Amazon vs. ShopifyJan 24, 2023
Once upon a time in a land far, far away....kidding. lol. Once upon a time, I WAS a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. Most all my ebooks hit the #1 Best Sellers list WITHOUT giving any books away for free! Yep. Totally different strategy there on Amazon, isn't it?!
It's something I was good at and accomplished very easily. But when you're new and just opening up your Shopify store, it can be pretty scary to transfer everything over from Amazon to Shopify. And you CANNOT have a book in Kindle Amazon (KDP Select) AND on your site. It's against Amazon's policy. Here's where it talks about "Exclusivity" on Amazon.
It states: "All content enrolled in KDP Select must remain for sale through the Kindle Store only. If the digital version of your book appears to be available for pre-order, for sale, or for free elsewhere (such as on your website or blog, or a third party's website), it is not eligible for KDP Select."
So why would a person, hitting #1 Best Sellers lists consistently, suddenly change to Shopify?
In this module, I want to tackle that question in a few parts.
Plain and simple. Money.
On Amazon, I could only charge so much. For me it was like $3.99-$6.99 each digital book. So, I had like 6 books, most people don't buy all of them, so you're looking at very little money.
I got smart and put the books (NOT individually sold) in my Shopify store. So that if someone really wanted just ONE book, they HAD to buy the ENTIRE bundle and I set the bundle at $149.
Lots of people started emailing in at first, I'll be honest. They were upset that the books were no longer $3.99 each. They had to now buy a bundle. Listen, that's normal. And it's something that I've learned to deal with.
My thoughts are that, I'm a business woman and I work DANG hard. For someone to expect and get mad that I raise my prices (if my pricing is still very fair according to market value), that's on them, not me. While I love people, at the end of the day, I'm a single mom and I have kids to feed alone!
I don't have a husband to take care of me. I don't have a second income from a husband, and I have poured blood, sweat, and tears every day for YEARS into my blog. The first 3 years of blogging, I worked my blog 80-120 hours a WEEK (yes, a week. That's not a typo. I basically didn't sleep.)
I hustled. And I didn't get to spend as much time with my family because I was hustling (even though we do everything together as a family, yes, even blog!) :)
My point is that it's my decision what I price things at. I answer to God alone for what I do and I'm not out there gouging people. I make a fair and honest living, but it's going to be fair to ME too. And that's the pricing strategy I take for everything.
Example, when I first started up this course, I got some complaints. A few people were saying it was unfair I was even charging for this material because a couple small parts used to be free on the blog (that was my way of BETA'ing the material). They wanted it all free on the blog, even though, before I even put it free on the blog, I told them I was going to one day charge! I'm always 100% transparent.
One person, was going around to random people offering to give this copyrighted course material for free, to strangers. After asking her to stop and having several issues with her, she is now blocked from ever being able to visit my blog, buy from my store, was removed from my Facebook group, and cannot contact me in any way, shape, or form.
And you know what? I'm not at ALL sorry!
Yes, I give free stuff. Yes, I think of others more than myself. But I happen to know for a fact that other ecommerce material is 1/4-1/10 what I have included in this course and for that, they ask $1,500-$2k. The material is rare. The people who sell it (that I've seen) are all scammy men who teach drop shipping. Gag me.
While there are probably some legit Shopify experts teaching out there (if you know any, do let me know as I've not found any personally yet!) :) this is something I've worked hard for and I'm not backing down and I won't be bullied.
Don't want the information? No problem. Spend 2 years trying to figure everything out on your own like I did. :) And you won't be able to do it either. My information stands the test of TIME. I been in ecommerce 21 years!!! No one can touch that and I know it.
I'm not sorry I charge for my hard work. I'm an honest seller. I have nothing to be ashamed of and NEITHER DO YOU!
Listen very carefully, okay, because I've been where you are right now, afraid to charge for your stuff. Listen...
What you do, what you create, what you make, the knowledge you have, the information in your head, the experiences you've had in life is VALUABLE!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the most LIFE-CHANGING books I EVER read in my entire life is No You Can't Pick My Brain by Adrienne Graham.
Before I read that book, I never charged for anything. People would ask me to go to coffee with them (I don't drink coffee) and "pick my brain". So...all the knowledge, all the trials, all the busting my butt every day for years is worth a cup of coffee?!?!?!?!
Yeah, I don't THINK SO!
You shouldn't be afraid (or in my case, bullied) to take less. Don't do it! You're worth more than you think and just because a few people can't see that, they are NOT your people. Let them leave. Encourage them to leave. They only drag you down, making you doubt yourself.
So I wasn't at all sorry for suddenly charging more than three-ninety-nine. And I certainly was not going to make exceptions for them. Yes, love on them, yes, be kind, but no, do not be bullied or short change yourself.
