For today’s website income  report, we will be looking into a website that identified a growing trend, found a suitable solution, and managed to earn from it. The web site is about 2 years old and is showing great promise in terms of traffic and income. If you try to check on the web site itself, you will see that it is a pretty straightforward and is simple to use.

Basic Information

Business Type Niche Platform Age of the business
E-commerce E-cigarettes Shopify 2 years

In a nutshell, the website sells e-cigarettes which is a growing industry in the past few years. The site focuses on selling electronic cigarette starter kits, e-liquids, and e-cig accessories. As we already know, the e-cigarette niche is pretty nice considering it is an up-and-coming industry. According to studies, this $3-billion industry will only get bigger in time now that various bodies are pushing for the regulation of regular cigarettes. The site owner claims that the website enjoys a 35% profit margin and has recorded a net profit of over 27k+ since launch date.

This e-commerce site has a Google PR number of 3 which means Google considers it a website of importance and authority. The site is built on the Shopify e-commerce platform and would be great for people who would want easy customization done for the website.

A thing to remember is that this website does not use the drop shipping method. This means that the website owner keeps an inventory of stocks and keeps them on a secure location. Each day, the website owner fulfills each order through Shipstation. This is a more taxing method of doing business but this assures your buyers that they get their item right away. On your end, this might mean more stress but personally keeping an inventory is much better than relying on a third-party to do it for you.

Traffic


According to Google Analytics, the amount of traffic received by the website has lessened during the year. What started as a 22k monthly viewer count tapered to around 10k in the middle of 2015. This can be due to a lot of things but one reason can be due to the fact that more and more people are getting into the industry and they are taking some of the traffic away from the website. Another thing to note is that the website owner focused on specific keywords to rank for. These keywords included specific brand names and models. Although this is a good way to target potential buyers, this also heavily limits the website in terms of organic traffic.

The website gets around 90% of its traffic from the United States and around 71% of its visitors get a link of the site from search page results. The direct traffic percentage share (18%) is a healthy sign that people know the page by name either because they were told about it or they are already customers. The direct traffic share can also be a result of the owner’s activity on various sites and forums related to e-cigarettes. A thing to note is that the email and social traffic share is at around 2.5% each. This is not entirely a bad thing as this means you can still get more traffic from these sources if you know what to do.

Financials

Month Revenue Costs Profit
Apr 14 $7,748 $5,113 $2,635
May 14 $3,901 $2,710 $1,191
Jun 14 $2,448 $1,771 $677
Jul 14 $4,365 $2,980 $1,385
Aug 14 $2,962 $2,062 $900
Sep 14 $3,970 $2,719 $1,251
Oct 14 $4,457 $3,044 $1,413
Nov 14 $3,748 $2,595 $1,153
Dec 14 $4,402 $3,016 $1,386
Jan 15 $3,612 $2,394 $1,218
Feb 15 $2,749 $1,839 $910
Mar 15 $3,005 $1,956 $1,049

The website operates on a 35% profit margin according to the website owner and he has claims to have a net profit of around 1.2k+ on a monthly basis. Since its launch 2 years ago, the site has seen a net profit of over 27k+. Based on the statement from the owner, the website only focuses on a small number of products because he has to keep inventory of what he is selling. This is the drawback of not using the dropshipping method. Due to having to keep an inventory, the owner is limited in the number of items he can put up on sale.

Conclusion

A website like this might not be the best start for a person who wants to delve into the world of e-commerce but there are some points you can take from it. Here are some of the notable points about this website.

  • The niche is big. The 3 billion dollar e-cigarette niche is still growing as of this day. This means that getting .0001% share is still $300,000 in your bank. You just need to make sure you can target properly to get at least a small share.
  • This website can be easily customized all thanks to the Shopify platform. With the Shopify platform you can add or remove various apps that will help you create the website you need.
  • Although you can’t have a very big inventory, shipping the items yourself can ensure that your clients get their items the soonest time possible. This means your customers will be happier. Happier clients means more revenue for you.

Now that we have summed the positives, let’s try to see where we can still improve with regards to this website.

  • The website is limited in the sense that it only ranks for a couple of specific e-cigarette brands in search engines. Having a larger inventory might mean extra work for you but with an ever-growing niche as this, you must be able to provide the more popular kits at a moment’s notice. With this in mind, don’t hesitate to stock up on the newer models and do the SEO after. With the PR rating and domain age, it will take you a couple of months to rank.
  • I was not really sure to include this as a positive or negative but I am pretty sure you can think about the shipping method. As what was mentioned above, the website is limited because of the items it sells. Simply put, the website can’t sell something they don’t have on hand. Knowing this, you might want to switch to the dropshipping method. There are a lot of good sources of e-cigarettes from Alibaba or AliExpress and you can have them dropshipped in no time. This means you can showcase a lot of different items on your website without having to worry about keeping an inventory.
  • The website has little to no social media presence and its email traffic is not that impressive. There are a hundred of blogs, forums, and Facebook groups out there you can penetrate to get a more solid social media presence. Remember that with little effort on your end, your social media presence might just be what would take you to the top.