Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Sara Jones, where we take a deep dive into Google Ads and Google Shopping!
Sara is a freelance Google Ads consultant and founder of the Online Retail Academy, where she teaches retailers how to run Google Shopping Ads and supports them in all aspects of growing an online store. Sara has previously built a 6 figure eCommerce business and loves passing on the knowledge she has gained to other business owners, to help them do the same.
KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
- The minimum budget you need to run successful Google Ads
- The difference between Google and Facebook Ads
- Marketing strategies for e-commerce businesses
If you really enjoyed today's podcast episode, I would really appreciate it if you would go and share it on your social media or share it with someone who has an e-commerce business; and of course go and give Sara a bit of love online!
LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE
Teresa: Hello, and a really warm welcome back to this week's episode of Your Dream Business Podcast. How are you doing? So as we've been doing recently, we have another interview and I've been interviewing, and I don't know if I've said this actually during every interview, but everyone I'm interviewing at the moment is actually, they're actually members of the club or executive club.
And I haven't pick them because they're members of executive club or club. I've picked them because they're really flipping good at what they do and they know their stuff really well because I wouldn't have them on if I didn't think you would get some benefit from it and you wouldn't find it useful.
So today I have the lovely Sara. Sara is now this is where I try and read. I hate reading. She's a freelance Google ad consultant and the founder of the online retail Academy. She teaches retailers, how to run Google shopping ads and support. So in all aspects of growing that online store. Sarah has previously built a six figure e commerce company and loves passing on the knowledge that she gained in her business, to other business owners to them to do the same.
And after speaking to Sarah many, many, many, many, many times, she often talks about the fact that she made all the mistakes, so no one else has to. So today we are going to be talking all about Google ads and Google shopping and all of that good stuff, which if you're sat there thinking, yeah, this might not be for me.
I would just stick around and listen because I found it fascinating and it's just really interesting that whole side of the ad side. So we will crack on Sara, Sara, see I've started off, I called you Sara, I never called you Sara. You're Sara. Like this is, I brief Sarah before the interview and I was like, you know, if we mess up, we'll just carry on.
And I'm the one to mess up. So there we go. She can relax. I've messed up. Sara welcome to the podcast.
Sara: Thank you, Teresa.
Teresa: You could have like just said my name wrong, just to like get me back. But I'm sorry about that. I don't know why I suddenly went into funny mode. You know, I have a sister called Sara, don't you?
So, and also we have two. We have a Sarah and a Sarah in the club and both of them spell their name the same. So, and, and for a long while I kept mixing up which one I would say what to anyway, anyway, anyway. So, Sarah, let's start off by you explaining how you got to do what you do today.
Sara: Ooh, that's a long story.
I'll give you the brief of the story. It was starting my online, my online shop back in 2004, 2005. Where I kind of suddenly thought, Oh, I've built a wonderful website. Now I need to get people to the website and it was the kind of wild west of Google ads back then. So I kind of played with Google ads and did some money work and it sent traffic to my website and I used it on and off for that business for quite a few years.
But then kind of fast forward to 2016, I ended up completely switching and closing down the e commerce business and doing the Google ad side of it full time. Cause it kind of. It was lighting me up more than the other, than my other business. So, and I've been doing that ever since.
Teresa: What did you do before your e commerce? Were you in any kind of marketing or anything like that?
Sara: No, I was a stay at home mom for well, 1991. I think I gave up work to have my first before that I was in accounting. So I'm actually qualified accountant as well for my sins. But yeah, which has stood me in very good stead. I have to say every business owner should learn at least the very basics of bookkeeping and accounting because Yeah.
Yeah. But that, you know, nothing, nothing sexy like marketing or anything like that. I had to learn all of that.
Teresa: That's really fascinating. What made you decide that you needed more than just putting a website up there? Because I interviewed Suze a couple of weeks back. Well, I didn't, I interviewed her today because they're actually batching.
