In this article, I’m going to be showing you how I generated $100,000 in revenue in only 30 days.
I accomplished this using my brand-new product testing method. This method involves creating a general store.
General dropshipping stores have various trendy products from different niches.
This was my first time experimenting with a general store, as I usually run one-product stores.
So if you’re interested in:
- The 3 winning products from this store
- How to find winning products
- My Facebook ad account structure
- How to create winning advertisements
- and much more
You’ll love the detailed information in today’s case study.
Disclaimer: If You’re Completely New to Dropshipping
This particular case study is most beneficial to people who know what dropshipping is already or run their own stores.
So, if you’re completely new to dropshipping, I recommend checking out my Shopify dropshipping guide first.
That article covers what dropshipping is and how to create a Shopify dropshipping store in extreme detail.
However, if you’re interested in how I generated $100,000 in revenue in just one month, feel free to continue reading.
Who am I?
Well, my name is John Yoon and I’ve been actively running eCommerce stores since 2017.
I was in my junior year of college back in 2017 and realized I didn’t have any interest in pursuing a full-time corporate job after graduating.
During that time, I was already running a few Amazon affiliate blog sites:
But I was barely making a few hundred dollars a month and didn’t know how to grow it.
So, I looked around on YouTube for different ways of earning money online and found a video about dropshipping.
I saw that there was somebody making INSANE daily profits running dropshipping stores and was immediately interested to try it myself.
So, I took the $10,000 I had saved up at that point and spent $1,000 purchasing that YouTuber’s dropshipping course.
Then, I created my own Shopify dropshipping store and started running advertisements with the $9,000 I had left.
The first store I created was a watch store selling generic watches I found from Aliexpress.
I burned about $3,000 running advertisements and ended up losing most of it as I was completely new to product marketing and had no idea what I was doing.
So, I tried a different store in the apparel niche with the $6,000 I had left.
After a few weeks of trying different products, advertisements, and audiences I was finally starting to generate around $1,000 revenue a day with a $200 profit margin.
Since I actually had some cash flow to work with at that point, I scaled up my advertising budget and was soon able to consistently hit $3,000-$5,000 revenue days.
I had my childhood friend, Larry, helping me run the store and we were both in absolute shock at the numbers we were able to generate.
We showed a few of our close friends what we were doing and everyone was in disbelief.
Two 21-year old college students making $1,000+ profit per day while still in school was unheard of.
I was set to graduate university in May of 2018 but decided to drop out 8 weeks before graduation.
This was because I had 3 stores generating over $50,000 total in revenue each day.
The image above shows the total sales of one of my stores from January 2018 to April 2018.
As you can see, choosing to not finish school was a completely logical decision for me.
To support this massive growth, I hired customer support assistants and order fulfillment agents from Upwork.
Since 2018, I’ve been actively opening new stores, learning new advertising methods, and going through all the ups and downs of an online entrepreneur.
I also started a YouTube channel called Verum Ecom in 2019 teaching others about dropshipping and eCommerce.
Furthermore, I created a Facebook group for like-minded eCommerce entrepreneurs like myself.
Compared to the early days of 2017 and 2018, dropshipping and online marketing is much more difficult.
There are more competitors, more Facebook ad restrictions, and increased shipping prices and times due to Covid-19.
This is why I tried a new product testing method as many of my previous strategies aren’t as effective as before.
What is Product Testing on a General Store?
As I stated, I was using a brand-new testing method for this store.
This testing method involves creating a general store and testing a variety of different products.
I found a few dozen trendy products on Aliexpress and imported them into my store.
I’ll show you how I found these products later on in this article.
After the products were imported, I ran separate Facebook advertisements for each product.
The goal with product testing on a general store is to move quickly and identify winning products fast.
On this dropshipping general store, I tested around 20 different products.
Out of the 20 products, there were 3 products that were the main revenue drivers.
The goal with the general store is to move quickly and identify winning products fast. It’s important to quickly scrap products that aren’t getting initial traction.
You don’t want to waste time and money on low-tier products when you could find many different products that are highly profitable.
Cons of Starting a Shopify Dropshipping General Store
The only downside to opening a general store is that it requires a much bigger testing budget.
You will most likely burn through cash quickly if you’re unable to immediately find a winning product.
This is why I recommend beginner dropshippers to start with a one-product store.
With a one-product store, you can slowly modify your marketing, sales funnel, and cost of goods to eventually reach profitability.
In other words, it’s a safer way to learn everything that goes into eCommerce, marketing, and growing a profitable store.
