27 Feb Ecommerce Made Easy With Shopify
In this The Faces of Business Episode, our guest was Veronica Lee Jeans. Veronica is the Best-Selling Author of Shopify Made Easy Series 2022. She also works at Collegium Civitas teaching ecommerce courses. Veronica helps businesses sell more ecommerce products using the Shopify ecommerce platform. In this episode we discuss the current state of ecommerce and how Shopify is working to meet the needs of ecommerce sellers.
The conversation of this episode started with Damon asking Veronica to introduce how she got into ecommerce made easy with Shopify. To this, Veronica said that ever since her childhood she liked to play business. She loved handing out invoices and playing like that.
She said that she moved around a lot in the beginning and also started a recruiting company. At this point, her recruiting company was making around $4 million on international in just 4 years. However, she crashed her company after this because she did not like what she was doing and wanted to have a career shift.
This is when Veronica decided to move towards selling something online. For this, she had to find a product to sell. Here Veronica contacted a person who was already into sales and this guy started sending Veronica her clients to start the business.
After this, Damon asked Veronica about Amazon and other such sites. Here, she said that when you put products on Amazon, you are actually renting a shelf space and a customer is not your customer exactly. Veronica also explained the pros and cons of selling on Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
Damon also asked Veronica why she chose Shopify as her platform and started ecommerce made easy with Shopify instead of any other platform. Responding to this, Veronica said that there was a time when she wanted to sell something overseas to an international client and she couldn’t find any other platform. This is when she came across Shopify and it was so easy for her.
She even said that Shopify was the first one to start International payments and credit card payments as well. This is why she joined the world of Shopify and instantly fell in love with the ease it offers. This is also what led her to write her ecommerce made easy with Shopify series.
The conversation ended with Damon thanking Veronica for her time.
Veronica Lee Jeans
Veronica Lee Jeans is the Best Selling Author of the Shopify Made Easy Series 2022. She also works with Collegium Civitas at 2 positions. She works as a part-time lecturer and Freelance Educator – Ecommerce.
Additionally, Veronica is also the Author at Shopify Made Easy Workbook and Checklist. She has also been the host of the Virtual Ecommerce Summit twice. Moreover, Veronica has been the CEO and Founder of the Topflyte Global Team.
She was also the Ecommerce Coach, Shopify Partner, and Business Consultant at Toplyft Ecommerce. Initially, she was the Chief Executive Officer at Toplyft Recruiting. Moreover, she has also been the CEO of All Cash Flow Solutions.
Before this, Veronica was also a partner at Hawthrone Europe. She was the Editor at the South African Women’s Club before this. Moreover, Veronica was the President at VJ designs in her first role.
Veronica is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer: Security (MCSE).
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Ecommerce Made Easy With Shopify
The Exit Your Way Business Round Table Live Stream
shopify, sell, clients, people, literally, business, e commerce, amazon, online, ecommerce, book, platform, talking, products, customers, easy, store, thought, veronica, buy
Damon Pistulka, Veronica Lee Jeans
Damon Pistulka 00:05
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited for our guests today, because I have Veronica Lee Jeans, the Shopify queen, and we are going to be talking about e commerce made easy with Shopify. Veronica, awesome having you here today.
Veronica Lee Jeans 00:27
That’s, I mean, I’m so excited. I can’t be good talking about stuff before the show even started. So,
Damon Pistulka 00:34
yeah, yeah, we got going. I’m like, Oh, God, we’re gonna start we’re gonna be late again. And I just looked at the time. Yeah, we’re not that bad for a few minutes. That’s all right. So awesome. Having you here today, I want to get get things rolling, like we usually do. Shopify queen, I mean, I just, I’m just gonna hold on that for a second. Because you don’t see that very often on LinkedIn, or somebody just throws the gloves down like that and says, I am the Shopify queen.
Veronica Lee Jeans 01:05
Well, and, and, you know, I’m gonna blame my clients, because they told me to own it. And they started calling me that and they said, Oh, it, just do it, right? Because I teach them to do this stuff. And so I thought, you know, why not? You know, just go for it and go with it.
Damon Pistulka 01:25
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, let’s go back. Let’s figure let’s, let’s, let’s uncover why you are the Shopify queen, then, Veronica, let’s go back and talk about your background because you didn’t start out in E commerce, but you’ve been in E commerce for a while.
Veronica Lee Jeans 01:40
Well, you know, I I’m actually, you know what, I had a conversation with somebody yesterday, or today, I can’t remember. But I used to play business. When I was eight, nine years old. Oh, wow. I used to be the boss. And I also route wrote out invoices. Oh, wow. It’s like a grown up, right. Yeah. And I was the boss of everybody.
Damon Pistulka 02:06
So I have everybody.
Veronica Lee Jeans 02:13
I remember that. And I thought, You know what, I started very young. Yeah. To be, I’ve always been interested in it. And I come from a very small country, Namibia, and Africa. And it is literally everybody knows everybody else. And so I’ve moved around around the world. But I’ve always been in somewhat other business. And, and one of my, my warm up. Before this, I had a recruiting company, which I built up into, in about four years, we were making about $4 million on international, IT engineers with a mix and Verizon and you know, it was really good. But I crashed the company, I have to say that I did crash it on purpose.
