Is it still work if you’re having way too much fun doing it? This was the leading question I had to ask Jason Crouch when I learned about his newest business venture, Actioncams. Actioncams is an authorized reseller of Replay XD cameras and accessories serving Australian customers nationwide.
To understand how Actioncams came to be, you need to know a little bit about the man behind the business. Crouch is a
The Reselling Business Model
Resellers buy goods at wholesale costs and distribute them at list rates via a variety of sales channels. Reselling is becoming an increasingly popular business model for Ecwid customers who want to represent reputable,
Being an authorized seller means that a business is vetted and contractually approved to sell the brand they represent. So, I had to ask — how did Actioncams become authorized to resell the Replay XD camera & accessories?
First, it starts by finding a product you want to sell. In Jason’s case, the Replay XD was a natural fit. He was first introduced to the cameras while filming his
From Online Car Show to Online Seller
Neutral was an online show that featured Jason — along with his buddies Damo and Howie — test driving all kinds of motorized vehicles. The guys featured various cars, boats, motorcycles — and an aircraft — in
While filming the initial episodes, Jason opened his first online store selling Neutral branded tee shirts. It was going to take a lot of tee shirt sales to fund the show, so he also solicited sponsorships from a number of retail companies. His first sponsor was a watch manufacturer, and then Replay XD joined on as a sponsor in 2014.
It turned out that online sales was a natural extension of Jason’s personal interests in both cars and entrepreneurship. With experience selling Neutral Car Show’s gear, Jason was so impressed by the quality of the Replay cameras that he was ready to take online selling to the next level by becoming authorized to distribute the Replay XD.
As motoring and action enthusiasts, we have used many camera brands. We personally believe that an action camera should be easy to use, produce high quality images, and most of all, stand up to the harshest environments. When we found Replay XD cameras we were impressed. So much so that we decided to sell them, Crouch explains.
Jason can vouch for the quality of his products because he’s both a customer and a retailer. The Replay XD’s are among the only cameras built to hold up to the punishment that guys like the Neutral team put them through. In fact, the Replay XD was designed by a group of racing professionals with over 50 years of experience in the high performance racing industry. The company claims to have created the smallest, lightest,
Online Start Up and Key Integrations
To get started reselling the Replay XD line, Jason needed authorization, a website, and a distribution system. After securing approval from Replay XD, Crouch got to work creating his website. Actioncams.com.au is built on Joomla using the Ecwid plugin. His IT background is a major asset — Jason built actioncams.com.au from scratch and maintains the site himself. He chose Ecwid because of the freemium entry point and key feature differentiators that make it possible for him to manage his business both online, and also on the go where he regularly sells at trade shows and
When I got started, the free plan was a huge draw — I had to keep startup costs low. I wanted a single store to integrate and work easily with PayPal and my existing (Neutral Car Show) site.
Now that he has the dedicated Actioncams site, he also really likes having the ability to embed products on his homepage. “Embedding products into the homepage has made dynamic price changes and updates a snap. This is a HUGE administrative time saver” Jason says.
Note: Because Ecwid can be embedded into multiple locations, Jason has entries to his store on multiple websites. Because it’s all Ecwid, inventory and site sales are tracked in one easy location.
Another key differentiator for Jason was the ability to use Ecwid with PayPal here to sell in person. Trade shows and moto events are big sales opportunities for Crouch. PayPal here lets Jason take payment directly from his iPad and orders and inventory are automatically synched with his Ecwid store. Now he’s also using the Ecwid sell on the go apps and says the added convenience to update products on the fly makes his Venture plan pay for itself.
Like so many Ecwid sellers, Jason runs the business himself, keeps inventory in his home, and personally packs and ships orders as they come in. Now he spends only a few hours per month on the website, with the bulk of his time going into marketing, promotions, and shipping the orders that result from his sales efforts.
Marketing Lessons Learned
Marketing is the area of the business that presents a lot of challenges and requires constant testing. Jason shared his experience:
In the early days I sponsored individual athletes and gave them coupon codes to promote the business, Crouch said. Unfortunately, this tactic wasn’t as effective I had hoped and I found that I can reach a much wider audience by sponsoring
Brand awareness is key, but being a small business means that the Actioncams marketing budget is limited and spending risks need to be measured. Since he’s trying to reach a niche audience, and sells exclusively in Australia and New Zealand, Crouch has chosen not to spend his budget on Google AdWords — a marketing avenue that really works for a lot of small businesses. You’ve got to work to find your sweet spot. Jason advises other small business to keep trying new things — he had to go through some trial and error to fine tune his marketing plan and it’s still an ongoing effort.
To reach people in his target, Jason has also given products to local influencers and created partnerships with
The Importance of Social Sharing
Social channels are key — Actioncams is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Jason uses social media to promote his store when he’s on the road attending moto events. To keep customers engaged, Jason encourages them to tag his social sites with photos and videos shot on their Replay XD devices.
Jason’s parting advice to other Ecwid customers? Keep networking and putting your product out there. In his case, he uses the camera in real life scenarios and tag businesses as a way to create free mutual advertising. You’ve got to keep trying new things and expect to have some failures to earn your successes.