Can you run a successful ecommerce site with less than ten products?

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We currently manufacture and sell nine products which all fit in the home and kitchenware category of goods. We sell on Amazon and on a website which was developed and is managed by an ecommerce agency. The agency are pretty successful and have some big clients on their books turning over millions per year.

On Amazon we sell around 60 units per day, but our website is only selling one unit per day, sometimes no units. This has been the case for over 12 months now.

The website structure and design is on par with other sites which the agency have built and as previously mentioned I know that some of their other clients are turning over millions per year.

The agency are also managing Google Shopping and Facebook ads but our cost per conversion is too high and we are making a loss.

The agency keep telling us that the reason the site is not doing well is because we do not have enough products. They have suggested that we need at least 300 products for the site to work. Their reasoning is that when a customer arrives on our site from Google Shopping or Facebook that they want to browse variations and a wider range of kitchenware. As our site only has nine products the customers leave without purchasing.

The problem is that we are very unlikely to ever have a range of 300 products because as we are manufacturers that would require a huge investment.

Our contract with the agency is up in the next couple of months and we are at a loss as to what to do.

One option is to cut our losses and just sell on Amazon, but that comes with a risk that all our eggs are in one basket.

Is it right what the agency are saying?
Is it impossible to have a successful ecommerce site with less than ten products?
Does anyone have any examples of successful ecommerce sites with less than ten products or any specific strategies?
#ecommerce #products #run #site #successful #ten
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by KHS2017 View Post

    Is it right what the agency are saying?
    The only way you'll know for sure is to examine the stats. Ask the agency about the site's conversion rate, traffic volume and source, and cart abandonment numbers.


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    • Profile picture of the author KHS2017
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      The only way you'll know for sure is to examine the stats. Ask the agency about the site's conversion rate, traffic volume and source, and cart abandonment numbers.


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      Conversion rate is 1.96, 1000 user per month, the source is pretty evenly split between paid, organic, direct and referral
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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Originally Posted by KHS2017 View Post

        Conversion rate is 1.96, 1000 user per month, the source is pretty evenly split between paid, organic, direct and referral
        When you say 1,000 users per month, is that the total traffic? If so, you have an issue with the agency's marketing strategy. Also, even though it's a low number from which to glean a true picture, I'd say the conversation rate is well below what you should expect from a well-targeted traffic program.


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        • Profile picture of the author KHS2017
          Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

          When you say 1,000 users per month, is that the total traffic? If so, you have an issue with the agency's marketing strategy. Also, even though it's a low number from which to glean a true picture, I'd say the conversation rate is well below what you should expect from a well-targeted traffic program.


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          Yes the total traffic is around 1000 per month. We get about 30 visits per day.
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          • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
            Originally Posted by KHS2017 View Post

            Yes the total traffic is around 1000 per month. We get about 30 visits per day.
            Yep, that's your problem. Far too low to draw any conclusions about the number of products in your store.



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  • Profile picture of the author Ms Clark
    No, the problem is definitely not in the number of products. If your products are quality, useful and unique, and you have a good marketing strategy, they will sell.
    Agency didn't do it's homework when it comes to on-page & off-page SEO. You should find someone that will improve your page ranking.
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  • Profile picture of the author bestAd
    You can sell with a store that only has 5 products and still make sales. There are so many factors that affect sale especially your store trust factor. Your google shopping ads and FB ads have to be optimized. It is not easy making profit with your first ad. The goal is to break even with them and your retargeting ads is what brings in the profit.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Wow, that might be the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

    Tell the "My Pillow" company that they can't be successful unless they have 300+ products. Or how about Crocs or Zippo or WD-40? They are single product companies that have done extremely well. In fact, I'd venture to guess that the vast majority of successful companies in the world have far less than 50 products.

    I think that most individuals who have had success in eCommerce will tell you that they have far fewer than 300 products on their website. We've built more than 100 successful websites that carried 50 products or less.

    Your agency is just flat-out wrong. Nice excuse, though!

    The actual problem you are experiencing is that you apparently never figured out what your maximum cost per conversion is - something you should know BEFORE you ever run a single ad. After paying your wholesale cost, your shipping cost and employee cost (even if that employee is you, you need to figure out what your time processing an order is worth), how much profit do you make on a sale? Then, at a 2% conversion rate, what is the maximum you can spend on clicks in order to come under that maximum cost per conversion? (e.g. If average profit per sale after paying for all of the above is $30 and your conversion rate is 2%, your maximum cost per click is going to be 60 cents - the break even point. If you are paying more than that known maximum cost per click, you are guaranteed to lose money).
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  • Profile picture of the author Socialblastr
    Of course it's possible! The issue is that buyer intent is so much higher on Amazon so you're not reaching people at the same stage of their buyer journey when you market on your own site. But the number of products shouldn't matter as long as you have a well done, branded and trustworthy site
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  • Profile picture of the author jaffjackson
    Start by selling products that you have. Do proper marketing have customer reviews or ask your friends or relatives to post best and helpful reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author rabbiefpv
    For me the having 300 items is rubbish...

