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eComm Ignitor – Your questions answered

eComm Ignitor – Your questions answered

eComm Ignitor® is our signature training program to help online store owners to scale to 6-figure+ businesses. It includes all the key elements you need to create a holistic marketing strategy and always know what to focus on next. It’s designed to eliminate your overwhelm and give you a clear plan with simple to follow step-by-step instructions and next level support.

You can find out more and register here.

I’ve had a few questions come through around the course, what’s included and how it’s delivered so I have answered them for you below.

Q: Why did you create this course?

A: I built this course to teach emerging online store owners how to play on a level playing field with the big guys, showing you how to cut through in a busy world of social media and stand out online.

Q: How is the content delivered?

A: The course is hosted in Kajabi, an online portal that you will log into. Each module has videos, workbooks, and (where applicable) templates and screen-share explainer/demo videos. The videos are pre-recorded, and you can watch them as often as you like at whatever pace suits your learning style.

Q: Is there any support?

A: You get 3 months of free access to eComm Club which includes a private student group with Karyn and her team of Unstoppable Mentors, weekly live calls, and quarterly planning workshops to support you along your journey. 

Q: How much time will I need to invest in the course?

A: This is a self-paced 8-module course, which includes both no-fluff video lessons and tactical action steps in each phase. Some alumni have gotten through the material in a matter of weeks, and others have continued to chip away alongside their day job and/or family obligations. I recommend giving yourself at least a few hours a week if you want to do one module per week. 

Q: Is there a payment plan?

A: There sure is! Instead of paying in one lump sum, you can pay in 3 monthly payments of $747. All dollar amounts listed are in AUD and include GST for Australian residents.

Q: How long do I have access to the content?

A: You have access to the learning portal with all the video recordings and supporting documentation, including future updates for the life of the program. The course is self-paced, and you can access the modules and lessons as many times as you like, whenever you like.

Q: Which eCommerce website platforms do you cover?

A: Most of the course content is relevant regardless of which website platform you are using. However, we demonstrate pixel setup and Facebook catalogue integration in the most commonly used platforms: Shopify, and WordPress with WooCommerce.

Q: What if I need help to implement some of the things you recommend?

A: Our screen-shares and step-by-step guides are usually exactly what you’re looking for in terms of step-by-step instructions for the setup you need to do. However, if you simply don’t have the capacity to do it yourself (photography for example), we do have a list of trusted providers we can put you in touch with. We also have 1:1 sessions available to purchase with our mentors if you need a little extra support.

If you have any questions of your own I haven’t answered please feel free to reach out at support@unstoppableecomm.com

The importance of packaging

The importance of packaging

Right now eCommerce is booming! August 2021 was the biggest month for Australia Post EVER, surpassing even Christmas last year! So while you may be running off your feet, or seeing a nice little increase it’s important to maintain your standard of quality, especially your packaging.

So why is packaging so important? 

Customer Experience

Yesterday I received 2 parcels in the mail, one was some tile samples and the other was a sparkly pink skirt I had been waiting for! I was obviously far more excited for my sparkly skirt! I’d been watching this brand on Instagram for ages, they have a range of fun, bright coloured clothing. One of those brands that makes you want to buy something just because it looks so fun! So although I had been a long time follower, this was my first time purchasing from them and I was excited! 

Then when the parcels arrived I first opened the tiles, they were in a cute branded brown box with a big pink sticker on it “Instagram Story your unboxing @tilecloud”. How clever is that? Right before you even open it they are encouraging you to whip out your phone and start filming their brand and products. Then on opening they had beautiful custom printed tissue paper and I could tell everything was wrapped with care. It also included a discount code for my order and some tips on planning my tile project. It was a really nice parcel to open even though it was just samples, I enjoyed the experience.

Now the package I was waiting for…. I expected it to come in really bright packaging as the brand is all about bright colours, but much to my surprise, and disappointment, it came in a black plastic postage bag. Now as an environmentally conscious consumer, this was the first disappointment.

Inside the skirt was wrapped in yet another plastic bag with a printed picking slip. It was clear this was either drop shipped or sent from a 3PL without much care.

I was going to write there was nothing else in the bag, however upon further inspection today when I picked it up for the photo I found 2 postcards inside, one with their returns policy and one had info about their business and a coupon for my next order. These were nice, but I didn’t notice them when I first opened the parcel yesterday.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, the skirt was awesome! They delivered on their promise, I purchased the skirt and they sent it to me, but I was left feeling very underwhelmed by the experience of receiving it. What I had perceived was a fun, bright brand that delivered dull and boring plastic packaging with no pizazz! 

