Anton Kraly has been a serial entrepreneur for more than a decade, finding success building and selling multiple seven-figure businesses. In 2013, he started Drop Ship Lifestyle to teach people how to create profitable eCommerce businesses by leveraging high-ticket drop shipping. Voted “Best eCommerce Course” by Shopify in 2018, Drop Ship Lifestyle is now the top online eCommerce coaching program and has helped more than 8,000 students in 25 countries to find freedom through entrepreneurship.
Welcome to the podcast Anton. It's good to be on. Not a problem. That's a that's a pretty good title that you have there. As far as being voted the best e-commerce course by Shopify in 2018. I know it takes a lot to get to that because Shopify they're one of the top platforms out there and for them to vote you the best course in 2018. That's huge.
Yeah. I was pretty proud of that. You know, I'm sure as you know, there's over 600 thousand stores and their platform and it's probably hundreds of courses out there. So that felt good. Yeah, you guys buy them for it. Yeah. I know it did definitely for sure. We congratulations on that.
Well, thank you know before we talk get into the topic of today, which is going to be dropshipping leveraging dropshipping to sell High ticket items through Google's product listing ads. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself how you got started and where you are today? Sure. I so yeah.
I got my start with e-commerce really doing the exact opposite of what it is we do now it was way back in 2007 when I. Right out of college living in New York still where I'm from and that's when a book came out called the 4-Hour workweek by Tim Ferriss and that book introduced me to e-commerce basically mentioned you could build a Yahoo store.
You could run these ads on Google and back then I thought okay. What do I have to lose? Let me try to build one of these websites back at that time. I had a business that was a delivery route for a bakery in Brooklyn, New York. So I basically had a business where I would pick up cookies every morning from Brooklyn then sell them to grocery stores on Long Island's where I'm from and I thought you know what let me try to build a website sell these things online.
So spent a weekend built the Yahoo store called New York cookie shop.com set up some Google AdWords targeting people that no longer lived in New York, but that wanted New York bakery cookies and yeah within a few weeks. That website was making more money than that other delivery rap business and I thought okay e-commerce is my thing.
I'm hooked. And since then just been yeah moving on to different Industries getting into high ticket products obviously advancing off of Yahoo stores and just getting better at ads along the way. Okay great, right. That's awesome. And I was going to I'm going to ask you do you still own that domain New York cookie shop.com.
I think this what you said now. Yeah, I sold it back. It was probably still in 2007 maybe 2008, but I sold it with the the delivery business because. I realized pretty early on you know, if I could sell these $10 products these $20 products which are boxes of cookies. Why can't I sell something for you know, five hundred bucks or a thousand bucks.
So I've got into that then sold that business off. Okay. Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. That's an awesome domain. That's why I was asking if he still owned it pretty good asset to have for sure. Yeah, as far as you know, when it comes down to it selling is selling and like you said if you can sell 10 to $20 box of cookies and you're successful doing that, you know, you can just apply those same principles in those same.
New tactics to selling High ticket items and totally totally makes sense. Now, you're pretty much an expert on Drop Shipping and I'm before we get into kind of how you can be successful with it. Why don't you just break it down for us for those of the listeners that are not familiar with the terminology.
What exactly is Drop Shipping? Sure. So really it's a very high level term it's so there's lots of different ways that people use Drop Shipping and their business but really all it is is a method of order fulfillments and it could be. A website it could be for a magazine could be for anything. But basically what it means is if someone places an order from a specific company, then the company that delivers that item to the customer is not the retailer where that order was placed.
So for example, I'm at a stand-up desk right now. If I sold for 20 different manufacturers that make standup desks and someone ordered from my website. Then that order would be forwarded to the supplier that makes it that's a flyer would drop ship it directly to my. So it's a way to get products to customers without needing a warehouse without needing inventory without needing all those additional expenses.
Okay, great. Great. I appreciate that introduction and that explanation of Drop Shipping because even though I've been in the game for quite a while, I don't think I couldn't really understood clearly understood what exactly dropshipping was until very recently. But um, yeah, I appreciate that that that really makes a lot of sense and I know a lot of businesses are successful doing it these days because.
You know your your focus as far as Drop Shipping is concerned is really just going to be on getting the products out there marketing and you know, I still have to worry about the Fulfillment and all that inventory that's handled by the third party which, you know allows you to focus on really just driving the traffic to the site exactly now and that brings me to my next question today.
