This is a detailed, in-depth review of eCom Success Academy by Adrian Morrison, where every module is covered.
You don't need to bother with a Reddit search for eCom Success Academy. Everything you need to know about the ESA course can be found here. Without any dead links or irrelevant info.
eCom Success Academy was one of the first dropshipping courses available and also the first to be endorsed by Shopify. It just so happens that it was the very first dropshipping course that I invested in as well.
ESA carries the Shopify badge of approval as a Shopify Educational Partner. This means it has been approved by Shopify as an "official" dropshipping course.
Factoid 1: eCom Success Academy was the very FIRST course approved by Shopify.
Factoid 2: Adrian Morrison spent a million dollars developing this course.
But does that mean anything, really?
(Ps: I say factoid because this is information gathered from Adrian Morrison, not from another confirmed source...)
- Updates on Facebook Optimization
- More Print-On-Demand strategies
- Instagram Ads
- A new 30 Day Live Bootcamp
It's good that Adrian finally got round to a course update - it was overdue. This makes the course even better than it used to be.
And is dropshipping still a good business model to consider in 2020?
I hope to answer these questions (and more) for you in the review below.
- eCom Success Academy Course Overview
- Introduction to Adrian Morrison
- What to Expect in this Course
- The eCom Success Academy Course Breakdown
- Training Module 1 - Shopify
- Training Module 2 - Sourcing Products
- Training Module 3 - Facebook
- Training Module 4 - Email Marketing
- Training Module 5 - Building your team
- Training Module 06 - Project Management
- Training Module 7 - Long-term exit plan
- Training Module 8 - Bonus
- FAQ's about eCom Success Academy
- Is ESA a worthwhile course?
- Review Conclusion
- Is dropshipping the way to go in 2020?
- What’s the alternative to dropshipping?
eCom Success Academy Course Overview
This review offers an in-depth, module by module review of the eCom Success Academy by Adrian Morrison.
It’s done without any bias or affiliation. I get no money from doing this review at all.
- Course overview
- Introduction to Adrian Morrison (you need to know the guy’s resume, before you buy from him, right?)
- What to expect in the course
- The complete course breakdown (module by module)Is it a worthwhile course?
- Review conclusion
- What’s better than eCom Success Academy?
Introduction to Adrian Morrison
Based on the social media follower stats, it’s fair to say that Adrian is one of the golden boys of eCom.
There are claims on the internet that he has made $21 000 dollars in a single day and $420 000 in a single month!
Pretty impressive, right? (But it doesn’t say how much of it was profit though…) Just because you made a ton of money, doesn't mean you actually get to keep most of it.
Case in point was my own dropshipping Shark Onesie Store... (if I piqued your interest, read about it here.)
Getting more info about Adrian Morrison's e-commerce ventures are a bit difficult:
You’ll find Facebook and YouTube videos claiming he made millions selling products online, but nothing in neutral third party online business publications like Entrepreneur.
It doesn't mean it didn't happen though. It's just unverified...
So, you’re basically left with the tons of favorable reviews and testimonials left by his students. That should mean something, right? Based on that alone, eCom Success Academy can make you lots of money.
The fact that eCom Success Academy is one of the first officially certified educational partners at Shopify, should also allay some doubts as to Adrian’s expertise in e-commerce.
Then, he also runs a weekly show, ‘The Profit Power Hour,’ where he streams live to over 150,000 people and aims to educate entrepreneurs on all things related to e-commerce and digital marketing.
What to Expect in this Course
As the "first" Shopify approved course, a lot is expected of this course.
At first glance, eCom Success Academy compares quite favorably to the other dropshipping courses out there.
It's Shopify approved, has loads of content and enjoys a healthy following on social media.
Adrian’s teaching style is relaxed and he does a good job of relaying info. He sounds quite knowledgeable and focuses on getting info through to the beginner in an easy to understand way. So that's all good.
Video and sound quality is some of the best out there. The videos appear clear and crisp and run smoothly and in high definition from both your phone or desktop. BUT, would you expect anything less from a course that cost a million bucks to develop..?
Anyway, we're not worried about the video and sound quality. We're interested in the content, right?
So, let's get into the more detailed breakdown of all the course modules.