Because it wasn’t my passion because I wanted to do something different. I literally woke up in the morning, and I would think, Oh, no, I have to go to the office. No, I loved I love the schmoozing. I didn’t like my environment, because I had, you know, partners and all this other stuff. So I then decided, You know what, I need to create my next career, which is I’m going to sell something online. Yes. And then you have to decide what to sell. Yeah, it is not the easiest thing because everybody does T shirts, right? That’s like the go to thing. And I had a conversation with a shopping platform sales guy.
And then he contact me said, Veronica, can you help these clients? These customers need your help. And I go, okay, and I you know, I’ve done I’ve been on the internet, I’ve been in HTML I’ve done. I used to own my own servers at home, where I used to host websites. That’s like little little part of it. And anyway, so then I said yes, and that’s how it all started. Because this guy was sending me customers to help an E commerce and having my background in business. I added that extra little bit of okay, I know about online. I do now how to sell your stuff for your business. And that’s how I started literally.
Damon Pistulka 04:30
Yeah, yeah. So as you’re as you’re figuring this out, what are when you look at the things that you’re helping people sell online? What’s one of the strangest things that you’ve had to help people sell online?
Veronica Lee Jeans 04:48
Pipes and clamps?
Damon Pistulka 04:51
Ah, like industrial pipes and clamps.
Veronica Lee Jeans 04:54
My only industrial client? Yes, we sold pipes and clamps and blowers and I know too much about dust fume must. Absolutely I mean, and I come from an engineering background right. I used to. I was a draftsman. I used to design in walls concrete. Yes, high rise buildings and bridges and stuff. So I understand the industrial part, but that during the research, you have these clamps and weird stuff following you around. That was the weirdest.
Damon Pistulka 05:29
Well, that’s something that’s something and we
Veronica Lee Jeans 05:31
was the was the magic guy. The old guy that wanted to sell his magic stuff online. That was interesting, too.
Damon Pistulka 05:39
Yeah. Magic stuff. Yeah, that’s, that’s interesting. The, because it’s just, I mean, you look, you can buy anything just about online at as you want. And you go, Oh, yeah, I could sell that. But it’s funny how you said Everyone sells T shirts. Because that is, yeah, as the first thing you think about it, and it’s like, oh, and then you look at how many other people are selling T shirts. Yeah. And and then how the changing expectations of buyers.
Now, when you look at some of the large when you’re okay, T shirts, yep, I understand a t shirt. But then when you look at been able to custom design T shirts the way you can with some of these sites now. And the demands of the buyers just keep going up. They want everything exactly like they want and move the logo around whatever you want, and all that. And it’s so it gets so difficult.
Veronica Lee Jeans 06:38
And it here’s the problem with any fashion item, right? Close. Is there by it. And we all underestimate the size. Yep. So you get it and you go, Well, you know, I actually put on a little bit of weight during COVID this thing and you want to send it back. So that’s the biggest thing about selling fashion attire, I would say they have probably the worst returns of any business that you can find.
Damon Pistulka 07:08
Mm hmm. Yeah. I’ve thought about that before like shoes. It’s got to be horrible. Oh, can you imagine? It’s got to be horrible. I mean, yeah, yeah, I think about it. Because I wonder what the return rate is. And someone like selling shoes. If they get one out of three pairs, one of the four pairs? Yeah,
Veronica Lee Jeans 07:27
it’ll be interesting. It’s got to be pretty high. So I had a guy that sold. In fact, I sold the company on LinkedIn, just men’s rings. The previous owner was one of my clients. And he was that was like, must have been about nine years ago, maybe longer, but one of my first clients, and he, he was making about the million plus, at that stage just mainframes, which blew me away, right? Just one, it was literally one product, but from one product you had 1000s.
Right? Yeah. And and I mean, in that as well, you know, you have to know the ring size. And then it might be a little bit tight, because you maybe put the ring on too tight or something like that. And in any client that I’ve done business with the return rate would be maybe one or 2%. It’s amazing. Yeah, people don’t send something back. And I’ve always recommended there was a huge, huge story. This customer service blog post went viral, because this lady audit this code, and she wasn’t happy with it.
And she wanted she knows she was she was not really happy with it. And they said to her keep the code, we will send you another one. I mean, that’s not that’s not messing with the pennies. Right? Yeah. post went viral. And this is what I said to people is that if you do something really nice to people, I mean, really in the in the in the grand scheme of things you losing that one item is not going to tank you hopefully not? Yeah, but if you aren’t take you know, keep it don’t send it back. I don’t really care about it. But here is something else for you to use. That will get you a fan. And if you have a fan, or an ambassador as part of your your program, man, you’re done.
