In this episode of the Facebook Marketing Ninja Podcast, Manuel covers a hot question in the e-commerce world: Do I use AMAZON or should I start with Shopify?
Follow along and learn about which platform Manuel started with, what works for him now, and his personal experiences in the e-commerce world. He’ll also cover how to control your traffic, PPC, and optimization.
Ollie: Hey, guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Facebook Marketing Ninja podcast. My name is Ollie. I am Manuel’s Chief Operations Officer here at his digital agency, AGM. Today’s podcast episode is a great one. Manuel actually just went live on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube simultaneously and we miced him up because I wanted to bring you this audio in good quality, good quality audio format, and wanted to turn that live session into a podcast, just because the episode and the topic was so good.
And it’s a question that people keep asking us, should I start on Amazon or should I start on Shopify when starting my eCommerce products and launching my eCommerce products? So, it’s a question we get asked a lot and I wanted to bring that as a podcast episode because I think you’d find value in something like that. We’re going to talk about obviously which wave you should be writing.
Manuel tells you where he got started. He obviously has a supplement company that he sells on both platforms. If you follow Manuel, you’ve probably heard him talk about NaturalSlim and you know, he sells on both platforms.
So he’s going to bring you his answer to this question, “Should I start an Amazon or should I start on Shopify?” Do you know? How do I control traffic? What do I need to know about PPC? What do I need to know about optimization, and controlling my traffic, and driving traffic, and things of that nature. Right?
So, you know, if you liked today’s episode, make sure you leave us a comment down below in the comments section and yeah, I hope you enjoy this.
Where do I start?
Manuel: We are omnipresent now. We are live on Instagram, right Christian?
Christian: Yes, sir.
Manuel: We’re live on Facebook and we are live on YouTube. Super, super awesome. I actually just got a notification on my iPad. So just giving you guys a little bit of a lesson on the subject of omnipresence. It is possible in today’s world with just the devices that we have in our hands.
I also have Mr. Phoenix here recording with his camera and we are being omnipresent. And at the same time, you know what’s going to happen with this because I have good audio being recorded on my shirt. As you can see here with this thing, I’m going to be getting this particular audio into my podcast. So you might be listening to this on my podcast, which is called the Facebook Marketing Ninja.
Here’s a plug. Make sure you follow it, make sure you subscribe, make sure that you are listening to it because I’m. pumping out great content on that particular platform. So that’s the Facebook Marketing Ninja podcast.
Today, we’re going to talk about a very unique subject and it is the subject of: “Should I do Shopify or should I do Amazon? Where do I start?”
All right. So one thing that I will do right now here… John, is it possible that you can leave that running, open up that door, and go tell the team that they need to let Jonald know to notify our guys that we are live on Facebook?
Manuel: That’s all they’ve got to do. We’ve got to send out a notification so they can join us. All right. So we’re going to have some more people joining on Facebook. Everybody should know that. Facebook doesn’t do a great job of letting everybody know that I’m live.
I have a bunch of followers, but only a few of you guys get notified, even though a lot of you guys need to get notified because this is important data that we’re going to cover for all of you guys in today’s environment. All right. The question that I am getting all the time right now is…
There’s a lot of people right now that are starting their online business
They’re starting their e-commerce because they have no choice. Why? Because retail has been suffering. As we all know, the world is a different world. A lot of these places are shutting down. We have places like historical retail shops, like Nordstrom that are losing stores. They are losing positioning. We have JCPenney bankruptcies. We have like, the list goes on and on, right? And it’s inevitable. It’s going to happen because we are in a new world.
Now what’s happening today in today’s environment, guys, is something that was going to happen regardless. And again, if you guys are joining us on YouTube, if you’re joining us on Facebook, on Instagram, I want to thank you guys for being here.
We’re talking today about the subject of Shopify versus Amazon. I’m a big fan of both. And I’m going to tell you what my opinion is on how you need to go about getting your own business started or where you need to pay attention to your existing product line. Right?
It’s a very different world. What was going to happen in 20 years, what was going to happen in 10 years is happening in a year or less, which is a massive acceleration of the online world. This massive acceleration was already on its way.
And because it was already on its way, I was already moving forward with it because I don’t know if you guys have seen any of my webinars or any of my content. I’m a big, big fan of riding existing ways.
I do not create opportunities
I just basically leverage them
I have to find out where the opportunity is and I jump all over it because I know that opportunity is going to happen whether I want it to happen or not.
A smart marketer by definition is somebody that knows how to find these opportunities and jump on them. What I like to call riding waves.
