1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Shopify + Aliexpress + Facebook Ads Learn from my mistakes.

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by cartertrojan, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. cartertrojan

    cartertrojan Newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    17
    I am not here to whine about this method not working, i just wanted to show everyone what i tried that did not work so we can all learn from my mistakes, and in the process getting valuable feedback to help my future campaigns. I am not going to hide my niche or anything. I am trying to be as transparent as possible. Lets get started.

    I am sure most people here have heard of the Shopify + Aliexpress method. I tried this method based on some advice here and elsewhere on the web. Here is what i did,

    1. After seeing others have success with the LED dog collars i figured something pet related would be a good way to start since it worked for other people. After doing an admittedly small amount of keyword research using google adsense keyword tool and looking at bestselling products on Aliexpress and Amazon i decided on selling dog harnesses.

    2. I bought the domain http://www.dogharnesssupply.com and bought the private registration as well, this cost right at $15.

    3. I spent quite a long time researching items on Aliexpress until finally narrowing it down to 5 items i would sell on my site. Here are the links to those items.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Arrival-Large-Dog-Harness-Soft-Walk-Vest-Super-Quality-Strong-Big-Dog-Training-Harness-XS/32575415596.html?spm=2114.10010108.1000023.11.E3lHoV,

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/WholeSale-Lovely-Cute-Small-dog-Harness-Designer-Pet-Supplies-Chihuahua-Leash-Lead-Collar-Set-arnes-perro/32513322992.html?spm=2114.01010208.3.417.0aU8Uj&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_0_10065_10068_10000009_10084_10083_10080_10082_10081_10060_10062_10056_10055_10054_10059_10099_10078_10079_426_10103_10073_10102_10096_10052_10050_10107_10051_10106-10051,searchweb201603_0,afswitch_4&btsid=7f164a11-0c31-433a-8a3b-d3fc8f0241ce,

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/No-Pull-Nylon-Quick-Fit-Reflective-Stitching-Dog-Harness-For-Small-Medium-Large-Dog-Strong-Adjustable/32735781924.html?spm=2114.01010208.3.231.xhwSRA&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_0_10065_10068_10000009_10084_10083_10080_10082_10081_10060_10062_10056_10055_10054_10059_10099_10078_10079_426_10103_10073_10102_10096_10052_10050_10107_10051_10106-10050_10102,searchweb201603_0,afswitch_4&btsid=67d92cd7-2f49-4f26-a4fe-1afebc76b7ec,

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hot-Big-Dog-Soft-Adjustable-Harness-Pet-Large-Dog-Walk-Out-Harness-Vest-Collar-Hand-Strap/32646924925.html?spm=2114.01010208.3.260.hk9XKA&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_0_10065_10068_10000009_10084_10083_10080_10082_10081_10060_10062_10056_10055_10054_10059_10099_10078_10079_426_10103_10073_10102_10096_10052_10050_10107_10051_10106,searchweb201603_0,afswitch_4&btsid=6e4a0346-40ac-4046-98f3-3319dc95e8b5,

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/20162016-New-Arrival-Large-Dog-Harness-Soft-Walk-Vest-Super-Quality-Strong-Big-Dog-Training-Harness/32621742365.html?spm=2114.01010208.3.261.hlJq3I&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_0_10065_10068_10000009_10084_10083_10080_10082_10081_10060_10062_10056_10055_10054_10059_10099_10078_10079_426_10103_10073_10102_10096_10052_10050_10107_10051_10106-10050,searchweb201603_0,afswitch_4&btsid=5a9bee95-6d8b-45e0-8f3b-c3339867120e

    4. I chose these items based mainly on the number of orders and the rating of the seller. I also made sure that each item had the E-Packet shipping option.

    5. I took each of these items and in an Excel sheet i re-wrote the titles and descriptions because the ones on Aliexpress were horrible.

    6. Luckily none of the product images had watermarks on them from Aliexpress, so i downloaded the best product photos for each item from Aliexpress and separated those out into different folders.

