eCommerce Done-for-You


Are you being misled by ROAS?

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Full transcript:

So you are selling online and you want to sell a lot more online, so that’s what we are here for, to help you sell a lot more online. If you’re not still selling online, unfortunately, this video will be not that helpful for you. Start selling first and then come back and watch these videos. And hopefully sell a lot more. 

All right today we’re talking about ROAS Return On Ad Spend. This metric is considered very valuable and used all over the place to justify why you should hire an agency and see how your ads are doing. 

Most agencies will use this as a metric to show you, hey, you spend $1 and you got $1.50 back on your ad. So your ROAS is great, you’re making money. 

I think ROAS is misused quite a lot in our community. Marketing and advertising agencies are much more guilty than anybody else to use it incorrectly. And there are two reasons, it’s used incorrectly. 

One, very simply, this is the way we like to show value. And it’s the easy way to show value. 

Other it’s just easier to measure is available in most platforms. So they just use it for that reason. 

So the fact that it’s easier to measure, I would not blame anybody for that because, hey, it’s just easier to measure. So we’ve got to measure something and ROAS is available. 

So, OK, but the other idea that knowing that ROAS is not a complete metric and it’s kind of a risky metric to use and still using it, I think it’s not doing the right thing. 

So let’s get into it. 

Why ROAS is not a complete metric?

So the problem with ROAS is you spend $1 and you got $1.50 back, so you have a ROAS of one 50% or 1.5 x, whichever way you want to do this. 

But here’s the problem…

What if your cost of goods or cost of goods plus shipping and everything included was actually 90 cents? Now what’s going on? You spend $1 and your cost of goods was $0.90. And you and you got the return of $1.50 for that. 

So think about it, so your ROAS 1.5 x, every dollar you spend, you’re getting 1.5 back because you’re already spending $1. The first dollar is already gone. So it doesn’t matter. So you are actually getting $0.50 off. 

So product, which cost you to make you getting $0.50 back, you’re losing money at one point. $0.5 is not good. 

So the way to deal with that is you set a process, which keeps you profitable. 

So if you do that, that in this example, will say, you know, my cost in $0.90. So I need to get it done of at least $0.90 on every sale, which means if I do get 1.9 x return, then, you know, at least I’m breaking even or if I get two extra hours of 3x, then I’m making some money. 

That’s great. So that’s a great start. 

But instead, there is more. If you hired a consulting team, you hired some marketing agency, they’re charging you something in addition to that spend. What about that? 

That’s where I would like to introduce this new metric, which we use called ROMAS. 

So we like to say, ask your agency to show you not the ROAS, but ROMAS (Return on Marketing and Ad Spend)

What is real return on marketing and ad spend. The idea here is when you run a campaign in which you spend $10,000 and additional $5,000 to that agency, then you should be considering all those $15,000 as part of your spend. And you should include in the way we do ROMAS. We include the cost of goods also in there. So the ROMAS of 1.5 truly means that you are making 50% profit. 

So that’s simplifying it. 

But basically the breakdown of ROMAS includes all the spend, your cost of goods, your agency spend, your consulting spend, your marketing spend, your ad spend, everything. And if romance is positive, is more than one, you’re guaranteed to be making money. 

So I urge you guys, just don’t stop at ROAS. Calculate the ROMAS

Unfortunately, ROMAS will not be available directly in any of the tools. It is something you’ll have to send up in a spreadsheet. You can get the ROAS in. And then you can add the cost of sale. And then add these other expenses and to calculate your ROMAS. 

So once again, ask for ROMAS, not just ROAS. Otherwise you’re only making decisions based on half information and you might be losing money. And if you’re selling online or doesn’t matter, you’re selling online, offline. You never want to lose money. Right? no. 1 rule, don’t lose money while trying to do any business. 

All right. That’s all I have. And as I like, as we say, this is all for information for you guys to help your business. And there is no cause we don’t teach any courses, etc., but we do this for our clients day in and day out. If you find this information useful, applies to your business, apply it and follow us to learn more. And if you need help in any of these areas, reach out. We’ll be happy to help you guys out and we will be calculating ROMAS, which means if you work with us, we will always be looking to show you overall return on your investment, including the money you will spend on agency like us. 

Thank you.

CTR, CPM, CPC, CPA insights!

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Full transcript:

So you’re selling online! 

Requirement: that you are selling online. 

Then watch this video, because I want to tell you a few things which people get confused on. It’ll help you sell more. 

