There is no end of eCommerce advice from the yanks. Normally how to sell thigh masters via drop shipping (which is about as useful as tits on a bull) and […]
About Iain Calvert
Ecommerce Consultant & Trainer
Iain (aka “ian”, that double “I” throws a lot of people) is an Australian based eCommerce consultant and trainer that has worked with the likes of Billabong, Vogue, Quiksilver and 100’s others under NDAs. He applies what he learned working for big eCommerce businesses to help independent Aussies businesses sell online.
Originally growing up in the UK he started in eCommerce in 2003. He moved to Brisbane in 2011 to join, and eventually end up running, one of the largest independent digital and eCommerce marketing agencies in Australia.
He now lives in Melbourne, where he works as an Ecommerce Consultant for a select handful of Aussie brands helping them sell successfully online.
Iain’s definition of eCommerce success is having more money in the bank at the end of the month, rather than ridiculous headline-grabbing quotes like “XYZ now worth $100m”. After working with and seeing the inside of these fast-growing companies he came to learn they aren’t all they seem. He believes that popular doesn’t mean profitable and applies this to eCommerce.
Due to restricting the no. of clients in his eCommerce consulting practice, and repeatedly being asked to help other Aussie eCommerce businesses, he setup up Boom - Aussie Ecommerce Training to document what he knows and share it with fellow Aussies or anyone with an interest in selling in Australia.
He can be easily contacted on Linkedin, where he also regularly shares free eCommerce tips.
Entries by Iain Calvert
Stock control is one of the hardest things to get right in eCommerce. It’s often not talked about.
Learn how to pack orders efficiently and watch interviews with successful eCommerce owners.
It’s a hidden gem on the Internet.
What's an SEO Migration?
It keeps the free traffic you get from Google (technical term is SEO or Organic traffic).
If you move eCommerce platforms i.e. Shopify to WooCommerce all the page addresses change (www.yourwebsite.com.au/shop/productname)
What happens if you move home and don’t redirect your post? You miss important bills or letters.
It’s the same when you move website platform.
You have to implement something called an SEO Migration.
It’s a big subject which has been covered well by many others so here are some links to explain what you need to know.
Setting up an eCommerce store or looking to expand your product range, but not sure what to sell, you’re in the right place.
A quick and easy way to find out what Australians want is looking at what they are searching for. Google Trends is a good way to do this.
Below is data from Google Trends comparing searches in Australia for two products water bottles and dog treadmills over a 5 year period.
There is no such thing as a useful average eCommerce conversion rate in S’traya, or anywhere in the world. There are so many factors that contribute to it, that averages […]
Firstly you should consult your accountant, and this shouldn’t be taken as financial advice.
Quick GST Refresher
Having said that, here are some basic things about GST.
If your business entity has revenue over $75k AUD in any tax year (July 1st – June 30th) then you will have to pay GST to the ATO in most cases.
More details on the fun subject that is GST here.
Should you add GST to the retail price?
With that out of that way, how should display charging GST to your eCommerce customers?
A mistake we often see here at Boom Ecommerce is eCommerce stores adding GST to the displayed price of a product. For example…
When a business is selling to another business (aka B2B) that is expected, because the business can often claim it back.
However, when selling directly to a consumer, they can’t claim it back. Therefore $99.00 becomes $108.90.
Even though you have been upfront with your customer the price is plus GST and not everyone buying from you understands GST.
Therefore if you’re selling directly to a consumer (i.e. not a business) always quote your prices including GST.
It will save your customer service head aches later on.
Why do eCommerce businesses quote prices plus GST?
Many business owners are used to dealing with GST.
They are essentially collecting a 10% tax on everything sold in Australia then passing it straight to the tax office minus any GST they have paid for things they need to run their business.
Because of that, they never like to include GST in their revenue and charge it on top of the product price.
The issue is, end consumers don’t understand GST as well as them and it leads to confusion.
Long and short of it, if you’re selling to consumers include GST in your pricing to avoid annoying your customers.
In Australia, we hear from our friends in the UK and the US about how they advertise their eCommerce businesses all the time. But Australia is unique and requires a […]
In short no.
Passive income or businesses require very little input after being setup. Ecommerce businesses that last more then a few months require careful management, no matter what team and processes you put in place.
An example of a passive income is stocks and shares, for example you could buy an Exchange Traded Fund (Company buys all the top stocks in Australia, charges a tiny fee and you get the returns). With an ETF all you have todo is buy it, keep an eye on how it’s doing then report it in your taxes each year.
That is a passive for or income.
Ecommerce businesses aren’t passive. In a usual month you’ll typically need todo the following…
- Upload new products
- Write new products descriptions
- Setup or manage advertising campaigns
- Respond to customer enquires your team can’t handle
- Make sure your site is uptodate (WooCommerce needs constant security updates)
- Order new stock
- Process returns (Some fashion stores get 40% returns)
- Quality check manufacturing
- Manage cash flow to pay for everything
Even if you have someone or an agency helping you do each of these, you’ll have to manage all of them.
Is Ecommerce A Good Business Model?
If done correctly yes. They can generate a lot of cash (cash is better than profit on paper) and they can scale better than service based businesses, but not as well as online service businesses.
Don't Expect To Turn Up On Monday To Lots Of Orders
This is common misconception. Setup eCommerce site orders will follow and I just send them off.
That is the easy bit, it’s everything else llisted above that is hard.
Is Dropshipping Easy?
The dropshipping gurus selling course on Facebook Instagram would have you believe it is (for gods sake, don’t click them or it’s all you will see for the next month).
“Don’t deal with stock, just sell”
It is never that simple. Dropshipping means delayed deliveries (30-60 days), which means lots of customer complaints. You can’t control product quality and who sells it, which leads to price wars and decreased gross margins (percentage you’re left with after you’ve paid for the product to pay all your other bills).
Then if you do get a product that sells well, it might only last a few months, leaving you to search for the next “hit product”.
That’s a very hard business model to sustain.
This Wired UK article on dropshipping is well worth a read.
*Most the time At the risk of making a blanket statement, we’ve run multiple experiments on stores changing delivery cost. The lower the higher the conversion rate. If you have […]