If you’ve ever thought about learning how to start a drop shipping business then you’ve probably come across a web based training course called Store Coach. Today I’m going to do a Store Coach Review. This expansive course is similar to Drop Ship Lifestyle and Steve Chou’s Profitable Online Store but offers a much cheaper start up cost and a free training option too.
Store Coach is one of the most popular drop ship training courses on the market and was designed and created by the Hermansen Brothers, 3 guys who claim to have made millions through their own online e-commerce businesses and are keen to help others succeed too.
The course is based around a seven stage process from design and planning through to building, expanding and promoting your store and to start earning, ‘a consistent and steady income’ from anywhere in the world.
Unlike most of my reviews where I’m not an affiliate of the said products, for Store Coach I am. I’ve tried to make my review as transparent as possible and any affiliate links in this article will be clearly identified. The fact I’ve chosen to affiliate with the only training course that costs under $50 a month with no contract should show you, I’m not here to promote products just to make a commission. The reason I’ve chosen Store Coach is they cater well to international entrepreneurs.
Store Coach Review
Store Coach 2018’s primary function is to offer free training that is widely accessible to the masses with a premium upgrade available which gives you extra access. I like to think of the premium upgrade as a VIP service and if your an international entrepreneur then you will find the overseas business formation information very handy (more below).
The course, unlike Drop Ship Lifestyle is primarily text based with supplemental videos added to boost the credibility of the text articles. If you hate video content then you’ll be better suited in the Store Coach platform. If your not keen on reading then Store Coach probably isn’t going to be for you.
Store Coach also offers to-do lists and follow along resources to further your e-learning. Should you upgrade to premium membership you’ll receive more detailed information and guides designed especially for overseas visitors and those looking to expand their knowledge-base far quicker.
As I’ve already identified, Store Coach is geared toward the drop ship business model (learn more on that here), where you’ll be selling third party products and having them shipped directly to your customers in discreet packaging. Nonetheless, if you wish to start any e-commerce business then you’ll find useful information regarding online business through the course.
Who are the Hermansen Brothers?
If your reading this review you might be wondering who actually created Store Coach? It’s very rare for more than one individual to own a drop ship course, if you look at the likes of Drop Ship Lifestyle (now DSL for short), Drop Ship Lab and Profitable Online Store you’ll see the brains behind the content is usually a one man band.
The three brothers consist of Dave, Mike and Kevin Hermansen. Dave is the main coach and you’ll likely see his photo on the sales pages and in the members area with Mike and Kevin acting as assistant coaches.
According to the ‘About’ page on Store Coach among the three of them they’ve sold over sixty profitable ecommerce stores and Dave has appeared in the New York Times, Fox News and other news agencies over the past ten years to showcase their work.
If you take a look over at Flippa you can see real life examples of stores they’ve sold.
Store Coach 2018
Now that you know what Store Coach actually is and who is behind the web training platform let’s take a look at what you’ll actually get if you sign up.
As mentioned earlier there is two membership categories, FREE and PREMIUM.
Over 75% of the course is freely available and anyone can create an account and get started. Similar to Wealthy Affiliate, there is a free section and a paid section. As you work through the content you’ll see that some of the content is restricted to paid members only. For example you might be reading a topic only for a piece of the puzzle to be missing. Upgrading will reveal all and is quite affordable.
The first time you’ll experience the issue above is when you start reading part one which is related to Market Research. The coaches recommend that you find keyword search terms for your store so that you can rank using Search Engine Optimization techniques. They then proceed to recommend their own tool which of course is only available to paid members.
If your a beginner starting out this can cause panic and frustration as you feel suckered into upgrading. Don’t panic, if you don’t want to upgrade there are plenty of free and premium resources online where you can bypass the need to be a paid member. Of course using their tools will be much easier to follow along.
The rest of the Market Research section is fairly straight forward and requires no paid upgrade.
As you progress through the course you’ll get to explore chapter 2 where you’ll discover the pros and cons of drop shipping vs wholesale stores vs affiliate product recommendation sites. As some of you may be aware I definitely recommend affiliate sites for passive income and drop shipping stores for digital nomads.
Chapter three goes on to help walk you through finding a supplier and how to source products for beginners. Similar to other courses such as DSL and Profitable Online Store the suggestions on finding suppliers is quite straight forward. I recommend using Salehoo as a quick solution for finding over 10,000 suppliers.
In Chapter four, five and six you’ll go through the process of designing, building and launching your online store. You’ll learn how to start a store that is optimized for search engine rankings, something DSL doesn’t focus on at all, and using software tools they recommend (premium upgrade again) you can bolster your online store.
In future chapters you’ll start to learn how to start an online store and continue running your new site. For example in Chapter seven you’ll explore paid traffic, organic traffic and direct traffic and how to create a web marketing strategy for your first 6 months.
Chapter eight is all to do with pay per click and other forms of paid advertising to drive traffic and sales. Chapter nine shows you how to rank your site higher in search engine rankings for your chosen keywords and phrases to increase free traffic. In Chapter ten you’ll explore the wonderful world of direct traffic techniques.
Chapter eleven is a guide on how to convert customers and prospects into sales and increase average profits per order. Chapter twelve is all about day to day store operations and dealing with negative reviews your business is ultimately going to receive and how to deal with them. Lastly you’ll deal with the possibility of selling your store on sites such as Flippa and EmpireFlippers for cold hard cash within 12 months of setup.
How Much Does Store Coach Cost?
For most users the price is 100% free, although I must remind you to sign up right away just incase the course becomes paid members only. If you wish to become a premium member the price is $49 per month but you can cancel whenever you want.