    7. Finally i was ready to start my Shopify store. I headed over to shopify and i googled to find a 60 day trial but come to find out you have to keep your store password protected unless you upgrade your account and use the official 14 day Shopify trial. Maybe that was just an error with the 60 day trial i found. I figured 2 weeks should give me plenty of time to see if this method would work or not, before i had to pay the $30 a month to shopify.

    8. I set up my shop using the Debut theme which is what it came with, i looked at other free themes but i wanted a minimalist design and i honestly thought the Debut theme looked the best.

    9. I then created a logo for my site using free clipart i found online and paint.net i thought it looked pretty good.

    10. Now i started the long process of adding all 5 products to the store with all of the variants for each product. As well as uploading all of the product images from earlier. I inputted the titles and descriptions that i had created earlier. Now i had a shopify store with 5 products.

    11. The site still looked a little bland so i added a slideshow with some free stock photos i found along with some overlaying text which can be seen on the front page.

    12. With site fully functioning now i was ready to start advertising but first i needed to pick my '"Free" product. I chose item 1 from above because it was only going to be around $4 including e-packet shipping. I chose to charge $8.95 shipping to the customer and offer the product for free.

    13. In order to do this shipping cost i had to go into Shopify and change the shipping weights categories and then go into the product and change it to a higher weight, so Shopify would give it the correct shipping charge while also keeping the free shipping for the other 4 products.

    14. Now it was time for Facebook Ads.......

    15. Before that i had to setup a facebook page for my store, i did this fairly quickly using my logo and free stock photos i found online.


    Facebook Ads

    1.
    I signed up FB Ads and experimented with a bunch of different ads based on tips i read here as well as elsewhere here is a screenshot of all my ads to date.
    http://imgur.com/a/gtaSR

    2. I tried my best to optimize the ads and it seemed like the single image ads were working the best. I tried 4 different single image ads and here were the results.
    http://imgur.com/a/8bEsI

    3. Here is the demographics of the first one which ran the longest.
    http://imgur.com/a/IMQHb

    4. This is a screenshot of the actual ad itself.
    http://imgur.com/0cHMPBl
    5. This ad alone got 17 clicks to my site, and overall i got around 50 clicks to my site and spent a total of $56.76 on Facebook Ads. All of the pictures linked straight to my free product page which can be seen https://www.dogharnesssupply.com/products/cool-comfort-elastic-mesh-dog-harness. Everything i read advised to link straight to that product page.

    6. I used several different methods to optimize the ads. At first i looked at the main demographic who interacted with my ad and just kept narrowing the audience to that demographic. And like i said before i tried 4 different pictures, and the lowest CPC i could get was $.72.

    7. Another optimization method i used was to get a bunch of cheap likes on the post by targeting Egypt and Pakistan and other countries like that and it actually worked very well my cost per engagement was $.003 and one of the post got over 1000 likes. This was supposed to raise the "Social Authenticity" of the post and eventually lower my CPC for my targeted audience because they would be more likely to click the link knowing so many other people had liked it. It may have worked somewhat but i did not see a dramatic cost drop after getting 1000+ likes on one of the posts.

    Finally....The Results...
    Just a fair warning they were not good. I ended up with 2 abandoned carts on my Shopify page and an angry message on my Facebook page about the shipping cost for a "free" item. Using the Facebook Pixel tracking it says 5 people added something to the cart and i guess only 2 of them actually went through with the checkout process and then abandoned right before the payment gateway.

    I am not really sure where i went wrong. I am guessing my niche probably was not the best, and i am by no means a Facebook ads expert but I cant keep dumping money into Facebooks ads if i am not getting any return. Does anyone have any advice on what to change or what mistakes i made? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again for taking the time to read through this.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  2. Billy_Batts

    Billy_Batts Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    1,516
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    ♫♪.ılılıll|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|llılılı.♪♫
    Location:
    ı ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ *
    Home Page:
    Mate, your images are not working as you have put in the wrong url in the image linker, you probably copied the forum link which was already like {imgl}yoursite.com{/img} , remove the {img} tags when adding a photo through the uploader or type it manually.
    Will read the rest and give you my hones feedback, i can already tell why it's not working, how long you are online, meaning, trying to sell?
     
