In television, when there’s a spin-off show it contains either the same people, the same characters, or settings that were in the previous series, but there’s a different focus or theme of the show.
Some of them flop and some of them are massive successes…
The same can be true for “spin-off” eCommerce stores.
In this episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast, I share how to build spin-off stores the right way.
As always, if you have any questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.
What's Covered in This Episode:
Tips on how to build a "spin-off" store
Links From This Episode:
What's up everybody? Anton Kraly here from ecommercelifestyle.com and welcome back to the podcast. So, today's episode is going to be a fun one. It's based off a, I guess, conversation or really a question that was submitted on a coaching call that I had just hosted.
So I should mention this too, if you listen to the podcast and you're a member of my coaching program, Drop Ship Lifestyle, the first Wednesday of every month at 2:00 PM Eastern, I host live coaching calls where we typically go for about two hours now. I just answer everybody's questions to help them basically get past any obstacles and have some good insight to move forward in their business. So if you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle and you're not getting on those coaching calls, or you're not getting notified about them for some reason, be sure to let me know and I can make sure you hop on, because they're super valuable.
But anyway, the question that came up was from a member who is running his store and he saw opportunity with a certain part of what he's doing. He asked, should I take that and make it into its own store? So I answered him on the call, but I wanted to spend some more time and dive into this concept and share this with you in today's podcast.
So as you know already, I mean, you clicked the link to listen, the name of this episode is Spin-Off Stores, and the place that that name came from is spin-off TV series. So I think that's the best way I can relate this concept that we use, that this Spin-Off Stores concept is relating it directly to the spin-off TV series. So in television, when there's a spin-off show, basically it's a brand new series, brand new name of the show, but it contains either the same people, the same characters or settings that were in the previous series, but there's a different focus, there's a different theme of the show. Some of these things totally flop, but some of them are also huge successes.
Some examples I can give you, the show, what is it called, with all the geeks that's one of the most popular sitcoms ever? The Big Bang Theory. So that show, I think it's on TV, I'm not even sure. It's been on TV forever, and then they did a spin-off of it called Young Sheldon, where it was based on one of the characters from the show where he was younger, where he was a kid. So same characters, right, but different people playing them, because it was at a different point in time.
Another example that I think is probably the best spin-off ever is the TV show Better Call Saul, which is a spin-off of Breaking Bad, which is, I mean, that's my top two shows of all time, that and Sopranos. But random fact about me, as I was thinking about Breaking Bad, that show, I actually binged watched all five seasons of it while I was on a visa run in Cambodia. I was living in Thailand at the time, and when you're on a tourist visa, every three months, you need to leave and renew your visa.
So, I was spending a couple of weeks in Cambodia and someone told me to watch the show. I watched all of them within a week, they were so good. I caught up right before the series finale, and I actually watched it at some random hole in the wall bar in Phnom Penh. It was me, a bunch of strangers from all around the world, this show on a bunch of old TVs, all of us just drinking, having a good time. It was just a surreal experience looking back, probably the perfect place to watch it. But yeah, it just popped into my head as I was thinking about that show, so I wanted to share it.
But anyway, back to eCommerce, don't want to talk to you about Breaking Bad for the whole episode. I wanted to relate that concept though of these spin-offs to what we have done with certain stores in the past and what could make sense for you as well. So when I first was getting deep into eCommerce back in, this was probably 2008, 2009, as I was just really taking off and building a ton of stores, what I started to realize is that I wasn't getting niche specific enough.
For example, I was building stores that sold within specific industries, but very high level, 30,000 foot view, top level categories. What I started to notice was certain categories of these stores was really taking off. So what I was thinking is we have these stores that are in one broad category, you can call it, and maybe within that one broad category, we have 10 subcategories. Then what I was realizing is maybe out of these 10 subcategories, there's one or two of them that are bringing in 80% of the sales.
So my thought process was back then, why do I have all of this stuff jumbled in together, when the people that are coming to the stores, the people that are buying, the highest value customers are going to these subcategories? So, that's when I first had the idea of taking those subcategories and spinning them off into their own stores. So I want you to consider this, if you are currently selling, again, in a broader niche with lots of subcategories, what is doing the best? And do you believe that it's doing well enough that you would have an advantage by building another store that only focused on those product types?
It's not doing it just to do it, I want to be clear on that too. Because just with the spin-off TV shows, they're not just making a new show with a different name, they're trying to change the main focus of the show or the theme of it and the main focal point. So if you are, let's just choose an example, if you're selling lighting fixtures and you realize that LED bulbs, or let's just say Edison lights, right, the Edison cool designs are by far selling better than anything else. Do you believe that it's possible if you built an Edison floor lamp store, that you can get targeted enough with your traffic, you can get your organic traffic to be that much higher, you can build your messaging that much more specific for the person searching for Edison floor lamps that your conversion rate will go up?
