Here’s what to focus on for eCommerce growth in 2021.
In the previous episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, I shared the mentality that is needed to make 2021 your best year yet.
In today’s episode, I get into the specifics of what to do to make this a breakthrough year for your business.
As always, if you have any questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this with someone who needs to hear it.
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What's up everybody, Anton Kraly here, from eCommercelifestyle.com and welcome back to the podcast. If you're new here, just know the show comes out twice a week. Every single Monday and Thursday morning, we have a brand new episode go alive and they are all designed to help eCommerce store owners increase their revenue, automate their operations and become the authority in their niche.
And in today's episode, what I want to talk about is what you can focus on for eCommerce growth in 2021, because we are getting there really fast. It's December already. Crazy. But in the last episode, that was just posted on Monday, I was talking about the mentality that you really need to have in place to make 2021 your best year yet. But in today's episode, I wanted to build on that for people that are up and running and making money, and get more into the specifics of what you need to do to make this a breakthrough year for your business.
A couple of things, I should note, the tips that I'm going to share they will work for all eCommerce stores. But specifically, what I'm going to talk about is really a direct conversation with members of my coaching program, Drop Ship Lifestyle. So if you're running the Drop Ship Lifestyle, business model, this will be especially relevant for you. And by the way, if you're listening and you're not just go to dropshipwebinar.com. After you listened to this, I'll link it in the description. Again, that's dropshipwebinar.com. You can get a free training from me there on how we build highly profitable semi-automated stores. And I'll also give you a free copy of a report. I just updated that contains 237 profitable product ideas for 2021. Again, you can get that at dropshipwebinar.com.
Now, what is currently happening, right? What's the state of eCommerce? Well, like I've mentioned in episodes for the past nine months, eCommerce is growing faster than it ever has before. Obviously, that's because some people are forced to buy online now because of the pandemic and some of it's because people maybe were forced to place their first order online and they kind of fell in love with the process. It's a lot more convenient, right? I almost never go to stores anymore myself. So because of that, it's growing faster than ever. And because of that, there's more opportunity right now to grow big and to grow fast.
Now that mentality to grow fast, again, talked about it in the last episode, so if you haven't heard that one go back and listen, I will link that up in the description as well. But what I want is just sum this up, I guess, with our game plan for the new year and what I think yours should be too. If I had to sum it up in four words, it is risk more, win more. Okay. Risk more when more.
What do I mean in terms of risk? I don't mean lose money, but I do mean you should be risking more time and money. We'll talk about exactly how much. But what I want you to do is spend a portion of your time, whether it's your time or your team's time, if you have one. On things that are new, maybe just new to you, but things that are new and things that are not seen as guaranteed wins. Obviously nothing is ever a guaranteed win, but we know with a pretty high level of probability, when we're building a new store, certain things we'll do that, almost give us guaranteed success, but then there's also those things that are a little bit outside of the wheelhouse, right? Outside of what always works. And those are the things that you want to start investing a portion of your time and your team's time into. Same thing with money.
And I'm not just talking about specifically spending money on new ad channels, which is one thing you can do, and we'll talk about, but also spending a portion of money, meaning profit that you should already have because this is for people that are up and running and profitable, but spending money on things like contractors, to help in areas where you have weak spots. Different softwares and SAS products. Software out of the service, that maybe you haven't considered before, maybe that are pretty pricey, maybe that you've just been hesitant to use, this is the time to start using them. And of course, advertising, putting money into new sources of traffic and new opportunities for conversions. Now how much? Right? Because risk is great. Like risk is something I'm totally fine with, uncomfortable with, but I don't risk it. All right. Picture. You were like a Texas hold'em poker player. You're not going to win much, even if you're the best player in the world, if you're putting your chips all in, every day.