Damon Pistulka 09:30
Yeah, yeah, I’ve got a client that does this with does that with their products is if it’s under a certain value, they just you keep it and we’ll send you a new one. Just yeah, we’ll send you a new one send you a different one, whatever it is that and they just do it as a matter of practice, don’t think about anymore and you look at it and then you look at the financial impact of it and it’s nothing, nothing, nothing negative. It’s not negative. You don’t even measure the negative but the positive is huge. Yes.
Veronica Lee Jeans 09:57
And so and we were talking about got reviews. And I said to this set to this guy, how many of there was a book? I’m have one person with a book only with this one person, never again. But he said to me, how many? I can’t get reviews? How do you, you know, just send it out and you get reviews?
I said, How many times if you left a review for anything? Unless it was a complaint? He said, Never. I said, Have you you’ve read? So how many books have you read? 1000s? How many reviews? Have you ever left? Nothing. And I went, I rest my case. You have to chase the review. And plead and be very nice, Joe. To get it, but I can guarantee you if they are pissed off with you, because my friend, they will put it out on the internet.
Damon Pistulka 10:58
Yeah, right. Yeah, negative reviews are easy to get.
Veronica Lee Jeans 11:02
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Damon Pistulka 11:05
And the positive ones are bad. And well, they’re they’re much harder to get, I should say they’re not bad. They’re they’re harder to get. And it’s really a shame that that the the big platform that we won’t talk about, they, they make it very hard for for someone that’s selling online to to even contact a customer about a review.
Veronica Lee Jeans 11:29
I know that own you’re, in fact, their own your customer. So here’s the secret about Amazon, or any of the other ones, right? They won’t give you the customer? Because it’s the is the customer? Yeah, what are you what you are doing is you are borrowing shelf space, you’re renting shelf space for the customers to walk by and go, oh, I want to buy this, right. I mean, the same if you in any store, your grocery store, if you walk by you, oh, man, there’s like 10 things of spaghetti. Or nothing more. But you know, thanks to COVID. But and you can choose which one you want. But yeah, they are literally renting space. Somebody’s past clients that oh, yeah, according to target.
And again, you don’t want to get into talk. or Walmart. It’s not something to brag about. If you don’t have a million products in a warehouse to sell that Walmart especially. They won’t even look at you. Yeah, and the finances and everything. Plus the here’s the caveat. So if your product doesn’t sell, yes, you go and you get it off their shelves, and you keep it right, yeah, they take it away. They’re not interested. So you are literally renting space from these big guys. And so you have to you have to work the system.
You’ve got to work the system with Amazon. You’ve got to work the system with Google, right? Google thinks everybody thinks Google’s our friend. Oh, no, they’re not. Yeah, you got to work the system with Facebook, right? Instagram is all a place where we can put our products for exposure. But have to remember we have to have a little store a little, a little base, a Nexus, right. And I would say retail store but is literally where you can put your bomb and this is yours. This is where you can hang out your shingle and it’s yours, your lungs to you. Right? So that’s a shopping platform. But the other things around you is where you actually sell yourself.
Damon Pistulka 13:41
Yeah. Yeah, that’s for sure. So now you why you’re the Shopify queen. Yes. So why why Shopify? There’s other places. And I’m not saying that we need to talk negatively about anybody. But what what drew you to Shopify?
Veronica Lee Jeans 14:01
Well, I was I was with another platform. That’s the cool guy that decided to go and cruise off into the middle distance and left me in the go what? Okay, and I was going to either sell, I can’t remember, I was going to sell something or do something overseas for a client and I was looking for a platform that dealt with international businesses and international banks. Okay. Credit cards, right? Yep. Nobody else did. Except for Shopify.
Shopify was literally the first. And that’s why I got stuck on Shopify in the first place. And then what I discovered was that it is so easy to use, you know, I mean, e commerce in itself is extremely complicated, you know, because you’ve got money coming in and sales tax and products and blah, blah, blah, lots of stuff.
But if they make it so easy for a lady person, somebody that doesn’t know anything to literally put something up. And I won’t say always successfully, but they can actually put a product out there and have this product on our website. Right? Yeah. And have everything else is intuitive. If you’re talking about, especially, you know, people tend to want to Oh, you know, I’ll go Magento or WooCommerce, it’s for free. There’s nothing free baby. Yeah, there’s always something you’re going to pay for that. It’s like the platform, but anything else that you have to add to the platform to make it work cost money.
So Shopify have have really made it easy. On that aspect, where you do still need your apps, right? We can’t do without apps. I mean, yeah, none of the stores are the same and have the same requirements. But it makes it easy to add your website, or shop, your shopping cart, your blog. Now they have inbox, which is any message you get from Facebook, from messenger from Instagram coming soon, from your website, you get one app that you can answer your customers, okay?
So it makes it so easy to be available to your customers and have that personal conversation with them. And, and then and then adding things to you know, so for instance, for Amazon, you obviously have to use an app, and Shopify and Shopify, Facebook, you use an app as well, you know, because all these things come in. And so it just makes it easy to push your products out. I’ve, I’ve migrated a lot of clients from WooCommerce, Magento, Bigcommerce, 3d card, that all those shopping platforms are the same. It’s how they treat the client, not the customer of shopping, but the client that actually uses it to actually increase their sales. That makes sense.
