So many companies are choosing to digitize their business, transferring assets to the cloud and sell their products online, rather than in person. (1)
It makes sense, considering how much more “foot traffic” you can get by opening an online store, versus a local brick and mortar business.
That’s where a lot of people get the idea to start “ecom” stores, selling their products online through online platforms like Shopify.
Of course, with a demand for a skill comes new demand for the program, so it’s up to you to identify which is the right choice for you.
In this review from IBuyIReview, you’ll learn everything about the eCom success Academy, as well as if claims about the Adrian Morrison scam are legitimate or not.
Keep scrolling to learn more.
Table of Contents
What is Adrian Morrison's eCom Success Academy?
Ecom is growing at an astounding rate, so it makes sense that a lot of students would want a piece of the pie. (2) Out of this astounding growth has come a large number of courses promising to teach the secrets and methods behind dropshipping, ecom, and many other forms of online stores.
eCom Success Academy is one of those courses, started by Adrian Morrison, and it currently carried a badge of approval as a Shopify Educational Partner, meaning it has been approved by Shopify themselves to be a successful course to help you sell on their platform.
The eCom Success Academy was created in 2017 and later updated in 2019. While it is due for another update to accommodate for the wild number of changes to the online marketplace over the 2020 and 2021 year, I believe that we can expect one soon.
Still, I would love to see yearly updates, rather than every two years, but I’ll take what I can get.
The first update to the course curriculum in 2019 included updates to:
- Facebook Optimization
- Instagram PPC Ads
- 30-Day Bootcamp
In the next Ecom Success Academy update, I would love to see updates to the new algorithms, update previous dropshipping practices that no longer work in the new year, and several ways to get through saturation points in the industry.
With each year, the saturation of the ecom industry grows, and more people are forced further behind the breaking point. I would not be surprised to see a time come soon where this business models become obsolete just because so many are clamoring to get to these “easy wins” despite large platforms like Amazon clearly winning the race.
Who Is Adrian?
If you give the founder of Ecom Success Academy, Adrian Morrison, a quick Google search, then you’ll find out quickly that he hasn’t made any small amount of fame from the course. It has quite successfully launched his career, with his website stating that he is “an Author, Speaker, & Marketer who has mentored thousands of students online.”
The man is popular on social media as well, with over 100K followers on his Facebook page, 249K followers on his Instagram account, and 13K subscribers on his Youtube channel. That’s quite impressive for such a small niche!
He makes a lot of his success off of a few claims. One of which is that he has made $21,000 in a single day, earning as much as $420,000 in a single month.
Please hold –
Let’s note before we move on that that money is revenue, not profit. The man’s net worth reflects nowhere around that number. Though I’m sure he is very successful and making a lot more money than a lot of us, it’s important to realize that a lot of this money is from his course, not necessarily his ecom sales.
His popularity online is astounding. Considering he is a marketer, however, you do have to wonder how much of it is unbiased. There is nothing about him in famous publications like Entrepreneur, but again, not everyone can be covered in the publication.
It’s really up to you to decide if you trust the man, or if you think the claims that Adrian Morrison is running a scam are legitimate. Is he trying to pull the wool over your eyes, or is it just a little marketing magic sprinkled into his actual fame and success?
It could also be a little bit of both, of course. There’s no doubt that he has done some good and helped some people achieve success with his system, but there is always a good chance when dealing with online courses that the numbers are wildly skewed to show the best possible outcomes.
Academy Review: What to Expect in the eCom Success Course
For a course that is one of the “first Shopify-approved courses” according to Morrison, and certified as a Shopfiy Partner, the course has to live up to some high expectations from its students.
Now, Morrison claims that the course cost a million dollars to develop (which, who knows if that includes marketing costs?) which makes me have even higher expectations for the quality. The audio and video quality is as clear as I could expect with professional development, however, so it passes in my eyes.
Not only does the digital video and audio run smoothly in high definition on mobile and desktop devices, but Morrison’s teaching style is clear and concise. He does a good job at relaying information clearly and puts emphasis on beginner-level knowledge so you can learn from the ground up.
That probably doesn’t matter to you as much as the actual content of the course and what you can expect to learn, however, so we’ll go ahead and dive into that:
Module 0 - Welcome Video
You probably aren’t surprised to learn that there is an introduction video welcoming you to the course. Almost every course has one – it’s almost like it’s an unspoken rule.
Adrian Morrison is proud of his course, as any course owner should be, and it’s great to see him really get into the video. It feels like you are really there, talking with him as he introduces himself and the training.
Luckily, Morrison doesn’t dive too far into the welcome video. He gives you a quick introduction, describes the course and what to expect, and tells you to watch the videos on the main page of the website before diving straight into the course.
This video is basically a short overview of what you should expect from the eCom Success Academy, including detailing the different over-the-shoulder experiences you are going to get by going through the modules.
The three videos Morrison asks you to review on the main page are just some explainer videos detailing what to expect in the course and different motivational strategies for keeping the right mindset.
All in all, the welcome video lasts a total of 10 minutes, so it’s not difficult to get through unlike some other course welcomes which can go on for hours.
Module 1 - Shopify
In this first lesson, you will learn some of the foundational building blocks of ecom by diving into Morrison’s platform of choice: Shopify.
The videos are divided into 8 categories:
- Shopify Setup
In this video, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of Shopify and how to set up your site for the first time.
- About Dropshipping
This category covers what exactly dropshipping is and how the process works. Pretty standard stuff, and
I would say that it’s important if you are just getting started, but I also feel like having to explain it in the course means that they are expecting their students to have missed the point of the course before purchasing. Overall something I would have wanted to see as free material before purchasing.
- Adding Products
In this category, you’ll learn how to quickly and accurately get your products on your store. Everything from setting them up to using product images, variants, tags, and much more to optimize your product listings as much as possible.
- Strategies for Promotion
There are many strategies to promote your store, but they are not created equal. Morrison dives into the standard ecom promotion: free shipping.
- Your Sales Page
In this category, you’ll learn about the pros and cons of copy to describe your product. You’ll also learn about shipping times and user browsing behavior.
- Building Your Brand
Arguably, the most important part of your premium ecom site is the brand. The more “real” your brand appears, the more consumer trust you have. Morrison dives into how to create and build you brand. There are some decent tips in this section, though many may seem obvious to someone who has created a brand before.
- Your Arsenal of Shopify Apps
This section is all about Shopify apps that will help you in a variety of ways by adding coupon usage to your store, getting sales from previously abandoned carts, using email marketing, and much more. Morrison dives into each app in detail about what apps he uses and why he uses them.
- Quickstart Your Shopify Store
In this section, you’ll watch one video on how to add a product listing on your store and have it go live in less than 10 minutes, saving you time and effort when adding several products for a single store.
In total, this module is divided into 8 different lessons, spanning 48 videos and 11 and a half hours of content.
Wow! Talk about a dive right into the meat of the course content.
Module 2 - Source Your Products
Setting up your Shopify store is easy, but it’s sourcing the products that can be a little tricky. In this lesson, you’ll learn the following:
- What vendors you should look for when sourcing products
- What to avoid when sourcing products
- Tips on how to negotiate prices, sources, and scaling methods with vendors’ products
- What to look for in choosing a product type
- How to source and sell custom products
- The importance of art licensing in your products
This lesson is a great over-the-shoulder view of Adrian Morrison’s process sourcing products from beginning to end, giving you an in-depth review of how he sources products and negotiates for the best deal possible.
This module includes 12 videos with a total run time of 7 and a half hours.
One thing I wish Morrison would have covered more thoroughly in this review is the pitfalls to avoid when choosing products. By not doing your research and due diligence properly, you risk falling into products that are not in demand or is oversaturated, ultimately causing you to lose money.
Losing money on products like this is probably one of the biggest risks of failure in the industry, and with so much money being spent in one place, I really wish this was covered much more thoroughly.
Module 3 - Facebook Marketing
Thankfully, the Facebook Marketing lesson covers more than just PPC ads. In this lesson, you will learn what Morrison calls one of the most important platforms for dropshipping: Facebook.
Personally, I have to disagree. Google ads have been making a huge impact on ecommerce sales lately. While social media traffic does help sell your products, by not choosing to go with Google PPC, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities despite the amount of money going out.
You will learn how to set up the following:
- Facebook Business Manager
- Business Pages
- Fan Pages
- Facebook Ads
- Understanding Analytics
- Facebook Pixel
- How to budget your money
This module is 79 videos long and covers a little over 18 hours of content.
Overall, this lesson falls short in some areas, like adspend money allocation vs. manual bidding, as well as overhyping the platform which is no longer as relevant for ecom sales. This is perhaps one of the main areas where it’s obvious the course is overdue for an update.
Module 4 - Email Marketing
Email marketing is a tough pill to swallow for many people and doesn’t make much money for the effort. There are definitely ways this can be scaled down and automated beyond what Morrison shows you in this course, but it’s a great start to get you familiar with the strategies and methods behind it.
In this lesson, you’ll learn:
- Morrison’s preferred auto-responder app for Shopify
- An email “money template”
- The correct marketing sequence to use and when to send emails.
While this module is only 8 videos long, it is still over an hour and a half of material on just email marketing strategies.
Unfortunately, email marketing is hardly relevant anymore when leads are cold, and most people will unsubscribe if you send too many emails in a short time span. Luckily, he does walk you through how to connect with warm leads who have signed up for your services or products before.
Module 5 - Scaling Your Business
This lesson is all about scaling your sites through VAs, or Virtual Assistants.
In this lesson, you’ll learn:
- How to build your team
- Where to go to hire virtual assistants
- Basics of teaching them how to perform certain tasks
- Criteria to select virtual assistants from
I expected this course to run far longer than it did, but alas, there are only 7 videos in this module for a run time of a little under an hour.
There aren’t any new or innovative strategies to hiring a team, and I really feel like Morrison could have covered a lot more material here to help you along on your first bout of hiring.
So many dropshipping and ecom reviews focus on scaling, but I find it important to note that scaling is not the goal of a store immediately.
Personally, I feel like this should come way later in the lesson content because at this point, you are probably not making a huge amount of money on your store. Only once your products are bringing in a stable flow of money should you consider scaling your team to accommodate more sales, success, and shops.
Perhaps the only exception I would make in this regard would be a social media manager to free up your time advertising products and instead making more money. That is a time sink that will hinder your success.
Module 6 - Learning Project Management
This lesson is clearly a follow up to the previous module’s video on project management.
I feel like it could have been adding in as additional project management videos in the previous module, rather than taking up a whole module in itself. There aren’t many videos, and it would be much fresher in the students’ mind that way.
This module will cover two main points:
- Two apps to use to simplify project management
- Pros and Cons of each app
This module is a total of 4 videos long and lasts a little more than an hour, which is a lot for this type of video where he is showing you a single app.
One of the biggest things I dislike about this video is that he is telling you to purchase one of two apps with a monthly fee. Depending on which one you choose, you are either spending $7 or $12 on the app each month per team member.
For most students, the base expense alone is a lot to swallow, especially when you take inventory and all of the other expenses (i.e., owning a live Shopify store) into consideration. It truly makes you wonder if there is a better alternative, or if he is simply showing you what he uses without regard to the students’ wallet.
Module 7 - Long-Term Exit Plan
In this shockingly short video, Morrison tries to cover a few things:
- What an exit strategy is
- What aspects of your business needs to be in place
- Where you need to focus
The module contains a single video with only 12 minutes of run time.
This is something I feel should have been inserted into the course perhaps right before, or right after the first module on setting up Shopify. There is too much information here to be taken lightly, and it helps to have an exit plan in place before you really get into the business.
Furthermore, it doesn’t cover anything about taxes, training the new owner, how to offload client lists, how and where to sell your company and find the right buyers…
The exit strategy spreadsheet Morrison uses in the video doesn’t even cover everything it needs to, and you can find better templates online for free.
There is too much missing from this module, and it deserves a full-length discussion like many of the other topics.
Module 8 - Bonus Lessons
This lesson is essentially a dump of bonus “lessons” and material that didn’t fit elsewhere in the course material.
You’ll get a variety of live and uncut content ranging from:
- The weekly live coaching in the eCom Success Academy groups dating back to 2016
- A mini course on Emailing with Anthony. Anthony is Morrison’s brother who apparently works in email marketing.
- A mini course on Outsource Mastery with Adam Rader. I’m still not sure who he is, as he was not introduced.
- An introduction to Sizzle Product Sniper Software
- Several Facebook ads case studies
Overall, this is not something I would want to ever comb through on my own time. Perhaps as live videos over time it would be more manageable, but this is a ridiculous amount of content that is largely rehashing the same topics.
It would have been better to use as inspiration for a new topic or additions to the pre-existing modules.
Adrian Morrison Scam Claims
A lot of people claim that the scam is something Adrian Morrison runs on purpose, with his interest only in selling his $3K course, rather than providing students with a meaningful and actionable path to success.
These are some lofty claims, and it can be difficult to sort through them one by one, but that’s exactly what I’m going to try to do in this review.
It makes sense that dropshipping would become so popular. (3) With people becoming more reliant on technology as it advances, it can feel like regular grocery and retail stores are archaic, and that our roadways are becoming increasingly dedicated to shipping routes and warehouse storage.
Perhaps one of the leading reasons why people claim that it is a scam, particularly in the US, is that there are no refunds whatsoever for the Success Academy. Even if you haven’t taken any of the material or just recently purchased and decided to back out before you login for the first time, you won’t get your money back.
No matter the circumstances, all sales are final, which can be a scary thing when you are investing upwards of $3,000 at one time. That’s a lot of money! While the website states this fact, it’s not always obvious, especially if people purchase through an affiliate and get pushed through a separate back to back funnel. This is definitely something I would say Ecom Success Academy reviews fail to talk about enough.
This has led many people angry as they try to get a refund or contact customer support about their issue and then are denied their refund no matter how strenuous the circumstances.
Additionally, the eCom Success Academy course offers an affiliate program, allowing anyone to write a review whether they are a marketer or not. Not only would this skew most reviews in a positive light, but it also means that many reviews are untrustworthy, as they might be trying to sell you a product rather than truthfully review the product. Some would consider these reviews scams in themselves because they are biased and pushing a sale.
I am here to clearly state that I am not an affiliate of eCom Success Academy or affiliated with its founders. The review you see here is 100% authentic and unbiased, and if you don’t believe me, you can read through the review and spot any links to the product.
If you don’t want to comb through it all, then I’ll spoil it for you – there are no links to the product.
No links means no affiliate commission. In my Ecom Success Academy review, I’m just one guy trying to help you navigate the marketing of Adrian Morrison’s dropshipping success story.
No affiliate commission means I’m not an affiliate, and I won’t try to sell you on the course unlike hundreds of other scam reviewers out there on the internet.
Is eCom Success Academy Legitimate?
Yes and no. I feel like Morrison really tried to create a good course with Ecom Success Academy, but he hasn’t kept it supremely up-to-date as dropshipping platforms and products change, making a lot of review sites act like it’s a scam.
Years ago, Adrian Morrison’s ESA course was even nominated as one of the best Shopify program on the internet, making it a huge success, so it really makes you feel like the eCom Success Academy would be the right choice for you if you are looking to get into online marketing and sales.
With ecom growing rapidly as technology advances, it only makes sense to get in while you can to take advantage of a wealthy niche. (4) Even if you end up towards the back end of the bell curve, there’s no sign of ecom or online sales disappearing anytime soon. In fact, the industry has only been growing in recent times, continuing to skyrocket past many investors’ expectations.
With that demand, there will be hundreds of new program offers popping up, each teaching you their own “proven methods” of how you can make your income through dropshipping and ecom on Shopify and other platforms.
It’s just the nature of economy – someone wants something, so someone will sell it.
Still, there are a few glaring issues that the course presents that I just can’t let go of.
First, the ads section is lacking and doesn’t cover a few glaring issues that could leave you astray. For starters, he recommends Facebook ads and covers an outdated method of optimizing them.
Personally, I’ve never seen a significant amount of success with advertising your dropshipping site on Facebook, but I know some product niches do have success with it. You’ll have better luck working with Google PPC, which will require a different course.
Looking for the Safe, Reliable Bet in Your Entrepeneurial Life?
Look, I get it – eCom isn’t for everyone.
I should know, because it didn’t work for me.
If you’re looking for a real way to start your business without giving up the ability to work from home, then I’ve got a great opportunity for you.
It has nothing to do with MLMs, sketchy business practices, or any of that.
I’ll prove it to you, too.
Over the last few years, I’ve consistently made six figures by following the business model outlined in this course.
It’s such a well-thought-out model and you can tell the owners truly care about their students’ success because they’ll hop onto coaching calls with you, and you have to go through a vetting period for them to even offer the course to you (yup! It’s that good.)
Not only that, but their Facebook community is packed with questions, success stories, good information, livestreams – you name it!
After you’ve gone through the course, you will have learned what it takes to connect highly qualified customers with the businesses they are looking for.
A lot of business owners aren’t able to secure their online presence, or they don’t have the time to dedicate to marketing it themselves, and that’s where you step in.
You’ll learn how to identify who their target audience is so every click is a qualified lead, and then you’ll send them through a funnel that connects them with the business owner.
No sketchiness, no bending the truth. Just connecting customer to business.
If this has piqued your interest and you want to know more about what you’ll get by joining, check out this free demo I’ve secured of the training:
- John Caplan, Ecommerce Has Been a Lifeline for Small Businesses During the Pandemic. Where Do They Go From Here?, https://www.forbes.com/sites/johncaplan/2021/05/03/ecommerce-has-been-a-lifeline-for-small-businesses-during-the-pandemic-where-do-they-go-from-here/?sh=154d21b73587
- Dorit Sasson, Top 3 Things You Need to Know About the Ecommerce Space, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/top-3-things-you-need-to-_b_9518586
- Lucas DiePietrantonio, Why You Should Bet on the Future of Ecommerce, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/350797
- Amy Heimerl, When Youre a Small Business, Ecommerce is Tougher than it Looks, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/business/small-business-e-commerce.html