But if you're listening to this, then she would have been quite a few weeks back. And she and I told the, like, we laughed at the story of her putting up her website and then being devastated that she wasn't a millionaire within a week. And, and, and the truth is most people and most business owners will do that.
They will think, Oh, I've got a Facebook page. Why aren't customers flocking to me? I think that is incredible insight, smartness. I don't know what the word is to, to actually go, this isn't enough. I need more. I'm going to learn Google ads.
Sara: That's, do you know what? I've never thought about it like that. I just took it as, I, well, I've always been really good at thinking what, like, trying to figure out what I need to do and then going off and, and researching and learning what I need to do.
So of course when I built the website and I had all my stock and it was all lovely. And, and I was just like, well, nobody's going to find it. I did SEO, which back then that's a whole different story. But so I guess I, I must've just probably been researching and thought, Oh, this Google ads thing that, that should work.
And. Just gave it a go. It's, it's, it's a really good question, actually, but.
Teresa: And, and like I said, it's not, yeah, it's not something I've ever seen someone do, and especially no disrespect back then, you know, because that was some time ago. And, and Google ads at that point were probably nothing like they are today.
So. Why, tell us what your e commerce shop was first.
Sara: Okay, so it started off, it had many sort of versions as it, as it evolved, but it ended up being DIY favors, wedding favors, so boxes, sugared almonds, ribbons, flowers, all loads of stuff, table decorations, and bespoke wedding stationery as well, which is kind of a second side of it.
And that's, that's what the, that's what grew. And that's what. That's what ended up being the big one. It was lovely. I loved it. I loved it. Until I didn't.
Teresa: I was going to say, and then you decided that you don't want to do something when you want to teach it. So you have had your online business for quite a few years then now.
Teresa: How many years have you done this teaching element?
Sara: This teaching element since 2021.
Sara: About two and a half years because it was in the start of 2021. Yeah.
Teresa: Okay. And explain to us what, what's the main thing that you teach and help business owners with?
Sara: So the main thing that I teach is the Google shopping side of things, because I think a lot of people struggle to just get their head around it, and they're very intimidated by it, and I don't think, and it's, it's, yes, it's, it is, it can be complicated, but it's not something that's impossible for just normal people like you and me to do, like the fact that I can do it proves that.
And so that's the main thing that I teach that the membership itself, kind of, we teach other stuff because I have other people coming in to teach other stuff in the membership, but that's what that's my kind of main focus because that's where my knowledge is. Plus a little bit of the, obviously the, the e commerce in general side of it as well. Yeah.
Teresa: And I think The reason I wanted you on is because there's, I do have e commerce people in my world. And I'm sure that if you're listening to this and you're thinking, well, I'm not e commerce, you probably know an e commerce business. And I think it's one that a lot of people go into because especially kind of from the handmade or the homemade side kind of thing, selling something that they've made, selling a physical product.
And we kind of hope, well, I guess lots of people go into it because someone says, that's amazing. You should sell that. And then They go into it, they create this thing and then they realize the selling element of it or getting people to your website or getting people to commit and buy is the hard bit.
So if it, well, first off, if you're listening to this and you know someone who's e commerce, then definitely direct them to this episode of the podcast. So explain to people exactly what the Google shopping bit is.
Sara: So if you go and search for something for a product, on Google. So say you're looking for running shoes or something like that.
I don't know why I always use that example because I'm not a runner. I should, I should search for lounge trousers or something. That would be more my scene. So if you go and search Google for any product based search, you will notice usually across the top, but sometimes down the right hand side, you'll notice like the product ads, the product images with the price and a link.
Those are the Google, those are shopping ads and people have paid to put their products across the top or down the side in the Google search results. So that's essentially what it is. It's just basically your product information, the image, the price, the type that, you know, the name of the product on Google, on Google's search results. And those are the shopping ads.
