eCom Success Academy Review
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.
Some background info on eCom Success Academy:
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...)
Does eCom Success Academy live up to all the hype, or not?
This is a course from 2017 with a few updates thrown in to keep it "fresh". The eCom Success Academy's 2019 course updates include:
- 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.
Does it trump other dropshipping courses like eCom Elites, eCom Hacks and Drop Ship Lifestyle?
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
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.
Yes! You heard right. This will not be your standard glowing review from an affiliate. I have no ties with Adrian Morrison or any of his courses, and therefore I am 100% neutral and honest when it comes to my eCom Success Academy review.
You get my opinion of the course, nothing more.
Here’s the low-down on what you’ll get in this review about eCom Success Academy:
- 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?
Ranked #1 out of 30 dropship courses (See full list here)
39 hours 34 minutes (without the bonus material. Bonus materials are an additional 100+ hours)
Comprehensive, very thorough course with solid understanding of the dropshipping method. A lot of time and effort went into this.
4.0/5 - This is the first Shopify endorsed dropshipping course. Many still feel it is the "original" and one of the best. Good detail in most things dropshipping orientated.
Introduction to Adrian Morrison
Google Adrian Morrison, and you find a lot of hits directly related to the e-commerce master. His site describes him as “…an Author, Speaker & Marketer who has mentored thousands of students online.”
As of July 2019, Adrian has amassed 13K+ subscribers on his official YouTube channel. He has 249K+ followers on his official Instagram account, and 118K+ followers on his official FB page.
It's obvious that Adrian is well represented and loved on social media.
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.
But the proof’s in the pudding, so let’s out check the course!
What to Expect in this Course
As the "first" Shopify approved course, a lot is expected of this course.
eCom Success Academy is a very well thought out and set out course. Rumor has it that Adrian spent a million dollars on developing this course.
Wow! One million dollars!?!
It should be amazing then…But how does it compare to other courses?
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.
Video length: 10 minutes
Training Module 1 - Shopify
Module 1 is obviously very important if you decide to go into dropshipping. Shopify is the number one choice for building your online store, and with over 500 000 other stores already out there, you know it is a sound choice.
Adrian divided the Shopify module into 8 separate categories:
1. Shopify Setup (12 videos)
This section has further sub-sections that deal with all the different setups you will have to perform, such as:
- 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.
This category starts with a quick overview video of what dropshipping is.
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.
3. Add Products
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.
4. Promotion Strategies
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.
5. Your Sales Page
Adrian explains the pros of long and short copy to describe your products and delves into shipping times.
This is a nice added touch as not all courses focus on the importance of good copy. Adrian explains the pros and cons of both long and short copy.
He also introduces a great app that records people’s browsing behavior on your product page.
6. Building Your Brand
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:
7. Shopify App Arsenal
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.
8. Shopify Quickstart
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.
MODULE 1: SHOPIFY
Total Videos = 48
Video length = 11 hours 29 minutes
Training Module 2 - Sourcing Products
Setting up a Shopify Store is pretty easy. Getting the correct products is the tricky bit. But once you have them, it’s easy to load them onto your store.
This module deals with finding:
- the right vendors for your products. He shows you some of the things to avoid, and what to pay attention to, when looking for vendors.
- Adrian also shares what to look out for in your products, focusing on things such as the best sellers, finding generic products, deep mining, etc.
- You also get tips on negotiating prices, sourcing and scaling.
- An added bonus that most other courses don’t have, is sourcing and selling your own custom designed high end products. An important aspect of selling unique products is art licensing, and Adrian covers this as well.
Module highlight: A great video is an over-the-shoulder video where Adrian has an actual conversation with a vendor in China with regards to bulk dropshipping.
This is one of the most comprehensive course modules out there on 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.
MODULE 2: SOURCING PRODUCTS
Total Videos = 12
Video length = 7 hours 25 minutes
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 different Facebook Ad Types include:
- Page Post Ads
- Link Ads
- Right Hand Side Column Ads
- Carousel Ads
- Gif Ads
- Page Post Videos
Adrian also covers important aspects of ads, such as setting up your ad campaigns according to your objectives. Specifically optimizing for:
- Website Conversions
- Clicks to Websites
- Broad Targeting
- Precise Targeting
- Behavioral Targeting
- Demographic Targeting
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.