The eCom Success Academy Course Breakdown
Adrian reminds you to watch the three videos on the main page first, before diving headlong into the course. He describes the course as being very “robust” with an over-the-shoulder experience. The intro video is basically a short course overview telling you what to expect from eCom Success Academy.
Training Module 1 - Shopify
- Store setup
- Payments setup
- Shipping setup
- Checkout setup
- Unlocking your store
- A Shopify dashboard overview
There's nothing really new here. All the dropshipping courses cover this section in pretty much the same way and nothing new is offered. A couple of free youtube tutorials on Shopify setup would just as easily have worked.
Adrian also included a video on a bulk .csv dropshipping method that cuts down time spent on ordering and paying for orders. It’s a great tip you won’t find on many other courses.
This section includes 5 videos that takes you through the process of getting your products and setting them up using things like product images, product variants, tags options etc. Once again, it's pretty standard dropshipping info with nothing that pops out.
Adrian explains the different strategies behind free shipping to promote products and boost sales. Nothing new. You'll hear this in every other dropshipping course.
He also introduces a great app that records people’s browsing behavior on your product page.
Adrian walks you through the process of creating and building your brand. He goes through everything from which store type to choose to responding to comments. There are 8 videos here to watch. You'll find some useful tips here, such as quickly responding to comments - you'd think it's pretty obvious, but many people (and courses) forget about this.
Adrian insists that you make use of a Social Media Kit, which would include the following:
In this 10 video section, Adrian gives great pointers on a range of topics that include using coupons, getting sales from abandoned carts, using email marketing etc. Adrian uses specific apps for specific purposes and shows you why he uses them. It's a great addition as not every course covers all of these topics.
This section shows you in a single video, how to have a product live in your store within 10 minutes. It's basically an overview of how to get products on in lightning speed.
Training Module 2 - Sourcing Products
Just be warned though: it might seem easy, but dropshipping is a very complicated business model with a few pitfalls where product choices are concerned.
Training Module 3 - Facebook
This section is quite important in any dropshipping enterprise and it is well covered with 79 videos dealing with everything from setting up your FB Business page, to the finer details like FB Pixel, different campaign methods and bidding methods, to advanced testing.
It is a pretty comprehensive module if you compare it to other dropshipping courses.
Question is: Is it comprehensive enough to guarantee your FB Ad success?
The module starts off concentrating on FB Marketing.
This includes setting up FB Business Manager, FB Business Page(s), and Fan Pages.
The module then moves on to the different FB Ad types. Adrian deals with the pros and cons of the different types of Ad Types and how to create and set up of each different type.
The course also deals with the 4 phases of targeting: keyword mining (extremely important), re-targeting audiences, lookalike targeting, and intersect targeting, which are essential if you ever attempt to try FB Advertising.
eCom Success Academy simplifies the FB Pixel, teaching you what it is and how to master the Pixel. The module includes just over 2 hours of videos dealing with FB Pixel and is pretty comprehensive when compared to other courses I’ve done.
Adrian also has several videos that deals with FB ad copy, showing the do’s and don’ts of good copy.
Facebook Bidding takes up 7 videos in the module. Adrian deals with Optimized for Impressions or Optimized for Conversions and says why he prefers the one over the other, depending on what your goal is.
This is a very important module and Adrian goes to great lengths to try and cover every aspect of Facebook Ads. There are many areas he covers brilliantly and even some that haven’t been covered in other courses (such as Keyword Mining and different Audience settings and data mining).
However, the course does fall short on the bidding process. Other courses spend a lot more time and offer many different strategies when it comes to manual bidding.
FB Manual Ad Bidding is one of THE most crucial marketing points that you have to master in order to succeed at drop shipping. It't a pity that Adrian did not spend more time on this...
Training Module 4 - Email Marketing
This is a short module, comprising of only 8 videos.
You also get an email template that has been tried and tested for optimal results and Adrian shows you different types of email promotions you can use.
The course also shows you the correct sequence of when to send which emails. This is invaluable info that you don't get in many dropshipping courses.
Training Module 5 - Building your team
This module is pretty standard dropshipping course fare for finding Virtual Assistants and doesn't share anything new.
If you spend a million bucks developing a course, then surely you try and find new and unique methods to introduce in every module, don't you? Or maybe that's just me?
Training Module 06 - Project Management
Module 6 is a follow-up on one of the videos in Module 5, where Adrian shares more info regarding Project Management.