We're going to be talking about Google product listing ads. Now for those of the listeners in aren't familiar with that what exactly are Google product listing ads sure so they're managed through Google AdWords, but what a normal consumer or customer will say is if you go to google.com and you search for any product.
It could be even just a very generic product name. So if you go to google.com type in standup desks, you'll see your normal organic search results. You'll see the normal AdWords search text ads which are. The lines of text up top, but then you're also going to see different images of products. And then under those images you're going to see prices and you're going to see store names.
Now, those are product listing ads. So again from from the the business owners perspective. We pay Google AdWords to appear there but instead of doing a normal Google ad that people think of that's just text again, we get our product images. Our products prices are store names all to display right there.
So when the the visitor the user of Google clicks one of them, it's a very very quality click that they can they know what product it is. They know it's for sale. It's not just some random person, you know kind of clicking on the first thing that popped up right right that makes sense when people that see those and actually click on it.
They're specifically looking for that because that's what they search for. So they exactly and they know they're going to e-commerce store. They don't think they're just going to get some information on it. They see the price so they know what they're clicking hunt. Gotcha, so I would imagine the.
Rate on those ads are a lot higher than somebody just going, you know to directly to the website. Maybe they saw the whole home. They did a search then went to the home page. These are this is a lot higher conversion. Is that correct? It is yes, and then there's some things, you know, you can get more specific with how you target people with them and to make sure you're only getting those really high intense searches, but they convert much higher than any other source of traffic we use.
Okay now from an e-commerce business, how do I get these actually actual product listing ads out there whether. Really Commerce visitor. I'm Drop Shipping business. Is there something special I need to do with my ad words account or Google ads now that they call it. Anyway. Yeah that really you do need to create something called a Google merchant center account.
And I think it's just like Merchant that google.com it's free to do and when you do that though, it links to your Google AdWords account. And the reason you need the merchant center account is because the way that Google will know what products you have on your website is you have to upload product CSV.
So basically like a big Excel sheet of all your products and that goes to your merchant center. So once that's there that's linked to your AdWords account. And then when you're in AdWords or yeah Google ads like you said like it's called now you click create a campaign and one of the campaign types is shopping.
And if you go to that you click create a campaign shopping campaign, it will pull the products. From that that CSV of your product. Okay. Great. Didn't know do you have to have specifically formatted images and specifically formatted text for those is that all containing 6 V it is and it's really it could be, you know, as optimized as you want it to be we do definitely.
Optimize them as much as we can. The good thing is if you're using any of the big e-commerce platforms, like if you're using Shopify or Bigcommerce or volusion or even like woocommerce and Magento they do all have apps or plugins that will just make the CSV for you from what's already on your store.
And from there if you want to make any slight tweaks you can but it's pretty simple to connect it. Okay, that sounds good. Now as far as the bidding and like where you're going to appear for these product listing ads, Is that really all goes down to the to their regular paper click rates and what you would normally be bidding on for certain keywords.
Is that correct? Yeah, it's actually this is where it gets interesting because it's a little bit different than a traditional, you know Google ad. So if I was going to just run a campaign and I wanted to show up for keywords, like standup desks, I would just type into Google, you know, keywords standup desks with the shopping campaigns.
You do not enter keywords. So basically what it does Google. All the data from your CSV and then it determines what it's going to show you for now. This is what I meant. Yeah this that's why I mentioned earlier like you could really optimize these things to get crazy high conversion rates because the way that you can control for what keywords you appear for is through negative keywords.
So what you'll want to do is create your campaign then make sure you're taking out the the more generic ones because the reason they work so well is because we can appear if someone searched, you know, very desk stand up desk model 1 2 3 in Black. And they if we want to appear for those type of keywords, we have to negate the more generic ones and then we'll start getting yeah, very cheap and very high converting clicks.
I see so you're not actually selecting the keywords, but you were putting what you don't want to appear for the negative ones. Exactly. Yeah. Google's getting all with all that data from you and they what are they? What does Google do they they kind of parse your site they parse the text from the CSV file into determined what you should be listed for exactly at okay.
Got you. Got you that makes sense now as. Our as Drop Shipping is concerned, of course with these Google p l a--'s that you know that they're called what how quickly can you Leverage The Google product listing ads to increase, you know, your Drop Shipping sales on out high-ticket items because you know, I know when you're doing searches is going to be all types of items.
