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Late to the Party: Reverse Engineering a Dropshipping Store

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by SEOMadHatter, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. jadsn

    jadsn Power Member

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    With conversions, you're telling FB to send you traffic from people most likely to purchase. With link clicks, you're asking them to send you traffic without that intent, and just likely to click - which is usually lower quality, on of course cheaper. I've heard of it working for some people, but personally, link clicks has always been negative ROI for me.

    Regarding bidding, it's fine to overbid, especially while testing. Keep spending money, testing different things, and you'll figure it out.
     
  2. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    Met with the ad guy yesterday and got some useful tips from him. Put a couple of them live and was hoping for some overnight results but nothing yet. Got a handful of cheap hits but the volume is far too low still.

    There's a couple of things I want to try. The main goal is to scattergun around different niches and see where I can get decent traffic at around $0.1 and the current setup should allow me to do that reasonably cheap. I'll need to fix a few bugs on both the back and front end today but I'm hoping to start scaling the ad campaigns tomorrow if not tonight.

    In order for them to see the patterns in which types of people want to actually buy you need to have a ton of sales, right? Otherwise they don't know who wants to buy whatever you're selling. I understand the logic of it but I don't have thousands of dollars to put into these ads so I think I'm on PPC for now.
     
  3. zebestof230

    zebestof230 Junior Member

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    You can go by "Step"
    Set your goal first as "Visit" then as "Add to cart" then as "Purchased" when you have around 20-30 at the second and third step :)
    (Conversion = "Add to cart" // Conversion = "Purchase")
     
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  4. jadsn

    jadsn Power Member

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    Don't focus so much on cheap traffic. Focus on getting quality clicks.

    You can define whatever you want as a conversion. Typically in the testing phase, you would go with ATC (add to cart) as a conversion. Personally, I always start off with purchase, even on a low budget. I only run link clicks if I'm converting well and testing for cheaper traffic, but it rarely converts well for me.

    If you don't have at least 2k to play with, it's going to be really, really tough. Starting out with lower quality traffic (link clicks), isn't going to make it any easier.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  5. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    I always thought SEO was the slow one and paid ads were instant feedback. It's still nowhere near the snail pace of SEO but there's lots of waiting around for ad campaigns to go live then waiting around for ad results. Now that the coding is done and the products are up... it's just a lot of waiting around.

    The code side of things is looking stable. Prices have stopped listing themselves at $0 at least.

    I think I'm pretty much taking a break from this project now for the next week or so. There's not an awful lot for me to do other than waiting around for some ads to go live and results of others to come through so I'm going to focus on some other stuff and come back to this and see what's happening.

    I had a think about it and I might have been thinking about this the wrong way. My holdback was that Facebook doesn't know who in my niche wants to buy (which is true) but they do know the quality of the traffic. Someone who spends their time reading the articles they click before bouncing back to Facebook is more likely to buy than someone scrolling from the app in the bathroom.

    I've set the ad up a little differently for that niche and I'll see what happens. Appreciate the advice guys, thanks.
     
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  6. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    Alrighty. I had a few days off because my head was a little cooked. Came back a little fresher and starting to get somewhere.

    Starting to slowly scale up the traffic now. Today we spent about $5 on ads and made around $12 in profit. The ROI is good but the volume is obviously way too low.

    Looking at the difference in mobile traffic vs desktop traffic. Amazon has said that mobile users tend to buy less but they do add to the cart and buy later. That's less likely here than Amazon obviously so I might just ditch mobile traffic in the near future if the testing shows it's a waste.

    I have a lot of work ahead. The scaling is going to take some effort and I have a whole bunch of conversion improvements to make. This includes improving the onpage design, setting up retargeting ads and getting something in the downstream to improve the value per sale.

    Not to mention scaling the traffic tests as well.

    This is why they invented coffee.
     
  7. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    I actually checked the numbers when I got into the office. Spent about $4 in ads and we're 2 sales and $20 in profit. It should have been 24 but a slight glitch happened which I'll have to sort today.

    That's a good sign.

    We're still dealing with a low volume of traffic though so this could easily just be variance at the moment. I've a lot of work ahead of me to see if this can be scaled. Shipping these orders then getting on with it.
     
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  8. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    Another dollar or two on traffic for another $12 profit sale while I was out having dinner. This isn't my only passive income source but I always enjoy seeing sales from new projects.

    Scaling is a slower process than I'd like. Ads take an age to verify and actually start running properly. It takes time to find the new niches and products I want to run and in order to get into a new product type (which I rally want to be in) I have to change up some of the tech side of things. There's at least a couple of hours worth of fucking with code needing done so... I left the office instead.

    I'm psyched to see this working but I'm going to need a solid day without distractions from other projects to scale this up properly.
     
  9. LarryM

    LarryM Newbie

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    Yea I am on my first attempt and am about 600 bucks in ads, 2000 unique visitors, and 4 sales netting me 40 bucks profit so I am very in the hole. Costs of getting the site up are also destroying that and probably will for a while.
     
  10. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    Another couple of sales in today. A few minor mistakes but nothing major yet.

    Hitting a couple of hurdles in scaling but nothing I can't see a way around so far. I'm very keen to see if I've just lucked out with the first product or this really does work and I've got a scalable method on my hands. I'm hoping to see some traffic to a new niche soon which will give me a better idea.

    I've some new tests going up and I'm increasing the spend on the existing campaign. I've fucked with the analytics a bit too much to have accurate numbers but I've somehow lucked out and been positive ROI very early on.