  3. Billy_Batts

    Billy_Batts Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    1,516
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    ♫♪.ılılıll|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|llılılı.♪♫
    Location:
    ı ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ *
    Home Page:
    My opinion on a couple of things.

    Your website is TOO minimalistic if you ask me, it has barely any items, it isn't directly clear if this is a webshop or if it's even finished.

    There is no interaction, no social media buttons, no information about your company, nothing about shipping or any info for that matter and when i comes to that free harness, no where it states it's free, it just don't have a price which I interpret as a broken item and of course you don't let someone pay shipping costs for a freebie :D because then it won't be a freebie anymore to them.

    I like your logo though but for me this was already failed before you even started, you can poor another $1000,- in fb ads you will have no ROI with a website like that bro.

    It is cliche but you need a full website with your niche items, interact with people through social media and have an finished and inviting site with corny banners saying xx% discount, no shipping cost etc.

    Of course more and more people are dropshipping so it will get harder and harder to profit from it but it isn't impossible, even in your niche that is saturated as hell I imagine, you can still succeed but you just need to put more effort into it. I think, no, I KNOW with just 5 dog harnesses you won't cut it, if I choose that niche I would make the harnesses my niche for every possible pet.

    Dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs, rabbits, lizards etc when you have a little bit of ROI you can put some side business with it, let's say, some 3d shirts which are in atm with some of the animals you sell harnesses for etc, don't think too small and also don't think too big but do think outside the box.

    Plenty of animals you can put em on.

    Check this link
    Also remove the "powered by shopify" if you can.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  4. hippo123

    hippo123 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,700
    Likes Received:
    362
    It all boils down to targeting IMO. how are you targeting dog owners?
     
  5. cartertrojan

    cartertrojan Newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    17
    I was targeting dog owners by adding interest such as dogs, and dog lovers to the facebook ads to narrow the target audience.
     
  6. cartertrojan

    cartertrojan Newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thanks for the feedback! That makes sense about the site being too minimalist, i will work on making it more official with company information and shipping info. An about us and contact page is probably a good next step along with adding quite a few more products.
     
  7. Billy_Batts

    Billy_Batts Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    1,516
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    ♫♪.ılılıll|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|llılılı.♪♫
    Location:
    ı ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ *
    Home Page:
    This is totally the wrong way bro, you should target dog pages and dog groups, like some stuff, interact, you can do this manual or automated, and every now and then drop some links on those pages.

    Get an instagram account and buy shout outs for your niche, loads of people getting traffic through IG.

    But again, I think just focusing on harnesses on 1 pet is a mistake, either focus on different doggy stuff or focus on harnesses for multiple animals.

    Going to bed now, 4:30 am over here ;)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  8. Billy_Batts

    Billy_Batts Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    1,516
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    ♫♪.ılılıll|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|llılılı.♪♫
    Location:
    ı ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ *
    Home Page:
    One more quick comment, I checked your add http://imgur.com/0cHMPBl it looks good and could have worked if your website was more clear about what was going on and finished.

    You should get some likes, doggy friends on fb, generate some traffic and then try again.

    Good night.
     
  9. BackY

    BackY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    267
    My opinion is the facebook ads. For 40$ =40 clicks is kinda bad. Try improoving and playing around with the image/text of your ad, colors and other stuff. Can't give advice on the site, never done this type of work but planning to.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. cartertrojan

    cartertrojan Newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thanks for the feedback i will continue to optimize the facebook ads, and just drop my daily allowance down to $2 a day per ad so im not just wasting money.
     