I've recently done searches. I was looking for some wireless headphones. I see those but you know higher ticket items we're talking, you know, I guess $500 or close to $1,000 and up. What do you specifically have to do to increase sales on those shirts? So a lot of it just has to do with actually making sure that everything that you upload to your website.
So all the products you're selling are formatted correctly. If there are different SKU numbers for products or manual effect manufacturer part numbers if there's different color combinations if there's like any data that you can get that people might use when they're searching for these things. Has to be in your product descriptions has to be in your product page that way it goes into your CSV.
So again, you'll appear for those more long tail keywords. Now the reason that these do work so well though for the high-ticket items is because when people are searching for them again on Google. And when they're clicking a product listing ads, they're usually very very low in the bite like in the buyers journey of their buying cycle.
They're pretty much ready to buy and just determining where to buy from. So what people are typically doing when it comes to drop shipping with lower ticket items is they're running more direct response-type Ed's. So they'll put something in front of people on Facebook that are interested in a you know, what I really like a general interest that might be related to their product and they'll try to get them to see it too kind of interrupt their, you know, Facebook.
Rolling session and think oh, I should buy this it's only 20 bucks. So for us the reason that we can't do that is because you know, someone's gonna like you said spend 500 bucks a thousand bucks 2,000 bucks. We need them to Ernie know what they want to be searching for it. Then we need to give them the best experience out of all of our competition on our website.
So the way that we get them which is really step one. Is to have the Google product listing ads from our website that are being shown for the most relevant keywords, which we do by having our product page is optimized and by negating everything that just isn't a buying keyword. Okay, I see so with these product listing ads, it's really important that your product pages are optimized the text descriptions you want to be that that's kind of where the media and that's really what you need to focus and and that's step one.
Right? So having that all optimized so that Google will show you and. Step two is making sure that your website is optimized because again by the time they find us they know these products are available elsewhere. So we have to do what we have to do to make sure that they're going to buy from us and not you know, our main competitor gotcha gotcha, and these product listing ads are going to link directly to that product.
So people go straight to it and they can just add it straight to the. Exactly. Okay, great. And with the product listing ads how many typically appear like let's say I searched for wireless headphones. How many are typically going to appear in the Google search results at the top. It depends on which display like sometimes you'll see between three and five but once so, so there's two ways they appear right?
So you'll see them there on that homepage of Google but then there's also a tab on Google search results called shopping and they also appear there. So that's kind of like you could think of it as. Product catalog of everybody that's running Google product listing ads. So in there you'll get a lot of traffic to but yeah people either go direct to Google shopping like many people rely on that for their research.
But if you want to be on the first page you have depending on the display usually between three and five. Okay guard you got lucky and you're the only one if you're the only one choosing that keyword and showing up you just you. Okay? Wow. Yeah, I'm sure that's that's really hard to do I could imagine but I don't normally it's you're really just going to be kind of I guess within a queue and based on what other people are doing what other sites are doing how their product descriptions are and how they're changing that five that up to five listings.
It's going to change pretty frequently yet - yeah exactly. Just like anything with Google a lot of its based on quality score. So how many people have clicked your stuff when they've seen it in the past how many of them have stayed on your site after they've clicked it you do also bid, even though you can't choose your keywords you set campaign bids.
So you might say I'm willing to spend 30 cents and then you know, someone else sells say. Says they're going to spend 50 if their quality score is the same as yours. They would show above you other things that make a difference would be. Yeah, just the exact search term. So something like headphones would be really hard to be number what for but something like maybe, you know bows QC 35, like brand-new like the longer tail gets the easier it is to pop up as number one for low prices.
Okay. Gotcha. Now with the listings are they they're displayed from left to right? That right where they display different in different left to right - right guys gotchas righteous. So to be number one, you're going to be in the on the far left. Yes. Okay. Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay that that really totally makes sense.
Now as far as Google product listing ads are concerned. We talked a lot about you know, what you can do and how this can be effective for a high ticket price items. I guess what really is your definition of a high ticket price? I say minimum 200 bucks, but our average order price is closer to a thousand that's usually like if anyone wants to get started with it.
That's that's the lowest will go just to have enough room for to be able to spend money to acquire a customer gotcha. Gotcha that makes sense. So within dropshipping since the focus really your focus if you're running a Dropship business is going to be the advertising the marketing making sure the site is up.
