If you are looking for a sustainable way to make money with an online business , then chances are, you have come across ecommerce marketing and dropshipping as a “foolproof method” to internet success. Ecom Elites is one of many courses promising to teach you the ins and outs of the industry and how you can make it big from just following the process.
In this article from IBuyIReview, join me as I go through a full Ecom Elites Review. We’ll start from a bird’s eye view of the course in the overview before moving onto a full breakdown of each module, picking apart the program one-by-one.
Ecom Elites Review - Full Overview of the Course
Ecom Elites is one of many ecommerce training courses out there that promise they’ll help you make big bucks in the world of online shopping, all without handling the products yourself.
It might not come as a surprise that this is a business model growing in popularity. With more and more ecommerce stores opening every day, more people are shopping online rather than in-person, and this could lead to a global change in how we do our regular shopping. (1)
The course will take you a total of 34 hours and 30 minutes to go through from start to finish, so if you’re only watching for an hour or two each night, assuming you don’t leave any room for taking notes or asking questions, you’ll be ready to start your dropshipping business in two or three weeks.
Upon review of the course, it was clear that this was unlike many other dropshipping courses which just glaze over a lot of the information you’d need to know to really make it big with your business.
This is one of the most detailed dropshipping courses I’ve come across in my time reviewing training programs, with step-by-step guidance. You’ll pay for it in the time it takes to finish the course, but to me, it’s better to have too much information than not enough. I’m just glad they didn’t artificially increase the hours spent on the course with filler information like many other course creators.
A good portion of the course is all jam-packed with information, and while it could be polished and clarified in some places, I’ve seen it go through an update or two in the past.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that I believe that the dropshipping business model is any good, but I cover that later in this article as well.
Who Is Franklin Hatchett? A Review of the Ecom Elites Founder
Franklin Hatchett is the founder of the Ecom Elites course. He is another example of a guy who made it big in dropshipping once and went on to create a course about it so he could continue riding the revenue train by selling the formula to success to others.
He started out by making websites, ranking them, and making a few dollars here and there off of the advertisements he’d include. While this typically only pays a few cents for thousands of visitors, it is a common way for website owners to make additional revenue once their user traffic grows.
The revenue he made off of this, however, was a measly amount compared to what he knew he could be making with other methods, so he tried out affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, you drive traffic to a specific offer, and when a user purchases a product, you receive a commission from the sale.
Like me, however, he quickly found out that affiliate marketing can burn you out hard, because the affiliate can discontinue their program or products without prior notice. One day, all of the hard work you put into making a site work can disappear into the ether, bankrupting your business if you’re not careful.
For example, in 2019, Amazon cut its affiliate commissions by 30% for some industries, and it put a lot of affiliate marketers out of business.
After that, Franklin Hatchett decided to give dropshipping a shot, and after a lot of trial and error, he managed to get a site up and running. Utilizing the same tactics he had for his other sites, Franklin ranked it up, got some traffic, and ka-putz. Nothing.
Success doesn’t happen overnight, however, and Franklin wasn’t about to let his failures discourage him. Franklin tried other methods of driving traffic to his websites, and finally he discovered one that works: ads.
Instead of targeting the people who were looking for answers, Franklin started targeting the people who had their credit card ready, and the best way he could do that was to get in front of their face when they were ready to buy and start marketing to them.
Is the Ecom Elites Course Worthwhile?
There are so many stories about that one guy who made it big through dropshipping or ecommerce. (2) So many of these stories are in the media, in fact, that it can make you believe that ecommerce is a gold mine just waiting for the rush, because it seems like such an innovative idea.
That is, until you get into the nitty gritty and discover that the market is actually over-saturated because the barrier to entry is so low.
There is a step-by-step guideline and case studies right in the course material, so you can see where it worked for others, however, something they don’t cover very well is how much trial and error can go into finding the right formula.
From finding the right products to building out the website and finding the right marketing formula, dropshipping has been getting more difficult to get into over the years, and I don’t feel like this course covers the struggles of dropshipping well enough to prepare students for that experience.
Customer trust is down overall, as more people prefer to shop from big-name retailers like Amazon rather than pay another questionable company for a similar product. Two-day and free postage for every package have a lot to do with this choice, as the benefits for online shoppers stack up for purchasing through these major retailers.
Beyond that, you’ll notice when you get into the market a little bit more that because of the low barrier to entry mentioned before, more people are churning out sites faster with different products, rather than trying to do one really good website. The profit just isn’t there to sustain continuous effort in one product over many small sites.
That said, I think that this program has a lot of good information that should be considered as well, so it might be easier to follow for those who are mildly familiar with ecommerce and dropshipping already.
The Ecom Elites Course Breakdown
Some sources even say that in late 2021 and on, the eCommerce revenue forecast will continue to grow bigger than they ever have, and it’s showing no signs of stopping yet. (3) Welcome, my friends, to the digital age. This is also probably why you’re looking at this Ecom Elites review.
Combine that with the fact that many people are beginning to cash in on this craze and start their own business, it’s no wonder that courses like Ecom Elites showed up.
After all, you make more money in a gold rush selling pickaxes and helmets than you will participating in the mining.
Franklin has a no-nonsense style of teaching, which I like. (I just wish it wasn’t about ecom.)
In this course, you’ll learn about a few topics that will help guide you through the dropshipping method Franklin teaches:
- General business basics and tips
- Basic sales tips
- Where to source products
- How to source your products
- How to identify trends
- The best way to set up your Shopify store
- How to launch a Facebook ads campaign
- How to tweak and modify your Facebook ads campaign
- How to get some supplementary organic traffic
- Capturing email subscribers on-site
- How to perform email marketing
- A lot more material covered under the Bonus Lessons…
That’s a lot of material to run through.
Actually, that’s over 34 hours-worth of video material, so if you don’t mind, before I lose all of my mental notes, let’s jump right in:
The welcome video is what you would expect from any course. You’ll get a quick introduction to the course, a thank you for purchasing the curriculum, and an introduction to the owner, who will be walking you through the next 34 hours of material.
You’ll get the standard introduction such as what his name is, where he’s from, and reassurance that you’re spending your money wisely by investing in the course material.
Any introductory video will tell you that, but it’s nice to have the reassurance still. It’s a good welcome video, and I appreciate the little bit of personal flair Franklin put into it.
The length? The module comes in a little under 10 minutes. You can probably skip this module if you want, but if I pay for a course I usually want to know more about the person I paid. It’s worth the time, and there are ways to speed up the video.
Module 0 (eCom Introduction)
Franklin begins this course with another welcome and a bold introduction stating “Welcome to the best damn money-making course online.” It seems like a bit of a waste of airspace when Franklin has already gone through a welcome spiel, introduced himself, and introduced his course.
This module is just a 28-minute introduction to dropshipping, which could have been covered in the previous video. I fast-forwarded through some of this.
The course isn’t that expensive, and considering many others cost several thousand more, I don’t need to be sold yet again on how much money this course is going to make me and how it’s going to change my life – I’ve already bought the course, so stop pitching me on your product.
Franklin states that his course is geared towards the beginner who is looking to get into dropshipping, rather than experienced dropshippers. Which, experienced dropshippers, sorry to drop this on you after you’ve already spent your money, but apparently the course isn’t going to give you any new information.
Personally, I found it still had some value despite knowing dropshipping before I purchased, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for some nugget of information that changes your life.
Module 1 (Sourcing Products and Doing Research)
Finally, this module gets into the core fibers of dropshipping a little bit, and Franklin’s no-nonsense style of teaching really starts to show. This module focuses on doing your research to source products and find the trends. Yes!
This module is a whopping 4-and-a-half hours long, but Franklin actually goes in and shows you his process for researching a new product and sourcing them, complete with the sites he visits and products he chooses.
This module is one real-life example of his process in real-time. I have to give the guy credit; he knows how to make you feel like you’re learning something valuable in a course. (Maybe now I can get past the fact that I wasted over half an hour on introduction videos.)
Module 2 (Setting Up Shopify)
If you’ve never opened a Shopify store before, then this module is one that you’ll want to pay attention to. You’ll learn everything you need to know about opening a new Shopify store, from setting up your account to adding the final images on-site.
Franklin also covers payment and shipping options, as well as several apps that he uses in his own stores. You’ll also get a sneak peak into how to set up several important factors of a successful website, like email newsletters, abandoned cart notifications, store funnels, and product automation.
This module runs a little under 3 hours, but it’s jam-packed with a lot of good stuff for the Shopify newbie.
If you’ve set up Shopify stores before, then you know what to do. I would recommend skimming this video with a plugin to speed up the video just so you can get a general idea of how he sets up his websites, including the exact apps that he uses, but it’s easy to figure out yourself if you’re confident in your Shopfiy skills, too.
Module 3 and 4 (Facebook Ads)
Okay. Fine. Facebook ads.
To some degree, Facebook ads are helpful, though they are definitely not my preferred method of advertising a dropshipping store because Facebook ads can be so restrictive. Still, if you’ve never touched ads in your life, there’s some good information in here, because Franklin goes through everything about his ads in real-time, teaching you how to set up and read your Facebook Ad account, as well as your Facebook Pixel to place in the ads and capture the most data about your traffic.
You’ll also learn different advertising methods that are open to you, and how to split test your ads, read campaign data, and what re-targeting is, all to help you sell your products.
Be warned that between these two modules, it will take you a little over 10 hours to get through the material about advertising your products on Facebook. There’s a lot of information in here, and if you’re testing the waters, you might learn a thing or two.
Module 5 (Getting Instagram Traffic)
This is technically a bonus module added after the program was released, but it is smack-dab in the middle, likely to fit it in with the other ads videos.
The fact that Franklin included a module on how to get traffic from Instagram and sell your products is actually a surprise because strategies on how to get this social traffic is something that a lot of course creators forget about, or don’t include in their training because it can be a real pain to get.
You’ll learn a little of an hour’s worth of material on how to use Instagram to get commerce traffic through both ads and organic posts, as well as how to find the right influencers at the right price to help you promote your product
Module 6 (Getting Organic Traffic)
Now, I am a little surprised that I haven’t seen anything about how to get Google ads running here, and I’m hoping that it might be included with a future update just like the Instagram traffic was, but Google ads are a solid way of targeting buyers who are ready to purchase. Probably the best way to sell products that I’ve come across, in fact.
It’s easy to include a quick hour-and-a-half course on SEO in any program, and to be fair, for the price Franklin is asking for his course, he didn’t have to include it at all.
Still, this doesn’t give you a fair picture of what it takes to get a site to skyrocket in organic rankings, and it definitely isn’t free. In some competitive niches, this will definitely help give you an edge, but you’d better be prepared to work for it.
SEO isn’t easy, and it’s constantly evolving, making it difficult to really provide a proper course module on it, especially when it’s not the focus of your offering.
Module 7 (Email Marketing)
Franklin swears by his commerce strategy of email marketing, and while it can work for re-marketing to an audience you have already captured, cold email marketing is a thing of the past, so forget acquiring lists from third-parties. Online business has evolved past that point, now.
Luckily, Franklin airs on the side of re-marketing after you have captured an audience. I don’t think that 2-and-a-half hours is enough time to go over the struggles and pitfalls involved in email marketing, however, so be aware that it might be a stickier situation than it looks at first glance.
This module will take you through how to design a landing page in Shopify and create a lead generation list, putting your email marketing on “autopilot” through the Shopify system.
You’ll also learn a little bit about how to generate a “lead magnet” to get leads from your ad campaigns through Shopify, which I thought was a great thing to include.
Module 8 (Getting Sales)
In this video, Franklin takes you through a “online business 101” course that is just under an hour long and will help you increase your sales, scale up your business, and create business goals.
While he does discuss some information about taxes and other legal business issues, it’s best to talk to a lawyer or CPA in your own country, as Franklin is from New Zealand and therefore only experienced in NZ tax and business laws.
This video is nothing more than a few tips and tricks for getting sales, which could be helpful if you are new to business, but it isn’t going to give you a whole lot of value on the legal side unless you are also in New Zealand.
Still, it’s a helpful platform for resolving some questions about the online world that you might have come up with along the way.
Module 9 (Top Secret Video!)
Now we’re talking – vague module titles that are attention catching and clickbaity?
Actually, this is a few different bonus videos stitched together for about an hour’s worth of material. This module covers how you can improve your online ecommerce sales by using warranties and coupons, and taking advantage of review websites and fan pages.
You’ll also learn how to spy on your competition’s Facebook pages so you can copy strategies that work well for them. There are some good tips in these modules, and I would be hard-pressed to say the hour I spent watching the video was wasted, but it also doesn’t help me because I’m not a complete beginner in affiliate marketing, or various other types of online business strategies, period.
If you already have a good marketing mind on your shoulders, then these are resources that will make sense to you to do right off the bat.
Module 10 (Ongoing Video)
Thankfully, Franklin Hatchett has thought ahead and provided a 2019 update to his course. Prior to this, all of his videos were made in 2017 and it caused a lot of confusion for his students who would come across features that are no longer available or buttons that had been rebranded on Facebook or Instagram.
This new 2019 module explains how you can keep up with the times and modify your ad campaigns to suit the ever-changing landscape of the internet.
Of course, there’s no telling when the next update will come out, but if Franklin is still making updates to the course, he’s due for a new 2021 update any day now.
This module covers a little under 3 hours of material teaching you how to keep up with the times, which is important especially as dropshipping and ecommerce only become more competitive.
Module 11 (Request)
This module is a nice touch for the students, and I really respect Franklin Hatchett for including it. This module includes a series of videos that will take you a little under 2 hours to complete, and it includes a message from Franklin stating that if there’s anything you need help on or anything that wasn’t crystal clear in the course, to request a new video to handle your issue.
A lot of the bonus videos he has created are the result of these video requests, so it’s nice to see him responding positively to the audience.
You’ll also get a lot of good tips on using multiple Facebook accounts, tweaks to your ad copy, and how to do custom conversions. It seems like this module is a repository for his miscellaneous videos that he couldn’t find a good place for.
While I personally would have stuck this video towards the front of the course, I can see why he added it towards the end: towards the front, more students will reach out without having gone through the course material, and therefore would be asking him questions that would be answered in the material itself.
Module 12 (Bonus Videos)
This module includes an ongoing video archive of Q&A sessions with Franklin Hatchett. There’s a noticeable difference in quality in these videos, so they were most likely recorded on the fly for other projects and he uploaded them here to continue helping his students.
For specific questions, this section might not be useful, but if you’re just looking to round out your knowledge with some supplementary information, take a peek at this module for some extra information.
Is eCommerce and Dropshipping a Good Choice for Making Money Online?
If you ask me, dropshipping is a terrible way to make money online. You never know where your next dollar is coming from, and success can be dependent on too many factors. New course students shouldn’t have to deal with that sort of risk.
For example, if the supplier runs out of that particular product, or if a trend passes, suddenly your revenue stream has dried up. (4) Next thing you know, you are left with ads and organic rankings that are burning a hole in your pocket.
All the effort you put into marketing the site, just to have it slip away in a fraction of the time.
You might be able to say I’ve been burned before on dropshipping and affiliate revenue streams, but they’re so unreliable. If you do some digging, you’ll see that a lot of people have been burned in the past by a simple change in structure from someone else leading to thousands of dollars of lost revenue for the site owner.
Even with a legitimate program, I would be hard-pressed to recommend the dropshipping or ecommerce business model to anyone who wanted to make a consistent, reliable income that they can count on for years with a little bit of maintenance and a low barrier to entry.
The internet is flooded with spammy ecommerce stores already. There’s no sense in adding to the variety that already exists.
If you’re looking for a better way to make a sustainable income off of your online marketing efforts, it’s better to go with a business model that is reliable and doesn’t depend on the latest trends.
I got out of dropshipping for this very reason. You never know when your site will lose its popularity because you chose the wrong products, or they go out of style. Likewise, these sites are difficult to rank up and advertise because everyone is on the lookout for scams or illegitimate companies.
There’s a better way, and it does more than provide you with a path to monetization, it also gives you all the tools you need to make an informed decision about online marketing.
No matter what business model you go for online, you can utilize some part of this training to help you get ahead. The owners, James and Jason, believe in their product so much that they give you their personal funnels that they’ve seen success with.
Before you can purchase the training, you’ll get on a call with them to help you determine if the training is right for you. They do this with all students before they sign up, which really shows they care in my opinion.
Likewise, they’ll learn a little bit more about who you are and why you want to purchase the training to ensure it’s the right fit for you. It’s a great platform with a wonderfully tight-knit community of course students.
This is also a great opportunity to ask the owners any questions you personally have about the course before you pay a penny.
- Shira Ovide, An Ecommerce Future Ready or Not, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/technology/coronavirus-online-shopping.html
- Tomas Laurinavicius, This Guy Made $12K In One Month While Working Full Time, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/this-guy-made-12k-in-one-_b_9867858
- Jonathan Maxim, Amazon Shopify or Walmart: What Kind of an Ecommerce Store Should You Start?, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/364934
- Steve Tan, Five Dropshipping Myths Debunked, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2021/02/04/five-dropshipping-myths-debunked/?sh=2d6d84e5467a