Teresa: Those ones across the top, because I know them well, like, you know, I often search stuff, in fact the most recent thing was yesterday and it was a dehydrator, you know, to dehydrate all my tomatoes that I've grown over the summer. Are all of those across the top sponsored or have they paid to be in that position, every single one of them?
Sara: Yes. Every single one. Okay. On the homepage. Yeah. There, there are three product listings, shopping, I won't call them shopping ads because they're not ads. There are three shopping listings, which you can, if you have it all set up, you don't have to pay. You can still show, but that is, if you notice at the top of the search results, you'll have like little tabs, which say images.
And there's one that says shopping. If you click on that. The ones at the very top, again, are paid for. I think it says sponsored. So it'll say somewhere on there that they're sponsored. But then the ones down, further down the page… They're free. Nobody's paid to put those there, but it's kind of all the same process of setting all of that up. On the main homepage of Google.
When you search all of the ads there, they're paying to go there, but they only pay when you click on the ad. It's not like Facebook where you just pay to put it onto somebody. You only pay when they actually, somebody clicks on your product ad and comes through to your website.
Teresa: So actually I'm super glad you brought up Facebook because one of the things that.
And I said before in another podcast that I did the Google ads exams years ago, right? Because I had a client that I worked with when we had the agency, I had a client and they came to me and said, do you do Google ads? I'd like you to, I don't want to think about bringing them to you. They were using a Google ad specialist.
So I started researching how to do Google ads, and I started doing the exams. So I thought, Oh, maybe this is another service I can offer. And they were the Google exams in order for you to kind of like Google partner, which I wouldn't have got because you have to have so much money revenue coming in through the app, anyway.
And I did them, and I literally had no idea I passed them. And then he got me to run a test against this Google ads company. And I got better results and I have no idea how I did it right. So I then decided this isn't for me and I didn't offer it and I gave it away. And I think when people think about ads.
The way Facebook is set up and designed, it's trying to make it, and we had Michelle on the podcast as well talking about Facebook ads, but they tried to make it as kind of, you know, easy and as accessible as possible. Whereas I think when businesses look at Google ads and especially retail businesses, they think, and I'm assuming for them, but I think they think that There's no way they could get to the top of Google and they can't afford those ads.
And those ads are way too technical and way too difficult. So what would you say to someone who's listening to this thinking, yeah, it's all well and good. You're an expert. You know what you're talking about?
Sara: Yeah. So it is, it is a myth. It, it, it is an auction at the end of the day, it's an auction so that you're bidding to, to be in whatever slot you want to be in.
So the person that ends up in the top is not necessarily the one that pays the most. They'll be the one that's got the best product information that the most relevant information to the, what the person is searching for. So you can compete with big companies if you know what you're doing and you do it right.
And you, you know, you have everything set up properly. You can compete. And even the, like the most tech phobic retailers have gone through and managed to set up their own shopping campaigns and run them and have profitable campaigns set up, so it is definitely doable by everybody. It is, I feel it can be an even like a level playing field if you know what you're doing.
Yes, you are paying to show your ads at the top, and you know, obviously the best spot is that one on the far left. But just because somebody else has a 5, 000 pound a month budget, and you have a five pound a month budget, does not mean that you can't show your ads on that homepage of Google. If you're set up right, if you've optimized everything properly and you know what you're doing, then you definitely can.
And yes, it can feel really intimidating. And there is a, there is some sort of tech setup to do, but I've got people in my membership who are, you know, they hate all that stuff, but they have managed to do it. And just, it's a case of step by step following, you know, following all step by step and doing each step as you go.
And it's, you know, they're fine and they do it. And so I would a hundred percent say everybody can do it. And. Don't be scared to have a go.
Teresa: Okay, so a couple of questions then. If someone set up Google Ads shopping ads, do they need a website? Probably a stupid question. Yes, they do. But what kind of website?
Can they have kind of the off the shelf ones? Is there certain, is there a certain level that you need to have before even looking at these?
Sara: It just needs to be a functioning like online cart. So obviously for a lot of people, it'll be something like Shopify, cause that's really easy to set up and it's, you can do it yourself.