It’s hard to master every step in the funnel with a general store since there are so many products to test.
However, if you have a bit of experience dropshipping already and are looking for new ideas, the general store may be a great option for you.
What Were My 3 Winning Products?
Now, let’s talk about the 3 main products that generated $100,000 in one month.
The three winning products were:
1) Side Sleeping Pelvic Cushion
2) Squishy Slippers
3) Seat Cushion
All three of these products shared one important characteristic: They were immediately profitable from launch.
I’ll show you how I analyze Facebook ads to see if a product is profitable later on in this case study.
However, if you want a deeper look at how to analyze your Facebook ad metrics, check out this Facebook ads tutorial.
I go over what metrics to look for and how to tell if your Facebook ads are performing well.
General Dropshipping Store Revenue Breakdown
Out of the 20 products I tested on the general store, the 3 winning products brought in 70% of the total revenue.
You can see my revenue breakdown below along with the 3 main winning products.
As you can see, I generated $99,745.30 in total revenue which was brought to $96,791.93 after returns and refunds.
Let’s go over each product’s complete profit breakdown.
Winning Product Profit Breakdown
1) Pelvic Cushion
- $33,300 Revenue
- $18,700 Facebook Ad Spend
- $10,500 Cost of Goods
- $4,100 Profit
- 12.3% Profit Margin
2) Squishy Slippers
- $23,900 Revenue
- $12,700 Facebook Ad Spend
- $8,000 Cost of Goods
- $3,200 Profit
- $13.4% Profit Margin
3) Seat Cushion
- $12,650 Revenue
- $4,100 Facebook Ad Spend
- $4,200 Cost of Goods
- $4,350 Profit
- $34.4% Profit Margin
In total, these three products generated $11,650 in profit in just one month.
Furthermore, the entire general store generated about $15,000 profit for a 15% total net margin in 30 days.
How Do I Price My Products?
I marked up each product 300% or 3x the total cost of the product from the supplier including shipping.
For example, I was buying the pelvic cushion for $10 including shipping from the supplier, so I sold it for $29.95 in my store.
You can also see that the lowest revenue-generating product out of the three products, the seat cushion, actually had the highest net profit.
Key Takeaway: An important lesson to learn here is that generating massive revenue and scaling your stores doesn’t always mean you’ll be making the most profit.
Don’t get carried away by big numbers because net profit is the only thing that matters at the end of the day.
How Did I Find Winning Dropshipping Products?
Next, let’s go over the dropshipping product research method I used to find these 20+ products.
To find these products, I spontaneously came up with an idea one day while I was browsing my phone.
I, like many of you, waste hours each day pointlessly browsing social media and more specifically, Instagram stories.
As I was scrolling through my friends’ Instagram stories, advertisements would come up every 2-3 stories.
I started noticing that a lot of the ads I was receiving were actually from dropshipping and eCommerce stores.
Furthermore, many of the products being advertised were actually interesting and intriguing.
So, I decided to start clicking the arrow ‘share‘ icon and sending the story advertisements to a friend. This allowed me to essentially “save” and remember the product.
Afterward, I started purposely browsing more stories just to find more interesting advertisements.
Once I found and saved a couple of products, I would then browse through Aliexpress data to confirm the product was trending.
Using The Aliexpress Dropshipping Center To Find Winning Products
So, I would open up my computer and head over to Aliexpress.
Check out my Aliexpress guide if you’re unfamiliar with it.
In Summary, Aliexpress is essentially a website to find dropshipping products and suppliers.
After I had my list of interesting products saved on Instagram, I logged into Aliexpress and went to the Aliexpress Dropshipping Center.
The Aliexpress Dropshipping Center is a free tool that shows how many units each product is selling.
I clicked on ‘Find Products to Sell‘.
Then, I searched for the saved products from Instagram into the search bar.
First, I looked for “leg pillow” as that was one of the products I saved.
I confirmed that the product was the same one I saw from Instagram and then sorted the list by order quantity.
Next, I checked to see if the product cumulatively sold more than 1000 units.
This is important as it shows that there’s good market demand for the product.
If the product has over 1000 units like the leg pillow shown above, I click ‘Analyze‘ on the listing with the most orders.
The ‘Analyze‘ feature shows how many orders are being placed daily.
I’m looking for products with consistent daily orders because it shows the product is still in demand and not saturated.
The image above shows that the leg pillow is consistently selling 50+ orders per day, which is a great sign. This means that the market still has room for more vendors.
Furthermore, this is only a single listing for this product. There are dozens of other suppliers selling the same product on Aliexpress. So, this product is most likely selling 100+ orders a day.
Once all the analytics are confirmed and the product selling potential is high, I’ll import the product into my Shopify dropshipping store using Oberlo and start running Facebook ads.
Why Does This Product Research Method Work?
You may be wondering why this dropshipping product research method works and is so effective.
I’ll tell you exactly why.
If a store is advertising a certain product, it means that the product is most likely profitable for them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t continue burning money running ads for that product.
For this reason, I immediately know people are interested in the product and want to purchase it.
Now the next questions are:
- Won’t the product be saturated?
- Can 2 diffferent stores sell the same product and both be profitable?
These are very valid questions that I’ll happily answer.
When it comes to product saturation, it’s often overstated. It’s extremely difficult for a product to actually get saturated because of how large the total global population is.
Facebook, which is my main advertising platform, has roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users.
With that many users logging into Facebook every month, there are hundreds of thousands of different audiences you can try targeting.
So, a product actually being saturated is nearly impossible unless there are dozens of stores selling the same product.
How Did I Create My Shopify Dropshipping Store?
Now, before I go into how I ran my Facebook ad campaigns for this general store, you are probably thinking I skipped a major step.
Well, it would take another 10,000 words to answer these questions in detail and I already wrote tutorials on them.
So, check my How to Build a Shopify Dropshipping Store guide if want to learn how to create a store.
Creating the actual store isn’t difficult but takes a bit of time.
I recommend making the header image and product pages extremely engaging and detailed.
In summary, creating a dropshipping store involves:
- Purchasing a Shopify plan
- Naming your store
- Buying a domain name
- Choosing a theme
- Picking products from Aliexpress
- Using Oberlo to import products
- Designing the website and product pages
- Pricing the products properly
You can check my best free Shopify themes article too for my favorite free Shopify themes.
The next step was running Facebook ads after my store was created.
How Did I Create and Scale My Facebook Ads?
If you’ve never run Facebook ads before or are unfamiliar with the platform, I recommend you read my Facebook ads guide. You may not understand some of the terminologies I use in this section if you don’t do so.
However, to give you a basic breakdown, here’s how Facebook ads are structured.
- Campaign – Where you set the objective of the campaign
- Ad Set – Where you choose who to show your advertisements to
- Ad – The image/video you want to show your audience
Each product would have its own campaign with the campaign name based on the name of the product.
For example, I named the leg pillow campaign “Leg Pillow $100 CBO Test 1“.
This would help me easily identify which product is linked to which ad campaign later on.
My Facebook Ad Account Structure to Generate $100,000 in One Month
Setting Up The Campaign
To start out, I tested one CBO campaign with a $100 budget, and the campaign objective was set to ‘Conversion‘.
Setting Up The Ad Sets
Then, I had 4 different interest targeting ad sets running with:
- Purchase Conversion
- Worldwide Targeting (no exclusions)
- English (all)
- Gender (all)
- The ads scheduled to start at 12am the next day
Furthermore, each ad set had a unique audience. For the audiences, I would type in an interest related to my niche.
Use the ‘Detailed Targeting‘ section in the ad set to find relevant interests.
For example, I used “knee“, “sleep“, “insomnia“, and “stress” for the leg pillow product.
I made sure the audiences were broad with 5 million+ people.
Broad audiences work better because you allow the Facebook machine learning algorithm to automatically find the best users to target.
With ad sets fully set up, the next step was to set up the ads.
Setting Up The Ad
For the ads, I tested 3 different creatives for each ad set.
I used 2 video ads and 1 picture ad because it’s always optimal to test both videos and pictures.
You never know which one will perform better.
Video ads usually work better for products that offer some proactive functionality. It allows you to explain the product’s benefits and how it works more clearly.
For the leg pillow, video ads performed much better than pictures because people need to understand how the pillow will benefit their sleep.
A single image ad doesn’t give enough information to illustrate all the product details.
In summary, this is how I set up my first Facebook ad test on the leg pillow:
Day 2) Monitoring and Optimizing my Facebook Ad Campaign
After I finished setting up the initial Facebook ads, I would wait 24 hours (1 full day) from when the ads started running.
Once the second day starts, I immediately created a “People who have watched at 75% of your video” (VV 75%) custom audience.
This will create an audience of all the people who watched at least 75% of your video advertisement.
For this reason, it’s extremely important to run video ads in your first campaign as it will allow you to collect more data.
Then, I made 1%, 2%, and 3% lookalike audiences using the VV 75% custom audience.
With the three new lookalike audiences, I created a new Facebook ad campaign using the exact same settings as the initial test.
The only difference in this new campaign is that I removed the interests and replaced them with the lookalike audiences.
So each of the 3 new ad sets will contain 1 lookalike audience:
- New ad set 1: VV 75% Lookalike Audience 1%
- New ad set 2: VV 75% Lookalike Audience 2%
- New ad set 3: VV 75% Lookalike Audience 3%
All the other settings will be the exact same including the 3 ad creatives, so you can even duplicate your first campaign and just swap out the interests.
Furthermore, I will continue running the initial ad campaign regardless of if there’s a sale or not.
I let the interest and lookalike campaigns run together in order to collect as much data as possible.
I’ll let both of these campaigns run for another 24 hours before taking any further action.
After the next day, this is when I decide whether to continue running the product or not.
I test the product for 2 days and spend $300 testing each product is because $100 doesn’t procure enough data to analyze if the product will work or not.
Furthermore, I’m not sure if the interests I selected on day 1 are the best fit for the product, but I’m confident a VV 75% lookalike audience will be a much more optimal audience.
So, if the VV 75% audiences don’t work, it’s a good sign the product is going to be hard to market.
Day 3) Should I Continue Running This Product or Not?
After the second day, or 48 hours, the only thing that determines if the product is good or not is the ROAS (return on ad spend).
Return on ad spend is the most important metric when determining product profitability.
To calculate ROAS, take your total revenue and divide it by the total ad spend.
For example, if the 2 days of testing generated $1,000 in sales and you spent $300 on ads, the ROAS would be 3.33x.
If the ROAS for your product is less than 1.5x, I would stop running ads for that product and move onto the next one.
However, if the ROAS is above 1.5x, I would allow the ads to continue running for 1 more day to collect more data.
Day 4) My ROAS Were Above 1.5x After Day 3, What’s Next?
Now, if you continued testing your ads for one more day, here’s how I decide what to do after the next day:
If you still have only a 1.5x ROAS after the third day, the product isn’t a super winning product.
However, it can still generate low profits at a small scale. I wouldn’t scale these products as it would quickly lead to unprofitability since the markets aren’t big enough.
In this case, I would try testing different lookalike audiences on a lower budget, such as:
- Pageview Lookalike 1-3%
- Add to Cart Lookalike 1-3%
- VV 95% Lookalike 1-3%
Based on the ROAS and overall profitability of these audiences, I would decide whether to continue running the product or not.
If your ROAS were around 2x, I would go into a slightly more aggressive scaling phase.
This involves creating a new CBO campaign with:
- $500 budget
- VV 75% Lookalike 1-10%
So, create a new CBO campaign with a $500 budget and 10 ad sets. Each ad set should contain a separate VV 75% lookalike audience
If your ROAS is at 3x or above, this means your product is potentially a super winner that can be scaled extremely high.
In this scenario, I would use high budgets with as many audiences as possible:
- $500 CBO Campaigns
- VV 75% Lookalike 1-10%
- VV 95% Lookalike 1-10%
- Pageview Lookalike 1-10%
- ATC Lookalike 1-10%
You should allocate as much of your budget as you can to new ad campaigns if your ROAS is above 3x.
Products that hit 3x+ ROAS are more likely to perform at higher budgets because there’s a market demand for that product.
The Facebook algorithm will automatically optimize to utilize your budget to the best of its ability.
What if my ROAS start declining when I scale my ad budget?
If you see your ROAS declining after increasing your ad budget, you should start scaling down.
This decreased performance is usually because you capitalized on your full market capacity. Despite billions of people using Facebook each month, there are only a few hundred million users online at any point in the day.
I’ve noticed that with any product, there reaches an ad spend where more spend can lead to lower ROAS. So once you’ve reached this threshold, scale down.
It’s up to you as an advertiser to balance this ratio between spend and ROAS to get the most optimal return on your investment.
I show how I scaled those stores to over $500,000 in revenue and go over how I ran my Facebook ads.
Further Dropshipping Strategies I Employ
Alone with the lookalike audience scaling method, there are two other ways to increase revenue.
1) Retargeting Ads
The first strategy is running retargeting ads.
Retargeting is when you create a campaign specifically for people who have visited your store or added products to cart, but didn’t check out.
I usually offer a 10-15% discount on the retargeting ad.
Check out my Facebook retargeting ads tutorial if you want to learn how to create effective retargeting ads.
