Gerjo van den Berg runs Shop America an online only eCommerce store supplying American products (from sweets to salad dressing) to customers in the Netherlands & beyond. He started the business back in 2011 and now turns over €300,000 with 500-600 orders per month, so it’s a low AOV (average order value) business model.
Click to Tweet: Cheez Whizz – how Shop America have brought the taste of America to Europe – this week’s @eComMasterPlan #podcast
About the business
- eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
- Product Range Scale – niche
- On a SEOShop platform
- Turnover €300,000 annually
- An average 500 – 600 orders per month
- 1 full-time and 4 part-time employees
- Based in the The Netherlands, sell globally
- Key widgets in the website:
Listen to hear how Gerjo grew his hobby into a full-time career.
Most Awesome Thing Right Now
Gerjo is really excited about the amount of opportunities that come up and are regularly brought to him by his customers. Both expanding into the B2B market, new markets and tracking down new products that will appeal to his current customers and potential customers keeps everything fresh.
On the Radar for the Coming Months
Gerjo has so many ideas and things going on the priority at the moment is to prioritise – but the 2 things at the top of the list are definitely creating the B2B shop and opening a separate UK shop.
Top Tips for a Low AOV Business
- Gerjo has some great advice for how to succeed with a low AOV business:
- Ensure that you know all of your costs from receiving an item to having it delivered. Shop America works on a margin of only a few euros so even a little mistake can be costly.
- Automate as many processes as you can – time is one of your biggest expenses. Automate your customer service e-mails – you can still be personal. Gerjo recommends a programme called text expander (Mac/PC) – create tempate and then add in individual lines to personalise it.
- Planning your warehousing is really important – and if done effectively will save you a lot of time. Gerjo has colour coded all his products, planned a walking route and ensured that all his most popular items are near the front.
You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…
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eCommerce Book Top Tip
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
Gerjo recommends using Adwords and outsourcing it’s management, it is complicated and for the amount of time you will spend on it you are better hiring a professional.
Tool Top Tip
Shop America have found the Google tool – Google Global Market Finder really helpful (you can find it under translate). It will tell you how certain keywords/products are performing in countries across the world – mining the Google search activity and splitting it by country.
Start Up Top Tip
Gerjo says if you are looking to start a a new business make sure you have a cool new product or new way of presenting things – so you can stand out from the competition. The eCommerce market is very competitive – don’t do more of the same.
If your business didn’t exist, which eCommerce Business Would you like to be Running?
Gerjo doesn’t shop online that much but knows that if he wasn’t running a different online food business it would be a business based around his second passion travel.
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