Adrian suggests two companies / apps to use that simplifies the entire project management process.
Each app/tool has its own strengths and weaknesses and Adrian shows you which is best to use where.
I have to wonder if it is worth the expense though. One tool costs $6.67 per month and the other $11 per team member per month. This quickly adds up and isn't viable for someone just starting out...
Training Module 7 - Long-term exit plan
This is an interesting module to include in an e-commerce course and doesn’t get covered in many of the other courses.
The module deals with your exit strategy, should you decide to sell your business. Well, that's what it promises but doesn't really deliver on...
- advertising the business when you're ready to sell?
- How and where do you find the right buyers?
- How would you vet prospective buyers?
- Surely you can't provide just a P&L Sheet? What else should you have ready?
- Do you offer to train the new owner?
- What about tax implications?
There's probably a dozen other questions I could ask, but I'm sure you get my point...
Training Module 8 - Bonus
Section 1 deals with Weekly Live Coaching, dating back to 2016. There is a video (sometimes two) for every day of the 4 week course. 2016 has 34 videos, 2017 has 30 and 2018 contains 25 videos. They deal with a wide range of topics.
Due to the length of these videos, I honestly didn't go through every available year's Coaching Videos, only 2018's. In the weekly coaching, Adrian rehashes some of the course content and then digs deeper into certain aspects.
If you do decide to go through all the videos (including 2019's), then you can well expect to sit for over a hundred hours... I honestly don't know of anyone who would do this, so it's a bit excessive IMO.
Highlight: Being shown some pretty nifty Hidden Shopify Settings.
Low point: The amount of content being covered AGAIN, without adding anything new...
2. Emailing with Anthony
Section 2 of the Bonus Module is a mini-course within the eCom Success Course dealing exclusively with email marketing.
Anthony explains the different methods you can use to get more sales.
Does that tell you anything about this Bonus Section? No.
There's a reason for this: it's not one of the best sections in the course. The entire 26 videos are spent in front of a whiteboard and it's all theory... Yes.
Theory...not my idea of a useful course for something that has a LOT of practical application.
3. Outsource Mastery
This bonus module is presented by Adam Rader. Don’t know from where or who he is, there is no bio or intro.
These videos offer more info on how to get a team up and running and getting the best possible employees to build your team.
Personally, I didn't learn much from these videos... This is basically the same content that has been covered before, just by another presenter who doesn't really share anything new.
In this section Adrian shares an app that finds new trending products for you. The app spies on AliExpress and Facebook and finds products that are going viral.
This app will save you lots of time in product research! It's a great tool to have and it's only accessible by eCom Success Academy students/members.
Total video time: 4 minutes 54 seconds.
5. Case Studies
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about ESA I have come across:
FAQ's about eCom Success Academy
There currently is no refund policy for eCom Success Academy. To quote their website: "ECom Success Academy: There is a NO REFUNDS policy in action with this product. Sales are final." You can verify it here.
Yes, there is. Which also why it is important for you to read unbiased, unaffiliated reviews about eCom Success Academy. Most of the more favorable reviews on the internet about the eCom Success Academy course is done by affiliates.
You would either be offered a discount, or there will be a link taking you to (an affiliate) course sign-up site. If you don't get redirected to the orginal www.ecomsuccessacademy.com course site (it must be the .com), or only this sign-up page, it's an affiliate.
Just to stress this point again - I am NOT an affiliate of eCom Success Academy or Adrian Morrison in any shape, way, or form.
Is ESA a worthwhile course?
The course content is well laid out, well presented and generally very comprehensive.
This is a great course covering most of the burning issues that deal with dropshipping.
Adrian also covers both FB Advertising and Email Marketing, as opposed to some of the other courses that only focuses on Facebook.
However: As much as Adrian shares info on setting up your FB pages and campaigns, the course falls short on one major aspect of FB Advertising:
Manual bidding is a tricky thing at the best of times. It’s something that only the best of marketers can utilize successfully. It takes a lot of experience to become proficient at Facebook bidding. The fact that it's not even covered in eCom Success Academy is a HUGE problem for me.
Things to consider: It’s LITERALLY a bidding war between you and every other person with the same/similar product and/or strategy.
- This means:
- You are always bidding against other marketers with the same or similar product.
