At Drop Ship Lifestyle we help people build highly profitable, semi-automated online stores that can be managed in 15-30 minutes per day.
A big question we get from new members is “what do I actually do once my store is live?”
In today’s episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, Anton answers this question by sharing 5 weekly practices you should follow to increase your profitability when dropshipping.
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Self-Audit Ad Account(s)
Update Profit Tracking Spreadsheet
Review Open Order Statuses
Review Support/Sales KPIs
Follow Up With Every Abandoned Cart
Hello, everybody. Anton Kraly here from DropShipLifestyle.com. If you're not familiar with myself or my company, I've been building my own stores since 2007, helping others to do the same since 2013. And since then, we have coached over 10,000 students from over 50 different countries to build highly profitable semi-automated online stores. We are the only program to ever be voted best eCommerce course by Shopify. So if you're looking for information on how to build and grow your own store, you are in the right place. Welcome.
So today I'm going to be sharing five weekly practices that you can use to increase weekly profitability. A big question we get is once your store is set up and it's running and it's making sales, what do you actually do? Right? Like in Office Space, "What would you say it is you do around here?" Well, there's a few things that as a business owner, I would highly encourage you to do, or at least oversee. They should take you maybe five minutes each to do, but they can lead to rabbit holes that if you need to dig down, will find you more money. So, well, well worth your time. So with that being said, let's go ahead and get right into it.
The first thing you should do every single week is self-audit your ad accounts. So if you're using Google Ads and Facebook Ads and Bing Ads and whatever else it is, at least once a week, you should have a routine where, I literally do this. I have reminders, recurring reminders set on my phone, where it says, "Audit ad accounts." And what I do is pull them all up. I go in and I look at reports of our numbers week over week. Are we spending the same amount or less or more? If it changed, why did it change? Are our ads converting at the same or less or better? And if they are a little bit less or a little bit better, are they somehow still within our normal range? If they're not, what happened?
And that's why I say these things should usually take you about five minutes each, because just looking at things week over week, there should not be any drastic peaks and valleys. It should be relatively consistent. But the reason this is important to do every week, is because on those weeks where you do notice a big change, you can spend that extra 30 minutes or an hour diagnosing what happened and fixing it sooner rather than later, to keep your profitability up. Far too often, things change within people's ad accounts, maybe with their competition, maybe with just how they have their accounts structured. They made a change and forgot to look to see how it actually impacts things over time. And then a week goes by, a month goes by, and all of a sudden, they go in to check, and they see that they've been bleeding money. So once a week, self-audit your own ad accounts.
Okay, second weekly practice to increase profitability, it is making sure your profit tracker spreadsheet is up to date. Now, if you're a member of my coaching program, the Drop Ship Blueprint, in module seven, I give you our profit tracker spreadsheet so you could just use that. But if you have it, it's one thing, if you don't update it, it's another. So at least once a week, I want you to update it with all of your orders, how much you sold, right? What was the order price? What did you get paid? Obviously take out the transaction fees like the spreadsheet does for you, then add in your cost of good sold. Make sure you add in your actual shipping cost for that product. Make sure you add in your advertising costs to get that sale.
This is something you want to make sure, again, you're doing at least once a week, keeping it up to date so that a month doesn't go by and you finally add it all up, then you realize, "Whoa, why am I losing money every time I sell product ABC from supplier one, two, three?" These are the things you need to recognize before they become issues so you keep your profitability up.
Okay, moving right along into the third weekly practice for increasing profitability, it is making sure you are reviewing all order statuses where they are still open. Very, very important here. And this is more about keeping your profits rather than giving them back. So what do I mean by this? Well, you're going to get orders, obviously, on your store. The orders are going to come through, the orders are going to have to be shipped. Now, in the beginning, a lot of people, especially when they start to get a large amount of order volume coming through, they lose track of what's actually happening. And let's just say you sell for 10 different suppliers on your store. And on a Monday, you get an order from a product that goes from supplier A. You send that order to the supplier to ship it out and you just assume everything's good. And now you're processing the rest of the orders, right? Or your virtual assistant is.