Damon Pistulka 17:16
Yeah. So so I’m just gonna back up on there for people listening is that you’re talking about basically all the E commerce the backside of all these ecommerce platforms, like you just talked about? WooCommerce, big commerce. These other ones are pretty much the same other than the way that that the companies themselves, like big commerce, treats and monetizes. They’re their customers, which are the E commerce sellers. Yes.
Veronica Lee Jeans 17:43
So for instance, 3d card I have a I have a little puzzle lady. And she you have the clients have to customers have to upload the photos, big bandwidth, right? She used to pay at least 150 to 200. And that was 10 years ago. dollars for bandwidth. Yeah, it’s all included. Right? So as I’m saying, if even if a shopping platform, you go, Well, this is pretty cheap. You know, I’m thinking I’m going to use this.
I mean, $30 is not much but you know, people will still balk at paying three $0. Hello. Yeah. And but what they’re paying for is all the other services, because believe me, these guys are in the in the business to make money. Yes, right? Yes. And they’re going to make the money. So if they can offer a cheaper service, then there is going to be something lacking that you have to pay somebody else for to make it work the way you want to look. Exactly. That’s fact of business, right?
Damon Pistulka 18:42
Well, it is. And you make a great point, because anybody that’s building an E commerce platform, like one of these or whatever you want to call shopping cart, whatever you call it, I’d use bad words once a while. Well, literally bad words, and then not the right words, like in this instance. Yeah.
But you know, they know how much as a percentage of your overall sales that you should spend on this platform. Yes. And they’re going to get it one way or the other. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. And they’re going to tater cater to the clients that they think their platform hits the best. Yeah. And they’re gonna try to maximize their revenue with those clients. So I understand what they’re doing. Exactly.
Veronica Lee Jeans 19:19
It’s basically the basis of business, right? To make money. That said to somebody, you know, you didn’t really get into business and said, You know what, I don’t want to make money. I’ve just in business to have fun. No,
Damon Pistulka 19:32
that happens very seldom. That’s right. I don’t very seldom, yeah. So as you’ve been as you’ve been doing this, I mean, the last few years have been crazy for E commerce sellers.
Veronica Lee Jeans 19:47
Oh, my Lord. I mean, there are so many that jumped on board because obviously now you’re sitting at home and you’re going, What can I do that I can stay at home and I’ve always had this little dream of selling T shirts. Yeah, I want to sell something, right. I mean, basically, I always say start, just start with something, Shopify and come back to Shopify, I don’t know any of that emerged of the other platforms as well have developed so much more over the last two years than what they’ve done in the last 10 years.
And believe me, 10 years ago, I had a client that would buy sales stuff from like Neiman Marcus and target and all these other big stores, put it with a, an app onto her store, and then sell that stuff. You can’t do that anymore, because a big brand stores went online yet, right? Yeah, they really lagged behind the small stores. And so it’s changed the whole environment of how to get online, make it easier to get online. And they’re always looking at ways to I mean, there’s always somebody going, you know, what, I can create a little better system. And I can do this a little bit better, right?
So with with the COVID thing, so many more people have been creating apps and themes and, and making it easier for you to actually sell stuff online. And especially I’m talking about print on demand, pod print on demand, drop shipping is easy, right? You do not have to get stuff from China to sell anything more. Right? So the US manufacturers and vendors have also got on board to say, hey, you know, we need to be like China, and maybe offer customers here in the US to get this stuff in two days, instead of waiting for three weeks.
Yeah, so you wait for three weeks, and it cost you $1 A buck whatever dollar 25. And if you buy from us, it will cost you $3. This is double right, because it’s convenient. But But business is cost money again, you know, I’ve been in the finance business for a while. And I’m always tell people whose money is not for free. If somebody says to me, here’s an investment, here’s money, go do your stuff with your business. It’s not for free. Right? So and it’s the same, that’s the same. So you pay for convenience to pay for customer service to your clients who do not have to wait, right? So that makes a huge difference.
Damon Pistulka 22:29
Well, it does and just look at you know, Amazon, if it didn’t make a difference, Amazon wouldn’t have their Prime program that everybody under the sun pays for. And I get packages almost every day. Now because I Right. And it’s a you’re right, because just the example you talked about, I can be pay a buck something for even just say $5 For something that comes in China in three weeks, or I can pay $10 And they get it. You know, two days from now I’m buying $10 and getting two days for now, because I don’t have to plan. I can say that when I want it.
Veronica Lee Jeans 23:01
And I think so COVID Again, okay, back to COVID of how our lives have changed is more people online. More people are shopping online, believe me. I’m the online queen. I did not shop online. Yes, I would go, I would go to my local store. And I go, You know what, I can actually buy this on Amazon and get in today’s. You know what’s wrong with this picture. But so more people have gone online, I’ve got used to actually shopping online, because of COVID.