Facebook has given us a massive wave.
And right now this wave has gotten even larger.
If you guys have noticed, the stock market, which has been going downtrend, which has gone in the wrong direction, in the last couple of months, it’s kind of weird, right? Because it bounced back and then it went down and all these things are happening. It’s illogical.
Businesses are not operating. Retail shops are closed. They’ve been closed for a long time. We cannot sell products like we used to, we don’t have any public events happening and all these things are happening in today’s world that is different from how we were operating a year ago.
So in my case, I am seeing more business than ever. Why am I seeing more business than ever? Because there’s been a massive acceleration in the eCommerce world. Enormous. Right?
So that means that you’re going to be on one of the two sides here.
There are only two sides:
- You either complain and cry about it and say that the COVID-19 world is out there to get you. And you’re going to miss out on having a successful business; or
- You get excited about the opportunity to jump on social media marketing on online marketing, on building an eCommerce platform, that is going to help you grow with time.
Keep this in mind, when you look at the positives of it in what’s going on today, guys, when you look at what’s going on today, I want to make sure that you guys recognize the pros in this world.
We could easily be going through COVID-19 in 1990 without the internet. Imagine that. Imagine us having to be in homes, and houses, and buildings, without having the opportunity to go anywhere out.
You can not go to the beach. You cannot go to the mall. You can not go to the movies. You cannot go anywhere. You don’t have a cell phone, you don’t have the internet. You don’t have any of that stuff.
So you’ve got to stop complaining about the existing world and looking at all the pros about what this world has given you.
This world, which is a COVID-19 world, whether you want to or not has basically made the internet that important. That’s basically what we have going on, right?
So, what do you do?
If you have an online business, if you have products already, or if you have to create your online business, because you don’t have a choice.
Let’s say that you had a spot at the shopping mall and you were selling boots, or you were selling blankets, or you were selling sheets,w3z or clothes or shoes or whatever that is, well, you’ve got no choice if you want to make it, but go online because we still have a long path towards retail recovery.
And here’s a little shocking fact. It might never recover. That’s a reality. It’s been an acceleration. It might never come back.
So if you are trying to decide whether you start on Shopify or you start on Amazon, here’s my take on it. Amazon has won the internet world. That’s just the way it is, right?
They won the game!
They have more traffic than any other organization has ever dreamed of having. They have more buyers than any other organization ever thought they could possibly have.
These particular companies that are trying to compete with Amazon, for example, you have the Shopify, the Magento, the WooCommerce, the BigCommerce, the OpenCards, et cetera, they don’t own that traffic, right?
Amazon is a search engine. Amazon already has over a hundred million monthly unique Amazon Prime members in the US.
These are people that are already there looking for products to purchase. Tell me something. Those of you guys that are here, if you can tell me what your thoughts are on this question.
I’ll answer this particular question that I’ve been getting with another question.
Where do you have more potential to growth right away?
On a place that already has a hundred million monthly buyers just in the US expanding into other marketplaces places like Europe, like Canada, like Mexico, like Asia, like all over the place or building your own Shopify channel from scratch, from the top, from the bottom, all the way down, all the way up, and trying to create your own traffic when Amazon has traffic, you don’t have any traffic?
What do you guys think? What is the actual fastest path to expansion? Is it the most profitable one?
No, Amazon keeps a big piece of the pie and that’s all part of the equation. So you’ve got to know that that’s a fact.
So for example, in my case, my beginnings as an entrepreneur, if you guys are following me for a while, if you know what I do and what I’ve been doing throughout the last 10 years or so, going from bankruptcy and having nothing to where I’m at today, my beginnings are on Amazon.
So I owe Amazon a big debt. Why?
Because the way that it began for me was I got nothing to my name. I got basically no careers. I got no degrees. I got no money whatsoever. The only thing that I have is the internet and a cell phone signal.
And I can get myself educated on the subject of marketing and I can study, and I can understand Facebook advertising when nobody even knew what the word Facebook advertising meant. And I can actually look at Amazon and understand how to create my own brand and get an accumulation of knowledge.
What that did was it presented to me an opportunity. That opportunity was the following. I had a friend, a very close friend who is still with me. He’s one of my partners. His name is Ernesto.
We used to work together on a nonprofit organization. And at that point, I have three children and I didn’t know what the heck to do with myself. And I saw him every single weekend trying to make extra money.
He was taking bedsheets on consignment and he was getting on the road on his truck. And he was putting them on his pickup truck. And he was getting on different corners of different cities. And he was putting a tent and putting a banner. And he was selling bedsheets for $20.