  11. Assultan

    Assultan Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    do not give up on your niche yet :v What I learnt from Facebook ads is that you need to test and retest again

    see the most age and gender that gives reactions on your link .. for your ad the older age gives the most reactions so give it a try on small amount and see if you get more reactions on your page

    put good content on your facebook page that makes the viewer clicks on your page link and wants to see other content " it worked for me "

    If it gave you good results then repeat the same

    it is too early to say you want to change the niche on your first try at the end it will cost you more money on a new domain and you need to put more effort on the new niche so you will mioght end up putting time and effort and you end up with the same mistake

    I suggest you go for the audience that reacted the most with your ad .. test a campaign only for those who reacted the most (( in your ad they are older than 40 )) and go for it
     
  12. oni365

    oni365 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    20
    Occupation:
    SEO Specialist
    Home Page:
    Don't give up!
     
  13. danixD

    danixD Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    465
    Occupation:
    Almost there
    Something is wrong if you reach that much people without a single engagement, you should have killed the ad without waiting
     
  14. leowill007

    leowill007 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    13
    your site is terrible bro
     
  15. Naroha

    Naroha Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    46
    also check your redirecting and articles, on one page there are 4 leashes on another there are 5... kinda irritating. But just keep going and learn from your mistakes :)
    #edit: can you also tell how much money/time you spent all in all now? And by the way you got nearly 200 fb likes... are those all fake?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  16. cartertrojan

    cartertrojan Newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thanks, i will work on the facebook page some more and create some actual content to go on there instead of just ads, i will also continue to work on the site.

    I have now changed my ad set to just target older women, so hopefully that will give better results. I will keep optimizing with the other ads as well.

    I'm hanging in there! Thanks

    I think the main problem was the website, but i am actively trying to fix that to increase conversions. You are right though i probably should have killed the ads earlier, but this was my first time with FB Ads so i wanted to get a good amount of data in order to optimize the ads.

    Anything in particular that you think i should change about it?

    I fixed the 4 on one page thing, i just forgot to add the free harness to that front page collection. All in right now i have spent $15 on domain, $56 on FB Ads, $6 on Fiverr getting 200 likes, so yes they are all fake, and then $12 on stock photos. All in thats $89
     
  17. terrycody

    terrycody Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    385
    Occupation:
    marketer
    Location:
    Hell
    I have no experience of dropshipping but apparently, the most questionable part is the facebook ADs, with around $1 per click, you have no way to earn any money, let alone consider your product is not that expensive.

    Some experts can get facebook ads as low as $0.01 per click or even lower, I think the points is lay in there.

    For the website part, I think its damn clean and well, I love the site, its the not site made you lose money, at least not the main reason. Try a free way to leave links on dog related pages, groups, Youtube comments etc.

    Never give up, and I think you already learned a lot from this case study.
     
  18. BackY

    BackY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    267
    One more thing tough: dont target ppl under 20-21 years of age, they are broke lol!
     
  19. Billy_Batts

    Billy_Batts Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    1,516
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    ♫♪.ılılıll|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|llılılı.♪♫
    Location:
    ı ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ *
    Home Page:
    You are wrong!
     
  20. sikandar

    sikandar Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    1,035
    Thanks OP for honestly sharing info about your site and your actions. If you want to sell anything online, you must first invest in a professional looking website that looks like an authority site, and can create a feeling of trust with your prospective buyers. You should also have all these pages like return policy, shipment policy, contact details etc. Definitely you need more items - at least running in 3-4 pages.

    Again, try having a blog on your site and start writing useful posts for dog community. Share these posts in the right FB groups. Do not try to sell. Once the visitors arrive at your page, you should use a sales funnel to capture their email address by giving away some dog related ebook etc for free. As you start collecting leads, use an autoresponder to send pre-programmed emails to these prospects - Again emails should be useful to the prospects and not a sales message. After a few days, you should send them a message about discount or free shipping offer etc. First test your site with organic traffic before burning money on FB ads.