    I'm borrowing my designers from another project next week to start scaling the POD side of things with this traffic. Margin is slightly higher and it gives me a unique product to sell so I'm not flogging the same thing as everyone else.

    It's been a good start so far. Plenty of delays in getting started and I'm anxious to see if I'm able to scale this. I'm hoping to find out tonight - to the extent I've left my analytics running on the side table so I can keep an eye on it.

    I have a rough idea what I want to do if this works out. I have an even rougher idea on what I want to do to see if it can work out.

    I think I'm becoming too cynical though. Even though it's been a promising start I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Without knowing what you're trying I don't know what to suggest but I'm new to this stuff anyway so I'm not the one to ask. It can absolutely be a hole before you get it right though.
     
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  11. LarryM

    LarryM Newbie

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    I know. I waited to do this until I had a stable income. Theres an absolute ton of different issues that can be changed. I think right now I might just be suffering from bad targeting cause my ads are new. I am having luck with my facebook account and got a conversion from someone sharing a post yesterday like the same name as commented ordered. That is really how you get people and I am working on building that. I dont know how much you are doing on social media but when people find your posts just through facebooks algo or search they are way more likely to respond. I like to think you can learn this stuff pretty quickly. Whenever I get the ability to dm ill hit you up for a good chat. I just realized that sounds sketch DONT TELL ANYONE YOUR NICHE if you can help it. If you have found something that works others for sure know how to capitalize on it better than you and kill your performance. I aint hating on the people here but it will happen. Dont tell me, dont tell a mod, dont tell your best friend. I really look forward to seeing you win though. Get 'er done!
     
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  12. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    Ad spend: $20.88
    Profit: $55

    Profit should have been a little higher but a few mistakes dinged it a bit. It's a good start but I'm still really keen to see if it's just a lucky early product or it's the method.

    Upping the ad spend today and scaling it a bit more with new ads going live. I'll be working on other projects for the next couple of days since I'm just sitting around to see what happens with this one now.

    Yeah man I'm new to paid ads and dropshipping but I've been in this game a while.

    I'm actually pretty bad about that when people meet me in person. I've talked about some of my private bots in the past because the reality is most people aren't going to bother doing anything about it.

    There's one guy who knows exactly what I'm doing here but, to be fair, he got me into it since he didn't have the time so fair play.
     
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  13. LarryM

    LarryM Newbie

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    Haha I am new to pretty much all internet business but I remember back when I was in school I was raking in money like crazy buying food at overstock places and reselling it. A buddy of mine asked where I got the stuff and I told him. Guess why my new competition was on monday. Now im a bit paranoid like with the fiverr gigs I got people to do to help set up the site but I guess they aren't in that business.

    On the bots do you make those yourself or by private do you mean the ones people sell for obscene prices to keep them hidden? I have thought about trying to figure out how to write my own bots cause I can program its just a royal pain and im sure no matter how much I pour into one someone is always better or the api will get updated the day I finish or something. I just couldn't deal with hundreds of hours of pain being nullified in one update.

    But anyway nice on the results I hope your scaling keeps that ratio or improves it.
     
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  14. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    Looks like we've hit a speed bump. Would have been too easy if we'd kept going at that rate so I'm not exactly surprised.

    Increasing the CPC put us in the red for the day. The margins aren't high enough to go any higher and we've still to setup upsells or anything which might increase the value per sale.

    Conversions completely dried up the last two days. Traffic is still there but we went from around 4% on cold traffic to 0 with no obvious cause.

    I'm switching up the ads and checking I haven't broken something at some point along the process. Going to make a few conversion changes as well.

    Starting some new ads for different niches to see if they get clicks.
     
  15. LarryM

    LarryM Newbie

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    Increasing cpc could mean your ads arent shown as much depending on your service. I have some set to manual price and really low and have had no spend on that account at all yet. I am using it to tell if cpc drops suddenly. If you are manual you might just not be bringing in people along with increasing the price of those people.
     
  16. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    The traffic spiked up so the ads were running just no conversions.

    I went through my notes and spotted something I'd changed around the same time without thinking much about it. I've reverted the change and enabled the ads again so hopefully today we'll see conversions again.

    I've started to see hits on the new product ads and I think I've spotted the trend which allows the method to work. Still early days and I'll need to confirm I can actually convert and it wasn't just a fluke to begin with but that's a good sign.

    Working on the scaling today with some new ideas. It'll probably be a few days before I get any results from this but I'm happy to be seeing some potential answers.
     
  17. LarryM

    LarryM Newbie

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    Yea the waiting time really makes ad and page tweaking incredibly painful
     
  18. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    Conversion already today. Motivating while I'm trawling through some major scaling work.
     
  19. Dinner&Diatribes

    Dinner&Diatribes Newbie

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    Awesome! Way to go!
     
  20. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Power Member

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    A few dozen visitors since making the changes resulted in two sales. My analytics is on a different timezone to my ad spend so I'm not exactly sure what the P/L was yesterday but I'll be in the green.

    Some other better sounding news for the day.

    A new product campaign I put up last night is showing promise. Not only does this mean hopefully another profitable campaign but it's a proof of concept that I've got a scalable model. I've more going up this week which should give a definitive answer.

    I made some changes to the tech side of things which I think is responsible for the early success in the new test. I'll be scaling it later in the week.

    Taking the day off today. Going to head climbing, chill on the beach and come back and check out the ads later tonight. Hopefully see an order or two.

    If things continue to look good today I'll be tidying up the ad campaigns and starting in a few new niches tomorrow.