- Avg. revenue /month$215
- Avg. sessions /month547
- Avg. profit /month$100
Why this business was started
We wanted to start a retail site that stood for something and created a community rather than simply selling cheap products online.
Still young in the business, we've found our early customers trust our brand as parents and ultimately make their purchase decisions for water sport products (surf, stand up paddle boards, etc.) based on information from other families. Our suppliers/partners (all based in the US & Canada, with enforced MAP) are all excited about our niche in selling products to families in the surf and water sport industries.
The reason of selling this business
Currently fundraising for a new tech company that I need to focus on.
What's involved in running this business
Workload is around 30 minutes to a few hours per week with all of our advertising and keyword research outsourced at this time.
1) Customer Inquiries: 1-2 hour/week. You forward email orders to suppliers and occasionally communicate with the customer if a product is out of stock. 2) Marketing / Advertising: 30 minutes/week. This is all automated but I'd block off 30 minutes to sync up if needed with any freelancers or hire your own.
We have a dedicated Google Voice customer support phone line (with a "619" area code for San Diego, where we started the business) and dedicated support email, [REDACTED]
COMMON CUSTOMER QUESTIONS:
- "Do you offer free local pick in San Diego?" Response: No, we ship out of various supplier warehouses, please provide your address for a shipping quote.
- "Is it possible to ship a CBC soft surfboard 7” to Canada (‘Montreal, Qc)?" Since CBC is a supplier, here I would again I would email the supplier to get a shipping quote.
- "I was hoping to put in a request to receive my order before X day." Here I would process the order, suppliers typically ship the board very quickly within 24-48 hours and provide us a tracking number which you can enter into the Shopify order to notify the customer.
CURRENT ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS:
- Send supplier our order email template (see below), filling in the SKU and shipping details with customer phone number.
- Supplier replies to our email with total charged and a tracking code
- Fulfill the order with the tracking number so customer can track themselves (so far has eliminated any shipping questions after the order)
We will supply an Excel doc to our buyer with the supplier names, emails and direct phone numbers (for urgent questions) for all SKUs.
We will also supply new order email templates if you need it. One important thing to note is our suppliers are all based in the US & Canada and have had zero issues with communication or language barrier.
CURRENT CHALLENGES: Lastly, as with any sale I wanted to be as transparent as possible and include any current challenges:
- Supplier is out of inventory.
- Sometimes our supplier replies to the order email that they’re out of stock and offer some alternatives. I reply to the customer with the other options in this case. So far we actually haven’t had a customer ask for a refund based on lack of inventory.
Recommendation: hire VA to periodically ask suppliers for inventory and update in Shopify, to avoid serving ads for out of stock products.
Facebook Ads We wasted money not know the FB advertising tools previously, so I recommend sticking to a FB freelancer or someone specialized for retargeting campaigns (as with any ecommerce business).
ASSETS INCLUDED IN PURCHASE:
Custom domain, logo, and all visual assets (includes recent product video sent in by a videographer/customer)
Social media account ownership (5k+ Instagram, 440 Facebook as of 2/10/20)- IG @californiagoodwaveco, FB www.facebook.com/GoodWave.co
Newly cleaned up Klaviyo email marketing lists and brand new email design templates
Newly created Facebook retargeting campaign (dynamically targets customers who view products and/or abandon carts & checkouts without purchasing without entering an email) recently contracted by a Facebook Ads consultant.
Newly created Google Ads Smart Shopping campaign with positive ROI.
If requested we will provide an introduction call and/or email to all three advertising consultants/freelancers.
Customer email list.
Fully customized Shopify theme with functionality to accept liability terms and conditions before completing order
If requested we will provide new supplier prospecting doc with notes.
Traffic and Performance
- Avg. revenue /month$215Verified
- Avg. sessions /month547Verified
- Avg. profit /month$100
- Profit Margin20%
- Avg. sales /month3
- Shopify plan
- Klaviyo (email marketing)
- Google & Facebook Ads
- Wyoming Registered Agent ($25/year)
Physical inventoryNot Included
Logo and branding assetsHowever the buyer prefers, via Google Drive if no preference.
Personal support after saleVideo meeting to discussing any outstanding questions or concerns, then walk through the order fulfillment process, frequently asked customer questions, email marketing segments (recently hired a consultant to clean these up), active Facebook and Google Ads campaigns with suggestions for improvements, and personal introductions to our approved consultants and suppliers. Within the first 180 days post-sale, we're available as needed on a contract basis for any longer term work.
Product photosHowever the buyer prefers, via Google Drive if no preference.
SuppliersWill provide personal introduction to all suppliers and background on their products. All suppliers are based in the US or Canada and enforce MAP.
How to grow this business
The largest opportunity is to automate Google Ads (specifically Google Shopping campaigns) to target buying ready customers, those that are already searching for water sport products.
In preparation for the sale, we recently hired a Google Ads freelancer to create both smart and standard shopping campaigns, targeting customers in the United States, and have already seen results.
Secondly, I would identify trending products that our suppliers already carry, such as boogie boards, wetsuits, etc. Boogie/body boards would introduce a low price point to the site ($39 or so) which would drive traffic and customers, with retargeting possibilities to higher ticket items. We only sell their foam surfboard and inflatable stand up paddle board products at this time simply due testing market demand.
Particularly, inflatable paddle boards are a trending product category, are high ticket (average $550 price), have low shipping costs (deflate into a backpack for shipping), offer high margins (typically 40-45%, and have a wider addressable customer base near any body of water, not simply coastal markets.
Third, Facebook & Instagram Ads is an opportunity to target parents living near lakes and rivers, national parks, etc. and interested in outdoors brands North Face, Patagonia, etc. with children ages 3-18.
Forth, we have over 5,000 Instagram followers that are not being targeted (only 20 posts or so). I would automate regular social media posts using the hashtags we've already identified (used in our existing posts), this is an organic follower base that we haven't given any priority to help share the brand story and drive sales. Even one or two weekly social media posts would make a difference.
On that note, consider hiring a virtual assistant to write 1-2 articles per week with keywords and creating valuable content for families looking for water sport products.
Fifth, consider introducing a Shopify app/plugin for payment plans. One possibility that we've heard good things about is Sezzle (https://sezzle.com/) which breaks up payments for the customer.
Lastly, consider international markets.. we've only scratched the surface in the United States. There is a massive soft top surfboard market in Australia, for example.
Skills to have
Good Wave already has approved consultants/freelancers in place for all advertising and marketing. For this reason, I only recommend experience with Shopify to know your way around the dashboard, navigate to orders, reports, etc.
If the buyer prefers a more turnkey transition, I recommend sticking to these specialized consultants: - Google Ads/Shopping - recently hired a VA off Upwork to set up a smart Google Shopping campaign and already seeing results at profitable cost per conversion ($14 as of 2/10/20). Consultant will be optimizing campaigns on an ongoing basis. - Facebook/Instagram Ads - recently set up retargeting campaigns for window shoppers and cart/checkout abandoners who have not yet provided an email - Email Marketing - recently hired Klaviyo consultant to clean up list segmentation and ongoing optimization
Lastly, no coding is needed. We’ve customized the Brooklyn template to include accepting a terms and condition page before purchase and various other aesthetic improvements.
Our features for a secure experience
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- Secure messaging platform
- Escrow payment system
- Dedicated migration team
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