Right. If you're just constantly doing that. So, that's not what I'm talking about. What we do, and what I recommend you do, is take between 10 to 20% of your resources. If you're super risk averse, then start with 10%. But take that and put that into these new projects. Again, they don't have to be new to the world or new to eCommerce, but new to you. So again, 10 to 20% of your resources, both time and money. Now, as far as money, this is important. What we do, and what I recommend you do, is use new money. So let's just say, hypothetically, you're listening to this and you're currently spending $10,000 a month on ads and it's working great, and the $10,000 a month on ads you're spending is generating you $100,000 in revenue. Perfect. But let's just say that money is currently being spent mostly with Google ads, Google Shopping ads, and then maybe your small budget is there for Facebook and Instagram dynamic remarketing, but those are your main drivers, right? That's where everything's coming from.
So when I say, take 10 to 20% of your resources on the money side, if your budget was 10 and it's working, I'm not saying, take 2K out of that, 10, I'm saying, use new money, existing profits, something from your bank roll, right? The money that's in your business bank accounts, and take one to $2,000 in that example, and put that into monthly projects that are new. So when it comes to new platforms and new things you can be testing with that smaller percentage. That can be things like going direct to different influencers, which I teach in module six, by the way, in the Dropship Blueprint, so don't think you need to go out there and find a whole new system and framework to use, that's all covered in module six of the blueprint. Also, blogged banner ads, right? So direct media buys.
This is something people are typically pretty hesitant to do. And I think it's because, in all fairness, inside of my coaching program, in the drop ship blueprint, I do say you shouldn't just jump into it from day one, but as you grow, you definitely want to be doing direct media buys through the form of buying banner ads directly on blogs and authority sites in your niche. Again, I teach that in module six of the blueprint. Another thing, Bing ads. Bing ads work. Okay. At least, from what we've seen, we don't get the same ability to scale, right? We can't spend the same amount we spend on Google on Bing ads and get the same results because they don't have as much traffic, they don't have as many people searching, but we can get great return on ad spends. And it can be something that either you focus on or you bring somebody on, whether it be a contractor or somebody on your team to manage. Because there is a lot of opportunity when it comes to Bing. So don't just have it there as an afterthought.
Pinterest ads. Another thing that works great, but you want to do them, right. Right? You don't just want to set it up one day and then check back three months later and see what's happening. This is where, when I say 10 to 20% of your budget, you want to put into these things and tend to 20% of your time or your team's time. That involves not just spending the money and seeing what happens, that involves researching things like Pinterest ads or Bing ads, even things like YouTube ads, maybe you haven't done them yet. Or Google Discovery ads, researching the platforms, really trying to get a grasp of what works before you do it, and then investing in the content that's going to be there. Right? What are your ads going to look like? Are you going to create new media? That's going to be posted there.
Either again, you're creating it yourself, your designer is, if you have a designer, or you're going the route of hiring a contractor, maybe on upwork.com, maybe on OnlineJobs.ph, but you're bringing somebody on to give yourself a better chance of success with these things. Because what a lot of people do is think, let me try Pinterest, click here, click there, one hour later, they're set up. A month later, oh, we spent a hundred bucks and it didn't work. Okay. Forget about Pinterest. No. Spend real significant time resources and money making these things work.
Or at least giving yourself the best chances, because as eCommerce is continuing to grow, these are where opportunities are that most people aren't tapping into. So while everybody else is doing the same, which by the way, don't stop doing the same, the same works. But while everybody else is doing the same, you can do the same plus these additional things and your growth curve will look totally different than the person that's just maintaining, because you will be the person that's investing time and resources in to growth. Now, one more tip I can give you as far as what platforms to use, because I'm not a huge fan of doing a million things at once, because if you do that, nothing's going to work. I recommend reverse engineering, whatever the top players in your industry are doing and trying to not copy them, but see where they're advertising and trying to get media buys on those same places.