    Perhaps a few more products would be handy and you could use them as an upsell or downsell!

    There are so many stores that have just 20 products that are killing it!
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  • You can have a successful site with one product.

    The key is to send the correct traffic... people who are looking for one or more of those nine products.

    Look, if you sold cold water (just one product), you'll have no problem if you were on a hot beach. Yet industry professionals will tell you that you need a fully stocked store to be successful in retail.

    The key is to find the needs of your customers, and stand in front of them with your products.

    I am not saying that the agency wrong, they know about building out a retail store, and you want to just sell single bottles of water. Get it?

    If you have been losing money for a year it's (beyond) time to try something different. You don't need to take your website down since it should be costing you less than ten bucks a month (if the agency is providing your website, it's time to change that - own your own web property!).

    You may want to try social media marketing... and I am not referring to paid ads. Also strengthen your SEO and organic traffic efforts. Do this in conjunction to your Amazon selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author reviewparks
    I have new started............
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  • Profile picture of the author salzingale
    On Amazon we sell around 60 units per day, but our website is only selling one unit per day

    Okay then, the sale of 60 units per day via Amazon works and is paying for itself and giving return.



    Your web site needs nine pages for nine products, a fast and efficient sales platform (ie, wordpress with woo commerce) and an SEO expert that has an in-depth understanding of your products to get them in front people genuinely interested in using your products.


    An efficient basic web site to sell nine products should not cost much (10-30 per month depending on platform). The only other cost is site service, maintenance, updating by an admin, which may be you, an employee or contracted pro to increase sales from your site (100-300 per month).



    Any advertising or seo tweaking would be in addition to the above very basic costs for your own web site.


    Even if you do nothing with your own web site, at the very least retain it and use it as best as you can for the time being, but your eventual goal is to use it generate more sales than what it is now!
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  • Profile picture of the author zyeedofficial
    The key is to send the correct traffic... people who are looking for one or more of those nine products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Codx Bre
    I have done 1k in sales with 35% profit easily with 5 products inside one "collection". Heres how you should do it: find one product that has many upsells. Lemme give you example, RC Toys. You can put your winner product RC toy and put upsells like rc parts, additional gear, camera if plausible ect. You should use this link to add "related products". The only thing you have to chnage is from "related products" to "frequently bought together". You can change it in code without know much code.

    NOTE: U should use one of your Upsell apps increases AOV by good percentage.

    Thats how simple you can make 1k revenue with only 5 products in store. Just highly interested traffic funneled to winner + freqboughtwith + Upsell and free shipping over 75$.
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  • A rhetorical question for you. Has your marketing agency done anything to help you capture the information of those Amazon buyers? If not, why? This seems to me to be one of the first things they should have thought of.

    Selling 60 units a day is great, but after you sell to that customer, you're back a square one. Amazon owns that customers information, not you. Here's something I would suggest so you own as many customers as possible

    Immediately get some marketing materials into your products to drive those buyers to your website. Here are a couple of examples:

    1. Registration Info: Have them come register the product they purchase from you for some kind of warranty/free replacement offer. Have the registration done through a form on your website. One of the required fields you should have for that registration is their email address. When they register, have it setup by default to allow you to send them emails. Make them have to click something to not be sent promotional and informational emails.

    2. Discount: Offer them a huge discount to get another product from you. A discount for any product, or a closely related product that compliments the one they just purchased. But only set the coupon up to work on your website. Put your website address on there and that the coupon is only valid on your website. Require an email address as part of the checkout process.

    Do one or both of these, and many of the customers who have purchased from Amazon will become your customers too. Here is how this becomes huge.

    You now have a way to reach those customer for FREE with other offers in the future, forever! Nurture that email list and send them cooking tips, recipies, funny cooking videos, etc 2 or 3 times a week. Then maybe once a week or once every other week (depending on what you are comfortable with starting out) send them an offer for one of your other products.

    If you can, tie that product in to one or more of the recipies that you send that week. Mix the offer for that product into the ad copy for the recipie and it comes across as not being "salesy" but helpful. Then at the end of that week, make a blatant offer for that product and offer a discount to anyone who has not already purchased it earlier in the week. If they purchased it earlier in the week, have the autoresponder remove them from that weeks discounted offer.

