£155k in 11 Weeks – Free Case Study Part 4

£155k in 11 Weeks With Shopify

It was actually 11 weeks and 2 days, but who’s counting? 😋

Whichever way you look at it, £155k in 11 weeks isn’t bad at all.

The corresponding YouTube to this blog post can be found here.

And, as usual (lol) it would have been more – but we ran into problems.

Just as things were going smoothly…

Several issues happened as we moved into the second half of June.

Nothing went wrong with ads per se – this time it was other problems that meant we had to reduce ad spend.

And, when you reduce ad spend, obviously you reduce income.

You can see what happened sales wise in our June reporting below.

Almost hit £5k a day! So close…

Even though our sales numbers are way higher now, back in June we were still to hit £5k in daily sales.

And, had we not ran into all the issues I’m about to list, we were due to easily do it.

On June 12th, our daily sales were £4920.03 – so frickin’ close!

Totals at this point showed a whopping £155k in 11 weeks 🥰

Then, it all went pear shaped.

Firstly, we went over our VAT threshold for the year.

People in the UK will know what I mean here, but for anyone else, this basically means a higher rate of tax.

We had hit yearly figures in less than 3 months, which automatically meant our tax rate would increase.

By a lot.

When you make £155k in 11 weeks, the tax man is going to sit up and notice…

Looking at numbers, we could see that this would eat into our profits and vastly reduce our bottom line.

We were still building at this point.

Incorporating this tax hike into our business would nigh on kill us off.

So, we had to get creative.

I’ll just leave this picture here and you’ll have to work the rest out for yourselves. 😉

While that was in process, several other issues cropped up.

Cost per click goes up to stupid

As we were coming up to the end of Q2, cPc (cost per click) in Facebook Ads got ridiculous.

Just 2-3 weeks earlier our clicks were costing us about 20p each.

Once we got into the second half of June this increased by 100%-125% and then some.

Cost per click really makes a difference when running ads.

The lower the better, obviously.

But when it goes up like this, the only thing to do is scale ads down.

It’s just not worth it otherwise.

Even though we made £155k in 11 weeks, had cpc not gone right up, we would have made a lot more.

Bad batch of product

Our Chinese suppliers were still giving us headaches.

Ordering product in bulk, regularly, in increasingly large quantities from China was, and still is, a huge pain!

We do our best to communicate properly, be honest, straight forwards, pay on time, etc. etc. etc.

After 9 months doing this now, I am sure it’s a culture thing, or a language difference…

Or something.

But what appears to be normal with the Chinese would just not be tolerated in the UK.

Product arrives broken, sub standard, poorly made, different specifications to what we ordered…

It arrives in batches – 80% of the load first, then 2 weeks later a few more boxes…

Then 3 weeks after that random boxes will arrive out of nowhere.

I could go on and on and on.

Honestly ordering product in bulk from Alibaba is an absolute nightmare.

What gets me the most is you’ll do good business with one seller for a few loads.

Everything arrives on time, working fine, all is well.

Then you place a huge order, and they send through a load of rubbish.

Consistency is just not there

And this leads us onto our next problem.

We had ordered 10,000 units of our main winner, and some of it was bad.

Customer complaints shot up, which meant huge headaches on support.

And this led to a high return/replacement/refund rate.

All of which eats into our profits.

Not to mention the potential of Paypal cases and Stripe refunds/chargebacks.

With all the above going on, plus the fact we were waiting on delivery of more product…

We had to reduce ad spend and therefore our sales kind of died towards the end of June.

Product Samples Incoming

At this point we were still ordering all sorts of sample products from China.

11 weeks in and 1 main winning product was earning us the vast majority of our money.

We needed more winners and fast!

So, all sorts of different products were coming in to the office in dribs and drabs.

Some we’d test ourselves.

Others we sent off to our rapidly increasing list of product testers.

Product Testers

I want to talk a bit about how we got product testers.

It’s definitely a super good way of finding out what resonates with customers, or potential customers.

Everyone sees things through different eyes.

It’s important to get opinions from people other than ourselves.

After all, we are just filthy capitalists who want to sell product.

It’s our customers who will actually be using it in their homes.

So, in our email flows I added a mail asking for product testers.

The response was off the chain. (probably due to people getting free stuff)

Everyone loves free stuff right…?

In exchange for free product, testers had to make short video reviews of them using it.

Good, bad, didn’t matter. We needed honest opinions and a lot of them.

Plus – UGC (user generated content) works gangbusters on social media.

Our plan was to use our product tester content for ads and to beef up our social media pages.

Ok it cost us a (tiny) bit of money in product and shipping.

But the UGC we got in return paid for it 10x over.

We are still using product tester content to this day, and getting more all the time.

To anyone reading – I highly recommend this as a way to get great content for ads and social media.

Klaviyo starts to make more and more money

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep on saying it dammit!

Klaviyo combined with Shopify is a lethal combo.

It truly is a money making machine.

Click here to try Klaviyo for yourself – it’s FREE for up to 250 leads.

The more customers we got through the door and onto our lists, the more emails got sent out.

The more emails that got sent out, the more sales we started making on the back end.

Klaviyo had already been making us daily autopilot money for a while by now.

And as time went on this amount started getting bigger and bigger.

I’ll write more about Klaviyo in other blog posts.

My next course that I have started work on will be all about using Klaviyo in conjunction with your Shopify store.

Main winner still going strong!

Our main winner, the product we launched the store with was still going strong.

Absolutely no signs of slowing down.

Our only problems with it at this point were :

  1. Not being able to sort out a consistent supply from China
  2. We kept running out of stock and were having to wait on more

It was obvious to me by this point that we could do £10k a day off this product alone.

(Side note : We are still selling the hell out of this winner 9 months after launch)

This screenshot was taken on Jan 7th, 2023.

Bear in mind this is a £9.99 product. Think about that for a second.

£370,000 gross sales with a household gadget that costs less than £10.

Behind the scenes back in June we were running around doing our best to source a more reliable supplier.

More about this in future blog posts though 😃

Miscellaneous from the end of this YouTube

Lastly, to finish up the video I talk briefly about a few other things.

  • Hiring more staff.
    • At this point the team was only 4 people including myself and we were getting over whelmed.
  • Getting more ads made for incoming sample products.
    • We were starting to run tester ads for other products to see if anything got traction.
  • Getting more ads made for our OG winner.
    • The original ad (that we are still running 9 months later!) was stolen from Facebook.
    • We wanted to get some other ads made in case it got reported or taken down.
  • Building out more Klaviyo flows.
    • I was quickly realising how much extra money Klaviyo could make.
    • Every day I would add more emails into our flows to generate more sales for the store.

We were grinding hard and had just turned over £155k in 11 weeks.

All good, but we were hungry for this store to make a LOT more….

Alright people, that’s it for this blog post.

Other parts from this series are available here part 1part 2part 3

The corresponding YouTube to this blog post can be found here.

I put all the YouTubes about this store in a playlist. Click here to watch it.

Please keep checking back for part 5. Welcome to 2023!

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