Right? It literally forced people into the 21st century and said, hey, people get you know, this is this is the way of the world. I mean, now we get our groceries, online, we order our groceries, even though we go and pick it up, right?
It’s still online, we can you know, it DoorDash and all this other stuff. So I think the lives of people have changed so much, which has given ecommerce owners so much more potential, although, I mean, we talk about the big guy, Amazon is still a huge competition. I have a I have a client that sells African African stone art, right? And they’re in Zimbabwe, they had to go back to Zimbabwe. So I’m literally packaging and shipping this stuff out because unfortunately, the warehouse is around the corner from me.
This is not my dream job. But but I’ve we’ve just got on Amazon and as somebody said, Well, you know, that’s it’s not really a big department, maybe you won’t sell so well. Nobody thought about it. But I had a I had a conversation with a client with a customer. And I called them we emailed the court again. He said you know I want to fly down from when it was natural or something he was going to fly down. Have a look at the sculpture which is two and a half $1,000 and fly back you know, and eventually he didn’t but and then you just bought it because we had such a good conversation.
But he said, You know, I didn’t know whether you were just a, you know, a fake African company. Yeah, that would screw me out of out of money, right? Yeah. And so Amazon is going to give us that, hey, these people are legit, although there are lots of scammers on Amazon, right? We know that. Yeah. But perception is, hey, these people aren’t Amazon. Amazon has accepted them. Right? And maybe they’re all legit. So it will make out the transition of customers, even though we don’t get the customer names and anything we just get, hey, you know, here’s your stuff. It’ll make the transition of trust that we need for our little website.
Damon Pistulka 25:46
Yeah, right. Yeah, that is that the Amazon does kind of give you credibility in the marketplace.
Veronica Lee Jeans 25:51
And they have, they have actually shed 1000s of spammers. 1000s. And so so if you now if you apply for Amazon seller account, you literally they will check out your where you live, or where you’re doing business from, they will Amazon truck up discovered, actually comes and checks it out and gives you a card with the code on it. They will also they can also do a video conversation with you. So you have to actually show your your card, your ID card.
So they’re getting a lot more which is which is good, right? Because yeah, they sort of getting a reputation with E commerce owners. You know, I don’t want to be on Amazon because somebody is going to rip me off. Yeah, well, Amazon’s gonna rip me off. I said, you know, happiness is Amazon rips you off and you sell more products. Hello. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 26:44
Yeah. Well, you making a good point. I mean, they, they’re a behemoth. And it’s hard for them to you know, it’s hard. It’s hard. When you look at things on Amazon, like, if you’re selling a, if you’re somebody that’s a reseller, there are so many bad listings, people don’t understand that, that for if this pen has been around for 10 years, there’s probably 100 listings on Amazon, that are old, and not good anymore. Shut down. But you can still find him as a reseller. If you got if you’re authorized to sell this pin. And you can you put that listing up and you won’t sell a thing because it’s not right, or it’s gonna say that I sell 1000 of them in, you know, for the price of one or something like that.
And just matching some of those things is terrible. But they have they have a heck of a job to clean things up. And then when you look at the other thing that’s happening a lot now, too, is because we’ve got clients that are really resellers. But if I’m authorized to sell a brand, Amazon’s been shutting people down, because hey, you’re not authorized, well, I am authorized. Well, you have to get all the paperwork, and you and I understand where they’re coming from. It’s just it’s just a tough job to do.
Veronica Lee Jeans 27:51
Yeah, I’ve got a little sports retail sports store here Batik. And they sell bills, hockey gear. And so they sell Under Armour, Nike, and they actually have the products in the store that they bought. So with this new wave of Amazon cleaning shop, literally, they had to prove the authorization because otherwise anybody can sell and these big brands said no more, no more, you have to be authorized to sell our stuff, which is which was normal. If you had a retail store. It was normal to get authorization. You can’t just sell anything or any brand that you want to right.
Damon Pistulka 28:33
Yeah. Yeah. And and another thing too long with that is the the map Minimum Advertised pricing to that some of the brands have Yeah, and the policing of that now is getting is getting implemented properly. So that so that you don’t have you know, like you said, discount sellers, like you said, I can’t go to Neiman Marcus and buy something that’s that’s discounted down to nothing. And so, you know, half half away normally, exactly. And getting those things taken out, but super, super interesting stuff.
So let’s talk a little bit about So you started getting this, you’ve been helping people a long time with Shopify and getting a Shopify, then you decided to write a book, and then it turned into a series. And now you’ve got updates. So let’s talk a little bit about your book. Well, first of all, if people don’t know they need to look up Veronica Lee Jeans, your author, consultant, lecture speaker, I mean, you’re out there teaching people about ecommerce, and and then you decided to make this write a book. Did it? Was it a series in the beginning or did you decide write one book? And then it’s like, oh, I have to write more.
