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Student Feature: Gina from Kit Maii

Student Feature: Gina from Kit Maii

Our eComm Ignitor graduates are pretty remarkable. They are grounded, incredibly diligent, purpose-driven humans who run their businesses with heart. And they have great stories to tell.

We are excited to introduce you to eComm Ignitor alumni Gina Galvin from KitMaii

 

What does your online store sell and who does it help?

I sell a range of reusable, sustainable, eco-friendly products for people trying to reduce their use of single-use items and create less waste in their home and daily lives.

Tell us a little bit about your story? Why did you start your online store?

Our family lived in Asia for many years.  There we observed a lot of plastic, packaging and waste associated with nearly everything we purchased.

On returning to Australia, it was obvious there was so much waste here too.  I found myself learning from my adult children who were op-shop shopping, using reusable straws and cutlery and repurposing jars and generally thinking about purchasing items that could be used for a long time.

I then knew it was my turn to do my bit and this is when KitMaii (KitMy) which means ‘think new’ or ‘new way of thinking’ in Thai, was born.

I feel very fortunate to have met Megan and Karyn and undertook the Unstoppable Ecommerce Programme. (Nawww, Thanks heaps Gina).

Apart from the wonderful and comprehensive content of the programme, the amazing, supportive student alumni have been very important to all of us involved.  From drought to bushfires and now the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have workshopped ideas, offered suggestions and supported each other along the way.  This I believe is very important as many online business owners operate on their own and it can be quite lonely.

What has been your biggest challenge with your online store?

Keeping costs under control to make the business viable and actually make some return.  It is very hard to get excited, work really hard and be wonderfully enthusiastic, but the reality of things like packaging materials, postage/shipping costs, apps, add ons, fees/charges, even import duties where applicable can eat up all that’s leftover.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“You’re never too old to start something new”

“It may not be perfect, but just get started”

What’s your favourite product that you sell on your online store – and why?

Oh gosh, that’s hard as I love and enjoy them all.  I think I would have to say the Jute Shopping Bag (which was the first product ordered).  It’s a great bag, very functional and does what it’s supposed to – strong, holds loads, looks good and I take one everywhere (with other products inside too of course).

Where to next? What are your goals for the next 12 months?

In the next 12 months, I would like to add more items to the range created by local creators and small businesses.  During these unsettling times, more and more people are embracing their community and believe supporting small businesses around them to be very important.

When you’re not working on your online store, where could we find you?

I love to exercise and enjoy the gym and the outdoors (it helps me cope with the stresses of life and is a great time for thinking and reflection). I  also enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music and most of all spending time with my family.

Check out KitMaii here:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Gina, Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. We absolutely love working with you and your dedication to making the world a better place. Keep kicking goals. 

Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

Planning your content for August 2020

Planning your content for August 2020

“Plan your work and work your plan” – American Author, Napoleon Hill.

One of the most important elements of running a successful online store is to make sure your content converts and the best way to make sure your content is connecting with your audience is to plan it in advance.

Not only will this free up time for you to focus on other key areas of your business, it will also allow you to reflect on what’s working and what’s not.

Plan, create and schedule your content for the month ahead now.

Here are some key dates for August 2020 that you can leverage and build your content around.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in August 2020

 

08 – International Cat Day

Meow! It’s undeniable that our feline friends get a lot of attention on both Instagram and Facebook. Like famous internet celebrity cat, Tardar Sauce aka Grumpy Cat.

 

Suggested content:

 

  • share a funny cat video
  • run a competition – Owner/cat look-alike competition
  • share a hilarious cat meme
  • RIP Grumpy Cat post

08 – International Book Lovers Day

Encourage your followers to share their favourite book titles with you. This gives you an opportunity to start a two-way conversation with your community. Why not create a blog sharing your favourite titles? Click here to check out our Top 5 must-read titles.

 

13 –Left-Handers Day

Did you know that some of the most accomplished people in the world are left-handed? Former US President Barak Obama, Actor Drew Barrymore, Oprah and  Leonardo DiVinci are/were all left-handed.

Suggested content:

  • celebrate a left-handed team member
  • highlight a speciality product
  • raise awareness – challenge your followers to go left-handed for the day
  • share some fun left-handed facts eg. Did you know that 50% of dogs favour their left paw over their right?

