Seth Smith Shopify guru, not to be confused with the famous baseball player is a 24 year old Shopify e-commerce store owner, course creator and Youtuber that claims to show you how to setup a drop shipping e-commerce business from anywhere in the world.
Given my history of reviewing courses, there have been some really poor courses and a few awesome courses. Seth’s course is a mixed bag, there are some good modules and some really poor ones. It’s a course designed.. for a beginner, all be it vastly expensive at $1,997.
If you’re just starting out, thats a sh*t ton of money to invest in a course given others in the market range from $197 to $2997.
It’s definitely not the longest course in the market, nor is it the shortest but it does offer lots of value.
Whether you can justify that value at $1,997? For me, I can’t.
It purely focuses on Facebook ad Instagram Ads, Email Marketing and Shopify. If you’re looking for search engine optimization strategies, other social media advertising, chat bots and Clickfunnels training you’re going to be disappointed, for now anyway.
Seth could always update the course in the future, but for now my review is on what I can watch.
Advanced eCommerce Academy Review
At the time of writing the course was split up into 9 weekly series.
Welcome Module – Introduction
This module includes three videos, one of which is an introduction to the course and how it will work, a breif overview of your course instructor, Seth Smith.
This proceeds into a second video called, what is drop shipping and why you need to be in it now. Given you’ve just bought the course, I’d hope you’d know already.
Lastly is a strange video on the terminology of e-commerce and is fairly short.
Week One – Product Research
If you were disappointed to find only three videos in your first module, you’ll be slightly more upbeat to learn about the product research videos that are presented in week two.
They are fairly short but include videos on the following:
- General vs Niche Stores
- Product Research tools including Thieve.co, Aliexpress.com and paid software tools.
Week Two – Building Your Store
Okay finally a module with lots of content and if you’re a beginner, this section will be an absolute delight as you’ll be able to create a fully fledged Shopify store within a few hours.
I’m not going to list out every video included in this section, you can grab that from the sales page.
I’ll quickly summarize what you’ll learn:
- Choosing a Shopify plan, quick setup guide
- Changing store currency to USD
- Creating and uploading alogo
- Registering a domain name
- Google analytics setup and installation, email setup
- Pricing your products
- Automation with Oberlo including setup
- Checkout optimisation
- Adding reviews, product images, titles
- Adding RocketMessage to your store
- Cart Recovery and abandonment
- Using RocketMessage.
So the section starts off well and includes lots of videos on setting up your store. It follows a similar style of every other course but does go into more detail than some other courses. The course then recommends RocketMessage which costs $29 per month plus 2.5% per sale recovered.
I’m unsure how Seth is connected to RocketMessage (it looks like he owns it) or whether he was just an affiliate but it’s a great way to recover sales using push notifications. Just use it carefully as there are many stories online of people getting banned on Facebook Ads for running their software.
To be fair this module is fairly concise.
Week Three – Facebook Ads
This module appears to offer lots of videos but when you start going through the course you realise how much is missing and could be updated or improved. Compared with reguarly updated courses there is lots of room for improvement. You’ll learn:
- Facebook account setup, pixel setup, walk through of FB Ad manager
- Targeting 101, niche organising, interest group building, narrowing audiences
- Creating and launching your first ads
- Video audiences and retargeting tricks, fan page secrets
- Dynamic retargeting setup and launching
- Building look a like audiences
- Basics around analysis and 20% scaling method.
Week Four – Email Marketing
A fairly short module but does cover most of the basics around email marketing including an introduction to email marketing, building relationships, secret tricks on what else you can sell via email marketing, capturing emails effectively and setting up Klaviyo.
There is then eight videos on how to setup and integrate Klaviyo including:
- Basic flows discussion
- Abandoned cart flow
- Welcome series
- New customer thank you emails
- Browse Abandonment
- Email marketing bonuses.
Again, Klaviyo is a good recommendation and used by many Shopify store owners but the price can add up dramatically if you’re running a large store compared with other alternatives such as Mailerlite or Mailchimp.
Week Five & Six – Instagram Influencers & Ads
Module five includes the complete instagram influencer strategy and videos such as:
- Identifying, vetting, contacting and paying influencers
- Instagram basics such as posting, hashtags, engagement, scheduling
- Tracking results and scaling with influencers.
Module six is super short and looks incomplete but offers four videos:
- Instagram ads intro
- Launching your first ad
- Creating video stories
- Launching story ads.
A pretty short module given the power of Instagram ads.
Week Seven – Scaling Past 10k
Scaling is an important part of any business and this section includes various videos on how to do that.
You’ll learn how to scale past $10,000 with various techniques including FB objectives, audience optimisation, pixel scaling, increasing average order value with upsell/downsells.
There’s also videos on manual bidding and the power of user generated content (UGC).
Week Eight & Nine – Outsourcing / Branding
A super short module including outsourcing customer support and fulfillment.
Branding videos include setting up fulfilment, print on deamdn, partnerships, building relationships, selling your store.
It seems a bit rushed, like thrown together at the end of the course.
Week Ten: Bonus
Your one bonus is a high ticket drop shipping supper list.
As for using it, you’re on your own!
It’s clear Seth Smith’s course is fairly old and given the price I expected a lot more. $1,997 is a lot of money for most beginners and this course is clearly designed for a beginner in mind. If you’re just starting out I do believe you can succeed with Advanced eCommerce Academy but I think you’ll have lots of questions at the end of the content.
However the course currently offers 109 lessons which is quite a lot.
Drop shipping is fairly start forward, getting traffic and converting those people is the hard part. The Facebook and Instagram Ads section was fairly short compared with other courses on the market and could be overhauled dramatically. There is no mention of SEO, organic traffic, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest (3 huge traffic sources).
There is also no focus on chat bots, the focus is on retargeting cart recovery with RocketMessage which does work but can add up quickly.
Would I spend $1,997 on this course as a beginner? No Way.
I’d buy eCom Elites and spend $1,800 on my first ad campaigns. More content, less price and an awesome FB mastermind with thousands of other students.
I’ll leave it up to you.