I have filtered out the 7 best questions for the CEO and founder of the Store Coach Dave Hermansen, and he has beautifully answered all my questions. This guy needs no introduction, the company is emerging and earning hundreds of dollars every year as its one of the best e-commerce online store, Dave has created and sold various e-commerce stores online.
1) Hi Dave, Thanks for giving your time, please introduce yourself and tell us something about the e-Commerce store and how is your journey so far in this field?
I’m a 15-year e-commerce veteran and have been featured in national media several times as an e-commerce expert (you can see my full e-commerce resume here. My brothers and I along with our office staff currently operate more than 30 e-commerce websites in addition to running our e-commerce training course. We’ve built more than 100 web stores over the past decade and have consulted on hundreds of others.
2) Dave, how did you get into this field?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and have always had the desire to run my own business. When I saw the startup costs involved with a retail store or restaurant, and how difficult the loan process was, I knew I had to find a better way. I started learning e-commerce in 2003, from what little information was available about it at that time on the web along with a whole lot of trial and error on my part. Eventually, I developed a process that virtually guaranteed success. My first stores weren’t the greatest looking things on the web, but they worked. Once I figured out how to get my websites to appear high in the search engine listings, there was no turning back. I’ve been building one successful e-commerce site after another ever since then.
3) Tell our readers the topmost top-converting niches in the e-commerce Industry.
There are two schools of thought regarding what to sell online. Should you sell the relatively cheap, low profit, high converting products or the far more expensive, higher profit products? The top converting niches are ones that usually have relatively low price points ($20-$40). When dollar amounts are low, people generally do not do a whole lot of thinking and shopping around. They see it, want it and buy it. That said, the highest converting products aren’t necessarily the best ones. Unless it is a very “hot,” impulse buy a product, and you can develop a process to process orders and deal with customer service issues quickly, we usually do not recommend starting online stores around low priced products. The profit per hour of work is often simply not worth it unless you are doing a TON of sales per day and can pawn most of that work off on a low priced employee or VA. Also, the “hot” product today more often than not becomes the “who cares?” product tomorrow and you have to start all over again, hoping to find a new “hot” product. Although we do have a few stores that operate at the low price, “hot sell” model, we prefer our online stores to target products that have an average sale of at least $300 that are “evergreen” (people have been buying them for years and will be buying them 10 years from now). The conversions won’t be nearly as high for more expensive products, but we will make much more profit per sale, which gives us an opportunity to utilize a wide variety of online advertising options right out of the gate, driving immediate sales. When you sell more expensive products, the profit from one sale can equal that from ten sales from a website selling low priced products. That’s a whole lot less work for the same amount of money!
4) What do you enjoy the most in this industry and how do publishers get the maximum profit by following your steps?
The most enjoyable part of eCommerce is the flexibility it affords me in my life. Don’t get me wrong; I put in more hours now than I ever did at a “regular job,” but those hours are very flexible. And, because I am doing something that I truly love doing, it doesn’t even seem like work most of the time. Getting the maximum profit is always about trying new things and split testing them against the old way you were doing things. Colors, the positioning of web page elements, pictures, prices, products and the textual copy or our pages are all things that we constantly split test. We split test the same exact things in our ads. We also try to keep up to date by following all of the best blogs and the most respected people in the industry to see if there is anything new or any different approach we should be trying.
5) Dave, what’s the goal of 2018 for you?
My goal in 2018 is to do a better job of delegating things to other people that I really should not be wasting my time on. Some things definitely need my attention and other things that I know I need to let go off and let other people handle. That will not only be a more efficient use of my time, but it will help others in our organization learn a few new skills.
6) Anything else would you like to share with our readers?
More than anything, success in the eCommerce industry is all about effort. There are no shortcuts; the people who are successful work hard. Know your products, provide the best information, make your website better than any other website in your niche. Don’t let obstacles get in your way. Find a way around, over, under or bust right through them. The answers to practically every problem are there if you look for them. Do something every single day to make yourself and/or your website(s) Better. Every small step you take gets you further down the path of success.
7) The magic trick or formula for a newbie for this industry.
There are no “magic tricks” in this industry. The people who succeed are the ones who work the hardest and who are relentless. Far too many people quit when they hit the slightest roadblock. Although other things can affect the success of any eCommerce website, the following holds true for almost all sites:
- There must be enough searches for the products.
- The competition on page one of the search results cannot be so difficult, you stand little chance of getting onto page one of your targeted search phrases.
- The profit per order must be worth the amount of time it takes to process the order, deal with other customer service issues and cover advertising expenses.
- The product should be one that cannot be bought in a wide variety locally. When people decide they want something, they will almost always drive down the street and buy it if they can.
- The product should be one that is bought year round (not seasonal, like Christmas trees).