- Are you bidding high enough? You can easily be outbid by someone with a higher marketing budget.
- How do you know where to start bidding?
- Targeting a broad audience is perhaps cheaper, but the returns are low. Thus, you need to know exactly which audiences to target.
- You need to know how to read the data from your campaign in order to adjust the campaign.
- When do you scale and when do you kill an ad set?
- For how long do you run a campaign?
As great as the course is in other aspects, bidding can make or break a business and Adrian does not spend sufficient time on this in my opinion. That is a potential deal breaker for me…
Does eCom Success Academy offer Value for Money?
The price tag is quite hefty.With discount, eCom Success Academy costs $2 495.
Aesthetics: it must be pleasing to the eye
- It looks great.
- Easy navigation.
- Great video and sound quality.
- The course content is well-thought out
- pretty comprehensive
- access to exclusive apps
- discounts on Shopify and other apps
- additional training on the site for members
- great support
On paper it all looks great and eCom Success Academy is probably the best dropshipping course out there.
But it does have one major short coming – FB Ad Bidding.
I don’t feel the information in the course is sufficient enough to warrant success in your FB Marketing. And that’s a big problem.
So? Do you get value for your $2.5k investment?
Yes and no.
Yes, because everything else that is covered, is pretty good.
No, because you’ll have to invest in yet another course to get more info on FB Ad Bidding…
The high price might put some people off, but it is one of the best courses (if not the best) on dropshipping out there. It is well worth investing in, if you feel that dropshipping is still a viable option in 2020…
What we like:
What we didn't like:
Is dropshipping the way to go in 2020?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
A few things to consider:
- And this is just the number of Adrian’s students. There are many other dropshipping gurus out there, each with their own following and scores of students. These other students might have access to better info or tools or methods, that you don’t…
- This is the other problem I have with these dropshipping courses: they all teach you to copy the winning products of other dropshippers. So at any one moment, there could potentially be hundreds (or even thousands) of dropshippers trying to push the exact same product as you...
To make it even worse, the next "new" dropshipper could very well end up copying you, trying to steal the same slice of pie...and that after all the hard work you've put in!No, thanks!Does that make business sense to you?
2. Shopify had over 800 000 e-commerce stores in 2018
- Have been at it longer than you.
- They also source all their products from the same vendors (that they find on AliExpress).
- It is expected that Shopify will hit the 1 000 000 mark, well before the end of 2019. (We're just waiting for confirmation...)
All your competitors use the same marketing methods as you.
If you just started out, how do you stand out from the crowd?
More aggressive marketing = bigger marketing budget = less profits. Cheaper products = smaller profit margins…
The success of FB Ads is determined by your bidding strategy. And that’s a tricky SOB…
Email marketing is only successful after you have built a large email list. This takes time…
Finding new, exciting, trending, hot products is the cornerstone of dropshipping.
In order to be successful with dropshipping, you have to constantly:
- find new products that will sell.
This means constant product research. The key word here is constant…
And once you have your (hopefully) winning product, you have to:
- consistently set up new ad campaigns with different ad sets to market these products.
- monitor them
- adjust them
- monitor them
- scale or kill them.
This takes up a lot of time, especially when you start out.It’s all well and good to get VAs to do the menial tasks for you, but you won’t necessarily have the budget (or inclination or expertise) to do this.After considering all this, is dropshipping still such a hot ticket to online success?
With lead generation, it takes skill to get your page ranking number one on Google.
What’s the alternative to dropshipping?
I’ve done dropshipping. (I could probably make my own course by now 😉 )
I’ve had 6 figure Shopify stores.
I’ve spent well over $100k on Facebook Ads.
I have made some good money with dropshipping.
I’ve also lost money on dropshipping.
The important thing to ask is: Do I still do dropshipping in 2020?
"Oh hell naw!"
Because of all the things I mentioned above and more...
It basically takes up a hell of a lot of time, sometimes for very small returns.
It’s not a constant stream of income and success depends on way too many different factors outside of your control.
The alternative to dropshipping?
There are other options to consider.
For one, there is affiliate marketing. And Amazon FBA. And Amazon Affiliate. And Adsense and more…
Based on my experience in online businesses over the last couple of years, and having tried all of the above, I still feel the best option in 2020 is lead generation.
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