Veronica Lee Jeans 29:40
Yes. So what happened was is you know, I’ve got a course obviously, you know, every coach has a course. Yeah. And I decided, I’m going to write this book. And then it, you know, it happened because I was at a speaking engagement. And these chicks were getting so much attention and I thought, What the hell out ATTENTION TO by the way. So I said, I’m going to write a book about Shopify, because that’s what I know. Yeah. And I started writing the book Allhallows 30 days. Yeah, that never happened. So nine months later, you know, you have to learn how to format and have literally how to write. And so then I published my first book. And I was writing it.
And this friend said to me, Veronica, stop writing and publish, because I was already at 500 pages in Kindle. Ebook, and I thought, Oh, this is getting big, that’s cut it in half. And I published and that was my first book. And then I decided, and then COVID happened, right? And then things change. So drastically, I actually teach at the university in Poland, virtually, I did ecommerce and SEO, but I was in a class, and that the whole interface of Shopify changed as I was teaching, like, boom, I thought, Oh, something happened in my browser, right.
And it was literally they were updating the, the platform as we were speaking, that have changed so much. And then I realized, okay, this is not gonna work, you know, I have to write the update. And then I decided, okay, so if I write the update, and by the way, then I had a hiccup, because all my things will work off my hard drive, I should know better, you know, as an IT person, I should have it anyway. And so I wrote that up, about the update. And then I decided, okay, this is it, I need to write more, because I was actually starting to enjoy the selling part.
Okay, it was, you know, when I started, it was just an e book. And, and there’s a secret, right? If you sell ebooks, Amazon only pays you for the amount that people read. So that’s the what Yes, exactly. Right. Exactly. I want to smack everybody doesn’t read my book, just push it to the back. And so and so I, it wasn’t a lot of it was a few 100 coming in, down in a month. And I then I decided I need to do the print version. But somebody was asked me, Hey, do you have a printer? And I said, okay, okay, I’ll do the print. And then I then the sales really started happening.
Because the E, the e book was so comprehensive. And I’ve got so many images in there and step by step, right? That it made sense just to get the e book or other the printed book. And then the excitement really started. So you know, I was getting a few 100 Every now and again. So when I started the print book, I thought, Oh, I said to my husband, you know, I sold two books last night. And this is exciting. Oh, I sold another book. This is very exciting. So that’s how I thought, You know what, I think I can actually make money out of this. And and then, you know, the the back the back thing is that if you write a book, you’re not gonna make money immediately.
Not with your first book. Unless you not even not even not even Harry Potter did whatever, JK Rowling’s right? She had to write the whole series, right? Yes. But you start making a book with your other books, because people start to get to know you. And it’s like, so I had my first book up in Amazon, then, you know, when they say say, hey, you know, if you buy this, buy this and this. Right, the suggestions? I thought, what the hell this competition? No selling my competition with me. I do not like this. So that’s what I need to write more books. So I can beat the competition. Well, that’s how it happened. Yes. Totally, totally the wrong way round.
Damon Pistulka 34:02
No, that’s a good way. That’s a good way. So so you’re so how many Shopify Made Easy books have you written so far?
Veronica Lee Jeans 34:10
So I’ve written See, that one doesn’t get well I don’t really count the first one. But with my first one I’ve written for. And I’ve got a Shopify Made Easy workbook and checklist, which also happened because the client asked, and then I decided to do an E commerce planner, again, requirement from a client who said, I need a plan. I need I said, just listen to me and do what I tell you. She goes, No, no, I need a plan. So I created the ecommerce planner. And so I’m busy with my fourth book in this series, so I don’t count the Facebook.
Damon Pistulka 34:47
Okay. Yeah. And are you planning on writing more books in this series?
Veronica Lee Jeans 34:51
Oh, yes, there are seven. So after this comes the process, because the process is is not easy. I get so many questions about it. Hey, I’m shipping it, but how do I refund it and then change it and then do this, right? So if I get a problem with a client, I needed to do a screenshot, or write everything down. So I have a process. That’s going to be the process. Because if you don’t have a you know that right, you don’t have a good process in place. You’re not going to be successful in business, right? Because it’s all about literally,
Damon Pistulka 35:25
conversation today with we’re talking about process. Yeah,
Veronica Lee Jeans 35:30
I mean, I’d say I was talking to this. There may be about three to 4 million, which is not a lot, believe me, not these days, not with the overheads and everything else. And I said, Okay, so how do you get your orders to the warehouse? Oh, we printed out, then we walk it across, and I go, You kidding me? Right? Yeah. And that was, throughout the whole conversation, I would go, are you kidding me? Right. And they are not the only ones.
I’ve had several of these conversations where you go? Seriously, this is what you do. You know, it’s mind boggling. So that’s the process book. And then I’m going to do a point of sale, which I you know, I set up several classes, several retail customers with Shopify have a point of sale where you have retail store, you can have an online store, you do not have to have the very, very, very $500 a month app that is between QuickBooks point of sale and your online store.
