Okay, I have admittedly dropped the ball on this case study. But for good reason.
It turns out that the original partnership between myself and the site owner did not work out. I ended the agreement due to some other professional and personal activities that were taking up too much of my time and taking my focus away from this project. That, coupled with some misgivings I was having with the many limitations imposed by this project (it’s hosting, CMS system, saturated market, etc…) let me to put an end to the agreement.
I could have just deleted this post and been done with it. But instead, I wanted to update this post and be completely transparent to you. Now for the good news!
I have a new project in place and underway, which I think is much more exciting, and I plan to bring you along for the ride as well! It’s a case study again, in which I’ll be working on improving and promoting and eCommerce site. (2 of them actually) This will be for an existing, thriving business that is looking to break into the online world with a couple of new product offerings. Next week I will create a new post all about it.
– Original Post Below –
Today I’m really excited to announce a new project that I’ve started!
I’m going to be attempting to make a success out of a stagnant, lifeless, niche eCommerce site that is nowhere to be found!
And believe me, this eCommerce case study is going to be a challenge! Here’s why:
- It’s in a very competitive niche.
- The products are difficult and expensive to ship.
- The design is not up to modern standards.
- The site is not mobile friendly.
- The niche is one that will be difficult to develop content for.
- It’s a hosted solution (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) with a lesser known vendor.
- There are probably lots of others I’m forgetting…
This site is owned by someone else, and I will be doing this work on their behalf. I can’t take credit for the current state of this site. But I do plan to take responsibility for it’s future success.
Why I’m Doing This eCommerce Case Study
Why would I agree to do such a thing? Well, to me this represents an opportunity to provide something of great value to the Shopping Signals community. I can demonstrate, step-by-step, all of the things that go into implementing a niche eCommerce online marketing strategy.
I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s no better way to learn this stuff than to watch what someone else has done and then incorporate those techniques into my own project. So that’s my real motivating purpose here. I sincerely hope that you can take what you see me doing throughout this process, learn it, and use it to your own benefit.
I have other motivations as well though. I will be completely transparent here and tell you that I stand to benefit financially from profits earned as a result of my efforts. I won’t be paid any kind of fee or salary. Rather, I’ll be profit sharing. The site makes money, I make money. It doesn’t, I don’t. Very simple.
Either way though, we all win. Whether or not this project is a financial success, it will be a valuable case study!
So, I hope you can tell that I’m pretty excited about this new adventure. And I hope it excites you as well. I really hope you stick around and take this journey with me. It’ll be a fun ride, and we’ll learn a lot!
A few more details about the project…
I do hope to reveal the specific niche, and even the URL of the site at some point down the road. However, this is a commercial venture, and the owner has expressed concerns about revealing these things too soon. He’s very aware and supportive of the case study I’ll be doing, but understandably apprehensive because of the risks associated with revealing too much too soon. Ideally, we’d like to get this site established and making some decent sales first.
So I won’t be letting the cat completely out of the bag at first. But I will be giving you LOTS of details. So it shouldn’t matter much that you don’t know the specifics. I’ll share as much as I can with regard to specifics, and I’ll tell you everything with regard to plans, tactics, tips, strategies and results.
Here’s a Quick Brain Dump of Some Additional Details I Know About The Site
- The website has made a few sales to date. To my knowledge, these are all the result of PPC ads. NOT through adwords, but rather via some “Penny PPC” ads. Basically, really cheap ads. Not sure how or where these are served yet.
- The site does not come up an any SERPS for keyword phrases related to the niche. I haven’t done a full SEO analysis yet, but I will post my findings.
- The primary keywords are dominated by the biggest players in ecommerce. Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart… I think we’ll be going for lots of long tails.
- The products a drop shipped from two different manufacturers. This is a good thing. ( low overhead = low risk) I do worry about returns of large, difficult to ship items, but it hasn’t been an issue yet with past sales. And, I think, the owner has agreements with the manufacturers to eat return costs. That’s huge if that is the case.
The owner and I have decided to primarily focus on Inbound Marketing efforts, yet hold off on PPC for now. SEO, content marketing, etc will be the focus. He doesn’t want to dump a bunch of money into PPC at this point, and I don’t blame him. Perhaps if we start generating a few sales, we can then justify the expense of advertising. I think the strongest eCommerce marketing plans include paid ads as well.
I have written up a detailed, preliminary online marketing plan for this project which details all of the steps I plan to implement. I will share this in the next post.
I’m super excited about this. I hope you’re equally as eager to follow along. Please join me on this case study and watch as I attempt to resurrect an eCommerce niche site. We’re going to learn a lot!
I’d love to know what you think about this project. Thoughts? Questions? Let’s hear them!
Share and Enjoy
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