Joe and Mike Brusca have a unique approach to eCommerce. Quickly scaling high ticket dropshipping eCommerce stores, then selling them via brokerage sites like Empire Flippers to generate cash to repeat the whole process again. A huge part of their success is in finding a great product to sell so we can’t talk about any particular sites they’re currently running – it would give too much away! BUT Joe & Mike are going to share the most crucial part of the model – how they quickly grow the stores.
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About the Business
- Quickly scale and grow businesses to sell
- Multiple business opportunities create wealth portfolios of online source
- Shifted focus away from lower grossing products to focus on big-ticket items
- Manage a team of outsourced contractors to maximize efficiencies
- Run all businesses with Shopify
Joe got his start in eCommerce by doing Amazon retail arbitrage starting back in 2014/2015. Retail arbitrage is the process of finding and buying products on clearance and reselling them on Amazon.
This quick cash flow business is a great way for quick cash turn around and was an excellent way for Joe to whet his appetite for online revenue generation. Today, he’s teamed up with his brother and the two focus on a very different business model. Even though the two strategies are very different, Joe points out that everything they’ve done is at its most essential just good online marketing.
Through testing, the duo started doing high ticket drop shipping beginning in 2016. Both brothers were able to quit their jobs and became involved in a smattering of businesses online, but say that the high ticket drop shipping has proven to be the one area most worth their time.
The realization that they were able to make much higher profits in the same amount of time it takes to build a business around lower ticket items was a game-changer for the brothers and they’ve thrown their resources into making that model work for them. Today, they try not to go lower than $500 but say they have sold products as high as $20,000.
Platform and Plugins
Joe and Mike use the Shopify platform exclusively and have some favorite combinations of widgets and plugins.
Joe shares his must-haves for making any online shop look professional:
- Image Optimizer—A solid image optimizer will make all of a businesses images the same size with the right proportions.
- Reviews—A good review widget is crucial for building credibility— brothers like JudgeMe
- Smart Search—More people shop by search so a smart search engine for your store is more important than ever.
Businesses that use this trifecta have overall better-looking stores and a more professional and reliable online presence. This makes consumers trust your business and helps you stand out from the competition.
For about a year, the team consisted solely of Joe and Mike. Eventually, they realized they wanted to begin outsourcing monotonous and repeatable tasks. They started by outsourcing product uploads and quickly moved on to outsourcing customer service, writing, sales and more.
Today, the brothers are operating with a team of 12 contractors who help them run their business remotely. Outsourcing frees up time that is better spent focusing on growth.
The Business Model
Growing a business for a quick sale is a unique game plan, but the brothers have nailed the process. Mike says that there are pretty straight forward steps to take in order to grow quickly. The first step is building a website for the product and Mike says that they then immediately focus on SEO.
Because they focus on higher ticket items, social media isn’t a great route to connect with their customers so they try and intercept people during the course of their research instead. They use Google Ads and Bing to get things up and going, but Mike says they also build the website up so that it will eventually rank organically.
Mike and Joe primarily use Google Shopping Ads and Joe’s favorite aspect of that is that Google Shopping analytics will show you what people are interested in and begin generating keywords that are relevant to what your customers are looking for. Using the results from Google Shopping to gather data about keywords is a great way to get more bang for your marketing buck.
Brand Specific Marketing
Joe and Mike currently run four companies and say that different marketing techniques work better with different brands. Some of their shops, for instance, do much better with text ads than others.
The skill is in understanding how to make ads in the first place, which allows you to be nimble with the needs of your company and respond to the feedback you are seeing.
The brothers are fans of anything that takes up more real estate and aren’t against using ad extensions to get in front of their customers. Any opportunity to connect with someone directly is an opportunity to close a sale.
Google Ads Tips
With Google Shopping, in particular, it’s smart to start small. You don’t have to be the first result—you just need to have competitive pricing and focus on building the best negative keywords you can. From that, you will eventually generate sales.
SEO, Mike says is a little bit of a different animal. Backlinks are the elephant in the room and they can be difficult to get. For SEO, Joe and Mike focus on long-tailed approach and do significant keyword research. For one of their stores, they recently made a blog that had a completely different domain name and found non-competitive, long-tail keywords and used phrases like: “X vs Y” and “Best X for Y”.
Doing that is a great way to start ranking without any backlinks. Going after long tails through a blog is a smart, cost-effective and easy way to build quality SEO faster. Serving the user intent better can help you outrank established competitors.
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eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Google shopping because you can start small with low bids and work your way up based on successes.
Tool Top Tip
- ShipStation—an online tracking tool that allows you to monitor all current orders in your store and ensure they are being processed quickly. Businesses can even do all fulfillment from ShipStation across multiple stores
Growth Top Tip
- Focus on What Works—This is something people often say, but don’t follow through with. If you have a best selling product, you should be optimizing as much traffic as possible to that product. It’s easy to take it for granted but when you find something that works, focus all of your efforts on that.
- Adapting to changing markets, niche sites, and drop ship with Brian O’Donnell of Map Marketing
- Taking control of your products and your brand on Amazon with Steve Honight from Pukka Teas
- Running 5 niche DIY sector eCommerce sites with ex Phones4u Andy Lockley of LoveShoppingDirect
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