If you’re not selling online or just starting out. This is not going to be very helpful to you. 

So let’s start. 

So first metric, which I want to talk about is click through rate (CTR).

So what is CTR? Click through rate is at what percentage of people who actually have shown your ad actually click through it. So the problem with this metric are not necessarily the problem, the area where people get confused with click through rate is, if the click through rate is low they decide working on their landing page on a website. 

But just think about it…

They have not clicked through, which means it doesn’t matter how much you improve your website, they don’t know what your website looks like.

So click through rate is a metric, which is a function of your ad, your ad copy. It is nothing to do with your website or wherever the landing pages. So if you want to click through rate to be higher, which means they are not engaging with your ad, you need to work on the copy, just work on the copy. So that’s a take away. CTR is lower work on the copy, work on the offer. What you are saying there on the ad itself is what is deciding CTR. 

The other metric is (Cost per Mille) CPM.

It’s nothing to do with million. It’s actually cost per thousand impressions. What are impressions? where your Ad is shown by Facebook or Google or youtube? That is the impression.  An opportunity for somebody to look at that ad and interact with is an impression. So CPM, CPM is other metric. People get all worked up on.

CPM is a function of your competition.

Who else is competing for the same audience and seasonality? Basically also because some season, depending on around thanksgiving, everybody’s putting ads out. So CPM will go high. So my take away there is don’t focus too much on CPM. It is what it is. It’s not costing the your cost is just because of the competition. So there’s not much you can do about CPM.

Let’s go to the next metric. Cost per click (CPC).

Now Cost per click is a little bit more complex metric because it’s a function of multiple things. It does include the copy. How good is your copy? Because basically, if your copy is good and Facebook has to show your ad to less people before they click, then your cost per click will be lower because it doesn’t matter how you’re paying. All ad platforms, end of the day, internally are charging you for CPM, which means how many times they have to display ad.

So one thing to improve is, your ad. It will probably increase and improve your cost per click. The other is actually your landing page as it will matter because all platforms like users to after clicking, have a good experience. So if your ad copy said something else, but when they end up on the page, it is completely unrelated or if you have a wrong link, they will leave immediately and none of the advertisers platforms like that because it’s a bad experience, which means people will not click enough on their ads and they don’t want that.

They want you to make a promise in your ad and fulfill that promise or go on and details of that promise for that.

So which means you won’t be penalized a bit if your copy on the landing page is not matching video ad. So to reduce to improve your cost per click, do work on your copy also of not only that, but also the learning on landing page.

Now the most important metric, if you’re selling online, is cost per acquisition (CPA).

So the decision could be what is an acquisition, in most cases. If you’re selling, then somebody buys your product, cost per acquisition (CPA) is something that you want to watch very, very carefully. And because that will determine what is your return on our spend. And that will be our other video. We talk about ROAS because ROAS is in itself an important, very important metric and it’s misunderstood. And I’m just kind of giving it away. But we don’t like ROAS. We prefer the other metric, which you cannot directly measure. But can be computed. We’ll talk about that. But today, let’s talk about cost per acquisition and finish that cost per acquisition metric cost per acquisition.

The one of the aspect of acquisition is what is an acquisition and when?

A user clicked and then they went on to buy the product that’s acquisition, but what if they clicked yesterday or the day before yesterday or the last month. And then they bought? Is that still attributed to that acquisition? That’s when the attribution model comes in.

So attribution model is basically the concept that when they click, for this conversion to happen which ad did they see? what was the window in which if they clicked and they still converted later? should it be attributed to what?

Now, the attribution model has something very interesting, you need to consider. It does not matter which platform, what attribution model you are using. If you are trying to optimize your ROAS, you want to optimize that for shortest possible application window. And when, I say this again, optimize all your return on ad spending for the shortest attribution window, but calculate your return on the longest attribution window.

The idea is this…

You cannot wait because attribution window for it is long 30 days. You cannot wait for 30 days. And that information is already passed. The return, the conversion, which is happening for something which was clicked 30 days ago. There’s only so much you can do about it. So you’ve got to look at shorter window of 24 hours and how they’re interacting based on that change. 

Your Ad spend should be decided on a shorter window, but actual calculation of your ROAS should be done on the longer window.
Why? because that was return on your ad.

You ran an Ad and 14 days later, somebody came and bought that. It  should be attributed to the Ad. 

