Standing out from the crowd

15 replies
  • |
I'm just beginning my journey into e-commerce so this is a simplistic question.

I've recently become a grandmother and I'm thinking of opening an online toy store and targeting other grandparents. We love to spoil our grandbabies!

But how do you compete with Amazon and Walmart?

I would plan to use Facebook ads, of course.

I'm thinking of trying to emphasize educational and classic toys.

Any thoughts appreciated

#crowd #standing
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
    Hi Rose,

    If it were me, I wouldn't compete at all.

    I would find a source for really classic hand made wooden toys like the kind that were available when today's grandparents were kids.

    They will strike at the heart of the grandparents for nostalgia and they have a much higher perceived value.

    Then you could add classic toys like Radio flyer, Little Red Wagon and more.

    Stay a little more high end, but bring the quality.

    You might find retired guys who would love to build toys. If you go this route, go with the American made and push that. Take pictures of the guys making the toys and put them on your site.
    Send a picture of the guy who made the toy with the toy when you ship it etc...

    Most likely your sources will be China or other countries where labor is cheaper.

    I hope that helps.

    Free eBook =>
    The Secret To Success In Any Business
    Yes, Any Business!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11204686].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author toydistrict
    You could set up a WordPress website and network in your local area. There should be social gatherings in your area or clubs or even set one up in your local library, where you can meet your potential customers. .

    Been in the toy industry for over 20 years. Most of our sales occur offline. Online is only a small percentage. There is so much you can do offline. Will most of your intended audience even be online?

    What you have is an excellent idea. You could use FB ads as you have said, but I would concentrate efforts offline too.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11204695].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dsimms
      You maybe out of touch with reality...

      The retail industry is going out of business simply because
      everyone is shopping online more and more...

      Any small retail stores that surprise will start to dig into
      online even more, otherwise, they may go under also.

      I do not even leave the house any more to order non-parishable
      items, all such items come from walmart, and delivered within 3-4 days.

      I do not care what type of niche business you are in...
      if you do not catch up to online 2.0 then you also may
      risk going out of business too one day....

      Adapt or die...
      and some are finding out the hard way by not
      adapting, and they end up dying....

      FB ads is not a solution for everything, and setting up
      any type of business is not easy. She needs to do a ton
      of research, and sell something that has been proven...
      do not try to re-invent the wheel, sometimes compeition
      is a good thing, as it shows that your product is sellable...

      amazon has its pros and cons...

      * Follow their strict rules, or be banned...
      (Amazon is in control of your future, not you...)

      * amazon listings are shallow, some are vague
      or have very little content, show others who is
      boss by putting up in-dept content, images, videos, etc...


      * setup your own personal domain, add content, get quality
      backlinks, add more content, repeat, as your personal site
      grows, then your site will rank for 100s or even of 1000s of
      keywords for your product, over time, out ranking other sites.

      Your very first step is to perform niche research, and once
      you lock down, a green niche, not seasonal, then you need
      to come up with a brand/domain that people will not forget,
      and something that will give the visitor an idea before he/she
      even lands on your site, and that may not be easy as most
      of the domains are either taken, or the power domain
      sellers are squatting them so they can be sold in the future.

      My brand just cost me $3500
      I got a Name, and an Excellent domain.

      Now I just need to save up again so I can
      turn the site into a money maker, no doubt that
      will also take time, and work, more time, more work....

      PS. If you have really good product, you can also setup your
      products on some type of marketplace like etsy (I think) as these
      type of sites have huge traffic, and I have talked to some people
      that claim they make $3k-$5k per month, so keep that in mind...

      do not put all your eggs into one basket ie: amazon
      If you do so, and your cut off, then your income is instantly gone....

      sorry, no one said running your own business would be easy.
      There is certainly work involved, and you got to keep it moving...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11206810].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi Ross,


    Don't compete.

    Focus all your energies on creating content through your self-hosted Wordpress blog - you better get one of those, if you want to stand out, for branding potential alone - and you will shine brightly enough where people will buy through you.

