The quotation in the title of this article is quickly becoming an increasingly common complaint by newcomers to independent agency in eCommerce. A close second to the quote is certainly:
My store is getting lots of traffic but no sales!
In this five-minute article, I’ll be pointing out the origin of these complaints and introduce the remedy.
We here at Ships-A-Lot see plenty of marketers and developers who get into independent eCommerce and struggle with the logistics portion, hence our play in the fulfillment service.
People who make these complaints, however, tend to fall into a different background: they come from, or are mostly familiar with eCommerce in a marketplace settings. Like I set up before, Shopify is an ecosystem of independent agents, typically with a focus on brand-building.
eCommerce marketplaces, like eBay and Amazon (specifically Vendor Express) have sales-driving infrastructure already in place. This is why they are able to take a much larger revenue share. When selling on these platforms, the most important part of your business (the sales) is handled by outsourced agents.
Dropshipping is simply the converse of this type of arrangement: you agree to act as an independent sales agent for a production and shipping company! Again, here, a healthy portion of your markup is given up since your dropshipping partner is doing the logistical heavy lifting.
The naked Shopify platform (out-of-the-box) is geared toward completely independent ventures; in direct or indirect control (including the decision to outsource) of all their affairs.
The one thing it will not do is generate sales!
Make your own sales!
There are so many vehicles with which to do this! If you operate in product-based eCommerce, PR is usually a strong performer. Cross blogging and tit-for-tat promotion work so well its shameful!
Work out the amount of margin you’re willing to give away to make a sale and start working on optimizing a paid advertising mix.
Find an influencer that will work out a performance-based plan with you. Do not give them free money. If you are going to send them a check, they had better earn it. If they get sheepish about going performance-based, that is an incredibly strong indicator that no mutually beneficial arrangement will be made and you should be prepared to walk away.
Write your ass off. Research the $$$ keywords for your product/customer combination and hammer away at them on a regular calendar.