They’re done on your ads return should be calculated for the longest window, but the optimization should be done on the shortest window. So that is the takeaway. 


So click rate important. You know, just to summarize, important, but focus on that.
CPM? Just don’t worry too much about it, except if you feel that it’s very high because of seasonality, maybe you don’t want to do ads that time. 
CPC? Is a function of your ad and the landing page 
CPA? Keep average attribution window in mind that the customer acquisition is based on attribution window. 

I will do a little video on attribution window because it’s a complex enough set the subject, which deserves its own video. 

All right. And as I’ve said before, there is no cause to sign up. We don’t charge for any calls. The only reason I’m giving this information away. This is what we do for our clients. Hopefully you’ll find it useful and use it for your own business. And if you feel you need help with these ads and you need help with selling online more, you can reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help you with that. That’s a selfish motive. Give away the information of how we work. And you can benefit. And if you feel overwhelmed and need help, reach out to us. 

Thank you. 

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Open Source Shopping Carts: A list for 2021

Starting a new online business? Or looking to upgrade to newer open source shopping carts? Confused by all options?

Here is our compilation of Open source carts. We have marked the ones you should consider if you are considering new development. Others are still good for maintenance.

NameNo of InstallsGood for New Site
Cube Cart9177Yes
Drupal Commerce37631Yes
Joomla eCommerce1100000000Yes
Magento Open Source761205Yes
Spree commerce1000000+Yes
Zen Cart662403No
Zeus cartNo

  • No of Installs: 1000000+
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: AgoraCart uses Perl, Javascript, jQuery, HTML 5, CSS 3, Font-Awesome, and popular JS/CSS frameworks such as Materialize and Bootstrap. AgoraCart's ecommerce shopping cart software is responsive design, mobile ready.

  • No of Installs: 9177
  • Last updated: 10, Nov, 2020
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: CubeCart is a free, feature-rich eCommerce shopping cart. With an exhaustive list of features, it is a great deal for your web store.

  • No of Installs: 37631
  • Last updated: 22, Oct, 2018
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: Drupal Commerce (a.k.a Drupal for Commerce) is another open-source eCommerce solution for Drupal-based websites looking to add eStore capability to their website.

  • No of Installs: 1100000000
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: Joomla! is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content. Joomla! is based on PHP and MySQL, so it's easy to use share and support powerful applications on an open platform.

  • No of Installs: 761205
  • Last updated: 15, Oct, 2020
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: Magento is one of the best open-source eCommerce solutions available. It also has paid versions: Magento Commerce Starter and Magento Commerce Pro.

  • No of Installs: 761205
  • Last updated: 15, Oct, 2020
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: OpenCart's first release came in 2010 and has had close to 1 million installs to date. Its marketplace is enriched with more than 13,000 modules and themes to jump-start your online store.

OpenCart launched OpenCart Cloud in 2017, a cloud-based hosted shopping cart software.

  • No of Installs: 699213
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: Launched in 2008, PrestaShop is an open-source eCommerce solution backed by a community of more than 1 million users. It is a secure and sustainable shopping cart solution. Over 600 features and more than 5000 modules & themes make it flexible and scalable.

  • No of Installs: 9013
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: Spree started in 2008. Based on the Ruby on Rails platform, it is an open-source eCommerce shopping cart solution with 4000+ members on its Spree slack group.

  • No of Installs: 4275585
  • Good for new site: Yes

Summary: WooCommerce is the trusted and most-used open source eCommerce shopping cart in the world. It leads the eCommerce Shopping Cart installations with 22% of the top 1mn eCommerce sites in the world using it. It is a flexible, scalable, and sustainable solution built on WordPress with 6,000+ WooCommerce plugins.

  • No of Installs: 251137
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: Commerce.CGI is a fully featured shopping cart that is very simple to install unlike other carts available that require technical support. CGI was first introduced way back in 1988 and one of the first free Perl shopping carts released on the web.

  • No of Installs: 77381
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: jCart is an open source shopping cart that’s easy to install and customize. jCart is fully functional without javascript, Based on jQuery and PHP, jCart handles visitor input without reloading the page too.

  • No of Installs: 77381
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: Having 12 years of experience into eCommerce market, nopCommerce have 60,000+ live shops onboarded, 150+partners from 40 countries, 1500+ integrations, and 2,50,000+ members worldwide

  • No of Installs: 251936
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: One of the oldest eCommerce shopping cart solutions, Oscommerce has a strong community of 350,000+ members. It is a high-performance solution that is secure, flexible, and scalable with over 9,000 add-ons that help you customize your online store.