So that's really simple. So any, any of those online platforms, you know, even Wix. I mean, I, my preferred one is Shopify just because it's easy to integrate with everything else and it's easy to set up. But yeah, you basically just need a, an online checkout. A secure online checkout, so people need to be able to obviously go all the way through and you need to have all the, the things you would have in place anyway, if you are wanting to sell online, you'd have to have all of the privacy policies and the cookie notices and terms and conditions and, you know, SSL certificates, which obviously Shopify takes care of that anyway, so, and you also, people need to be able to see the price before, you know, without logging in.
So things like wholesale websites don't really work because usually with trade or wholesale websites, you have to log in to see the prices. You couldn't use Google shopping for a website like that, but most retailers, obviously that's not a problem. So, so yeah.
Teresa: That's what you need. What kind of budget would they have to look at?
And I know, I know this is going to be like, you know, give me a clue type thing. You know, so when I had Michelle on and she talked about Facebook ads, she was sort of saying, you know, £10 minimum a day, really. So what are you kind of looking at? What kind of budget over what kind of length of time if you're getting started?
Sara: If you're getting started, so there isn't really a minimum budget. I mean, you can put five pounds a day on if you want to. The, the only thing I would say is obviously the smaller your budget, the longer it takes for data and information to start coming into the ads about who's clicking and what they're doing so that you can then optimize things and improve things.
So a hundred percent, you can start with five pounds a day. I would, if I was doing it, you know, if I was sort of setting up an online shop and I were doing it, I would say that if you can spend sort of 500 to a thousand pounds a month, it just means you're going to get the results quicker and you're going to be able to see what's working, what's not faster.
And the, obviously the faster you can do that, then the the more you can optimize it as you move forward. But you know, if I appreciate that lots of people don't have 500 quid in their back pocket to just throw up some ads that let's be honest, they might not necessarily believe will work. So yeah, five, five pounds a day, 10 pounds a day is absolutely fine to get you started.
Obviously the theory would be once you start seeing sales and you start seeing a return. Yeah. Then you'd want to put more money in anyway.
Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because if you're putting a pound in a machine and two pounds coming out, you'll keep putting a pound and putting it in, won't you? Yeah. So there are a few notable differences between this and Facebook ads, which I think people, small business owners, e commerce owners are much more familiar with and probably see that less as a.
Like if you said to them, which one would you rather do or which one do you think you'll do Facebook or Google, they'd probably say Facebook, but the thing, and I want you to kind of go into what the differences are, but one of the main things for me, and I think it's worth pointing out is when you're on Facebook, when you're serving ads on Facebook, you are looking for people Who might like the thing you sell or might be interested in the thing you sell or might have looked at your website or might have looked.
And unless you're a huge company with a huge budget where you can literally do remarketing ads to certain products, i. e. I go and look at a dress on scamp and dude. I mean, I don't know if they do do this actually. And then I go to Facebook and they serve that same dress to me, unless you can do that and you need a big budget.
And also you need a lot of traffic for that. You are kind of hoping that you're hitting people at the right time. Whereas when you are Google shopping, like me looking for my dehydrator, I am looking to buy a dehydrator. I am in the market because I wouldn't be Googling dehydrator if I wasn't. So that is one of the biggest difference.
And I think probably the one of the strongest points. So what are the difference do you see as to why you might want to look at Google instead of Facebook ads?
Sara: That, that is the main reason it's that intent behind somebody actually searching for something on Google. Yes, you've got a massive audience available to you on Facebook, but on Google you are limited.
You know, if there's only a thousand people a month looking for a dehumidifier, no, dehydrator, and there's only so many times you can show that ad. But I mean, I personally, I find, I feel that I have a lot more control when it comes to Google Shopping because I can choose not to show an ad if somebody searches for a cheap dehydrator.