With so many people in lockdown we are looking to online shopping to fill the void of going to the shops and getting our retail therapy. When your customers receive their parcel you want them to have a great experience. Nice packaging, a handwritten note and maybe even a surprise as simple as a lollypop can make the experience of receiving their parcel enjoyable, which makes them want to do it again!  

Opening a nice eCommerce parcel is like opening a birthday present to yourself! It makes us feel special and we want to repeat the experience.

Gifting

This year Christmas shopping in person will be harder than ever for most of the country.. Instead of hitting the shops many people will be heading online to purchase for their friends and family. I want my friends to have that great experience from the parcel I send them, I certainly wouldn’t send them anything from the shop above – even though they may like the product.

So by offering a beautifully presented product you straight away put your best foot forward for people to think of giving that experience to someone else. Whenever I receive a great parcel I always make note that it would be a great gift for someone.

To make it even easier for people to use your store for gift giving, be sure to offer direct to recipient shipping with gift wrapping and a personalised message. Even if a store has a great product and nice packaging, I’m not going to waste money and resources shipping the product to me just so I can then wrap it and ship it on to my friend. I want something easy that I can just write the message and the store takes care of the rest. 

You can install a gift wrapping app on your website to make this process simple. 

I recently received a beautiful gift delivered straight from the store she purchased it from. It not only included a handwritten card with my friend’s message, but also a handwritten note from the business owner as well as an extra card and postcard as a surprise gift. The package came in a beautiful pink box and was sent in a biodegradable pink bag – very on brand!

Consumer Generated Content

Consumer generated content (content created by your customers) is great for building trust for your brand and provides you with free content for your socials.

When your customer receives their parcel is the perfect time to encourage them to take a photo or video and post it to their socials, tagging you. You can include a postcard, swing tag or sticker like TileCloud encouraging people to tag you. I recommend going one step further and incentivising them with a competition. 

They obviously like your product as they just purchased it so enticing them with the chance to win more, or a gift voucher is a great way to get them to go to the effort of posting. They will likely also put more thought into the quality of their photo or video.

Consider how much it would cost you for a lifestyle photoshoot each month. For the cost of a product or a gift voucher, I recommend at least $50, you can get a whole lot of customer photos and save yourself the cost.

Scratch does this very well. They are a subscription dog food company and if you post a photo of your dog with their delivery and tag them you could win your next box free (approx $80 value so worth the effort). They offer a weekly competition, however you could do monthly. 

It’s resulted in heaps of great customer pics like these.

Reduce Refunds

In order to reduce returns you can use your packaging to reinforce that your customer has made a good decision with their purchase. All the great info you told them in the lead up to their sale, on your socials and on your website can be mentioned again on your packaging. 

Scratch also does this well reminding the dog parent that the food is ethically sourced, fresher and grain free – all on the shipping box before they open it.

So hopefully this has you thinking about how your products are received. 

If you’re not sure where to start think about:

  • Sending parcels in a branded box or biodegradable bag
  • Using custom branded tissue paper rather than plastic bags (Try https://noissue.com.au/)
  • Include a thank you note 
  • Include a surprise such as a lolly or small product
  • Included something to encourage consumer generated content
  • Include a note such as “Think your friend would love this? We can ship your gifts direct and offer gift wrapping with a personalised note”

 

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is an eCommerce marketing specialist specialising in Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!

Mental Health for business owners

Mental Health for business owners

Today is  R U OK day, although we really should be asking each other this question every day, not just today.

Australians spent $50.46 Billion online in 2020 up 57% year-on-year and this year continues to grow. Australia Post just employed 4,000 additional people to keep up with demand and will be delivering on weekends for the rest of the year. You could say there’s no better time to have an online store. 

However, despite all the amazing figures, it’s also the hardest time to have an online store, especially if you’re stuck in lockdown. 

Juggling a business, home-schooling kids, supporting your family and being isolated from the ones you love is bloody tough and I know many of you are feeling the effects.

What many people don’t know is that I first started working for myself because I was suffering from depression and anxiety and could no longer work for someone else. I needed to do something that could still make me an income even if I couldn’t get out of bed some days. The freedom and flexibility of working for myself has certainly had many other benefits over the years, but this is what kicked off my entrepreneurial journey back in 2011. 

I’m here to tell you it’s OK not to be OK. It’s OK to reach out for support and it’s OK to say no to things you just can’t take on right now.

If you are your business and you wear all the hats then your business relies on you to succeed. Your business can only thrive if you look after yourself, and give yourself a break when you need it. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

It’s OK to take a break

If you aren’t coping right now, it’s OK to take a break. The country feels you and people understand it can’t always be business as usual. Your community, the right people, will understand if you need to put orders on hold for a while so you can look after yourself and your mental health. Trust me, it’s more important than any sale. 

