Setting up an online PopUp Store - Part 1

This is my first attempt to setup an online store.
The idea is to find X number of designs and sell them on Y type of Products - it is fairly simple to print on t-shirts, bags etc but we opted-in for Phone Cases to attract a more niche audience.

In order to sell such a product you need

  • The Designs by Aga Bartosz
  • An online shop
  • A merchant that produces them
  • Traffic

Assuming you have the designs (like we did) the rest is more technical/operational implementation.

For this we went with Printful (to print the phone cases & deliver) and BigCartel as an online shop.

The beauty of those two together is that they work in a very seamless approach.
What you have to do is create the product on BigCartel, then sync with Printful and generate the equivelant product on Printful (printful has no idea if what you are selling is a picture or a towel).

For Printful the cost is on a purchase basis, there is no monthly fee.

For BigCartel, I would advice people, to use the platinum tier which is 9.99 and allows you to sell 25 products, have a custom domain and also add analytics.
We will not be selling more than 15 products but the custom domain is a must.

So let's do some math 🤓

Each phone case to be printed (I will not add delivery costs here) costs 9.69
If we keep the shop for 1 month we will pay 9.99
I already had the domain, but that can be from 0.99 to thousands of euros so I will not include that price.

t1

We need to make a minimum of 3 sales to reach profitability (also assuming there will be no returns or any other issues).

The above plan however assumes we have traffic and even with a generous conversion rate of 10% we would need 1000 visitors! In reality for common shops it is around 2-4%.

Ads

In order to drive people to our shop we will use Instagram and Facebook ads.
As we mentioned in order to reach 100 sales we need 1000 visitors.

Therefore in order to make 1 cent we need to have an acquisition cost of less than 0.39111 cents per user.

Let me tell you that this is INCREDIBLY low and if you reach that you are amazing 🤗

Remember we aim for a pop-up store so we cannot value our users for longer than a few weeks to 2 months. So a high acquisition cost although good for our future sales, is not suggested.

Margins

As you noticed a selling price of 15 is not that great, this is a margin of 4.01 or 26%. This is low, these kind of pop up sales focus on low base product cost and high margins. So if we pump it up to 19 euros we reach a 42% margin.

Let's see how the previous table now evolves

t2

As you can see we need just 2 sales for basic profitability and at 100 sales we have double the profit (excluding any marketing costs) allowing us to double our expenses in terms of acquisition.
At 500 sales we are at the same profit as with 1000 sales at 15 price point per item.

Of course the higher you go the better for your math, but remember we need to hit a sweet spot which has a low enough price for the customer but high enough to support a flash store.

Ad tactics

FOMO

The basic and first tactic is actually the pop up store itself.
This creates the notion that the item will not be sold in the future and it is your only chance to buy it. This works better than we think.

Discount

All items will be sold on a discount basis. This is a common practice for example in big sales in which an item is displayed as discounted but in reality they never meant to sell it at that price point.

So for our phone cases at 15 euros we will discount it from 25.99 and at 19 we will discount it from 30.99

This gives the customer the sense of buying a premium product in a lower price point aka a bargain.

Target Specific users

This is not really a ad tactic, but the better you understand who will buy your product and target them the lower your acquisition cost will be and higher the conversion rate.

For example I was targeted by a similar ad but for iphone cases while I have an android phone. This is clearly a waste because they paid for me to see it.

Facebook/Instagram ads allow you to specifically target the user-agent (device type) you want and we will leverage that to make our sales funnel narrower.

At the same time you want to sell in regions that usually are awake and buy stuff.
Generally that is after work hours.

Tips & Tricks

By reading statistics, it is mentioned that insta stories generate a really good result for sales, but apart from buying your slot in someone's story feed in the form of an ad you can also try and do that organically!

On our ads we will mention that if you add our post (ad) to your story we will DM you a 10% coupon code!

That means that, if a user does this it will cost us 1.5-1.9 but we will reach his whole feed/followers, assuming that 40 people will see it we just bought an ad seen by 40 people organically for 1.5 so 0.0375 cents per person!

In order to not let this grow exponentially and to create even bigger urgency we can try to mention the 200 first people who add our post to their story will receive the discount, however this can have a negative effect also.

Because I do not want those discount codes to go out, we will use one time codes and re-issue new ones every time.

Will this work? Who knows. Keep up to date with our live spreadsheet and wait for blog post #2!

You can check the basic financial spreadsheet here or quick preview bellow 👇