Bootcamp Part One: An Overview of Online Marketing

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Welcome to Part One of Ezra Firestone’s make-your-first-sale video course. It’s a free course aimed for entrepreneurs on the Shopify Platform to learn exactly how to make your first sale, and then how to scale up your advertising in a pragmatic way. Let’s get started.

Video: Where we are in the world of eCommerce


Ezra goes over his family history and how he learned how to be an entrepreneur. He highlights how the market has changed dramatically since his grandfather’s time of selling knick knacks on the side of the road. In 2006, only 4% of retail sales were happening online. By 2014 it had doubled, and it’s projected to double again by 2019.

There’s a few reasons for this: millenials are getting to our prime purchasing years. Our parents and grandparents aren’t afraid of putting their credit card numbers online anymore. And, we’ve come into a “social economy” and an “on-demand world” that is conducive to online sales.

One of the biggest takeaways from this video is that markets have become fragmented. Most people who shop online are consuming information from almost 200 different sources. 67% of online shoppers see something we like on our phones, then purchase it on a computer. As an online retailer, you have to know how to handle these kinds of trends.

VIDEO: The core principles of marketing


In this short video, Ezra shows you the road map of advertising campaigns, which includes the two core principles of online marketing. First, you should be going “wide to narrow”, meaning you reach out and see what works, then narrow down. Second, everything hinges on targeting - if you put a great product in front of people who couldn’t care less, you’re losing out.

Ezra re-establishes the goals you’ve set out for yourself: Generate leads, build your brand, get full-price sales and develop repeat customers.

VIDEO: Faceless eCommerce is dead


This video goes over the core principles of branding. As Ezra explains, the days of slapping up a store with a bunch of products and no branding is over. He goes over the importance of having a mission, a story and a purpose, then highlights a few different brands using the same criteria:

  • What makes you different?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What is your story?
  • What is your esthetic?
  • What is your tagline?
  • What emotional response are you invoking?

Ezra goes over a few examples of brands with clear messaging, and gives you the time to develop your answers for your own brand. You’ll need this baseline to go further with your marketing.

VIDEO: Building your core store architecture


Before you can drive sales, you need a place to drive them to. Your Shopify store is easy to set up, because it already includes plug-and-play themes. This video shows you the basic pages you need on a store, including Home, Collections, Information content (like a blog, privacy policy, shipping info etc), a cart experience, a checkout and thank you page -- and most importantly, you offers page. Your product offers page is where you have dynamic information about your products. It’s critical because this is where you need to do your convincing. People who end up on your offers page have already shown an interest, and your job is to encourage them to get from there all the way to a sale.

Ezra goes over the funnel of making a sale, and emphasises the role each part plays. 

Video advertisement that draws people in → 

Product offer page that convinces them to buy → 

Shopping cart and checkout experience that is convenient → 

Thank you page that helps get repeat customers

This video leads into the next, which goes over how to make a convincing Offer Page. The one after that talks about developing your shopping cart and checkout pages.

VIDEO: Developing your offer page


This video is a lead-off from the previous one, and goes over exactly what needs to be on your offer or product detail page. Why focus on this page in particular? If you set up advertisements that go somewhere incomplete or uncompelling, you’ve lost sales. People who are on your offer page have already proven they are interested, so this is where a good chunk of your branding and advertising is actually directed to convert them into sales.

Ezra goes over the elements you need to include, including your product description copy, hero shots and other product images and videos, reviews, social proof, cross-selling, third party pitch videos and - importantly -your isolated buy button. He explains the differences between traditional product pages and longform pages, talks about placement and some of the other nitty-gritty details you can find with a trained eye.

VIDEO: Developing a winning shopping cart and checkout


In addition to your offers page, you need a checkout experience that doesn’t turn customers away. Ezra goes over a few suggestions of what to include, such as the “isolation effect” for your buy button, a progress bar, security symbols, shipping calculator, and links to relevant content. He also brings in some other considerations, like whether to offer customer accounts for repeat customers.

VIDEO: 3rd party apps you really should have asap


Ezra lists five types of 3rd party apps that will help you out, and his favourite versions of them. Some are native integrations with Shopify that you need to activate, and others are paid services you should consider. The apps he strongly recommends are:

  • A reviews widget, that proves your quality and trustworthiness at a first-glance
  • An exit-intent popup, which happens in a browser window for people about to leave the site and offers them a discount
  • Cart abandonment assistance, that emails people who haven’t checked out and tries to drive them back to your store
  • A landing page builder, that allows you to quickly build optimised landing pages (though this one’s a personal plug of his, and much of this can be done yourself -- it’s still worth a look to see what he’s talking about)
  • Post-purchase one-click upselling widget, which essentially lets someone add an additional purchase after they’ve already checked out and increases average order value by 12-25%

Check out the video to see what to look for when choosing these apps, and what it is they’ll do for your business

That’s the end of Bootcamp Part One - be sure to check out the other segments!

Part Two: Learning about video campaigns and making a video that works for you

Part Three: The down and dirty of Facebook ads, including practical videos where you follow along using your own target market

Part Four: Conclusions and what’s next for you

Want to open up a Shopify account and try it out yourself? Sign up here!