So June has come and gone and I just wanted to update about how things are going. I made a tweak or two to some of my websites and there are also a couple of other things going on that might be of interest.
Changes to an affiliate website.
If you remember (as I talk about here) I modified my website turbobiketrainer.com to remove price comparison lists and replaced them with a single link to Wiggle Cycles and a single link to Amazon. Again, I talk about it more here but the main reason was to save me time and effort because I needed to keep these price comparison lists up to date and I was sometimes letting this slip.
So now I simply point my affiliate links to a search result on Wiggle Cycles and Amazon for a particular product, which means if the product goes out of stock there are normally alternative products shown to the customer.
I did not really know how changing from a price comparison list to just two affiliate links to two different online retailers would work out. I was reasonably confident it would be OK because I have other affiliate websites with just links to Amazon, but because the price comparison lists did pretty well I was worried it would affect commissions.
Anyway, for June 2016 the turbo trainer website made £104.78 from Wiggle Cycles and £79.86 from Amazon. A total of £184.64. Not ground-breaking figures but nearly £200 is not bad from a website targeting what are essentially winter products. Turbo trainers are devices that allow you to train on your normal road bike indoors so they sell much better when the weather is nasty outside. To put it into context the website makes well over £1000/month when it is cold, wet, and dark.
In May 2016 (last month) the website made just £46.54 from the different price comparison retailers and £76.12 from Amazon. A year ago in June 2015 it was £85.46 and £37.57 respectively, so there definitely does not seem to have been a negative impact, and if anything this is a positive result.
The turbo trainer website gets 200/300 visitors per day in the summer months, and it has always been my plan to evolve it to be something more than just turbo trainers, but unfortunately time restrictions have prevented me doing this. But hopefully I can achieve this before next summer and start earning more from the website when it is hot outside.
ECommerce/selling on Amazon.
Things are ticking alone nicely with my Amazon sales. I have my 5 products up and running and sales are currently around 25 per day. I have toned back my advertising from £50/day to £20/day and only on two of the new products, so with this in mind things are looking good.
I have a new order in with my supplier for 2000 more units of my product #1 which will hopefully be ready by the 10th July. I have left it too late again and my stock levels are running low so I will use air freight for this shipment, which is more expensive but I cannot wait the 4 weeks or so for the units to arrive via sea.
One of my newer products is also running a little low and I need to re-order. However I think I am going to modify it slightly so I need to sort this out first, so I expect I will need to raise prices to slow down sales a bit soon. This is both a good and bad situation.
All in all though this is going well and I am even thinking about adding more products to the range. One annoying thing though is that this Brexit stuff has impacted on my business. I buy my products in US dollars so when I make a bank transfer my Pounds is converted using the current Pound to Dollar conversion rate, which has dropped significantly after the vote to leave the EU.
I have a final 70% payment due soon for my latest order, which is now costing me £400 to £500 more than before the vote. So I’m not too happy about the result but I don’t want to talk about this here.
I have been reading and listening to stuff about selling in Japan and it has got my attention. In fact it has got my attention so much that I have started a new company that will export and sell in Japan. I have partnered up with someone who works in my co-working space here at C4DI in Hull, and we will work together to initially launch my current products into Amazon Japan but eventually we will do a lot more.
This is only the start and who knows where it will lead but it is exciting to try it out. I’ll definitely keep you updated about this although nothing much will happen for a month or two because I will need to get more stock manufactured to ship to Japan, which will also need custom packaging with Japanese translations etc.
Oh, did I mention my new business partner lived in Japan and has a Japanese wife. This obviously helps a lot so hopefully my experience in selling online combined with their Japanese culture and language skills will be productive.
App and software project.
This is something that is moving slowly. There have been times when it looked like progress was being made and then things slow down a bit. Hopefully there will be some movement here soon…
To remind you, I have teamed up with another C4DI member to work on a software project. Initially it was an app but it has evolved into something different, but still related. Anyway I have contacted a few potential customers of this software to get their thoughts, and the feedback was encouraging. The software guy is hopefully going to have a beta version complete soon (he says next week but he also has a lot on so we will see).
As soon as something is ready I will get it into the hands of testers to see if they like it. If they do we will continue to add features until it is ready for a bigger roll out and be something people will pay for.
I can’t really give too much away just yet.
There are probably some other things to chat about but these are the main activities in June 2016. Hopefully July will be progressive too.
Please let me know what you are up to, or are planning to do. I am always interested in hearing your ideas and businesses and hopefully things are going well.