He pays $11 to them. He sells them for $20. Profitable, right? Great money. When I saw that happening, I looked at him and I said, “Hmm, Ernesto, I have been learning about this thing called Amazon Prime and about the ability of you being your own fulfilled by prime brand. And all we’re going to do is send inventory to Amazon and Amazon does the rest. And let me tell you something. People don’t even know they’re buying from mom and pop shops like you and me. They don’t even know that they’re buying from regular Joe’s and they think they’re buying from Amazon. I think it’s an opportunity. He said:
“Well, I don’t even know how to type on a computer, but let’s figure it out. Let’s go.”
So I grabbed that consignment bedsheet that he had, and I started putting it on Amazon.
Again, $0 in investment, $40 a month for what? It’s an Amazon professional account. All right? $40. I don’t know if they changed that price over the years. And I was able to get those products, create a title, take some pictures, put a description, and put it up for sale on Amazon. And when nobody was doing this enough, I was able to actually start getting some sales.
Now, imagine me not having that opportunity. And I have to go and build my own Shopify, right? So again, I’m a big fan of Shopify. And I explained to you what my thought is on or when does this fit in?
But when you start with Shopify, you have to:
Accumulate knowledge about Shopify, how to work on the platform, how to design it.
You don’t have this simplicity of Amazon of creating a listing, adding an image, adding a description and off you go. On Shopify, you’ve got to understand how to build a website.
Granted, it is extremely simple to utilize, very, very simple to plug and play and click and drag and drop, et cetera. But still, you’ve got to understand the basics of how to build a website.
It’s going to cost you $30 a month, which is similar to the Amazon pro account. That is a basic package and you have to. This is where that problem becomes a big one.
You have to control your own traffic
You do not have a hundred million unique monthly buyers in the US. You do not have a million unique buyers. You don’t have a thousand unique buyers. You don’t have anything, especially if you’re starting from scratch. So if you have your own Shopify brand, you have to create your own traffic.
Creating your own traffic is a process, which means that you have to be able to advertise, which now means that you need to be able to learn social media marketing.
Well, the good news is that you have people like me teaching you about social media marketing. But still means that you need some advertising dollars because if you don’t have advertising dollars, you cannot manipulate traffic on social media.
Facebook is no longer an organic traffic engine.
It’s not going to give you traffic for free. Facebook will not send traffic to your listings on Shopify just because you have a cool brand. They don’t care if your products are good if they help people, nobody cares.
What you need to do is understand that it’s two different directions.
- One of them is a longer path, way more profitable. And that’s Shopify. That’s your own eCommerce.
- The other one is a cash machine. It is an engine to produce revenue now. You want cash right now? You want to generate some income so you can now bootstrap yourself and grow your own brand on social media? Amazon is a no brainer here.
And again, I am not an Amazon spokesperson. I’m telling you things exactly as they are. I’m telling you because this has been my roadmap.
I started with Amazon before we had a brand on social media. I boomed it, that brand, which was a brand called Cosy House Collection, which I sold a couple of years ago. C-O-S-Y collection.
Cosy House Collection, this brand within a year and a half was already selling $600,000 a month on Amazon. Is that possible to do on Shopify? Heck no. Unless you have a lot of capital to advertise.
In order for me to sell, to give you guys an idea, right? If you are a marketer that you’re a ninja, somebody that AGM should hire, because I’m always looking for ninja. If you are a marketer, right? And you’re really good at it. If you invest a dollar in advertising and you get three to $4 back, you are a rock star.
Imagine that $600,000 in sales on Shopify will require a minimum of $150,000 in advertising spent.
Now, let me ask you something. Does any of you guys have $150,000 sitting down in your bank account ready to advertise? You get the idea, right?
When you go to Amazon, you don’t need to go that aggressive on that channel. You do not need to do that, right? You need to just basically focus on creating your listing, making it pretty, having a nice title, finding a good competitive market, right? Knowing how to position your products correctly.
You need to understand PPC, which is Pay Per Click on Amazon. So you understand how to get that product seen by more people. You need to understand how to optimize. You need to understand how to get ranking, but the process is way simpler.
That’s why one of my very good friends… One of my mentor’s name is Ben Cummings. He’s somebody that I followed for many, many years. And then I became a really, really close friend of his, he calls Amazon the world’s most perfect business.
And I agree with that because it requires less of your time. Less was your skill. You still have to put in the energy.
