, thank you so much for tuning in to this very quick episode on Shopify and the retail tour and how I spent my day today and how I’ll probably spend my day tomorrow. If you have any questions, see the show notes on marketingcrazy.com/podcast and that’ll give you all the links to the products, PDFs, transcriptions, bonuses, links to Shopify and whatever else you might want to actually look at. We put all of our links there, as well as transcribe the entire episode in the show notes. We also link to tools, groups, websites, everything that you might want or need.
Keep it crazy. Keep on selling. Find us on the web on Facebook at marketingcrazy.com/fb. That’s marketingcrazy.com/fb, and answer the question, what crazy things have you done this week? I told you, one of the crazier things that I’ve done this week, I just spent all day at a Ecommerce store tour. I’ll be coming up in just a day or two telling you one more crazy thing that I’m doing with my week. I love the lifestyle that this business provides and your ability to kind of control your own time. I think it’s fantastic. I’m going to be telling you a lot more about that in a future episode as well.
Tell me what crazy things you’ve done this week, www.marketingcrazy.com/crazy and we will see you in the next episode. Also, don’t forget my super short disclaimer. I’m an attorney, but this is not legal advice and I am not your attorney. I strongly suggest, if there was any legal advice ever in this show or any sort of actual professional advice, you can consult a professional in your area. It just keeps on getting shorter and shorter my disclaimer. I love it. I love it. All right, you guys have a great week. We will see you soon.