You have those expenses. It may not be cost-effective if you're selling. No products that are under $50 is that that's pretty much what you're saying? Yeah, exactly. So typically I'm willing to spend up to 10% of my product sale price to get the sale. So if I'm selling a thousand dollar product and I could spend $100 to get that sale.
I'll do that all day, but then if I had a $50 product and I had five dollars in my budget to get that sale like, you know, good luck you need an insane conversion rate and it's just really not a reality for most online stores. I see so so essentially Google product listing ads. Really aren't it may not really be that effective for lower ticket items unless you are the manufacturer or the brand and you're the only one selling it and you don't have competition because then you really could get away with you could bit as low as a penny and if there's no one else there, you could pay a penny all day for it.
So yeah gotchas so let's just say well I'm a regular e-commerce business will go back to the wireless headphones manufacturer of these I'm selling them directly from my website. It's not drop shipping and I'm doing. Fulfillment. Well, let's see that those products can be under 200 dollars to say it's again A lot of times they're a little bit above that.
But let's say there's some under under under 200 would it would it make sense to to do the Google product listing ads? Yeah, I would say definitely as long as no one else is bidding on your keywords because you can get away with spending next to nothing. I had a website way back in the day. We were selling like, you know different like fashion stuff some cheaper things but no one else was bidding on it.
So we were paying. Between one and two cents per click. It was like basically free advertising. I see so the key is going to be when you're when you're optimizing your site and you're optimizing those product pages to make sure you use keywords that aren't being used a lot by some of the competitors out there and that's that's really what you want to do.
Right or if you're selling in a crowded space just make sure that it is an expensive item. So you have room for your ad budget and make sure your website is optimized to convert better than your competition. Okay. Gotcha. It's really totally makes sense. Now as far as you know, Drop Shipping in general, you know, you've really done a lot in the in the business especially as I said at the beginning.
My you were voted the top Shopify dropshipping course if somebody were to actually take your course, what could they expect to be able to do once they complete the course with a weird? How are you going to empower them to be successful in Drop Shipping. Now, look at the goal of all of it is kind of I guess the goal.
I had when I first started which is to build a business that can provide you with an income that's greater than the average salary in greater than you would make in a normal, you know, nine to five. Where you can work 30 minutes to an hour a day on your business and then have automations in place and a team of virtual assistance.
If needed in place that you know, your 30 minutes is spent on delegating on putting out fires if there are any and to looking into what comes next as far as growing your business, but that is the end goal. Well, okay. So the end goal would be for this to be your main business. So let's say somebody takes the course, you know, they're starting it as a as I guess you could say kind of a side hustle they start to drop.
Being site the end goal is is for them to leave their main job and then really just do this full time. And then that for that for that to sustain them. Yeah, and then to use that other free times again, you know, 30 minutes to an hour a day on this once you're up and running. So then do you want to whatever you want to do you want to build another business you're more passionate about do you want to travel whatever because you know that people ask me like with e-commerce a lot like, oh do I have to do something but it's a hobby of mine or that I'm passionate about and the truth is like all these stores that we build.
It's. About passion for the products. It's about passion for building the business. So you can use your passion elsewhere and enjoy it rather than trying to make money from it. Right right that totally makes sense. Now, I know a lot of the decision making process is going to be you know, let's say somebody takes the course and you know, they're they're ready to get going.
How how do you find the best types of products to sell and again, you know, what's really like that criteria and so what? For obviously the price point is our biggest thing. It's got to be up there. And then from there I'm trying to find product types that really like people don't already know what they're going to buy that they don't already have like a brand in their head for.
So an example I get sometimes is you know, I wouldn't sell Electronics but specifically I wouldn't sell tablets because if someone wants a new tablet, they're probably going to buy surface or they're gonna buy an iPad or maybe they'll buy the new, you know Samsung but that's not something like, oh, I know people buy these so let me sell them.
You want to sell things I gave that example before like a stand-up desk. If someone knows they want one. There's not a brand that pops into their head like, oh, I'm gonna go pick up a Nike stand-up desk or anything. You know, it's very like yeah, you could be anything or was it same thing goes with like, you know, I want a new chandelier or I want a new surfboard like there's not names that just you constantly hear so we look for that.