There are a few ways to do this – you can be completely honest and communicate with your customers that the store is closing for a little while so you can take some RnR. Or if you’re just taking a short amount of time, such as a week, you can just make the shipping expectations clear so they know things will be a bit longer than usual. Taking a short break now, may stop you from having to take a much longer break later.

Find Your Community

Thanks to the internet, we can be more connected than ever, even though we are apart. Megan and I run this business together yet haven’t seen each other for nearly 2 years. Since we last caught up we’ve both had babies! 

We run a free Facebook group, Unstoppable eCommerce Entrepreneurs which is a safe space for online store owners to connect, learn and support each other. Sometimes just finding other people who are on the same journey as you can help. There may also be local community groups you can join online and who knows maybe one day you can even catch up with them in real life! 

Take time for yourself

Self care almost seems like a bit of a buzz word these days, but it really is so important. I know the idea of taking time for yourself can seem impossible if you’re homeschooling and juggling your business but even just an hour a week where you just do something for you can make a huge difference. Take a bath, read a book, meditate, whatever helps you rejuvenate. 

Turn off notifications

When you’re stressed, a phone buzzing with notifications of things you have to do only adds to your stress. Turn off your social media and email notifications and just make time to check them once a day. This will help you get into a routine and stop them interrupting you all through the day.

Checking your emails at set times during the day will also stop you having to put out fires all day long. I recommend checking them when you start your work for the day (not when you first wake up) and again in the afternoon. Avoid checking them all day long.

Exercise + eat healthy

It’s a vicious cycle that when we don’t feel great we start to go without the things that help us most – we skip that walk and we start turning to bad food (I know I do!). A healthy diet and exercise however is crucial for maintaining your mental and physical health. Try to go for a walk every day, even if it’s just around the block – the fresh air will do you a world of good.

Seek help

There is lots of help available if you are struggling, so please don’t go it alone. Beyond Blue has developed a program ‘NewAccess’ specifically for business owners. It’s a free and confidential mental health support service available to anyone aged 18 or over who owns a small business, from any industry including sole traders. You can find out more at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/newaccess/newaccess-for-small-business-owners

From personal experience if you’re feeling down, or just not quite right please see your doctor. Life really can be so much better when you treat your mental health like you would any other illness.

If you are struggling and need help right now you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Check in with others

Check in on your friends and family, send them a message, a fun photo or give them a call. Let them know you are thinking of them and help them find support if they need it. 

 

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is an eCommerce marketing specialist specialising in Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!

5 interviews with online store owners you don’t want to miss

5 interviews with online store owners you don’t want to miss

Over the past few months, we talked to a few successful online store owners we know about their journey from launching their businesses, how they dealt with struggles, and how they grew their brands.

We’re going to share them with you today, in case you missed them.

1. Idea to Online Store with Nic McClanachan

In this episode, we chat with Nic McClanachan, the founder of Dot on a Sock, an eCommerce business that sells socks with colour coded dots on the sole that makes them easy to find & simple to match. She shares how she turned a personal pain point into an opportunity, how she took her business off the ground, and did all of this (as a mum of 3 and running 2 other successful businesses) during the peak of the COVID lockdowns!

2. From Floundering to Happy Dancing With Christine Law From the Outdoor Table

In one of our recent podcasts, we invite Christine Law from The Outdoor Table to share how she grew her business to the point where it’s now starting to attract corporate interest. She also walks us through the steps she took to grow her business to where it is now and talks about the opportunities that have come her way… and how she made sure she was ready to seize them when they did.

3. ​​From Side Hustle to Main Hustle with Colleen from Ride Proud Clothing

We first met Colleen three years ago, when she joined the first round of Ignitor. Since then, her business has doubled in revenue and even found success in other countries.

She reveals what her business was like at the beginning and the steps she took to grow it. She also offers advice based on her own experiences of running an online clothing store. Click here to listen to the full episode.

4. Business Growth in Covid Times with Sarah from Glimmer Gear

In this episode, Sarah Lovison from Glimmer Gear Australia shares her journey from deciding whether to go into liquidation and close up shop to tripling her monthly revenue and launching a second business that sold out of stock in just three months!

She also shares how she went from attending 30 expos a year to growing her online store that now, she doesn’t have to attend a single one.

5. Influencer Marketing with Corbin from Three Warriors

We talk to Founder and CEO of Three Warriors, Corbin Halliday, about how he has used influencers to grow his brand from a little side-hustle to now having seven full-time employees.