  • No of Installs: 9013
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: Shopware Community Edition is an open-source shopping cart solution that is packed with unique features that is needed to start an online shop. It is modular and easily scalable using the plugins and modules available.

  • No of Installs: 77293
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: Ubercart is the go-to module for Drupal-based websites needing an eCommerce Shopping Cart. In the last 3-4 years, the trend for Ubercart installations seeing a huge drop, and with the Website found not to be working, possibly is an indication of Ubercart heading to an end.

  • No of Installs: 9013
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: VirtueMart is an open-source eCommerce solution for Joomla! Content management system. It is a feature-rich, flexible, high-performance, and scalable shopping cart solution.

  • No of Installs: 662403
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: Zen Cart is claimed to be a user-friendly, open-source eCommerce shopping cart add-on software that can run on your existing website. It is fully customizable and easy-to-setup. It works with most of the hosting companies and can be used with your own domain.

  • No of Installs: NA
  • Good for new site: No

Summary: Zeus cart focus mainly on Small & medium scale store operators and designed their software to cater everything from inventory management, attribute driven product catalog, category management, in-built CMS, SEO friendly URLs, Gift Cards, Discounts, Tier-Price, Taxation, Integrated payment gateways, EMail templates to Newsletter

Need help deciding on which shopping cart is best for you. Talk to us – we will be happy to help. Is your favorite cart is missing from the list? Comment below with the info and we will happy to add it.

Shopping Carts: Self-Hosted vs. Hosted

In our previous post, we covered Shopping carts and it’s various types. In this one, let’s get into the pros and cons of both types of shopping carts.

Why Self-hosted eCommerce platforms?

  1. With a self-hosted shopping cart, you have better control over your web stores.
  2. Additional features are available in forms of plugins or extensions and if you don’t have one, there is a community to reach out to develop one.
  3. The self-hosted eCommerce solution gives you the freedom and capability to scale anytime as business grows.
  4. Freedom to choose hosting of your choice.

Why NOT?

  1. Requires technical assistance in setting up the store.
  2. Though you have the community backing you but there is lack of direct support from the provider.
  3. Costs go up once your store begins to grow and this is completely dependent on the hosting provider you choose.

Why Hosted eCommerce platforms?

  1. The one-stop eCommerce solution that includes hosting, shopping cart capability, and technical support.
  2. Simple to build and manage eStores with very little technical knowledge.
  3. Centralized support team to go to when you are stuck and they will take care of it for you.
  4. They are reasonably priced and offer various deals on advance payments.

Why NOT?

  1. As you scale your store on hosted eCommerce platforms, it can cost more than the self-hosted eCommerce solution.
  2. Your control is limited when it comes to customizing the store and can work only with the available resources.
  3. Switching platforms can cost you a lot of money and is also a time-consuming process. At times, it has been found impossible to migrate the stores from hosted platforms due scope of the store.

In Conclusion, Hosted and Self-Hosted eCommerce solutions are both powerful and flexible. They  provide control and can be set up within lower budgets but takes time and requires technical know-how to maintain and run.

Whereas, Hosted eCommerce platforms can be set up quickly and requires less technical knowledge but will cost more and have limitations with customization.

Now that we have covered the positives and negatives of Self-Hosted and Hosted shopping carts above, look out for our next blog where we will present comprehensive list of Self-hosted Shopping Carts solutions.

Different Types of Shopping Carts

If you are planning to open an online store, you cannot ignore shopping carts. Shopping carts are the basic functionality that allows the user to make a purchase on your website. Here is a compiled list of all the shopping carts for you at one place.

Following are some basic types of shopping carts:

  1. Hosted shopping carts or a.k.a eCommerce platforms are software-as-a-solution which are hosted by platforms on their own servers.
    Example: Shopify.
  2. Self-hosted shopping carts, these are traditional or the original shopping cart solutions that are hosted on your own servers.
    There are two types of Self-hosted shopping carts:
    • Open Source Shopping Carts which can be installed on your server. The source code of this available to developers for customization and bug fixing.
      Example: Woocommerce (WordPress), Drupal Commerce (Drupal), Magento.
    • Licensed Software is developed by a single company and is available for use on your own server for one-time fee payment.
      Example: CS-Cart

Read our blog for Pros and Cons of Self-Hosted Shopping Carts and Hosted Shopping Carts.