    Always think of how you can help folks for free. Here on Warrior. On your blog. On niche specific forums. Then, stand out with that sweet blogging/branding and in time, you can grow a thriving business.

    Ryan Biddulph inspires you to be a successful blogger with his courses, 100 plus eBooks, audio books and blog at Blogging From Paradise
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11204711].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Thanks! All good suggestions. I'll keep them in mind as I move forward

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11204718].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author chirsvilliers
    hey Rose Anderson
    it's a great idea that you want to start e-commerce which help to reach your product more n more place a website with ecommerce which help to grow our business .online marketing is also important to any business if this all can be done through a mobile app it will be helpful even i am running an ecommerce business this app helped me to grow and reach to more people
    iam using it and if u think it is useful u can try check it once. Boomer marketing app.
    your business may take baby steps right now it's grow as good as your grandchild
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11205338].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author donahuer8
    Thanks for the great post! I visit this site now and again and always find something useful!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11205545].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Hi Rose,

    Since ToysRUs has gone down the drain, I'm guessing that may leave a vacuum that perhaps you could take advantage of and perhaps fill at least one aspect of how they helped children.
    I wish you well.

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11205568].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    You compete with the Amazons of the world by building a better shopping experience. Describe products in the way that consumers care about - not the generic bullet points that Amazon uses. Know your products and what makes two seemingly similar things different. Making your prodcut descriptions better, talking about benefits, not just features like the brand names do, is how you create better pages.

    Create buyer's guides that help people choose exactly the right product for their needs. Prominently and proudly post a phone number so that people can ask questions. Nothing converts better than a phone call and nobody at Amazon has a clue about the products listed there.

    In other words, build the best website there is in your niche - one that answers all questions so that nobody ever has to go to another site seeking those answers. THAT is how you compete against the big boys. You won't beat them, but you'll get a healthy share of the pie.
    Signature - FREE TRAINING - Learn How to Build Your Own eCommerce Website
    My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox Business News, the NY Times & Flippa
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11205814].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Peter Koch
    If you sell physical products on the internet and you're not on Amazon, then you're competing with Amazon and you don't want that. Diversify, sell on your own store but do sell on Amazon too. Use Login with Amazon to connect Amazon and your website. Login with Amazon app allows people to log in with their Amazon account, choose their delivery address, payment method.... Sign up for Amazon Affiliates and on each of your product pages, include an affiliate link to your product listing on Amazon, so that you make 1-10% (depending on category) of each order. Yes, you can be an affiliate for your own products and yes Amazon will pay you a commission for selling your own products.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11206312].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Shehmeer Malik
    Yes, you are right but you can compete them with hard working and loyality. They have a class and level. They have best running e commerce.
    penny penny makes many
    Best of luck !
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11206355].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    First I feel you need to understand how the conversion process works. Until you understand that personally I would stay away from facebook. Something like ppc say with microsoft is much, much more quality and targeted traffic than facebook. People are on facebook to be social and not buy so again once you understand conversions it can be hard to generate leads and sales from a social network.
    Free Video Training Sharing The Steps To Succeed With Affiliate Marketing.
    Get Access At
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11206962].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dsimms
      There are a few things to consider when FB ads dont work.

      1: You are not using a pixel, or your pixel is not firing. If you are not using a pixel, then you cant re-target your ads, and is considered blind advertising.

      2: bad product, you have simply picked a product that is either bad, or the product is already over saturated on FB. You will have a hard time selling a necklace if 100 other people are selling the exact same necklace.

      3: Zero trust, if visitors do not trust your site within the first 3-5 seconds, then you can kiss any conversions good bye, and I seriously mean, jesus christ dead on the cross conversions.

      4: bad design can kill conversions as much as bad content for SEO. Even the wrong word, or even color can plummet your conversions. You cant setup a theme, and say thats it, if you want to have a chance in hell to increase your conversions/ROI, then you must test, test, and test. Just because you are in love with your site does not mean others are....

      5: price too high, yep, if your price is too high, then this can also chase away potential buyers, and you may not sell a thing...

