Michael Klose 26-year-old, who has a deep understanding of digital marketing, is a successful Internet Retailers with Upinus. Before opening an e-commerce business, Mike was running affiliate campaigns for Amazon and earning a comfortable salary. But, as that market became more competitive, Mike decided that he wanted to do something that was more profitable and firmly under his control.
In December, after talking with Tony Viet from Upinus through Facebook, I decided to become an Internet Retailer and operate my own e-commerce business. Why not? I had marketing and e-commerce experience, and that is a huge advantage when launching an online store.
E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions.
Since then, e-commerce has evolved to make products easier to discover and purchase through online retailers and marketplaces. Independent freelancers, small businesses, and large corporations have all benefited from e-commerce, which enables them to sell their goods and services at a scale that was not possible with traditional offline retail.
Global retail e-commerce sales are projected to reach $27 trillion by 2020.
Thanks to Upinus, picking Aliexpress products and putting them in a Shopify store has never been so easy. So he decided to start with that model. However, he didn’t know what to choose among thousands of products on AliExpress. It is huge, with cheap inventory, offering endless choices. But which choice should he make?
As a tiny e-commerce startup, he knew that he needed to find a niche market to focus on. Mike thought that he should pick a product that was not easy to find locally, and small enough to have low shipping costs. Moreover, he wanted to try products that were not updated often, so that he could minimize his efforts on inventory.
After sophisticated market research, he decided to sell hip-hop style hoodies and t-shirts. Not only was a wide range of models available on AliExpress, but these products could also help him make use of his Instagram experience.
Shopify makes having an online store so easy. After doing market research, he just went to Shopify, set up an account, picked a theme, and added some sales-boosting apps. Mike noted, “I needed to start with something simple. In the beginning, my goal was mainly to find and test product ideas and marketing channels quickly. A perfect logo or a store interface can be designed later. Don’t waste your time building something nobody wants.”
To drive traffic to his store, Mike focused on two main channels: Instagram and Facebook Ads. Mike notes that “Hands down, Instagram and Facebook Ads have been the best in terms of ROI on every dollar spent.” On Instagram, Mike uploaded photos of style hoodies to his page. He followed anyone who he thought would follow him back.
Mike analyzed Instagram content and shared what was already popular, such as girls and boys in hoodies and cool t-shirts. He then retargeted the traffic he received from Instagram over to Facebook, pushing them to come back to his store and make a purchase. However, the profit margin from this strategy wasn’t high enough, so Mike had to find a new tactic to increase revenue from each customer.
People who love hip-hop style clothing have high brand loyalty, so Mike knew that they would be likely to repurchase from his store. As a result, Mike started to build his email list and offer rewards programs for a variety of customer activities, such as referring his store to a friend or sharing on Facebook. He also sent the customers coupons on their birthday.
For those of you who wonder what marketing channel might be right for your business, Mike suggests checking out Shopify’s guide, 50 Ways to Make Your First Sale, which he says is the beginner’s Holy Grail.
After 3 months, Mike has achieved over $30,000 in revenue with about 500 customers. Thanks to Upinus automation tools and an automated marketing system, he only spends about 30 minutes a day fulfilling orders. He plans to expand his business into more niche markets in the future to increase revenue.
In Mike’s case, a smart product idea and great marketing programs were the keys to his business success. In comparison with other methods of making money online, Mike feels that e-commerce business is more profitable, less risky, and much easier to start.