Hi everyone. This is the second update post about my DTC beauty brand. Here’s the first one in case you missed it. Let’s get right into it.
Where the brand currently stands
Holy Sh!#….. look at those returns….
In the past 30 days, we’ve had to issue $10,000 worth of returns to customers. These returns come in the form of 50% or 100% money-back simply due to the length of time it took for their package to deliver to their house. If they weren’t that mad, hopefully they took 50% to wait a bit longer after not getting their package for 4 weeks . If they were big mad, we opted to just give a no-questions-asked 100% refund… even if they were probably going to get their items soon. We figured it just wasn’t worth the hassle and eventual chargebacks + lowered FB feedback score.
The title of this post “Scaling 2.0” comes from the fact that we’re in the midst of scaling AGAIN, ever since the mountain that was April 2020. As you can tell, we had to pause our ads and de-scale in May to catch up with customer service + fulfillment. After securing 1-3 day shipping times, we have free reign to scale again :- )
What happened in June of 2020?
We moved into our US-based 3PL
80% of our inventory has finally arrived in the US. This opens up an insane amount of possibilities:
• 1-3 day shipping
• higher conversion rates
• no chargebacks
• no disabled ad accounts
• less emails = less employees
• influencer marketing
• custom packaging unboxing videos for content
One of the most impactful parts is that we can actually work with influencers properly now. Before US inventory it was difficult to work with influencers because we’d secure the deal, and then the inventory would take over 3 weeks to arrive. They’d be like “???”, especially since it was coming from China. Very sus. But now we can turnaround deals within a week if necessary.
We started working with influencers
In the past 30 days I’ve sent out about 10 products, with 4 of them paid promotions. Spent about $670 to have them make videos and post onto their feeds and stories.
Was it worth it? Only 2 have posted so far, and it probably drove 1-2 sales. But more importantly, we got UGC content for more ads as well as our own brand IG feed. Using influencers (especially micro-influencers) may not be as profitable as FB ads right away, but just think of it as an investment into your assets library.
This morning I actually just onboarded someone to purely focus on influencer activation (bringing our total team to 5 people!!). I’ll update you guys in July when our influencer strategy is more built-out and we have steady deal flow. I think for influencer marketing to work, you need to work with a lot within a shorter amount of time to get that network effect going (basically momentum). YouTube will be a super huge platform for us. Will be testing Tiktok as well.
We onboarded another employee
My humble company is comprised of 2 managing partners and 3 employees. It’s crazy! I can’t believe I’m personally responsible for people’s salaries. Any decision I make will affect these people’s lives as well as my own.
I can’t even imagine what its like being in charge of a division of a big corporation and you somehow screw up and as a result dozens, if not hundreds of people, lose their job and livelihoods.
I’m not going to let myself be affected by these thoughts but jeez… just a thought.
PHEW. Operations are set. Back-end is mostly under control (with only a few leftover irate customers from April.). Let’s blast off!!! 🚀
Here’s what I need to do in July 2020:
- Optimize current marketing channels (FB, Google, Snap Retargeting)
- Add new marketing channels (Snap Prospecting, Pinterest, Organic IG, Youtube, Influencers)
- Add more SKUs
- Optimize email marketing and take advantage of the fact that we have thousands of customers who would probably buy from us multiple times if we give them the right offers and product selections. Now if I only magically knew what these offers were…
The next month is going to be make-or-break. Can we push through the traditionally slow months to build up momentum into a massive Q4 (aiming for $1M+ in Q4 only)?
We shall find out…. until next time :- )
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