Again, whether that be Pinterest or YouTube or any direct blogs, try to see where they are, and then go to them with your own ads and your own spin on things. As far as, how you can do that, alexa.com we'll show you some referring sites. I personally like a tool called whatrunswhere.com, it's very expensive, but if you're spending a lot of money, it's worth it. But for most people that are just looking to start scaling again, just look around on websites like alexa.com, try semrush.com and do free trials and see where your competitors are placing ads, new places that you can get your extra time and money invested in.
One more thing that I don't want to get deep into in this podcast, is that... I'm saying like, add this additional 10 to 20%, right? For your kind of exploratory growth, but with what's working, one thing that people just get stuck with when they're new is scaling that. So let's go back to the 10 K a month example. You're spending 10 K a month in ads consistently, and it's generating 100 K, listen, you should be spending more. Okay. It's time to grow. I'm not going to get into the systems for how to do that because I've covered that in a previous podcast, that one is called the one thing holding you back from 10 X growth. I will link to that podcast below. And it's all about how to spend more money on your ads and do it profitably.
So again, that episode is called The One Thing Holding You Back From 10X Business Growth, and it will be linked up in this podcast description. Now, the other thing that you really need to be focusing on in 2021 to get to the next level, again, I'm assuming for the listener right now, that you're up, you're running, you're making money, things are working, you're happy. It's time to start playing the long game and it's time to start investing into assets for your business. Key thing here is, just like before, when I'm talking about investing, it's not from your existing pool of what's working, when you're investing money into long-term growth, into playing the long game, that is new money. That is money that should already be profits that you have in your business bank account or profits that are coming in from new orders. This is money that you want to invest to grow your business over the term.
It'll make your business more valuable. It'll make you more money, it'll build trust, it'll give you more of a solid foundation. So what should you be investing in here? Content, content, content, content. It's funny if you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle, you definitely just got emails from us a couple of weeks ago, where we offered a content package where we're literally creating content for Drop Ship Lifestyle members, every week for 52 weeks. That's how important this is.
Obviously, at the time I'm recording this, it's not available, at least not as a promotion. So what I recommend everybody do, that's listening to this, whether you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle or not, you're just looking to grow your authority over the longterm, plan for 2021, to create two to four unique pieces of content every single month for the next year. Again, two to four unique pieces of content every month for the next year. So what type of content am I talking about? Well, this can be collection pages for different categories you sell in. This can be supplier pages on your website. Let's say yourself, for 20 suppliers. For each of those suppliers build out a very valuable page for each of them on your store. This can be blog posts. These can be buyers guides.
And one thing that's important to keep in mind, I'm talking obviously about a lot of content here, especially if this is something you've never done before, you do have options. Obviously, you can write these all yourself or you can outsource them. And for most people outsourcing is the way to go. What I'll just say, either way, whether you're writing these yourself or outsourcing it, make sure you're focusing on the value to the reader, but also on the SEO benefits. So when something is posted to your site, it should deliver value to a real person that's there reading it, but it should also be structured in a way that Google and Bing will take a liking to and rank you higher in the algorithm. So in module six of the Dropship Blueprint, there's a lesson called search engine domination. It's like two and a half hour long SEO training that I put together, that has everything you need to know about search engine optimization for eCommerce stores.
But if you're going to do this, which you should go back to the Dropship Blueprint, watch the lesson called Search Engine Domination, so you're making sure your content as it's being researched and created is structured for the search engines and we'll get you all of that additional traffic over time. Now, the next asset that you should be investing in 2021, if you want to take advantage of how fast eCommerce is growing is, building your email subscriber database and doing it actively. Not as an afterthought where you check every once in a while and you see, oh, cool, I have a thousand leads. Listen, what I'll say here is, what gets measured, gets managed. So whatever KPIs, key performance indicators you look at in your business, maybe daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, whatever it is, add email subscribers to that list of KPIs and do not let it be an afterthought.