Adrian also deals with important tools in your FB Dashboard that deals with Audiences, such as Audience Overlap, creating Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Video View Audiences and more.
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.
The Facebook Pixel can be optimized for various “pixel events” that are based on your ads. For example, eCommerce ads that are used for:
- Content views (ads placed on product pages),
- Add to cart (ads on shopping cart pages)
- Purchase (ads on thank you pages after a purchase has been completed)
Adrian covers each ad set in detail and also covers a case study as a real-world example. He then talks about when to kill or scale your ad set and gives some good advice on Advanced Split Testing.
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...
MODULE 3: FACEBOOK
Total videos: 79
Total module time: 18 hours and 12 minutes.
Training Module 4 - Email Marketing
This is a short module, comprising of only 8 videos.
Adrian starts off by introducing his preferred auto-responder app to use for e-commerce. He lists the benefits and shows you how to set it up. It is an app that requires a monthly subscription, but it is one of the better and most affordable options at around $14 per month.
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.
MODULE 4: EMAIL MARKETING
Total videos: 8
Total module time: 1 hour and 24 minutes.
Training Module 5 - Building your team
In this module of eCom Success Academy, you are shown where and how to get Virtual Assistants to help you with the everyday tasks of running your business.
Adrian offers a few options on where you can get VAs, depending on the task you need done. VAs can even do more specialized tasks such as:
- Product Research
- Customer Service
- Custom Theme Design
- Graphic Design
- Custom programming
- Being a Project Manager
- Being Social Media Managers
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?
MODULE 5: BUILDING YOUR TEAM
Total videos: 7
Total module time: 55 minutes.
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...
MODULE 6: PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Total videos: 4
Total module time: 1 hour and 11 minutes.
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...
Adrian explains what needs to be in place and what you need to focus on, and also includes a spreadsheet for you to use.
My issues with the Long-term Exit Plan:
1. The spreadsheet is very basic and if you do a little bit of research, you can find much better FREE templates to use.
2. The eCom Success Academy's Exit Plan isn't very thorough. In fact, it isn't even complete.
It's all good and well to have a Profit and Loss Spreadsheet, but what about
- 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...
MODULE 7: LONG-TERM EXIT PLAN
Total videos: 1
Total module time: 12 minutes
Training Module 8 - Bonus
The bonus module is split into 5 different sections, each with its own content.
The subsections in the module are:
1. Weekly Live Coaching
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.
Topics covered include additional videos on:
- Shopify Settings
- Shopify Apps
- Different FB Strategies
- Email marketing
- Custom Products.
Here's an example of what you can expect in the Live Coaching Sessions. This session dealt with Facebook Branding and was an hour and 56 minutes long...
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...
The 2018 Weekly Coaching contains 25 videos and has a total length of 36 hours and 39 minutes. If you decide to watch all of them, get ready for well over a 100 hours...
2. Emailing with Anthony
Section 2 of the Bonus Module is a mini-course within the eCom Success Course dealing exclusively with email marketing.
It is presented by Adrian’s brother Anthony, an email marketing wizard in his own right (so we're told).
Anthony explains the different methods you can use to get more sales.
This section is subdivided into three separate sections, titled:
- Build Send Profit
- Solo Ads
- Product launches
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.
This section contains 26 videos and has a total length of 3 hours and 36 minutes.
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.
This section includes:
- 3 videos totaling 30 minutes in length
- A PowerPoint Presentation (which doesn't really share anything of value...)
- Two pdf documents that basically sum up the videos
4. Sizzle Product Sniper Software
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.
It's a short video that just shows you quickly how the product works.
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
Adrian shares different case studies that deal specifically with FB Ads. These specific ads have made Adrian tons of money and he shows you exactly how he set them up.
BUT, he doesn't show you his FB Bidding Strategy...and the strategy is the secret sauce...
Total time: 1 hour, 19 minutes.