19 – World Photo Day

Among the most popular hashtags on Instagram (Top 5 to be exact) is #photooftheday. World Photo Day is a great way to connect with your community and collected some user-generated content.

Suggested content:

  • recreate family photos with your siblings
  • share your #photooftheday
  • challenge your followers to take a creative snap of them using your product. Make sure they tag you – this is a great opportunity to grab some user-generated content to use throughout the year.

26 – International Dog Day

Do you love dogs? Us too! International Dog Day is recognized worldwide on August 26th annually and is a great way to pump some “feel-good” content into your feeds.

Suggested content:

  • got an office dog? Why not have your “dog” take over your social media (Instagram takeover style) for the day.
  • share some cute pics of your staff’s dogs
  • team up with a local dogs-home or shelter and use your platform to promote adoption.

Well there you have it – some of the key dates in August to incorporate into your 2020 content calendar. If I’ve missed a day you think should be there let me know in the comments below.

Want more? Download our full 12 months 2020 eCommerce planner below.

Suggested content:

  • Share a funny cat video
  • Run a competition – Owner/cat look-alike competition
  • Share a hilarious cat meme
  • RIP Grumpy Cat post

08 – International Book Lovers Day

Encourage your followers to share their favourite book titles with you. This gives you an opportunity to start a two-way conversation with your community. Why not create a blog sharing your favourite titles? Click here to check out our Top 5 must-read titles.

 

13 –Left-Handers Day

Did you know that some of the most accomplished people in the world are left-handed? Former US President Barak Obama, Actor Drew Barrymore, Oprah and  Leonardo DiVinci are/were all left-handed.

Suggested content:

  • celebrate a left-handed team member
  • highlight a speciality product
  • raise awareness – challenge your followers to go left-handed for the day
  • share some fun left-handed facts eg. Did you know that 50% of dogs favour their left paw over their right?

19 – World Photo Day

Among the most popular hashtags on Instagram (Top 5 to be exact) is #photooftheday. World Photo Day is a great way to connect with your community and collected some user-generated content.

Suggested content:

  • recreate family photos with your siblings
  • share your #photooftheday
  • challenge your followers to take a creative snap of them using your product. Make sure they tag you – this is a great opportunity to grab some user-generated content to use throughout the year.

26 – International Dog Day

Do you love dogs? Us too! International Dog Day is recognized worldwide on August 26th annually and is a great way to pump some “feel-good” content into your feeds.

Suggested content:

  • got an office dog? Why not have your “dog” take over your social media (Instagram takeover style) for the day.
  • share some cute pics of your staff’s dogs
  • team up with a local dogs-home or shelter and use your platform to promote adoption.

Well there you have it – some of the key dates in August to incorporate into your 2020 content calendar. If I’ve missed a day you think should be there let me know in the comments below.

For more download our full 12 months 2020 eCommerce planner below.

Lessons from a bricks & mortar store. 5 tactics you can use to sell more on your online store

Lessons from a bricks & mortar store. 5 tactics you can use to sell more on your online store

When we live and breathe our products it’s so easy to forget that not everyone knows as much as we do about them.

It’s so easy to end up with messaging that’s not clear and a little bit diluted.

When someone hits your site you have a few seconds to make a good impression, and for them to take that next step – or to leave your site and potentially never come back.

Think about the experience people have when shopping at a bricks and mortar store.

The moment people enter a store they use their senses to experience the vibe of the store. They very quickly decide if they want to spend time looking around – or if they want to get out of there as quickly as possible.

There are 2 keywords here. Can you guess what they are?

The first keyword is senses. 

People use all senses available to them. They look around, they smell, they touch, they feel. Walking into a physical store is a sensory experience.

Do something for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine yourself going to your fridge. In the fridge, you see a bright yellow lemon. You grab the lemon out, take it over to your bench and cut it in half. You can instantly see and smell how juicy the lemon is. Now, you take one half of the lemon and you lick it.

What just happened to the sensory glands?

This is exactly what you want to do when setting up an online store. You want to evoke your potential customers’ senses.

The other keyword is experience.  

Every time someone visits a store they have an experience. That experience can be good, bad or indifferent.