Well, now, maybe it's a week later on Tuesday and that customer emails you and says, "Hey, I never got a tracking number. What happened?" And you're like, "Whoa, okay, let me find out." Right? And you realize that your supplier never responded. They never shipped it. Maybe they didn't see the email, maybe something else came up, who knows, it didn't happen. Well, this is something you want to be on top of every week, because if this happens and the longer out it goes, the customers are just going to say, "You know what? Just give me a refund, give me my money back. I don't want to deal with this anymore." Right?
So as the business owner, it's your responsibility to review the open order statuses at least once a week to make sure orders are moving as they should be. Now again, if you're a member of my coaching program, in the Drop Ship Blueprint, again, in module seven, I actually give you our template for how we track this all with the visual dashboard, that again, you could just copy into your account. It makes it very easy to see at a quick glance what's actually happening with every order. But make sure you do this every week. You don't want to have to give profits back because something just slipped through the cracks.
Speaking of slipping through the cracks, this takes us into the fourth weekly practice that you should be doing. And this is reviewing your support, and I'll say slash sales, KPIs. The reason I say slash sales is because in all of our businesses, support and sales is one in the same. Either it's a person talking to a potential customer to turn them into a customer, or it's somebody talking to a customer to increase their satisfaction so they'll buy again from us or refer their family and friends. So again, it's the same thing.
Now, what do I mean by reviewing the KPIs? Well, once you're in business for a little while and you start to figure out your support systems, maybe that is phone calls, right? Answering inbound calls, maybe that's responding to support tickets, meaning emails, maybe that's responding to live chats. The more you do this, you're going to be able to establish what are known as key performance indicators, KPIs. If people call, how often does that call get answered during normal business hours? If somebody starts a live chat, what's the average time to respond to that first question? With email tickets, on average, how long are they closed? Meaning it is resolved, the conversation is over.
These are all very important things to know and important things to track over time. Like Peter Drucker says, "What gets measured, gets managed." And if you know these numbers, whether you're the person doing support and sales yourself, or you're hiring people to do it for you, you can now review every week to see are we meeting our goals? Are we doing better and improving, which that's always the goal, or are things slipping?
Let's say on average inbound calls to your store during normal business hours get answered 95% of the time. Well, what happens if a week you check it and you see now they're only getting answered 70% of the time? Well, now you can diagnose the problem. Maybe you have more inbound calls and the one person that's answering, isn't able to handle it. So, okay, now you can bring on somebody else, get more sales because people are answering, increase that profitability. If live chats usually get answered within one minute, and for a week, it was five minutes plus, maybe you have somebody that's not doing their job. They can be replaced with somebody that will. And again, you can increase that profitability. So make sure you're doing this every single week. Make sure your goal is always to improve.
And that takes us to the fifth and final weekly practice that I will share in this episode for increasing profitability. And this is at least once a week, make sure you are following up with all pending abandoned carts. Now, I cover this in detail about how we automate this in the Drop Ship Blueprint. When people start to check out, they enter their name, their shipping information, write their phone number, but they don't enter their payment details, they don't complete the purchase. Well, we have automations that follow up that try to recover the sale. But if you want to be as profitable as possible, you should use automations like I do to make sure every time somebody abandons their cart, you get a notification on your phone or your team does in Slack where they can call that person right away, follow up and see what happened and try to get that order on your store.
Now, the reason I say to do this at least once a week as well is because let's just say you set this for yourself or your team on Friday. One of the things you or they will do is look back that previous week of abandoned carts, obviously see which ones converted, but look at which ones didn't, who didn't buy, and follow up with them again. Give that extra touch point, that personalization, a text message, a phone call, and get those extra sales.
Now, these are five things guys, again, that every business owner should be doing every week to increase their profitability. Again, for the automations I'm talking about, you could find them all in my coaching program. If you're not a member of that yet, for some reason, I will post links in the description of this episode where you can get enrolled, even have my team build a store for you, if you would so prefer. And with that being said, as always, if you got value from this episode, give it a like, be sure to subscribe if you're not subscribed. We have two new episodes every week, every single Monday and Thursday. And I will be back on Thursday with the next one so click subscribe and I'll see you there.