It’s time for a quick recap of December!
Everyone’s time is valuable so I’ve decided to keep this update short and to the point.
December was simply more of what I did in November: keeping the ball rolling with my ecommerce websites.
I didn’t try to scale anything for one main reason: I have long delivery times.
The expectations of my customers are managed properly on the website and throughout my funnel, but as Christmas drew closer, people got more anxious and I received more and more emails asking “where is my order?”
As I didn’t want to risk an increased chargeback rate, I killed the dying advertising campaigns without launching new ones.
The result was simple: my numbers for December aren’t as good as November.
Let’s take a look at a graph showing the income, expenses and orders for the past 12 months in my 2 stores combined:
As you can see, the number of orders didn’t decrease “too much”. However, the ROI wen’t down the drain.
My hypothesis is that the big companies have been pushing hard with their advertising during this last stretch before Christmas, and it killed it for the smaller players like us.
This second graph clearly shows the difference between November and December: we went from +13% ROI to a mere +3%.
Meh. Definitely not the numbers I was hoping and working for.
What about the money?
Here is a breakdown of the money flow for my various projects.
To make this report easier to understand, I’m using a simple color code: green numbers are positive, red numbers are negative.
Please keep in mind that these figures may not be 100% accurate due to various factors such as refund requests and network adjustments. The terms for each payment may also vary. As a result these numbers may differ from the actual payments issued and received.
|Facebook Ads||-$60,257.82||▲ $5,642.12|
|Cost of Goods||-$13,920.99||▲ $6,416.95|
|Payment Fees||-$3,758.89||▲ $696.93|
|Customer Service||-$218.81||▼ $13.38|
|Niche Sites||$59.00||▲ $50.44|
This is NOT how I wanted to end the year… However there is a silver lining, I still had 5 cashflow-positive months in the last 6 months.
My first year in ecommerce was a complete roller-coaster and it’s proven quite hard to turn a decent profit.
As you can see on the following graph, my whole business generated over a million dollar in sales in 2017, but it barely turned any profit. And after paying for various admin jobs, it will actually be at a loss.
I still need to mention my other projects: my niche sites are slowly dying. The traffic to my main niche site took another hit in the middle of December and lost about 50% of the little traffic it was still receiving from Google.
What’s happening next?
I’m not going to lie: selling so much product and not generating a profit is depressing and I’be thought about giving up more than once throughout the year, but I pushed through as I wanted to give this ecommerce thing a decent shot.
Now that the year is up, it’s time to take a step back and change my strategy. I can’t keep working 12 hours per day, 7 days per week, on this project for absolutely nothing.
I will probably change completely the direction I’m heading for in 2018.
I have already paused all my advertising campaigns to take some time off (2 to 4 weeks) and plan for this coming year.
See you next month for another update!