Because that is exactly what happened when we started to build our own spin-off stores. They were more niche specific, we did a better job of speaking directly to the customer that wanted things in those subcategories. We got better at traffic and our whole messaging, whether that be on social media, through paid traffic, through email marketing or through just onsite messaging, was tailored to what sells the best and that led to much higher conversion rates. So, that's something I want everybody to consider.
Also, something that I think is worth noting is when you're doing this, and let's just say you're spinning it off from that existing store, I don't recommend removing those products from that existing store or anything like that, okay? This is something that should be in addition to if you already have that primary thing running.
Now it might be difficult to get across with audio only, but let's just say you have store A, which was your main top level niche store, and then you have store B, which is your new one, that's the spin-off store. What I want you to do in the beginning is run paid ads for both of them, and then as store B, the new spin-off store, starts to perform, then you can remove the paid ads from your main store for those products. So you can leave them there so you have extra traffic, but you're not bidding against yourself. Again, the reason this is worth it, is because store B, if you do this right, should have higher conversion rates.
Now that is not the exact way this question was asked on the coaching call, so I also want to talk about another way that we've done this as well and that's more specific to the Drop Ship Lifestyle member that had asked on the call. But what he was saying is that one of his brands, he is basically the only retailer for. So he is the online, basically the only people selling their stuff, he's making a bunch of money with them, he's bringing in a bunch of sales for them, so should he build another store that's specific only to that brand?
Again, we have done this in the past and it can make sense, but only if you have a extremely solid relationship with that brand. So ideally if you're going to do this, you have an exclusive agreement with them where you are the only online retailer, or you have some type of preferential pricing, or you have some deal where they're linking to you and recommending people go through and buy through your store that's specific for their brand.
The benefits of doing this are the same exact benefits of the example I just gave, you're getting more niche specific. In that example, you're sending people directly to a store that only sells products that are from that one brand. So you're getting that exact buyer, you're giving them the most tailored experience, you're getting the highest conversion rates.
So again, it can work very well with the caveats of you should either be the only seller of those products, you should have an exclusivity agreement, or you should have preferential pricing and the brand should be sending you traffic. If you're wondering, well, why would they ever do that? Why wouldn't they just sell direct to the public themselves? Some companies are seriously just not set up for that, that's not what they do. They make great products, they want people to sell them.
Some of these companies we sell for, we drive a ton of sales, but they're not huge operations. They are people that are great, maybe at manufacturing, great at branding, but they're not looking to get into the eCommerce side of the business. So there's many reasons, and for a lot of these companies, it's well worth the margin that we make for us to be that sales force. So keep that in mind, consider that. That is the main point I wanted to share in today's podcast.
I did want to cover a few, I guess, random things before we wrap up. The first is that this episode is going out as audio only for ... let me see if I can see this on the computer. Yeah, all year, all of 2020, we have been posting podcasts as audio, obviously on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on every podcast player there is, but we have also been making them into videos and uploading those videos to YouTube.
Moving forward, at least for the foreseeable future, we are going back to audio only. The main reason, it's a little behind the scenes of why we're doing this, is because this format, the way I like to share with you on podcast, does not translate well to the YouTube algorithm. Unfortunately, even though we get a bunch of likes and we get good comments on the video version of the podcast on our YouTube channel, overall, it's actually hurt our viewership. Because again, just the format of podcasts isn't something that for us does well on YouTube, where we can upload a YouTube specific video, and that does much, much better.
So keep being subscribed, we're going to keep releasing two new episodes a week. I love doing these podcasts, so not going anywhere, but make sure if you're not subscribed, you subscribe to the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast on your favorite player, so you get notified every Monday and Thursday when new episodes come out. Also as always, I really appreciate all of the reviews, specifically on Apple Podcasts, because that's where we can get the most reach. So if you have not left a review on Apple Podcasts yet and you get value from the podcast, I'm going to post a link in the description, and I would really appreciate it if you can go and leave one.
Actually, I want to also read the most recent five-star. It came in from [inaudible 00:11:47], and he said, "Great content and value add. I have enjoyed listening to Anton's podcasts for well over a year now, this is a guy who really enjoys what he does and loves to break it down and share it with whoever wants to listen. Joining Drop Ship Lifestyle is an amazing way to learn to be successful in eCommerce and in so many other areas in life. Anton may not know me, but I feel like we're good friends, as he is relatable, honest, and cares deeply for his community."
Yeah, [inaudible 00:12:16], whoever you are, I don't know your real name, maybe you're in the Facebook group and I'd recognize you that way, but I really do appreciate that message. Yeah, I really do care, I love sharing. So as long as you guys are here hanging out with me, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, even though we are audio only for the time being.
So with that being said, again, I'll post a link in the description. If you can leave a review and you haven't yet, I'd appreciate that. For anybody listening who is new here, be sure to go to dropshipwebinar.com to get a free training from me on how to build highly profitable semi-automated stores. I will link that up in the description as well.
So thank you everybody, I appreciate you, and I will talk to you in the next episode of the podcast. See you.