I can say, I don't want to show my ad to somebody who searches for a cheap dehydrator because I don't sell cheap dehydrators. So it's a way I, but this is, this is me, obviously. I can do Facebook ads, but I'm not, that's not my wheelhouse. So I, I feel that you do have more control. Whereas on Facebook, it's literally here's my money, Facebook.
These are the kind of people I want to show to just do your thing. That's the reason that that's another big reason that I, I like Google shopping because you have that much more control and you can, you can kind of rein it back and you can stop yourself from showing for really, really broad generic terms, like.
Just dehydrator. Mm-Hmm. . Which is actually quite a generic term. Yeah. Yeah. Because it doesn't mean, but you can say, I don't, if somebody just searches dehydrator, they might be searching for anything. They might be just thinking, well, what is it like? Yeah. How do they work? Whatever. And I can say, no, I, I don't want to show my ad if somebody just searches for dehydrator.
I want to search to show an ad when they search for, I don't know, brands of dehydrator, but.
Teresa: Well, the one I was looking at is Excalibur.
Sara: And if they search for Excalibur dehydrator, then I want to show them an ad because that's what I'm selling or, you know, dehydrator for sale or dehydrator online. Do you want to just send them more?
Teresa: Different side of myself. What I do in the evenings and on the weekends.
Sara: Very 90s a dehydrator. You realize that, don't you? There was all the rage in the 90s, dehydrators.
Teresa: See, this is the thing. I think my whole homesteading thing, like it was all in the rage years and years ago because they had no choice and they had to.
Whereas now we just do it as a hobby. What was I going to say? What was I going to say? What was I going to say? It's just gone out of my head about another reason why Facebook and Google ads are completely different. I love the point you said, and it's hopefully going to come to me as I'm rambling on. I love the point you said about showing up for, I don't want to show up for that because that's really important.
Years and years and years ago, when we had the agency, we ran a Facebook ad campaign for an immigration company talking about, and they were basically a big law firm that bought across like, so if someone wanted to bring across a CEO from another country, they did all of that for them. So they were kind of like a high end thing.
And of course we just focused on the words immigration and that's the thing. Well, you can imagine some of the conversation that came up. It was not good. My point about Google Ads is not coming back to me. So if in case it does come back, I'll come back to it. But what do you see then as kind of the problems?
Oh, that was, I was going to say, see, it comes eventually. The other thing I was going to say is that on Facebook ads it's quite rare that you are serving an ad to get an immediate return on a, on a sale, you know, so obviously for someone like me in my business, I would do ads on Facebook, just for awareness.
I wouldn't expect to put up an ad for one to one and suddenly get someone sign up for one to one work with me. However, with Google shopping ads, that is the return you're looking for, isn't it?
Sara: Yes, yeah, you are looking for those people that are, well, taught funnels that are right at the bottom of that funnel.
They've done all their research, hopefully they've done all their looking around and price comparisons or model comparisons and all that kind of stuff. And you're, you're looking for those people that are ready to buy. And that's why it's so powerful, isn't it?
Teresa: Yeah. Hugely. So what mistakes do you see?
Because obviously from a consumer point of view, I Google excalibur dehydrators, they're ridiculous. And like, there's a load of options and I wonder now, what is making me click on one as opposed to another one? So what kind of things do you see that some of the mistakes that those people are making?
Sara: Okay. So one of the biggest mistakes I think people make is not actually thinking about the quality of the data that they're giving to Google.
And so you'll hear people talking about feed optimization and product feed optimization and all this kind of stuff, which everybody kind of rolls their eyes and goes, I don't even know what that is. It's essentially like, like your, your dehydrator. I'm sure it influenced you initially when you're looking and you just seeing the pictures.
Yeah. Like what picture are you showing and how does that picture compare with the pictures that everybody else is showing? It's as simple as that. And I mean, all right, with a dehydrator, if you're looking at a specific model, it might not be quite as relevant, but if you're selling homewares or clothing or shoes, jewelry, you know, it matters what image you are showing.
