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Mastering The Integrated Product Stack On Shopify

May 27, 2021

Veteran online sellers have found a tried and true product strategy for scaling a business to six and even seven figures - and Shopify is a great platform to implement this blueprint on. 

What's the product strategy? I call it Product Stacking, or the Integrated Product Stack. It's not complicated - and here is a chart that outlines the concept:

 

Product stacking is built on the idea that people want to 'go deeper' in connection to their area of interest - and if they trust you for one aspect of that journey, they'll likely trust you for the other aspects as well. Or, if they don't trust you, at least you're ideally positioned to make an offer to them associated with the other needs related to the topic. Since you've got their contact information and you know they purchased something in associated with that issue you are more ideally suited than anyone else to offer them a related product.

 

Step One - Initial Purchase

If you offer something - and someone...

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Why We Failed On Amazon But Succeeded On Shopify

May 21, 2021

Lots of people try to sell on Amazon and fail. We did. And although I don't generally like to dwell on my failures, I think in this case it might be helpful to share about it - in the off chance that you're in the same boat. 

Of course - my prescription for success is to sell direct-to-consumers via Shopify - which may or may not be the right solution for you - I get that. But if you've failed on Amazon then my best suggestion is to diagnose the root cause of the failure, look at it carefully, and then craft a new plan that is built on those hard-won lessons.

 

Reasons Why Sellers Fail On Amazon

There are a lot of ways to fail on Amazon. Let's document the most common (and I'll share which one snagged us):

  1. The product you're attempting to sell has low sales volume on the Amazon platform (this could be for a wide variety of reasons).
  2. The product you're attempting to sell has good sales volume on Amazon, but you can't source it cheaply enough to have any profit at the...
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The Little Known Differences Between Amazon And Shopify That Radically Change Your Income

May 13, 2021

I'll never forget the day I was sitting in a room of over 500 online sellers (the vast majority were selling on Amazon) and the speaker asked everyone selling over $5,000 per month online to stand up. Half the room stood up, including me.

  • She asked people to remain standing if they sold over $10,000 a month. A good number of people sat down.
  • She asked people to remain standing if they sold over $20,000 a month. More sat down.
  • She asked people to remain standing if they sold over $30,000 a month. At that point there were about 20 people standing.
  • She asked people to remain standing if they sold over $40,000 a month. Most of them sat down.
  • She asked people to remain standing if they sold over $50,000 a month. Two people were standing - me and Mike Brown of Death Wish Coffee.
  • She thanked everyone for sharing their results, asked the audience to applaud us, and asked us to sit down.

I was shocked. First of all, where did all the amazing Amazon sellers go? Why did they drop...

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The Ecommerce Formula 4-Core Aptitudes Diagram

May 07, 2021

I've had the honor of working with almost 1,400 Shopify site builders in the last 6 months, and I've come up with a working theory of e-commerce success. I believe it takes 4-Core team (or personal) Aptitudes to begin finding some success. I like using the baseball metaphor to explain it.

Last month I introduced my 4-Core concept in a super long blog post, (The E-commerce Formula - Mastering The Four Core Building Blocks Of Online Selling Success). To summarize it - I made a framework diagram I'd like to share. If you like it, share it with other people around the internet.

 

The Business Aptitude 

Your decision to sell products or services as a business venture starts the process. When you put on the entrepreneur uniform and gear up - you're in the game. You step up to the plate and begin looking at opportunities flying by - like baseballs. You begin seeing opportunities to make money everywhere you go - and in tons of different ways. You can take a swing at any one of...

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Amazon Sellers Vs. Shopify Sellers 30 Differences

Apr 30, 2021

When I launched my Shopify Power course on Udemy (in June 2016) I wasn't sure anyone would notice. Since then I've had the privilege of working with over 1,300 new Shopify site owners and it's been a blast!

Many of them come to me as successful Amazon sellers. I love helping them launch Shopify sites so they can create a second source of online income. 

I've come to realize there is a big difference in the mindset / priorities / and tactics between selling on Amazon and selling on Shopify.

Mindset
Priorities
Tactics

So in this article, I'll share the differences I've seen (many of them in the form of a question). If you enjoy this content, you'll also enjoy our Amazon To Shopify webinar


Amazon Mindset Vs. Shopify Mindset

Many Amazon sellers I've met have a merchants-mindset. Let me explain. When I was a kid we lived 30 minutes away from the largest Saturday market in California, Denios Farmers Market & Auction. It's amazing. We would go...

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The Shopify Site Startup Checklist

Apr 23, 2021

Starting a new Shopify site can be intimidating. Here is a checklist that will help you make it systematic.

Pre-Launch Branding Checklist

Domain Name Availability: Check on www.godaddy.com to see if the domain name you want is available. If you can't get the Dot Com version, move on to another idea. Your primary goal should be to pick something that is available, memorable, meaningful, and easy to say. 

Search Engine Availability: Google it - and make sure there aren't people, products, or companies that are already using the name you want. If it looks like it is a crowded field, with well-established sites and brands operating professionally - go back to the drawing board and look for another naming idea.

Trademark Availability: Go to www.trademarks.justia.come and search to see if someone already owns the name as a registered trademark in the industry you want to operate in. If so, go back to the drawing board. 

Business Name Availability: Go to your...

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Build Your E-Commerce Brand With These 7 Master Methods

Apr 15, 2021

Legendary money manager Bill Miller once said, 

"There are three sources of competitive advantage in investing: informational, analytical, or behavioral."

We can apply this to the real world of competitive marketing and say, there are...

3 Sources Of Competitive Advantage In Building Your Brand

Informational Advantage: You can win by simply knowing more about the business than your competitors. It's very common for entrenched competitors to face new upstarts. That can be troubling. One way they win is by simply knowing more about the business than their younger rivals. What can they know? 

  • Customer buying behavior (what will sell and what won't)
  • Pricing strategies that work in that niche
  • Supplier options and challenges
  • Seasonality
  • Margins
  • A million other small but important facts that give the entrenched marketer an advantage - as they simply wait and watch the upstart rival make predictable mistakes.

What can the new upstarts know that serves as a competitive...

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The 2 Crushing Emotions That Shut Down Shopify Sellers

Apr 08, 2021

On Sunday morning at church, the minister talked about a retreat he went on and what he learned. I was thinking about branding and marketing. It all got mixed up in my mind.

The minister said,

Shame is the master emotion because it prevents us from expressing many other emotions. Shame tells us we are not enough. We are not complete. We are not sufficient. 

I said,

So, new marketers can struggle with feeling ashamed of their brand or product. They can feel like their solution is not enough. That their brand or product is not adequate. It can stop them from doing their best work. So new marketers and brand builders need to be unashamed of their work and boldly declare what they are doing!

The Minister said,

The problem with shame is that it causes us to retreat inward and pull back from connecting with other people. Without vulnerability, you won't go deep in a relationship. 

I said,

If the marketer doesn't become vulnerable enough with customers to share authentically...

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Join The E-Commerce Revolution In 3 Steps

Apr 02, 2021

Millions of people are selling products online... Some of them use Amazon to sell, some eBay, some Etsy, some Craigslist, and some, (like us), use our own website secretly powered by Shopify, (the e-commerce platform system that allows you to set up your own shop easily and affordably). You can see our Shopify powered site here.

Millions are being made by ordinary people... The massive allure of e-commerce selling is the potential for unlimited upside. We all imagine creating a runaway hit product that takes us from zero to hero. We dream of an income generating website that changes our life forever. As with any large commerce system, that's rare, but it does happen. And the frequency of it occurring is speeding up as more people sell online and the tools and tactics become more familiar. 

For example... take my friend Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish Coffee. He sells on Shopify and on Sunday, February 7th, 2016 his site traffic went from 250 visitors to over 150,000...

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The E-commerce Formula, Mastering The Four Core Building Blocks Of Online Selling Success

Mar 26, 2021

Commerce is in the middle of a massive transition - slowly creeping from offline transactions to some version of their online equivalent. Like an iceberg, slowly moving downhill, this creeping transactional - transition is at the same time incredibly slow, and crushingly fast. 

I feel lucky to be an observer, right up close, seeing the transition from ground level. As a former SVP of Marketing at an old-world organization (A University) I led a team as we struggled through the transition to online selling (and online delivery of our programs) - and as a kitchen table entrepreneur with my wife, we struggled (and struggle daily) to find our way in the brave new world of competitive online selling. 

I've also had the privilege of teaching Online Marketing at the University level - as well as teaching my Shopify Power course to over 1,000 students via Udemy (an online learning marketplace). 

In this post, I'd like to share what I call the E-commerce Formula - The...

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