But if you’re going to make it on Shopify, I want to set the expectations correctly, guys. It’s important for you guys to know, and to understand what it really takes to succeed in the eCommerce Shopify world.
No matter if it’s WooCommerce BigCommerce and Magento, it applies a hundred percent to all of that. If you’re going to go on that route, I support you, but I want you to know that it’s much more difficult and it requires much more energy and much more ninja along the way.
You’ve got to become an expert social media marketer.
You’ve got to know how to create content.
You’ve got to know how to make your product look sexy so you can stand above the crowd and have people interested and jump off Facebook, jump off Instagram, and visit your website.
And once they land on your website, you’ve got to make them trust you. Why? Because on your website, there’s no Amazon brand there. People trust Amazon. They don’t trust you.
They will trust you if you have built a brand
Right now, we have a brand called NaturalSlim, which is a brand that I created in the United States with my dad. Actually, I’m not going to take credit for the creation of the brand. That’s my dad. I’m the marketer for it. And I co-own the business in the United States, my dad, my wife, and myself.
And we started by doing Amazon. We boomed Amazon in a big way. We used a lot of that cash and we built social media. And now we made my father an international social media rockstar.
They can buy things from us because we’ve done a good enough job of making our brand look reliable, of making our brands stand out in social media.
But if we hadn’t gone through the route of investing in top of the funnel branding, video watchers, positioning, making people see the content, consume the content, engage with us, visit our page, generate leads, that Ninja marketing process, I’m sorry, guys, people are simply not going to trust you.
And if they don’t trust you, they’re going to land on your website and they’re not going to convert. If they don’t convert, you lose money. And then you’re going to come back to me and tell me, “Manuel, I have a 0.000001 conversion rate on my website. And I’m struggling because I already spent a thousand dollars in ads. And I generated $2 in sales.”
That is the route. And that’s what you guys need to know what direction you need to take in order for you to get on the roadmap to building a successful online business.
Amazon takes the cake when it comes to starting
Shopify, e-commerce takes the cake when it comes to profit and building a long term brand that you can delegate, that you can give away, that you can pass onto generations, to your family, to your children, and leave it in there for generations to come.
So you’ve got to understand that. Amazon for the now, Shopify, and e-commerce for the future. If you focus on that, you can win this game, but you have to travel the road right now.
One more thing that I’ll tell you guys, Amazon is responsible for over 50 cents of every dollar spent on the internet in the United States. And because of that, you guys got to know that they have a humongous piece of the pie already.
And it’s all about you figuring out how you can get in there. So you can get a little piece of that pie that Amazon already controls.
All right, Christian, do I have any questions on Instagram?
Christian: I got a comment. So, you’re saying that… He said, “He’s pissed off about how much Amazon takes themselves value.”
Manuel: I’m not. I’m happy about it. I’m happy about it. They build a business. I don’t get this stuff off of Amazon. I am grateful guys. I don’t complain. I don’t complain about what Amazon keeps. They build the business guys.
If they gave us a platform, why would you complain about it? They gave us a platform to reach millions of people. No reason to complain.
So Jazz says, “That’s true, people. Nobody doesn’t buy it. I went to check over here on Facebook.” Let’s see what else we got.
Stuart says, “True, it’s a process of buildup, but Shopify is very powerful as well. I like what he’s saying about playing both sides, Amazon first and build up a Shopify slowly but surely nicely.” Okay. Good.
“Good job, man.” All right, what else do we got? “Shopify can ship into that little by little.” You got it. Yeah. One thing that we’re trying with, we’re trying on every single brand that we do is that we try to get to a point in which we’re doing one and one, $1 on Shopify, $1 on Amazon.
If we’re doing that and then eventually one to two, $1 on Amazon, $2 on Shopify, then we’re winning. Okay. Let’s see.
Tack says, “On YouTube, yes. He shares great knowledge. Great.” Rojan says, “I have just completed your course. That was amazing.” Great. Thank you Rojan. I appreciate that very much.
Regina says, “Shopify”. Tack says, “I’ve been wasting almost $500 on Facebook ads. We break even profit.”
I’m sorry about that. You probably are violating the top of the funnel formula that we put in place, which you have to get people to see your content first before you make them offers. And if you fix that, you’ll be able to make profitable numbers, all right? That’s the way it works.
Okay, guys. So that’s it. I hope that you guys enjoyed this content. I hope they provided value. There you have it. Shopify takes the profit cake. Amazon takes the speed cake. You can do it now. And you can use that money to be able to grow your business and invest more in your e-commerce along the way. All right. Talk to you guys next time.
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