      6: no sales funnel in place to capture every $$$. Even if everything is good, then you are leaving money on the table buy not having a funnel that can boost your income from normal, to even better. If you are going to sell shirts, then you may try to upsell other similar shirts, ties, pants, shoes, etc...anything that may help you boost your sales, once that visitor buys, then it is less likely they will not return again, unless your

      7: ALL TIME BIGGEST FAIL! My $5 ad did not make me $100/day. Sure, this $5 investment may have worked in the past, however, there are so many people with much biggest budgets on FB; your small $5/day ads will most likely not go very far.

      8: ANOTHER FAIL! I tested my product with a $5/day ad, and did not make anything! First off, a $5/day test ad is almost guaranteed to make you nothing. A serious marketer will run 50-100 ads, spend $25/$100/day. This is the only real way to rule out if this maybe your product, over priced, bad site, or other. You quickly weed out ads that do not perform, until you are left with 1-2 winning ads that will make money, then you start all over again repeating your ad testing process.

      9: poor targeting = poor conversions! Lets say you sell a custom football, do you think targeting the general public is going to get you high conversions, nope! Do you think if you target broad football, probably not! You have to target your audience right down to niche level! Lets say you sell a custom cowboys football, right, your best bet would be to target those that are fans of the cowboys, so selling general products that are not specific would be a dead-end zero conversions...

      Your products need to be so specific that you can target the audience right down to the nut that secures the bolt that holds the street light up, as you know those fans may have the most interest in whatever you are selling. If you sold a general looking plain necklace, then how will you target? You cant! Your necklace must have passion, and be very specific! What type of necklace? Its a gold necklace, keeping going its a gold & diamond necklace, keep going, it is a gold & diamond bird necklace, ok, what kind of birds? Do we have bird lovers on this planet? We sure do! now you have to do your research, and find what type of birds that would most likely convert best, and you narrow this down, then who is most likely to buy your gold & diamond bird necklace? Men, Women! remember, targeting kids under 21, well, they are barely out of diapers, and less likely to pull credit cards. This is when your research starts coming together, and with your FB pixel firing, then FB will be able to give you data on who is most likely to buy your product based on your pixel, so if FB tells you that women between the age of 25-48 are buying your product, then dont be an idiot and target men under 18; FB gives you data so you can make start decisions....

      10: Budget! You are guaranteed to fail if you lack funding, period....

      There are probably other points...
      however, I am tired of writing.

      ps. FB ads are no better off or even worse, then google
      ads, however, unless you really know what you are doing,
      then you are more likely to lose money, not make money.
      you would be better off hiring an expert that knows his stuff....
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11207004].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Geese
    e-commerce is not easy that I thought but just be positive. Good Luck to you.

    Shawn ToysChannel
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11211914].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    A vital part of the selling process that is widely overlooked is branding and labeling.

    With so much competition how can you make your product stand out from the crowd? Many businesses that have developed famous brands have very ordinary products that are very similar to products offered by a multitude of competitors.

    To illustrate: I have been in many factories in China where I have seen big brand products being produced. Alongside that production line I have seen generic products being produced of equal quality and very similar appearance. Some of those generic products have a brand name that nobody will ever remember and the products are retailed at low prices.

    The big difference between the low value, low margin business and the high perceived value, high price, and extremely high margin business is marketing.

    BUT..... Marketing is not just advertising. It starts with image - not a picture, but a concept. Once you decide what image you want your business to present to the buying public, you build everything around that.

    • Brand name. This should as far as possible convey the message that satisfies the wants, needs, and desires of your target customers.
    • Logo. Not just a pretty picture conjured up by a graphic artist who wants to show how clever they are. It must reinforce the brand image.
    • Labels. Of critical importance, these are you in the eyes of the customer. Don't just "slap on a label" the way most experts tell you. Create a label that makes your product look desirable.
    • Packaging. You wouldn't pack biscuits in paper bags any more would you? Packaging can sell for you.
    • Think about winning the battle for attention online or on the shelves.
    Wherever you are selling, make every part of your marketing count.

    Walter Hay
    Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11212092].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics