E-commerce has been a scorching hot vertical, grabbing a huge amount of interest over the recent years and one particular decision to make is whether to pursue trend thinking versus brand thinking from the outset.
With dropshipping being a major draw as well, what Jay wants to show everyone is that this is just a small fraction of the bigger picture. Why only dip your toe, when leaping forward with both feet is the answer?
What’s even worse is, most people follow the countless gurus online and learn mixed lessons on how to succeed. Whether you’re already running multiple stores, dropshipping or have never even touched a Shopify interface, this presentation will correct misconceptions and debunk main aspects of being successful in e-commerce for 2018.
After dominating E-commerce for over a year and elevating students of theirs into the 6 and 7-figure clubs, Jay Lev will reveal the simple plan of action that is generating massive success in a short time frame – which will empower you to start building your own success story with a clear understanding of the steps involved.
Speech by Jenia “Jay” Yakovlev | Co-founder, E-commerce on Steroids
Jenia “Jay” Yakovlev Speech Transcript
Nice. So, it’s awesome to be here guys.
And today, I will share with you a thing or two about e-commerce.
I’m sure that both complete novices and experts can benefit from it because I took it in my bizarre manner very seriously.
For those of you don’t know me yet, here’s a brief introduction.
My real Russian name is too hard to pronounce. You can call me Jay.
The Journey: Being An E-commerce Entrepreneur
My story begins summer 2016, where I had nothing in my life. I got out of the army in 2014.
I have been sustaining myself, I was broke. I had no idea how to progress in my life. And I didn’t know how to make money on the internet or money at all.
Okay, no idea at all.
So that summer I was approached by a high school friend who told me, “Hey, listen you can make a ton of money selling physical products online.”
I said, “Oh yeah, let’s just do it.”
From that point until today, I had this amazing journey that is called being an e-commerce entrepreneur.
In which I almost crash my business so many times.
Before we speak about what to do, I want to cover 2 major misconceptions, which almost cost me my business.
Two Major Misconceptions On E-commerce
Let’s begin with the first one.
Okay, most of us probably thought that e-commerce begins and ends and finding a product in AliExpress, sending in Facebook and that’s it, right.
Eventually, once you’re running your store long enough, you start looking at those low margin products with disgust. And you say to yourself, “Oh my god, I have to sell 5000 of those just to break even.”
And you don’t know if it will even sell, okay.
So lost my thought here.
Okay, so eventually, you want to make more money per each sell as you run your business further into the future.
One of the ways that you can actually do it, is to start manufacturing jewelry in your niche.
There, you can start actually selling products with a higher margin, not those $5, $10, $20 margins that we are all sick of it, right.
How do you sell a diamond ring in your niche? That’s the question.
The Diamond Industry
As we all know, the diamond industry is not on a serious decline. And just by taking the plane to enter Belgium, you can go knock on the door and have some business with the diamond dealers saying, “Hey, manufacture me some pieces.”
And then with those pieces, you have to travel to showrooms.
Go to the showrooms and say, “Hey listen here are my pieces.” Whatever sells, sells. Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t.
And the sole purpose for this is to have a big map with location pins saying “Locate a Showroom”
So that plus a premium store and some knowledge in marketing, I don’t see how you will not sell high ticket items confidently over the Internet.
Lost my thought again.
So why am I speaking about jewelry and high ticket items with you?
Because of the next misconception regarding how most of us started e-commerce.
Now I have a store, and the first question most us asked is “Which product to sell?”
Trend Thinking Versus Brand Thinking
But here’s an interesting question guys, what is the difference between trend thinking and brand thinking?
Do you know?
A trend is you trying to find a product then hopefully fit an audience that will hopefully buy eventually.
So even if you have a one-hit-wonder that’s scaled amazingly, it doesn’t mean you have a guarantee for an evergreen buying audience.
I know a lot of people that spend so much money trying to reincarnate the corpse of their winning product because there’s nothing else to cling to.
And we’ve all been there looking at the dashboard, trying to find another product that will hopefully sell.
You understand why I don’t advise you to go that route.
I just talked about branding. What is the branding?
A brand can have multiple winning products for one particular audience over a long period of time.
Here you don’t have to cross your fingers hoping, “Oh my god. Maybe my product will survive another week or not.”
Here you can have multiple winning products that you sell for a long period of time for one audience.
To make your lives easier, instead of asking your first question in e-commerce, which is, “Which product can I sell?
Ask yourself which audience, in which niche can buy from me more than once. And, they potentially can buy high ticket item down the line. And then, bother yourself with products.
Okay so after we’ve covered what not to do, I just want to give you a list of what to do.
This list made a lot of money to a lot of people that I give it for free.
What To Do
So first thing guys. Open a general theme store.
Why? Because you don’t want to waste your time and money on a niche that you have no validation on. Open a general store, start testing there.
Second thing, ask yourself the right question.
“Okay, do I have the audience that will eventually buy from me high ticket item? Yes or no?”
Then you have to understand that, let’s just say, a guy that buys a fidgets spinner might buy from you once and might not come again.
You want people that more inclined to, maybe collecting alcohol, yeah.
Just ahead of my brain, alcohol collectors. They’re buying stuff regardless of your existence. You don’t have to convince them to buy, they’re already buying.
All you have to do is to convince them to buy in your shady website.
The best way to look at it, the best way to look at your audience as the winning audience is to have, I would say, 4 criteria in your mind when you’re looking for an audience.
First of all the majority of them reside in tier 1 countries. They are easily accessible over the internet with some marketing. They are above 3 million people.
And the most important part, they are frequent buyers in the niche.
So again, you don’t have to convince them to buy from you.
So let’s talk about the next thing, you have the buying audience, awesome.
Let’s talk about the product.
Look at your prospect as this miserable Joe that comes back from work on the bus and he wants to mute his misery by scrolling through his Facebook, or everybody screaming at him on the bus.
And all of a sudden he sees your product.
So at this stage, your product must be good enough for him to make the most uncomfortable action possible.
Taking the credit card, breaking his fingers typing it on this small screen and buying from you.
Okay just to make that effect on a person, you have to make sure that, first of all, that’s my opinion, my advice, don’t promote best sellers.
You have a lot of people that are looking at the Aliexpress, 5k sold.
I might promote this thing as well.
The problem with this is that even though it might be one drop shipper that sells it, or 10 or 20, doesn’t matter.
Even though they’re targeting might be off, they’re hitting the similar audience, so the person already probably saw 5-6 times this offer.
Maybe he bought, may be declined. And all of a sudden, here you come with the same stuff again.
So that’s my suggestion, don’t do it.
Promote Products That You Cannot Easily Access On Land
The second thing I have a lot of people approaching me saying to me, “Hey, I have this campaign. A lot of engagement, nobody buys.”
But eventually, what I discover is that a lot of people promote stuff that a person can just literally walk into his car, drive 5 minutes and buy.
So focus on products that you cannot easily access on land.
Another thing that I have to cover, which to me is the given, but I see still a lot of mistakes.
A lot of people trying to promote products that are not appropriate to be worn outside. It might be a necklace, whatever.
It might be in the niche but eventually, the person asks himself, “If I will wear it, what will people think of me?”
That’s another thing.
Fourth or fifth things are, ask yourself the question, “Will you buy the product regardless of being in the niche or not?”
That’s a good question to ask yourself. And eventually ask yourself if you can take high-margin from this product, yes or no.
Because eventually, you are here not to promote some cheap product, that a one-hit-wonder product, you want to actually promote something that is unique, worth your while and your customers as well.
Testing: How To Do It
So after I gave you the best niche and product selection, let’s talk about testing.
I’II want to stop here and the majority of my speech will be focused on testing. And how to do it rapidly.
Because eventually, success in e-commerce is not an equation of time. Success in e-commerce is an equation of fail.
So I guess a lot of us here know those guys that said, “Yeah, I’m doing e-commerce for the past 7, 8, 9, 10 months.”
And I see no success. And they’re frustrated they want to opt out, they don’t care, whatever.
So we all know these people.
Eventually, when you take a closer look at the paper, you see that people may be tested 12 products, 6 products, 10 products, that’s not enough.
As I said again, success in e-commerce is not the equation of time.
You must test as rapidly as possible because even if it will take 10 niches to fail, 14 niches to fail, 15 niches to fail, doesn’t matter. It takes the same amount of niches to fail.
So there’s no need to take it slow and steady.
You will eventually waste the same amount of money.
The question here is time. How much time can you hold without proof of concept?
That’s the question.
I failed 99 products, 19 niches and I did it only in 1 month. And then I had the first sale and from their point, I actually scaled and automated the first business.
Test As Rapidly As Possible
You have to you have to start testing as rapidly as possible.
Probably, 1 niche a day, that’s my suggestion.
Once you have a general store, you have a niche, you have products. Next thing to do is to start getting traction, seeing where the traction is.
There’s no need for you to push a product to sell because if you push it to sell, you push it to scale.
So I have to do with the general store, not to make as much money as possible. It’s to get as much validation as possible and see if there’s even traction.
So once you have a product that sells, try another 5 or 10 products in that particular niche.
Once you actually see that there is validation, all you have to do is take that particular niche, open a new store, migrate the data to that store and start testing again. And again and again.
So yeah, repeat the process.
After A Successful Niche Store
I wanted to stop here and talk about what happens after we have a successful niche store, which I didn’t actually plan for this speech.
But eventually, once you have a successful niche store there, you have to probably open another store to sell premium products as I told you before.
Because eventually, I don’t want you guys to get stuck on low margin products for a while. All you can do is sell higher margin products, attract higher, better data with these products.
And eventually niche outright.
So as long as you open a general store, I didn’t want to speak about because it’s trivial, but I put it here when I made slides.
Eventually, you don’t want yourself to do this store, you don’t want yourself to do the Ad call, Ad design and print on demand.
You want somebody already doing that for you. That will save a lot of time, by not doing stuff by yourself and you will look more premium.
Don’t get cheap on a designer.
Don’t think that you can, “Okay, I’ll just find this product I will sell it and then maybe some time, I’ll get a design.”
Eventually, a good designer with the help of the gods will be your first team manager.
I planned this speech to be short and sweet and to the point.
So from now on, I guess it’s the most uninitiated part for me, which is the free stuff.
Basically let’s talk about user experience, which is one of the most topics in e-commerce as a business.
I learned it from my business partner, a lot of it.
A lot of people don’t focus on how the prospect will see their product or their store. People think that they can upload a lot of products in a niche, start testing them and hope for luck.
But if you don’t put emphasis on, to have your store convert as fast as possible, because you can think of the guy on the bus, right?
You want to convert him as fast as possible before he gets off the bus, before the dog barks, before the baby cries, whatever.
So you have to have a store, which not only looks premium but you don’t have a stuff that is either blocking the real estate of this screen. Or they’re slowing down the process of him buying.
Supply The Demand
Your job will be to make his decision to buy as fast as possible. And eventually, if it is a recurring audience, a recurring buyer, you have to keep supplying the demand.
One of the major, I would say, challenges with having a niche store is to supply the demand.
The easiest way to do it not premium is print on demand. A lot of people neglect print on demand, like “Oh yeah, just I’ll do physical products and that’s it.”
But print-on-demand might be your best solution at worst of times.
Basically, when I started out, I started testing, I wasted so much money on incorrect knowledge, incorrect information. And on testing that you cannot believe.
So eventually I was so frustrated with, I would say, even after you have the success and you sell from AliExpress and the product arrives too late and you have a charge and all that, eventually Aliexpress or any other seller that is not accepting PayPal, to me is hard to automate in scale.
Because we print on demand.
If you accept payment through PayPal, as we do, you can pay for fulfillment, for shipping, and for Facebook through PayPal.
So whatever comes to PayPal, comes out of PayPal. You don’t have to attach your credit card at all.
This is the best solution for people that just starting out e-commerce, did not have a penny in the bank, do print on demand.
I designed the speech to be so short, it’s crazy.
So what else can I speak with you guys?
We spoke about print-on-demand, AliExpress. So a lot of people neglecting others sellers than AliExpress in terms of physical products.
And you have amazing products that are US-based that you can actually access to Etsy. A lot of people relying on the program that automates fulfillment from AliExpress.
We have a lot of programs that can do that.
But Etsy is the best place to look for your first high ticket products.
All you have to do before uploading the product, send the seller a message, telling him, “Hey can you cope with production, they have enough in stock, if I’ll pay you another $5, $10, $1, $2, can you put my branding on the packaging?” and so on.
Another misconception that I didn’t cover here and I have the privilege of 4 minutes of freestyling is that another misconception is — never mind let’s move to something else.
I have 3 minutes guys.
Validation On A Niche
So, once you have enough validation on a niche, before moving into, actually a niche store you have to hire enough workforce to sustain the scaling, which I didn’t speak before about it too much.
A lot of people rely their whole operation on their shoulders, which is a big shame because once you’re big enough or even small enough, you have to invest at least 80, 100, 200 hours a day while l you have only 24.
So the sooner you start hiring people, the sooner you start automating and outsourcing your labour.
And as soon as you start focusing only on marketing, that’s the money there. Don’t waste your time on technical stuff, don’t waste your time on a copy.
Everything you can automate. You have to automate, it doesn’t cost a lot.
Okay and if you get a designer soon enough, and they’ll get your vision soon enough, you can make them into a team leader. And they can run the force for you.
So don’t get stuck on the technical stuff too much because it will ruin your business, it almost crashed my business.
Again, before I met my business partner, had some VAs, did not know what I am doing.
So now we have 25 people working for us, which is a blessing. We all only taking care of marketing, so it’s amazing.
Don’t Take E-commerce Too Seriously
Guys, if I can summarise it in just 2 minutes.
Don’t take it too seriously. This e-commerce thing in the beginning, in terms of don’t think of it too heavy, just uploading niches with products and testing, getting validation, niching out into a niche store, automating it, repeating the process.
I didn’t know that my speech will be so simple to follow in terms of time.
But again, you don’t have to get too much complicated with the first stuff. The complicated stuff comes after you’re dealing with workforce and different marketing channels, and affiliates and all that stuff.
If you were here just to make the first breakthrough, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.
Open the store and upload products and niches and start testing out.
I didn’t have enough time here to answer questions because the way I speak, this is the way I talk, so eventually, if you have more questions about the subject, if you want to even say, “Hey maybe you can help me with the other business,”
I can help as well.
My Facebook group
Okay one last thing, which was the reason for me standing here, I have a lot of long posts on Facebook that made a lot of money, for a lot of people for free.
I share them for free, it’s 5-page posts. I have 13 of them there are the golden nuggets, okay.
You can find them in my group or across the e-commerce sphere.
Here we have more in-depth with what I’m talking about in a concise written form.
E-commerce buyers attraction mastery is my Facebook group, so join in.
And ecommerceonasteroids.com is our website, where we will bring this e-commerce hub to the next level.
And we actually want to push a movement of changing the mindset regarding business and in e-commerce and in general, because if you are into making money on the internet, and that’s my conclusion, start with e-commerce.
This is like the best first breakthrough you can wish for.
I guess this is my time here. Thank you for the audience, thank you for your time.
And I’ll see you soon.