And then what else was there? There was there was another one, I can’t remember, I can’t even remember what book I’m writing. It’s like it’s so cool, because I’m promoting my books all the time that you’re supposed to do what you what you have on on hand with all your products. But you have to start working on the next product, right? To make that another launch to make your customers excited. And so yeah, quite a few of them. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 36:59
Good. Good. So as you’ve been doing this, what’s what’s some of your best success stories that you’ve seen working with clients?
Veronica Lee Jeans 37:11
Oh, best success stories? I would say. Well, my puzzle lady, I’ve got to my puzzle lady. She was she was like, her product was discovered by what’s a TV show in the morning. Good morning, America. Right? Okay. Yes. And they have that, you know, hey, you know, you buy this product. So she was on that show. And she she met she had about 100 250 sales, which is not a lot, right. And so two years ago, in fact, COVID just happened. And she was on that show again, for Mother’s Day. She had 385 sales in an hour.
Wow. She was she was printing puzzles for forever. So literally had to tell people I can’t get this up. You know, the TV people go, Hey, this is Tuesday. You can have it by Sunday. No, that’s not gonna happen. So, yes, but she did her damage. I mean, she tried to get those things out. He would at 24 hours, she got neighbors to help. And so that was one and then I’ve my boutique lady. She was like, online, and we got your POS system online. And I kept saying to you can sell more online, you know, you can make some more money. And she was doing really well.
It’s too much effort to make sure that your shipping shipping area was cool that if they get if they get a shipment, they know what to do. Everything’s in place, you know, all you have to do is wrap it up. Yeah, don’t need that. You know, I’m doing fine. COVID have everything shut down. And Penny Penny core. Oh, my God, I need to be online. And I go yeah, you’re online. Actually. She has made more money online than what she’s done ever done offline. And that’s, I can guarantee that with every retail customer have ever had was the same thing. They say they made more money online than what they did offline because you’ve got so much more potential. Yes, yes.
Damon Pistulka 39:28
It was so funny that you said that I was in a in of all things. A specialty liquor store. In in a little town out here in Washington. And when I walked into this liquor store, it is like, I don’t know. Close to 10,000 square feet. They have a 3000 foot square foot wine cellar. They have some of the some of the the choices liquors you will ever find in the world, in a little town of like 30,000 and people Yes, way out in the country. Yes, they sell three times as much online as they do through the store.
But it allows them their community people, and it allows them to have a wonderful place, they have a restaurant with it, they have other stuff with it. And it just allows them to operate such a wonderful business, like you said. And again, another example of it is a little kitchen store that a friend of mine, they’re crazy, you know, they love cooking, chef’s all this kind of stuff in their favorite kitchen store, you walk up to it, it looks like a little shoe box. And you realize, again, they’re they’re selling twice out of out the back door on ecommerce as they are through the store than through the actual physical store itself.
But it’s so cool to see this because my point is, it allows little local hometown businesses to compete. And you go where I mean, because I came from I grew up in the middle of South Dakota, in a town that had less than 500 people in it. I know what it’s like to be in a little town. But in today’s world, that town can have a bakery, not bakery might not be the right thing, but I can have some kind of store that sells commerce. And I can do very well from that spot. Yes, almost as well as I could anywhere else in the world.
Veronica Lee Jeans 41:18
I’ve got a couple of of food, food clients as well chocolates and, and cookies and stuff. And but here’s here’s the great thing as well. People keep saying you know, buy local by local, the ecommerce stores are supporting the local communities, because they need the IT services they need. That whatever services, accounting services and whatever they need. They supporting the local community because they’re more successful online.
Damon Pistulka 41:48
So yeah, yeah, it’s so cool. So cool. I’m glad you brought that up. Because it’s exciting for me to see that. And then, you know, I’ve I’ve interviewed Harry Mosher, which is he’s part of the US reshoring initiative Resharper manufacturing jobs in us and you brought up a great example of the fact that if we are using US manufacturing in some of these ecommerce for Print and Go or for faster delivery, there, it’s less expensive away.
You can a you can the convenience, you can sell it at a higher margin and be it’s less expensive because the expense and inventory and supply chain challenges like you have today. It makes it much, much easier. Yeah. run a business. So it’s really cool. That’s really cool. So now, what if you’re going to have some new books coming out? What else is on the horizon for you?
Veronica Lee Jeans 42:40
I’m on the horizon. I don’t know. I’m just very excited because new things are happening all the time. But I do have one thing on the horizon. I was talking about the why in one of my lives on Monday, you got to know your why. Right? Why are you in business? My why is I’m going to be in the Bahamas next year, baby. Nice. Yes, I’m going cruising. So I’m preparing my business to be well, it always been online. Right?
But yeah, it’s gonna be more online. And yeah, I’m gonna go cruising this month, my dream forever. My my, my husband’s and we are fishing a boat. And that’s what’s gonna happen. But life changes so fast these days, you know, I have to update my books, I will have to update my books every year. And that’s just a fact of life when you are dealing with internet with with online. And that’s what makes Mason makes it exciting because I can relaunch every single Yeah, I’m so excited about it.