And a lot of people just kind of default to their standard, their main image on the product page and don't think of any further of it. It's things like your product titles. You know, your product titles need to match what people are actually searching for, not what product is necessarily called, which I know that sounds a bit strange, but with me, so with Google, so I've got a really good example I've done in a little video that I've got.
I found this product called, what was it called? Rudolph, Rudolph the reindeer or something. And it was a, it was a sweatshirt. But the product title was something like, you know, go Rudolph cause it was a reindeer Rudolph sweatshirt. So like, there's nothing in the title that tells Google, cause Google's not, I mean, it's quite clever, but it's not that clever.
There's nothing in that product title that tells Google that is a gray sweatshirt with a reindeer on it. So if I'm searching for a gray sweatshirt, gray reindeer sweatshirt, and the product title doesn't say gray reindeer, grey reindeer sweatshirt. Try saying that 10 times. Easy for you to say. It's not going to show up when you want it to.
Yeah. And so I think that's a biggie that people, I think a lot of people don't appreciate how much difference that can make to actually sit back and think and do the research about how do you actually, how do people search and what, what phrases do they use? Because those are the terms that you want to include in your product information.
Not necessarily. What's on your website, because you can have different information in Google shopping ads than you have on your website. Okay. Another big one, which we've touched on already is the fact that people don't add what we call negative keywords. You can add a word and say, I don't want to show up for that word, or I don't want to show up for that phrase.
And that is a massive, that can save loads of money, loads of wasted money. And that's something that maybe people who aren't aware of how important that is maybe don't do that often enough. So that's a big one. I think another big mistake or something that we blame, and this, this applies to Facebook as well.
Actually, we set up ads. They don't work how we want them to. And then we blame the ads. Yeah. It's not necessary. So all the ads can do is send the traffic to your website. Your website is the thing that actually has to get them over the line and get them to buy your product. So you can do all the optimization you like in your shopping ads.
But if your website can't convert people, or it's too slow, or the product pages are just kind of meh, and aren't exciting and don't get people excited about your product, they're not going to buy. A lot of, you need to think about what's happening after they click the ad and get to the product page. And also it's that whole, you know, how many, most conversion rates on websites are what, one to 2%?
Yeah. Which means for every hundred people that arrive, only one or two will buy. But a lot of people will add to their cart and people will start the checkout, but the doorbell rings or the baby starts crying and they stop. So you have to have the mechanisms in place to recover those, the abandoned cart series emails, like your remarketing, which can be on Facebook or Google.
And so it, it doesn't just stop with the ads. You kind of have to think of it as a whole like eco verse, isn't it really? You've got your ads, you've got your website, you've got to work on improving your website. You've got to work on making sure that you get people on your mailing list as well. You know, do you have something that will entice them to join your list?
Cause then you can email them. So I think that's the biggest thing. I think people tend to think of it in isolation. Like it's just Google shopping and I'm running this and oh, it's not working. Oh, it's Google shopping. It's rubbish. Whereas it's more than that. It's, it's thinking about the whole process and the whole journey people take from those ads to the website, onto your email list.
Keep because people can take months to convert, can't they?
Teresa: Yeah. And I think there are so many people out there who might look at this and think, Oh my God, that sounds like a lot of stuff. And it is. We're not pretending it's not, we're not saying it's easy. It's not impossible though. And the people and the businesses that you might be looking up to and thinking, well, you know, like.
I said about Scamp and Dude earlier and I'm wearing a Scamp and Dude dress. Well, they suddenly have got massive, right? So they are everywhere, which means I need to move on and find new clothes from someone else, right? But they have, they suddenly went from one shop and some social media to three shops to running ads all the time to do all those things.
But the truth is they are doing all those things. So if you're looking, thinking, I want to be the next Scamp and Dude, or I want to be the next, I don't know. Making whatever, Pandora or whatever it is for jewelry, like the, the chances are one, they started somewhere, but they are doing these things. And probably what happens in the early days is you learn how to do them yourself and you end up doing them all.