I basically call that having no brand loyalty and if customers have no brand loyalty, then that makes it definitely worth looking into and then we also look for things that have a lot of. Options and variance because that means they really wouldn't be available in any given store. So if you take like a chandelier, maybe someone wants one that's 36 inches wide and that's has crystals and I don't know black wiring through it.
Right? Like that's you can't go to Home Depot and just get that off the shelf. So something people need a reason to go online for gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. I understand that. You're right because a product like you mentioned a tablet those types of things people are you know, they know. Here's where they going to go for that even happily going to Microsoft they know exactly where but if it's a little different, you know, I think your example was good the standup desks and actually after the Pod cause I'm have to pick your brain on that because I'm actually looking for one now.
Yeah, actually, I don't even know where to go. I've just been Googling. I've been checking Amazon. So I I see exactly what you mean by that there's there's not a definitive set source to buy this so you can you can definitely pop up and be successful with that. I want to just kind of ask you as far as.
The successes that you've seen with with Drop Shipping, especially with a high ticket items as I'm sure you do a fair amount of follow up with people that have taken your course and you know, I'm sure people have chimed in with testimonials and things like that on average. I guess you could say, I mean how many of you people that actually can take the course and go through it do get to the point where it becomes their main source of income and they are able to sustain themselves.
Is there a high percentage of people that actually do that? Yeah. Yeah, like you said like for everybody that. Really does this and you know commits to it. I haven't seen anybody that said I have made an honest go at this and failed. So we had we do have you know, we have hundreds of success stories from people all over the world.
Some of them have it as a second source of income many of them have left their jobs and are doing it full-time, but the the big difference from the people that do that from the people that I never hear about because obviously the large majority is people I never hear about I don't know. I think I think the reason why some people are successful and others aren't as good as the people.
Make this work go into it knowing that they're actually going to do something and build a real business and they're just looking for more of a blueprint to follow and they're looking to learn from someone that's got you know decade of experience. Whereas the people that don't succeed or that just don't even try are ones that are just thinking like I'm going to quit my job next week and be rich and travel the world like that's yeah.
That's the big difference right? I understand. Yeah, you have to be realistic if there's a lot of people like that that kind of jump from from from thing to thing thinking that they're going to get rich tomorrow. And yeah, those type of people will never be successful because they don't really have the patience and the discipline to stick through it and do what it takes.
So you're yeah, you're totally right. Yeah, for sure for sure. Well that's on you give you provided a whole wealth of information about Drop Shipping and especially specifically with high ticket items. I don't think we'd ever really cover dropshipping much at all really on the podcast. So this is really going to be I know a an episode that our listeners are really going to appreciate and I think there will really enjoy so I want to kind of switch gears here.
What I've always like to do now is just ask my. What is one thing that our audience would be surprised to know about you? Maybe the fact that I'm just not like so people think that I must be like some kind of like computer genius a lot of the times when they see these businesses and these websites I have right and I am not technical at all guy can't change anything in our websites, but I can use some dragon stops drag and drop stuff and Shopify.
But yeah, I not a technical guy and I'm still able to make this all works. Okay. Well, that's good. That's a good testimonial to state that you know. There's a lot of people out there that you know Run online businesses and want to run online business for the you know, they're not technical that so that just goes to show that it can be done.
Even though you may not have a technical background. You don't know how to code websites these days, especially, you know, there's so many resources out there for you to to be able to get things done not only tools but you know resources as far as you know, virtual assistants and you know the market these days is unbelievable with all of the sites where you can get.
Get Workers to help you out virtually to do just about anything. So that's that's really a huge thing these days. Well, yeah, great. I appreciate your honesty on that and I question and you know before I let you go if any of our listeners want to get in contact with you, how do they do it there in time?
Yeah, the best way would be just at the website Dropship lifestyle.com. If you want to contact me like all my social media and everything is all Linked UP off there. So that'll get you links to everything. Okay? That sounds awesome. Thanks. Again Anton for joining us today on the e-commerce marketing podcast has been great having you and we appreciate all the information that you've provided.
Yeah, thanks for having me on that was fun. Sure. Thanks. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast. You need to get more feedback and reviews from your customers and improve your customer retention. We have made it easy to do all of this with our Advanced customer feedback software just visit get OS i.com forward slash feedback and sign up for a free.
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Founder of Drop Ship Lifestyle