The experiences people have in a store influences their assumptions about the products sold in that store. If they have a high-quality experience, they assume the products in the store are high quality too.

That’s why traditional retail stores spend so much money on the fitouts of their store.

Did you know that supermarkets play slow, relaxing music during their off-peak times so people take their time to browse, and they play fast, exciting music during peak times so that people make decisions faster. Do you know what a Subway does when they are quiet? They bake bread. Because the smell of freshly baked Subway bread makes people hungry for Subway!

Now, an online store is no different to a physical store — except people can only sense and experience what you give them through the computer screen.

That’s why the content you have on your website is soooo important. You need to evoke your customer’s senses and give them a good experience.

When it comes to an online store this is done in the following ways:

1. A clean and simple layout

If a store is cluttered, badly lit, dirty or cold, people have a very different experience to a store that has lovely displays, smells great and has good lighting. The same goes for an online store. You need to have a clean and simple layout that lets your products shine.

2. An easy to navigate menu

When you walk into a physical store the first thing you do is a quick scan. You may see that the store has dresses, tops, pants, a shoe section and an accessories cabinet. If you are looking for something in particular you will know where to find it. Or you’ll ask the shop attendant. Now, on an online store, there is no shop attendant, so you want to make it as easy as possible for people to navigate their way around your store.

Ashley from I Choose Me has done a great job of creating an easy to navigate menu:

3. High-Quality Product Images

Images are so important for your online store. When looking at an item in a physical store, customers can pick the item up, look at it from all angles, touch and feel it, and even try it on. They can’t do that when shopping online. So it’s your responsibility to replicate that experience as much as you possibly can. Images are the most powerful way to do that.

The human brain processes an image 60,000 times faster than text, not only that but 80% of people remember what they see, compared to 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read. So images are everything.

eComm Ignitor student, Penny from Vault Country Clothing shows us all angles of these jeans, including front, back and sides, as well as a beautiful lifestyle image:

4. Evocative product descriptions

Some people need to absorb information by reading, so it’s important that you also provide evocative product descriptions. Imagine you were at a market stall and someone came and asked about your product. Use words that would answer any frequently asked questions your customers may have, and convey any important information about your products.

 

5. User-generated content

“I’ll have what she’s having”. Social proof is one of the most powerful marketing tactics when it comes to persuasion. Why do you think shop attendants wear clothes that are in season, on the rack and currently for sale? If you can show your customers that other people have purchased — and love — your products, you are giving them one more reason to trust they will be happy buying from you. User-generated content is basically images that your customers send you. They may tag you in their Instagram pics or add an image to their review.

eComm Ignitor student, Colleen from Ride Proud Clothing showcases user-generated content beautifully:

As does Gina from Kit Maii:

A final word 

When people are shopping online they can only know as much about your products as you let them. If you have an amazing product, it’s up to you to give your customers an amazing shopping experience.

Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

How Wendy increased her returning customers from 28% to 63% in 6 weeks

How Wendy increased her returning customers from 28% to 63% in 6 weeks

eComm Ignitor alumni are pretty amazing. They are hard-working, action-taking, purpose-driven humans. And they have great stories to tell. Like Wendy from Kulture, let’s get to know her a little better…

What does your online store sell and who does it help?

I sell a range of all-natural, plant-based powdered blends that are ready to drink – just add milk or water.

They help women to balance hormones, improve their gut health, relieve menopause symptoms and improve immunity.

Tell us a little bit about your story? Why did you start your online store?

It began from a love of keeping healthy and fit and as I entered into my late 40s, I started to take more notice and understand how my body works.

I have always had gut issues since I was a teenager, triggered by stress and digestive issues which led to sinus and hay fever as well as often having a hard bloated stomach. Often visiting an acupuncturist to ‘sort out’ my gut issues, I started to delve into the reasons why and this is how Kulture was born.

Always a believer of natural supplementation, making the products plant-based was a no brainer, as plants assimilate with our bodies better and are alkaline based meaning they don’t cause acid build up in the stomach.

Working with a nutritionist in Queensland, we have created some interesting blends to target and improve common symptoms that women experience throughout their lives such as hormone imbalances, PMS Symptoms, menopause, gut issues, lack of sleep and lack of energy.