2) Email Marketing
The second strategy is email marketing.
Email marketing is when you send out automatic emails to the email list you’ve collected on your store.
This is an excellent way to generate additional revenue.
All you have to do is set up some automatic email flows.
Check out my email marketing guide if you want to learn how to create effective email campaigns.
3) Dropshipping Automation
The third strategy is automation.
This involves using a few key apps and hiring the right people to help you grow your dropshipping business.
Check out my dropshipping automation guide to see how I consistently generate 7-figure revenue eCommerce stores.
How I Made My Winning Ad Creatives
The next part I’ll go over is how I made my Facebook video ads. The importance of engaging ads is often overlooked by dropshippers.
Nowadays, most peoples’ attention span is even lower than before.
A good creative can and will make or break your entire business.
So, it’s important to get every detail of the video correct.
There are two steps to creating winning ad creatives:
- Create and test as much as you can
- Follow the outline of my proven formula for every test
Here’s how I outline every video ad I create:
- Start with a 3 second hook that captures the audience’s attention
- Display 5-10 seconds of how the product works
- Show 5-10 seconds of all the product features
- Finish the video with a call to action like “Shop Now“
Let’s go over how I made the video advertisements for the squishy slippers.
To start, I had a video shot with the text “Make walking more comfortable“.
This hook basically filters my audience to people who are interested in walking more comfortably.
Based on the data I collected, most of the product purchasers were people with sore feet, bad joints, or were just interested in comfortable slippers.
After the initial 3 second hook, I spent 10 seconds explaining how the slipper was going to make their lives more comfortable.
Through years of marketing and testing advertisements, I’ve learned that detailing the benefits of a product is much more effective than giving a list of product features.
People care much more about the inherent value a product will achieve, and not so much about the specific features.
Consumer attitude is hugely focused on emotions and not logic.
Think about Apple.
Everybody knows their products are overpriced compared to the actual hardware that’s in their products. However, people still flock in hordes to buy Apple products because it makes them feel better buying it versus the competitors.
So, I always emphasize benefits first, then go into the product features.
Here’s an example of product features I included in the next section of the video.
After 10 seconds of product features, I wrapped up the video with 2 calls to action.
The first one was a shot of all the different color options there are.
The second call to action was simply a “SHOP NOW“.
So how did I actually find these video clips?
It was actually really simple for me to make this creative because all the clips were already available. I didn’t have to shoot any original content. Instead, I just pieced together different clips I got from various sources.
Furthermore, I made sure to get permission to actually use the clips for my own video advertisement. This involves messaging the supplier or channel owner.
So, here’s where I like to find clips for my ads.
The first source I like to use is Aliexpress. Most Aliexpress suppliers upload videos for their product listing. So, find your product and see if there’s a video displayed. Then, ask the Aliexpress supplier if you can use bits of their footage.
Next, I’ll browse around YouTube for more clips. YouTube will usually have an abundant amount of old clips that you can use. Just type your product name in the search bar and scroll around.
The third source I check is Alibaba. I’ll often find hidden clips that I couldn’t find on Aliexpress. I just type my product name into the search bar and see what I can find.
Lastly, I’ll use InVideo which has free stock footage and videos. They have access to millions of free stock images/videos.
So, if I want to incorporate some B-roll or stock images to better illustrate my product, InVideo is my go-to.
Now how do I edit these clips together to make the full video ad?
There’s only one platform to edit videos on and it’s Adobe Premiere Pro.
I’ve tried a handful of different video editing software, as well as online video editors.
I quickly learned that none of them compare to Adobe Premiere Pro in terms of quality and features.
However, Adobe Premiere Pro has an extremely high learning curve that took me weeks to get the hang of.
Luckily, there are hundreds of free tutorials on YouTube out there that guided me along the way.
So, if you’re serious about eCommerce and dropshipping, ad creation is a vital piece of the puzzle that people often overlook.
Learning how to create well-made video advertisements is one of the most valuable skills to develop as an online marketer.
I hope you guys enjoyed this case study and how I generated $100,000 in revenue from Shopify dropshipping.
To summarize my experience with a general store, I learned that testing fast and moving quickly are the keys to success.
With a general store, you’re looking for a product that will sell itself. This is different than a one-product store or niche brand where you force a product to sell by improving marketing efforts.
Products in a general store should already have high market demand and should sell with minimal marketing efforts.
So, whether you’re an online marketer or not, I hope you were able to learn through my experience and can use this knowledge in your own career.