Damon Pistulka 43:44
Yes, yes. And in fact, you you bring up a great challenge in in the e Commerce Industry is how do you evolve the materials as fast as the as fast as the digital world is, is working ahead of us?
Yeah, it’s really something we we were working on ecommerce training last year, not platform specific, but ecommerce training. And that was one of the things that we thought was really interesting about the approach of more live stream topic focus, because you can’t keep up like you said, your your teeth in Shopify it it was changing before your eyes while you’re teaching it at school. And you think of the traditional educational methods that we set up a curriculum and we do this and we do that year over year. It just doesn’t work. Doesn’t work
Veronica Lee Jeans 44:31
anymore. No, exactly.
Damon Pistulka 44:34
Yeah. Yeah. So that’s, that’s awesome, then. So, Veronica, I just I’ve so appreciate having you on here today. I want to ask you one more question though, because I think, you know, I talked to a lot of different people in E commerce and of course, there’s people that that do humongous e commerce websites that are hundreds of 1000s of dollars and, and all that kind of stuff. And there’s there’s applications for both. But when it comes to Shopify, where is really that where you see from practical experience the best place to be using it? I mean, is it a certain industry is certain size of business certain SKU count? Or is it really branched out a lot more than that?
Veronica Lee Jeans 45:21
Oh, I’m staples is on Shopify. I rest my case. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Oh, there’s my case. I can recognize the Shopify store now, just by looking at it. And they are huge brands on Shopify. And Baby baby might as well obviously, you know, because you know, all the little ones up, but they are because they recognize the what are called the million dollar club or near the million dollar club, then you get real support from Shopify, they have an onboarding system. I work with them on a regular basis. And then so you really think about the whole process, and you have this whole team behind you to actually get it. Get it going. So yeah, there’s no limit, baby. No. Okay.
Damon Pistulka 46:08
That’s, that’s good. That’s good. I’m glad we talked about I didn’t realize it stapled on there. But, but it is, I’m telling you like, like, you talked about this before. Yeah, the website. And then you go, Okay, I have to add this part of it. And then I have to go to integration to this platform integration, that platform now I want to get different payment options, like I want to get a PayPal and I also want to do credit cards or whatever. And then you go, Oh, now I have to worry about fraud. ad fraud detection in somehow. Yeah. And it’s just so many. They’re all
Veronica Lee Jeans 46:40
in there. It’s yeah, literally.
Damon Pistulka 46:43
Yeah. And that’s one of the things that you see with with a lot other solutions is you’ve got to you’ve got to piecemeal all these things together.
Veronica Lee Jeans 46:49
And think about it practical to think about, yeah, you know, I need to do this fraud thing as well. So yeah, and so, so the newest thing that have is you can actually get a business loan as a small business from Shopify as well. I mean, you know, the guy is really the owner has really thought about what I find. And I worked with another small shopping platform that grew. And you know, I was with him for a long time. This guy Shopify is really thinking about customer service. The customer service is amazing.
And he’s thought about the small businesses, not just the big ones, right? Yeah. How can I make this better for my customers? And he does. I mean, he’s on the forefront, hey, you know, talking to Google talking to Facebook talking to me on tick tock down here. So so he’s, he’s just ready to jump into the next thing to make it as easy as people. And he’s got his they started a wholesale site. So if you’ve sold stuff, I think for a year, you’ve got to be in business for a year, and it has to be certain whatever it is a certain category, because they don’t have everything. You can be part of this wholesale site where other other small businesses can can supply. Yes, I know, right.
Damon Pistulka 48:10
Yeah. Well, it’s helping other people get into business because they buy the wholesale products and yeah, and resell them. So Yes. Cool. And maybe even T shirts.
Veronica Lee Jeans 48:23
You know what, I’ve been designing T shirts for my baby. So I’m actually gonna put them online because I use I’m an artist as well. I my side job. Yeah. With all your extra time spa labs, and just my love of doing just extra time, right?
Damon Pistulka 48:37
Yeah. Oh, well, Veronica, it’s been awesome. having you on here to talk about ecommerce made easy with Shopify, talking about Shopify, talking about how really, Shopify is really making ecommerce easier for a lot of people. And like you said, it’s not just for little businesses anymore, with staples being on it and some of the others it’s a consideration that, that that a lot of people might want to be looking at. So yeah. Thanks so much. And I want to thank everyone that’s been listening today. Thanks for being here. So if people want to get a hold of you, of Ron, CO, what’s the best way to get ahold of you?
Veronica Lee Jeans 49:12
I would say go my website and hit the button and say, Hey, Veronica, I want to talk to you. Because I literally get to email and I will talk to you. Awesome, easiest way. You’ll find me on Facebook. I’m always on Messenger. Or LinkedIn. Right. I’m also on LinkedIn. I’m available anytime. I’m around baby. That’s what
Damon Pistulka 49:33
Yep, you certainly do. Well, today we have Veronica Lee Jeans talking about ecommerce made easy with Shopify. Thanks so much everyone for listening. We will be back again later with another interesting guest