Why Would You Become A Pro Member?
Aside from the premium content that will become unlocked when you signup you’ll get to take advantage of a wide range of extras which aren’t available to free members.
The best feature is the supplier directory which easily rivals Salehoo although isn’t quite as large. You get instant access to their supplier directory which contains direct contact details for thousands of suppliers across the world. To be fair most suppliers are based in the USA, Canada, UK or Australia so be careful if you live somewhere more exotic.
Niche Ninja Pro Tool
Similar to DSL the creators of Store Coach have created a proprietary tool for finding niches that have lots of demand and little competition. The tool analyzes all 4 of the big factors in choosing a niche such as daily search count, profit potential, seasonal immunity and a score card on how difficult it is to rank for that keyword.
If you’ve ever used Keyword Revealer or Long Tail Pro then it works in a similar way and is very helpful.
Link Thief Unlimited
This is another tool that is unique to Store Coach and allows you to identify your competitors most valuable backlinks and obtain similar ones for your own site. A similar example would be a backlink checking tool such as Ahrefs or SemRush which cost over $100 a month, so your getting a great piece of software included in your $50/month package.
Currently the best way of getting ranked is to send high authority backlinks to your website and now you can find out where your competitors are promoting their sites to get in on the action.
Pro Facebook Page
I think Facebook groups are a dieing trend especially for internet marketers but Store Coach offers an exclusive group where you can connect with other members and share advice and information. The coaches are active on there and as of December 2016 there over 1200 members in the group.
30 Minute Coaching Call
As if $50 for all of the above wasn’t enough you can get a 30 minute coaching call with your coach (your assigned 1 of the 3 bros) and you can pick their brains and get guidance. Just remember, like all marketers they are probably going to try and sell you something so just be prepared.
USA Business Set-Up Guide (For Non-US Residents)
This is a subject I touch on in my other reviews of Profitable Online Store and DSL as they don’t offer any help for overseas buyers to start USA drop shipping businesses. In Store Coach Pro you’ll get a 19 page guide on setting up a US-Based business from overseas. I’ve also done a free guide on my own blog you can read on my own experience.
If you live outside the USA but plan to build a .com site targeting the US marketplace, you will want most/all of the following things:
- US business entity (such as a Limited Liability Company, or LLC)
- US Seller’s Permit (issued by one of the 50 states in the USA)
- US tax ID number (Employer Identification Number, or EIN)
- US street address
- US toll-free phone number
- US merchant account (for accepting credit card payments on-site)
- US debit card (for paying your US-based suppliers).
What About Platinum Membership?
Yes, there is such a thing over at Store Coach called Platinum Membership but I’d call it private coaching instead as you get biweekly coaching calls, daily live chat facilities with your personal coach and discounts to live annual events held each year. Personally I don’t need the coaching so I’ve never signed up to experience this so unsure if it’s worth it.
The platinum option costs, $249 a month.
What I Don’t Like About Store Coach
So now you know everything about what you’ll get if you sign up, here is the downsides to the course. Based on this I’ll make recommendations on other tools and courses you could use, although I feel Store Coach is definitely one of the most affordable options out there already.
The shopping cart of choice is Bigcommerce and lots of the tutorials relate to this platform. Other courses such as DSL recommend using Shopify which is also a hosted shopping cart. Comparing both of these, Shopify is far easier to use and much more customizable in terms of third party apps and premium themes.
I’ve used Bigcommerce myself and I found I didn’t like it too much so all my stores have been created with Shopify or Woocommerce ever since.
If you decided to use Shopify while following the pro version of Store Coach many of the tutorials wouldn’t apply. However in saying this, many of the course content can be applied regardless of which shopping cart platform your using. If you need assistance with Shopify though, you wouldn’t be able to get help from the coaches.
If you have your heart set on Shopify and want hand holding then Drop Ship Lifestyle may be a better course for you.
Update: I’ve been told Store Coach are also recommending 3DCart as another platform instead of Bigcommerce (more expensive).
Be sure to checkout my Shopify vs Bigcommerce comparison guide.
Pro Keyword Tool = USA Results Only
Like most of the drop ship courses there are disadvantages for non American’s and the pro keyword tool is an example of that. If your looking for keywords for the USA then great but local results for other countries is not available. It should however give you a good idea if the search volumes in the USA are high, what they would be in your own country though.
Alternatives To Store Coach
If your looking for free training then Shopify offer a shopify training course which is 100% free. You could then sign up to Salehoo for a one time fee of $67 and find suppliers. Lastly I would start a 14 day trial for Shopify and refer back to the Shopify training guide to learn how to use the platform. The total cost for getting your site setup would likely be under a $100 in your first month.
Would I Recommend Store Coach?
Out of all the main drop shipping courses I’ve reviewed I would recommend this course out of all of them however for 2018, Ecom Elites is definitely a far better course. The training is comprehensive and the fact you get 75% of the course for free so you can see what you think of the course before investing $49 is a great option.
The course is primarily text based with a small number of videos which may be of concern to some people but if your looking for flash videos then one of the more expensive courses might be a better option.
The course is focused on search engine optimization rather than paid advertising (although it’s there) which is much more affordable for newbies starting out. DSL and Profitable Online Store don’t reveal the real costs of paid advertising in their sales pitch.
The one downside is Bigcommerce and 3dcart, if you have an open mind and are willing to learn then this will be fine however I prefer using Shopify. Thankfully Shopify have an extensive training center on their website so you could learn to use their platform without using Store Coach if you went that way.