BeardBrand on building a million dollar independent ecommerce business in 1 year

Here’s BeardBrand founder on building the company into a million dollar business in under a year, without selling on Amazon or any other third party marketplace. The article is written as a how-to, though towards the end, he also discusses some of the negatives of building an independent ecommerce business vs selling on Amazon:

It’s more expensive
It’s a longer strategy
Must invest in more company culture to ensure brand is not tarnished
Return on investment is not as clear as call to action marketing
A tarnished brand loses all the hardwork you’ve done to build it up
We frequently get suggestions to do things differently. We are always have open ears (in fact made a lot of changes based on Reddit’s friendly advice) but sometimes we’ve got to say “no” and do it for the right reason (or at least you think they are right). Here are a couple of examples.

I’ve had multiple marketing professionals tell us that we need to put our products on sale. I stand by our viewpoint that our product is fantastic, and when people are ready to buy they will buy. Granted, we might be missing out on some opportunity; but we feel in the long run we prefer the culture of quality over immediate gratification. We use Nordstrom’s and Lululemon as inspiration.
We don’t put advertisements on our YouTube videos. We are approaching 1 million views and I’m sure I could have had a few thousand extra dollars, but it’s a more pleasureable experience not watching ads when people watch our videos.
We stick to style inspiration on Facebook. In a land of 10 day old internet memes, we could exponentially grow our user base by simply posting beard meme’s. While, it may slow us down in growth; it’s more important for us to accurately show we are about.
We market with no direct performance tracking. Some examples: We are putting a party on down in SXSW called SXBB. | We are buying ads that simply have photos of beardsmen and no call to action. | We are building an Ambassador program where we give out freebies to the select few beardsmen who really represent the image well. | Plus many other things.
We’ve spent way more on business cards, PR kits, and other items than your typical company

Of course, the flip side is that you own the site and have a direct connection with the buyer. Certainly better in the long run versus constantly staying on Amazon’s good side and putting up with whatever changes or fees they see fit. Check out the whole post on the Shopify blog: How To Build a $120K per Month Ecommerce Brand in Less Than A Year.

Andrew @ EcomLoop
Are you looking to start or grow a standalone ecommerce shop? I help independent businesses achieve success on the Shopify and WooCommerce platforms. As the owner of multiple ecommerce businesses, I've had the opportunity to get experience with nearly every aspect of the ecommerce industry. I started EcomLoop to help other quality independent businesses using my knowledge and experience. To stay on top of new ecommerce developments, I publish The EcomLoop Weekly Loop, a blog and email newsletter with original thoughts and curated links to help independent businesses improve their businesses.