    You can also send them surveys at any point you are considering developing a new product. You then have your own focus group of happy customers who love your products. Tell them you are developing a new product, and ask them what they wish that product had, could do, color it was, etc. Let them tell you what they want. Then take those responses to decide how you are going to develop that product.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaGeekin
    Yes and Ill be honest you should not start out with a main store page! I made the same mistake when starting out! The problem is after you drive the traffic to your store from your ad they will have many places to go and get lost on your site tons of options to choose from and things to add to their carts. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT! You want them to come to your page from the ad about say scuba gear for example and see a description of the gear they saw maybe a video then a buy button! No places to get lost. Or carts to fill. Just a buy button. Then after that hit them with direct up-sells related to the product they just bought. This can be accomplished very well in platforms like click-funnels which Is honestly my recommendation for this kind of page. Hope this helps and blows your mind as much as It blew mine. Clickfunnels is amazing btw I use it in promoting my own system and its such a better option then shopify!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ashanzeroxster
    Number of Products has nothing to do with your conversion.
    I had an ecommerce store developed on Shopify and i had only one product. I was able to bring in 5 figures in revenue with that single product
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  • Originally Posted by KHS2017 View Post

    We currently manufacture and sell nine products which all fit in the home and kitchenware category of goods. We sell on Amazon and on a website which was developed and is managed by an ecommerce agency. The agency are pretty successful and have some big clients on their books turning over millions per year.

    On Amazon we sell around 60 units per day, but our website is only selling one unit per day, sometimes no units. This has been the case for over 12 months now.

    The website structure and design is on par with other sites which the agency have built and as previously mentioned I know that some of their other clients are turning over millions per year.

    The agency are also managing Google Shopping and Facebook ads but our cost per conversion is too high and we are making a loss.

    The agency keep telling us that the reason the site is not doing well is because we do not have enough products. They have suggested that we need at least 300 products for the site to work. Their reasoning is that when a customer arrives on our site from Google Shopping or Facebook that they want to browse variations and a wider range of kitchenware. As our site only has nine products the customers leave without purchasing.

    The problem is that we are very unlikely to ever have a range of 300 products because as we are manufacturers that would require a huge investment.

    Our contract with the agency is up in the next couple of months and we are at a loss as to what to do.

    One option is to cut our losses and just sell on Amazon, but that comes with a risk that all our eggs are in one basket.

    Is it right what the agency are saying?
    Is it impossible to have a successful ecommerce site with less than ten products?
    Does anyone have any examples of successful ecommerce sites with less than ten products or any specific strategies?

    that's non-sense. Why 300 products? Where did they get that number from?
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  • Profile picture of the author wakistore
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    It all depends on the website branding and promotion with those 10 products. Suppose you have a good traffic on your e-commerce website, that matters a lot. On the other side, Putting up genuine, quality product with reasonable pricing will definitely attract users to buy one of those. So it is very important to grab the right marketing strategy related to the product promotion and bravo! You can surely run a successful e-commerce website.
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  • Profile picture of the author waidas54
    I used to have many products on my site, but I got the most success when I made my store as a one product store. Means the whole site promotes only one special product.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    You say conversion rate is 1.96 but from where?

    What is the conversion rate from Facebook? What is the conversion rate from Google? What is the conversion rate from organic search? What is the conversion rate from repeat customers/direct referrals? That's where you start (actually where they should have stated).

    And, of course, conversion rate is absolutely meaningless for paid advertising. You could have a 50% conversion rate but if you are paying 60% of your profit per click, you lose. The only thing that matters with paid ads is your cost per conversion. Is it more than your profit on a sale?

    And, I have to ask, what Google ads? Are they text ads or Google Shopping ads or both? If both, you need to break those down to cost per conversion for each.

    You'll see very quickly where the wasteful ad spending is and my guess is that it will be Facebook and Google text ads, but Google Shopping might actually be profitable. If Google Shopping is profitable, you should also be running ads on Bing Shopping.

    Advertising is all about numbers and those numbers tell you exactly what to do. As I stated earlier in this thread, you have to know ahead of time what your maximum cost per conversion is and get rid of any source that exceeds that.
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  • Profile picture of the author smartadset
    I'm not gonna answer by yes or no, but we had stores making profit with less than 20 products submitted. Again I'm not gonna answer by a yes or a no.
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  • Profile picture of the author markmiller24x7
    I have seen many examples with a successful business who are just dealing with one or two products & still are making a great amount of profit from it, so having 10 products approx will not be a big deal if the products are quality & consumer oriented.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robbie789
    10 products are more than most people started with. Most individual sellers and small companies started with less than five, and they can still earn profits. The key here is to make your product unique, high quality. Begin to lay out your marketing strategy, learn how to properly advertising on social media and market forums to attract potential customers. Once you get decent sales, you will start getting more ideas and more products and begin to expand your store, moving to better platform and snowball from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author CutOutExpert
    Similar categories product can help to increase your sell volume. But it is not mandatory to gather large product list before starting your eCommerce business. Yes, you can do it. Only thing you should focus on your marketing strategy.
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