I gave a 60% off discount code to the bundle (which I think is more than fair), making the bundle $59.60. I figured, it's still more than on Amazon because they have to buy ALL the books and it's honestly better they do so THEY learn more/grow more.
That bundle hangs around my best selling product always. AND...I created another bundle like it. 1 binder and like 6 books, same format, and then later on, I combined both bundles for $297 and put the 60% discount code on it as well.
Lemme tell you here in private, that THOSE bundles are 50% of my income!!!!
After that, 25% of my income is binders. The other 25% is random stuff, $1 deals, etc.
And now I've had those bundles in my Shopify store for well over a year and a half now and make so much money, I'm currently in the process of taking them OFF Shopify and making a big course out of it. It's already all set up!
I want to be able to update that information and add to it as I grow/learn and over time.
So yes, things are always a growing process. I'll get far more money for the bundles in a course on Million Dollar Shop than I would in my Shopify store, but if not, then that's okay, I'll just keep them on Shopify (highly doubt it won't make me more money in a course though).
In the meantime, while I'm testing that theory, I'll take them out of my Shopify store, but not delete them and see how it goes.
You can delete a product from being seen, but still keep the product completely in tact (the download, product page, reviews, everything) by clicking, "Manage" under "Product availability" in your product page, then UNcheck "Online Store", then click "Done". Easy peasy!
Wanna put it back? Just check mark the box again and you're good to go.
So, I would absolutely remove the books and don't give them options to get your stuff so cheap. Bundle whenever you can and don't sell separately.
Charge what you SHOULD charge in your Shopify store (after all, you have no more Amazon competitors dictating your prices!!!!)
Write more books, create more bundles. Give a good discount to your newsletter list.
Think about it...people LOVE themselves some bundles. They are seen as deals. People can't resist a great deal. It makes your stuff irresistible.
Then think about opt-ins. You could give one of your books in the bundle for free. After they see your book is legit and you are good, entice them to purchase with a discount code.
Point blank...you'll make way more money on Shopify than on Amazon because you can charge whatever you want (while still being fair).
2) Your email list
When you sell on Amazon, you don't get to keep your email list.
Why? Because over 50% of my sales are REPEAT customers. Here's a screenshot of the last 30 days (Oct 28, 2018-Nov 27, 2018). Right now, it's 62.04%, but usually it hangs a hair above 50%.
Sooooooo....if I make $2.7 million dollars a year on Shopify (as of right now), that means, I would make less than half that just on that one point alone.
And, if you're asking do I receive more sales now or before when I was on Amazon because prices were much cheaper on Amazon, surprisingly, a resounding yes, more on Shopify. So, I make a boatload of money on Shopify, compared to chump change on Amazon.
One of my friends who used to sell with me on eBay, she got into Amazon FBA. She made a killing on Amazon. $30k/month income levels. Really good.
All the sudden, Amazon deleted her best selling product ad. A product ad she had running for a few years.
All the sudden, tears, her whole EMPIRE, that she built from day 1, from scratch, was GONE in an instant.
Anyone's who's had a fire or massive loss out of the blue can relate. It's devastating. All the sudden, it's gone, and life changes dramatically.
I felt so bad for her. I was devastated WITH her...FOR her. She works hard, follows the rules, is an honest seller like me.
That's when she moved to Shopify, and it leads me to #3.
On Amazon, you HAVE no control. On Etsy, you HAVE no control. On eBay, listen...YOU HAVE NO CONTROL!!!!!
They change the rules, you're sunk. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I had to redo 600-700 ads on eBay because every quarter there was a new rule and my store had to comply.
Watermarks have to be a certain percentage opacity.
Next update...watermarks can only take up a certain percentage of the picture.
Re-picturing 600-700 items over and over and over again. I was so fed up! Plus I was being bullied on ebay. Competitors, one in particular, kept ordering from me every year and leaving a bad feedback, just so I wouldn't stay at 100% positive feedback, knowing I wouldn't get as many sales. She was trying to knock me down and it DOES affect sales.
On Amazon, I had the same problem. Someone in the blogging world, out to get me, left a bad review on Amazon to cut me and got a couple of her blogging friends to do the same. My books sales started suffering. I contacted Amazon to see if there was anything I could do. I KNEW it was hazing. Amazon didn't do anything about it. The reviews stayed.
I been in ecommerce 21 years. I know the scams. I've seen it all. What I love so much about Shopify is the control I have.
No one's gonna pull my product ad off Shopify.
No one's gonna leave a bad review and get away with it (just delete it!)
You have full control.
You decide your rules.
On eBay, you have to accept returns. So, people scam you. On Shopify, you don't have to.
You can control all these things that matter, the ways in which people and the world will scam you. It's something you own, like your blog, and while you don't have 100% control over anything in life, you do have a whole lot more than the alternatives! :)
Shopify trumps Amazon. Period.