When we understand our bodies and work to improve them through proper supplementation, our energy levels return and everyday life just gets a whole lot easier. The way it should be really.

What has been your biggest challenge with your online store?

Gaining trust for the brand.

I have a great product which is very competitively priced, however when people buy online they want to read about others who have bought and their experience with the product.

I implemented Yotpo several months ago and have been receiving some amazing reviews plus my returning customers have gone from 28% to 63% over the last 6-8 weeks.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Humanise the brand.

Get yourself out there (in front of the camera) and show everyone who you are. It’s daunting at first, but what I’ve found since doing that, there has been a lot less (and I mean a LOT less) negative comments on social media paid ads.

What’s your favourite product that you sell on your online store – and why?

Vanilla Happy is one of my favourites and it’s a winner with my customers too.

It’s a blend of adaptogens, herbs and superfoods that help to balance hormones, elevate your mood, improve PMS symptoms, reduce hot flashes during peri-menopause, balance cortisol and insulin as well as improve sleep patterns.

The reason this product is so popular is that many women suffer the issues above and within a week I receive reviews or emails from them saying they feel amazing and have more energy!

Like all Kulture products, you simply add liquid and its ready to drink.

Where to next? What are your goals for the next 12 months?

I have one more product to introduce this year and then I have a goal of increasing online sales by 80% within 12 months.

When you’re not working on your online store, where could we find you?

You’ll find me at the gym lifting weights, catching up with friends for brekkie or relaxing with my man.

Check out Kulture here:

Online Store

Facebook

Instagram

Wendy, we love your brand and your commitment to helping women feel amazing. We can’t wait to see where the future takes you and Kulture.  

Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

5 accounting mistakes online store owners make and how to avoid them

5 accounting mistakes online store owners make and how to avoid them

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you aren’t as organised as you’d like to be when it comes to the end of the financial year, so this is the perfect time to take stock of your accounting practices and make sure you’re on top of everything going into a new financial year.

We sat down with Wayne Richard from Bean Ninja’s to go over the 5 most common accounting mistakes eCommerce entrepreneurs make.

The 5 most common accounting mistakes online store owners make are:

 

1. Bank balance bookkeeping

Also known as “back of the napkin bookkeeping”, Wayne explains what this is and how to avoid this mistake.

 

2. No cash confidence

Lacking the ability to know (for certain!) how much cash is on-hand or where and when to deploy it is a big mistake. We talk about how to overcome this and we reveal the system that we use to always have enough cash to pay our bills, pay ourselves and turn a profit!

 

3. Scaling losses

When people start our eComm Ignitor program, one of the first things we teach them is about margins and almost every time people realise their prices are too low. So it’s no surprise that failure to measure and understand contribution margins or ratios is on the list.

 

4. Inventory control

Cash flow and inventory problems go hand in hand and can seize business operations. One of the most common issues with our Facebook Ads clients is that they run out of stock. This causes issues with unhappy customers as well as lost momentum with paid advertising.

 

5. Lack of understanding of sales tax responsibilities

Pleading ignorance is not a valid excuse when the taxman comes knocking. Understanding your tax obligations is an absolutely essential part of running an online store.

Watch the video to see the full chat. Grab a pen and paper because you’ll want to take lots of notes on this one!

Wayne has also offered two exclusive free gifts for Unstoppable eCommerce Entrepreneurs.

 

Free Bean Ninja’s eCommerce Toolkit

  • Step-by-step guide to getting your Xero file in order
  • Cashflow Forecast Template to help you plan for the ups and downs in your monthly cash flow
  • Bookkeeping timetable template to help you stay on top of your finances & get current reporting
  • Weekly newsletter sharing resources to help you create your freedom business.

Click here to access the free eCommerce Toolkit.

 

Free Complimentary Know Your Numbers Audit (value $249 USD)

  • Book a 30-min audit and you’ll get:
  • A clear picture of your goals and how to smash them
  • Your own customized financial strategy
  • Clarity on how much budget you have available for investing in growth
  • Guidance on optimizing your cashflow
  • BONUS Cashflow planning tool

Click here to book your free know your numbers audit with Wayne.

Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact.