Hello! We are Valentin and Elena, the co-founders of AirDesigns, a full-service digital agency. In the last 6 years, we’ve been creating between 5-6 new sites every month and separately managing advertising campaigns on Google, Facebook, and Instagram for our clients.
This variety of projects puts us in a very interesting position. We’ve developed an in-depth knowledge of both the technical implementation of the ecommerce websites and their business part.
Over the years, we have seen many things that work and many that do not. Some businesses flourished before our eyes, while others went bankrupt.
Some small companies that started from scratch managed to develop and grow their online stores, while old mastodons who refused to digitalize – one by one closed their physical stores, and went out of business.
Let me share a sad story. Two years ago, Valentin had a conversation with a leading retail company. He offered to help them digitize their business, modernize their website, and eventually start selling online. They were arrogant. They were confident that the good old way of doing business was better than the digital world. They didn’t want to listen.
But what happened? Like many others, they weren’t prepared for the COVID 19 lockdown, and they had to close. This saddens us because the company had a 10-year history, 6 physical locations, and small production, and they could not withstand the changing environment. It shouldn’t have happened that way. They could have sold online and survived.
What is the lesson?
We cannot afford to ignore the new reality and put our business in danger. Let’s be open-minded and ready for the ever-changing business environment. When someone with extensive knowledge in a particular field offers us a piece of advice, we can at least hear it. And then, consider it carefully.
Who knows, an idea could turn out to be our lifesaver without even realizing at the moment that we are facing an iceberg collision for which we are not prepared.
Other companies also closed due to ill-considered projects in their business part, poor planning, lack of good value proposition and focused target groups, poor technical implementation, gaps in marketing tools, poor user experience, poorly selected products, poor digital service – in general, a bunch of mistakes that turn out to be fatal.
There are so many pieces of the puzzle that need to be put together in the right order.
Every day we receive phone calls and see the same banal mistakes that lead to nowhere.
Many believe that we make the store and the money begins to flow magically to us. Not in 2020!
There was a time, 10 years ago, when making money with an online store was much easier. You made a website. You ranked on Google’s results page with just a few tweaks of your website. People found you and made a purchase.
But over time, new players emerged in all niches. The pie was so lucrative that everyone wanted a piece of it. You invest a small amount of money, and then sell 24/7 at low cost and good margins – sounds like a trader’s dream, doesn’t it?
What has changed?
With the emergence of new players and the development of technology, in parallel with increasing consumer requirements, and new regulatory frameworks, building profitable business has become a more complex task.
To achieve the SAME RESULTS as you achieved earlier, YOU HAVE TO MAKE MUCH MORE EFFORT, or your competitors will take your place.
Many people did not understand this, lost their positions, and had to shut off.
They stopped innovating, they stopped investing in their business – and when you don’t do this and the competition does it, what happens to you? Customers go elsewhere.
And of course, if you are a customer yourself, and you have the opportunity to choose between two companies – one that is developing and diligent, and another that lies on old laurels, which one will you choose?
There is a specific reason, for example, to read this article. We reach out to you. We know how to do it. We have the knowledge and experience. We innovate. We constantly invest in education and training. We attend seminars and courses.
We systematically improve our processes, products, and services. With trial and error. Persistently. And with every trial, we are getting better and better. This is the only way to stay on the market.
Building an e-commerce business is not an easy endeavor, as many self-proclaimed internet gurus advertise it.
It requires knowledge, perseverance, and a lot of skills. You need to understand the business, business models, be a good organizer, have at least a small idea of the technical part and know how to do marketing, and ideally – find people to perform these roles.
That’s why we decided to create the Ecommerce Empire series – to educate and help – hoping that many startups and running businesses would find everything they need to start and scale their online stores.
We’ll teach you everything. And of course, all for free. 😉
We’ll include calculators, worksheets, templates and PDFs, lists of invaluable resources to make your life easier.
Our goal is to help you turn your e-commerce business into a venture that makes $1M in a year.
When we make big goals, we take big actions.
We’ve set the goal for $1M in total revenue in the first year of your business because during the planning stage you should make sure that your ecommerce business has the potential of making $1M. If it doesn’t, you will end up running a business that won’t be able to scale.
Big goals are scary to many of us. We may think that we can’t attain them. We look at a big goal, and then we look back at ourselves, and where we are right now, and we think “what is the point of setting a goal like that, I can never attain it.” The reality is that in many cases we don’t know what we are actually capable of achieving until we try. We don’t know our limits until we actually test them.
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Talk to you very very soon!
Here’s an overview of topics we will cover:
1. Choose Products to Sell
- Find Products
- Evaluate Products
- Research Market
- Evaluate Competition
- Source Products
2. Business Planning and Doing the Math
- Business Plan
- Basic Business Formula for Assessing Profitability
- Business Setup
- Brand Identity
3. Build the Store
- Design & Content
- Payments, Shipping, Taxes
- Analytics & KPIs
- Store Launch
4. Grow the Store
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Attract Audience
- Engage Audience
- Acquire Customers
- Delight Customers
5. Optimize the Store
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Customer Experience
- Optimization & A/B Testing
- Growth Tactics
- Multi-Channel Retailing