And then as things move on, that's when you're able to bring people in when you're looking at that money coming in. And that's where you need someone like Sara. And one thing. So when Sara was on a call with us once, and I said to her, I think you need to rebrand, right? You know, just throw that bit of advice out there, right?
Not like, you know, make this tweak, like actually your whole brand and let's change it. And because it isn't, and although we're talking about Google ads and Google shopping ads, the truth is exactly what Sara said. This isn't a standalone thing. You can't just do nothing in business, no one thing is the magic formula.
Not one single thing. There is no trick, no kind of just click that button there and suddenly your world's going to be amazing. It all has to fit in with, like you said, this ecosystem. So what Sara does is for e commerce businesses, so physical product businesses, is teach them that, that kind of ecosystem.
And so that when they do, like you said, can't abandon emails, who's had an email from. Like, I can't even think who I had mine from recently, but saying, Oh, look, you left this in your bag. Like I've had that a number of times, which then, like you said, if you genuinely forgotten, you might go back and go, yeah, okay.
I had a Google shopping app the other day. I wanted some, some cycling shorts. Don't worry people. I don't walk around with cycling shorts on, but sometimes they're very handy for the house. Anyway. feel like I'm really am divulging too much now. But I literally Googled exactly what I wanted. Jersey. I don't want like cycling shorts.
That wasn't what I was looking for. I was looking for Jersey cycling shorts in black in a certain size. Women's. That's what I was looking for. I did that. I moved across the shopping. I found the cheapest one clicked on like Boho or something. And it wouldn't be somewhere I'm normally buying from. However, they're literally just cycling shorts, which I'm going to chuck on under something or wear around the garden or whatever it is.
So I really, there was no brand loyalty needed there. So I literally went along click. Yeah, fine. Great. But I was really specific about what I wanted. And I guess that's one of the, the key elements of doing things like Google shopping ads.
Sara: Yes. Yeah, it is. It is literally sure. It's like, it's like Well, it is walking. It is like walking down a high street and you're walking down the high street. Somebody's walking down the high street going, Oh, I'm looking for black cycling shorts. Anybody got any black cycling shorts? And you're literally coming out of your shop, waving them going over here, over here. That's Google shopping, isn't it?
Teresa: I love that idea. That's how I would shop. I would like that.
Sara: That's like, that would be amazing, wouldn't it? To walk down the high street and everybody comes out and says, We've got your knickers! Yeah, and that's why it's so good, isn't it? And FYI, I do want to say, I honestly think that running an e commerce business, and I'm sure people will push back on this, I think it's the hardest business to run is an e commerce business.
It's, honestly, hands down, in my opinion, because you have got to do, like, there's so much that you have to do. There's fulfillment, there's stock control, there's, there's the web, doing the website, doing the ads, doing everything. Customer service. Yeah. Yeah. Hats off to all e commerce business owners. Cause it's…
Teresa: A hundred percent. It's not easy. No, and I joke, one of our exec club members has a physical bricks and mortar store and is e commerce, but has a store as well. And what's kind of crazily ironic about this amazing woman is that She comes on a call, she's had a business for like, was it like 15 years or something like that, 20 years, and she came on a call the other day and she just, she said actually something along the lines of, you know, I hear all you lot talking and I just feel like, you know, I'm not a real business and all of us were like, I'm sorry.
Actually, out of all of us, you were the most real business. And I said that with love and included myself with that. I wasn't trying to, you know, upset anybody else in the group, but she had a physical building with physical stock and a ton of it, right? A ton of stock in there. I'm like, I wouldn't have your business for all the tea in China.
Like, no way, man. Like, that is a tough business. So you're right. It is hard because it's not just, and I think this is the thing, and like I said, we're really not trying to put you off. Your help, your savior is here. That is Sara. If you have an e commerce business, go and find her and we'll make sure she's linked up to everything in the show notes.
But go and find her because she's the one who can help you run it. But you are going to have to learn these things. You are going to have to work ahead to this. You might have to spend a bit of money out, which I know sometimes as an e commerce business might feel for a business like mine, that is my brain, spending money on me and my learning is like second, like second nature.
I'll do it any day of the week. As an e commerce, I don't know, you know, you know, better than I do, Sara. Do you feel like if you're going to pay any money out, it needs to be on product or?
Sara: Well, to a certain, but yes, because, and what the difference about e commerce as well, of course, is that you have probably.
I'd say at least hundreds, probably thousands of pounds worth of and of, of money sitting on a shelf in stock. Yeah. So very often there's, there's that additional, so like you, you and I, obviously, we, we teach and
Teresa: Yeah, we create, create our own thing.
Sara: Clients as well. So when I, when when money comes in, I'm not having to kind of literally put that on a shelf and say, I can't spend that.
'cause that's sitting on a shelf. But for e commerce businesses, that is the case. So there's that whole extra thing of cash flow management and what kind of stuff, which is just insane. But yes, it can feel because you've always, I think it's always in the back of your head. Oh, well, Christmas is coming.
I'm going to need to get more stock in for this. Or so you're, you're always having to think ahead of like what you're going to have to, and you know, that and all that kind of stuff. So there is that extra element for sure. That's going to make it harder.
Teresa: So yeah, so obviously, as you've said, you know, when you do get cash and you don't always necessarily think, Oh, I know, I'm just going to get a call.
So I'm just going to do some personal development because you are thinking, I need that product or I need to spend and get more of this or whatever. But, but the, the. Like most businesses, the success and the failure of those businesses relies on you selling stuff. But even more so with an e commerce business, because with my business, it hasn't, yes, it's cost me money to create the things that I create.
I pay for systems, I pay for team and all of that sort of stuff. But I, it's not like if tomorrow I had to shut it down and basically everything stops. I could stop everything tomorrow. I could cancel all the things I could, you know, and I could effectively finish not owing a ton of money. Whereas if you've got a whole lot of stock, you need to get that stock sold.
So I totally hear you. Totally, totally hear you. Also listeners, I just sort of say that we have had a few tech issues. So if there's a few moments where you're like, oh, that sounds a bit jumpy or you know, that doesn't quite sound right. That's because we've been battling with the internet and I'm hoping it doesn't sound like the weirdest outside ever.
But you know, it is what it is. And you're in rural Wales, Sara.
Sara: Yeah. I think that's what it's my end that's causing the problem, but yeah.
Teresa: You know. Like that's number one of having an e commerce business. Make sure you've got the internet, but you can't do any of it. So Sara, thank you so, so much for being on.
I really, really appreciate you coming on. Like I said, even if you're not an e commerce business, I think you probably know an e commerce business. So do go and share it with them. And in case you ever want to go into an e commerce business, quite honestly. I'm not sure it tempts me, but you know, you never know.
Sara, where can people come and find you and find out more?
Sara: So it's probably best to go to my website, which is onlineretailacademy. com or over on Instagram, which is the_onlineretailacademy.
Sara: You can either message me on Instagram. I'm not great on Instagram, so if I don't answer straight away, please don't hold it against me.
Teresa: Please bear with her.
Sara: But yeah, you can, you can go to the website as well.
Teresa: Awesome. Thank you, Sara. That's amazing. I really appreciate you being on. That was an awesome episode.
Sara: Thank you so much for having me, Teresa.
Teresa: My pleasure. Okay. So we are going to leave it there. We hope you've enjoyed today's episode.
I will be back next week. Like I said, sorry if there's any kind of slight oddness sounding, that is the joys of tech and doing these sort of things. We can't always control that. Also, if you really enjoyed today's podcast episode, I would really appreciate it if you would go and share it on your social media, share it with someone who has an e commerce business and go and give Sara a bit of love online.
That would be amazing. I will see you next week with another episode. Take care.