He also shares how he approaches influencers, the red flags to look out for, how to measure the number of sales an influencer generates, why he doesn’t like the word “influencer” and why this mindset has been key to his success and how he has gained exposure from some of the world’s most famous celebrities – without paying a cent. Listen to the full episode here.

 

So there you have it – 5 great guest episodes with thriving online store owners that we don’t want you to miss.

Comment and let us know which one was your favourite.

3 things successful online store owners have

3 things successful online store owners have

Over the last few months we’ve spoken to some really inspirational online store owners on our podcast. And I’ve noticed something they all have in common… today I’m going to break down what these successful (but totally ordinary) humans have in common. 

It can be easy to put successful eCommerce entrepreneurs up on a pedestal and say things like “they got lucky”  or “they are smarter / better / luckier / older / younger / blah..blah..blah than me”  but I want to assure you that every single successful online store owner we’ve worked with (and we’ve worked with some pretty big ones) all have the same fears and doubts as you do. They are just humans, just like you. But they do have a few key factors in common and I’m going to break it down for you… 

First, let me introduce the 3 amazing eCommerce entrepreneurs we’ve spoken to recently and a little about their journey. 

Sarah from Glimmer Gear went from seriously considering folding her business and walking away from it all… to not only turning her business around but also launching a second online store and selling out of stock. 

Colleen went from taking a leap of faith and used money that should have been in her super fund to start her own business as a side hustle… to growing her online store to the point where she’s quit her day job. 

Corbin went from working 3 jobs to fund his online start up… to now employing 7 people and having his product used by major celebrities around the world. 

So, what do these 3 very different people have in common? 

1. They don’t complain. 

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard them complain once. Sure, they have ups and downs, just like any business owner. But when they are talking about their downs, they state facts and metrics… not feelings and stories. 

2. They DO. THE. WORK. 

These are three of the most focused humans I’ve worked with. They learn – then do. They don’t get distracted with fluff. They simply roll up their sleeves and do the work. 

3. They ask for help. 

It’s all well and good saying they do the work… but knowing what work to do is even more essential than the work itself. Digging a hole in the wrong place can be pretty annoying! They ask for help from those who’ve been where they are now. They ask other successful online store owners and all of them joined eComm Ignitor. Hot tip – don’t waste time asking people for directions to places they’ve never been. Ask those who are at least one step ahead of you. 

 

You can listen to the podcast interviews with Sarah, Corbin and Sarah here: 

Click here to listen to Sarah’s podcast episode 

Click here to listen to Colleen’s podcast episode

Click here to listen to Corbin’s podcast episode

Leave a comment and let us know how Sarah, Colleen and Corbin have inspired you.

When to colour between the lines

When to colour between the lines

Your website conversion rate is so important, it’s one of the biggest factors when it comes to your eCommerce store being successful or not. We talk a lot about how to be creative and even how to ditch the default to add your own brand and voice to your website. Sometimes, however, it is important to colour between the lines and use the stock standard layouts.

People are creatures of habit, we learn how to use something and then we do it without even thinking about it. When we jump into our Facebook app we know where to scroll the Newsfeed and where to find our profile, but when Facebook makes a change and we can’t find what is normally there we get frustrated.

The same goes for using online stores. We know when we jump on a website certain things will be there and we rely on those things being in the same old boring place so that we can easily navigate the website and find everything we are looking for, without getting frustrated.

Let’s take a look at the typical layout your eCommerce store should follow:

Menu

Your menu should be at the top of your website on a computer, and in a hamburger drop down menu on a phone.

Avoid hidden menus or menus on the side – if someone has to search for it you’re making it harder for them to give you money.

Product Page Layout

When it comes to your product page there are several must haves:

  • Product name
  • Images
  • Price
  • Description
  • Options – size, colour etc
  • Add to cart button

Layout and design vary greatly by theme, however, images on the left and product name, description, options, price and add to cart button on the right is the standard layout. When you switch it up it just feels wrong to the user, even if they can’t figure out why.

This website features large images, but it takes a while to register the product details are on the left.

Category Page

A category page showcases products, all belonging to the same product category such as dresses, tops or bottoms. Just like in a brick and mortar store when things are displayed nice and neat it gives the impression of quality and care. 

When things are mismatched it can create a messy look and give the wrong impression about your products.

Keep your product feature images all the same size on the category pages and, where possible, keep your background consistent.

This site creates a clean, fresh look with white backgrounds.

The two images on the far left look mismatched as they are different sizes to the others. The darker background also looks like it doesn’t belong.

For people (like me) who like things symmetrical, these different size images just don’t look right!

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is an eCommerce marketing specialist specialising in Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!