Make it a priority, and what you want to do is actively track lead generation throughout your site. So where on your site are people opting in? Where are the leads coming from? How many are coming in? And what is that lead value? Are they buying from you? And how much are they buying from you? Now we track this all through klaviyo, super easy to do. I actually have a full program about it. It's called, Inbox Funnels For eCommerce, all about email marketing and tracking. I'll link that program up in the description too, if anyone's interested, but either way, use Klaviyo, add to your KPI list, how many email subscribers you have, set targets and actively monitor it.
Now, another thing that I would highly encourage anybody to do, that's already up running and making money, is start to actively build your email subscriber list, through paid traffic. So what I mean here, is sending certain pools of traffic from different traffic sources directly to lead generation pages. Where the goal is, they go to that page from whatever traffic source they come from, and the goal is to have them enter their name and their email and submit it. And when they submit it, they'll get something of value from you, for free, I should say, and after that, they're going to be on your email list and going through automated flows and they're going to be going through broadcasts, and you're going to be able to see how much all of those leads are worth to you.
So as far as how much money you should put into this, it really depends again, on what level you're at in your business. I'll just give you some general numbers that you can use as a frame of reference. Now, when we are running these campaigns, these lead generation campaigns, the first thing we're looking at is our CPL and that stands for cost per lead. So what does it cost for us to get a lead. Again, a name and an email, subscribed to our email list.
Let's just say, hypothetically, you set this up and your cost per lead is $3. What I would like you to do, is get at least 1000 leads opting in for whatever that thing is. So if your CPL was $3, and a thousand leads is what you want as a baseline, that would cost you 1000 times three, $3,000. Now here's the key when they are opting in, right? On your lead generation page, you're going to tag them inside of Klaviyo, So you know where that lead came from. So let's just say it takes you a month to get this 1000 leads. Now, inside of Klaviyo, you're going to have 1000 contacts records that are tagged with whatever it is, lead generation campaign. And what's great about this is you're going to be able to see in your dashboard, how much revenue came from that 1000 leads.
So what you can do is obviously have your automated flows set up that are sending them offers, that are building a relationship between you and them, and then when holidays come around, you're going to be sending holiday promotions and any monthly offers you're doing to that 1000 leads and inside of Klaviyo, it's going to track how much they've purchased from you. So let's just say three months go by and you see that, that 1000 leads have spent $20,000 with you. Okay. Now do the math, what was your profit on that 20,000? Was it 4,000? Was it 5,000? What was the actual margin after that cost per lead? And that's what we look at.
That's how we do it. If the value's not there, that's why this is a little bit more risky because if they're not buying or they're not buying to a point where it's profitable, then okay, maybe we want to change our emails, Maybe we need to figure out a way to get our cost per lead down, if they are buying and they're buying a lot and the margin is great, then okay, let's spend a lot more than our $3,000 to get a thousand leads, right? Let's actively focus on this.
But in order to know which way you're going to take it, you got to start. And that is how I recommend starting. What's really cool about this is having these assets, both with your email subscribers and then of course, with the content. These are things that compound over time. And maybe the first couple months of 2021, you're not seeing this crazy explosive growth from doing this, what you will see as you get into Q2 and Q3 and definitely Q4 of 2021, things will be growing, things will be compounding and your business can be in a completely different place.
Again, compared to the person that's just maintaining and being stagnant, if you do all of this, play the long game, and also if you risk more to win more by taking 10 to 20% and putting it into new ventures, or I guess new opportunities within your business, what you can see is the person staying stagnant, still happy, they're making their money, no complaints there, but you can be so far ahead of them a year from now. So that's my advice, guys. That is the 2021 eCommerce game plan. If you got value from this podcast, do me a favor and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. It means a lot. I will link in the description, how you can do that.
Again, if you are brand new here and you want to know how we build highly profitable semi-automated stores, be sure to go to dropshipwebinar.com. I will link that up in the description as well. And if you're more advanced, you want some of our in-depth trainings, be sure to go to eCommercelifestyle.com/courses, where you could find all of them. So thank you all. I appreciate you have a great December and I will talk to you Monday for the next episode of the podcast. See you.