(DISCLAIMER: This review was written at the time the store used the free Shopify theme “Pop”; the appearance of the store is subject to change at any time.
UPDATE 18 JAN 2019: SouljaWatch is now permanently offline, due to an alleged hack. This post will remain for educational purposes, mainly to help aspiring store owners become familiar with common issues prevalent in new stores and how to avoid/fix them.)
It’s been a long while since I’ve heard anything major about Soulja Boy. Back in my early or late teens, everyone and their grandma harped on about Soulja Boy and his hit single “Crank That“, a song I never thought highly of due to its lack of creative input; his subsequent songs weren’t any better either. I’ve been completely out of the loop with news concerning Soulja Boy’s antics ever since.
Anyway, enough of the brief history lesson.
What’s Soulja Boy Up To This Time?
Soulja Boy, being the big name rapper he is, attracted significant media attention once again after news circled around that he was selling his own branded video game consoles under the name SouljaGame. Two more consoles followed suit: the Retro SouljaBoy Mini and the SouljaGame Fuze.
The catch? He joined in on the drop shipping game and opened up a Shopify store (under the name SouljaWatch) with products imported directly from AliExpress, all sold at marked up prices. He, on Instagram, claims to have accumulated a whopping $850K+ in a single day with his store, which fails to take into account the fact that revenue =/= net profit.
The other issue with the so-called SouljaGame consoles is that they’re overpriced, shitty emulations of existing game titles. Despite boasting on Twitter that “Nintendo ain’t gon do SHIT”, he eventually pulled them from his store due to legal action. Nintendo also seized his SouljaGame.com website, which now redirects to Nintendo’s home page.
That’s what you get when you sell dubious knockoffs of big name consoles…
For reference, I’ve linked the consoles on AliExpress that Soulja Boy previously listed on his store as follows:
Curious about what the SouljaGame is like? Check out the following “Before You Buy” video:
I could share more videos about this stunt, but that’s not the point of this post; I’ll let you scour the rest for yourself.
Anyway, let’s check out his store and see what it has to offer.
The oversized, automatic image slideshow on the home page immediately turned me off. As shown below, hardly any work was put into it. Just a bunch of meaningless text which blends in with a default placeholder image.
The subsequent images in the slideshow which follow just consist of products from the store with his branding and individual logos. Not much else to say.
Avoid automatic image slideshows like the plague as they’re an easy way to kill your conversions. Instead, use only a single static image/message which displays all of your offers in one place. Here’s an article for more info on image slideshows and their effects on conversion rates.
As for everything else displayed below the slideshow… I’ll let you check it out for yourself. Not a pretty sight, to say the least.
Unfortunately, things don’t get any better once we analyse the entire website beyond the home page and deduce what’s wrong with it.
Again, the first major obvious red flag is that it sold dubious knockoffs of big name video game consoles. Like mentioned earlier, they were taken down in the closing hours of 2018 because… you get the picture already. No bonus points for figuring out why.
Sadly, there’s still way too many wantrepreneurs who fail to get the hint and jump into the drop shipping game, hoping to make a quick buck selling merchandise based off their movies, cartoons, whatever. Yes, you could get away with it for a short while, but it won’t be long before you’re slapped with a lawsuit.
It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you when it comes to selling trademarked items on a commercial level; one way or another, you’ll be slapped with a cease and desist (C&D), i.e. stop, or legal action will be taken against you.
Even if you wanted to obtain legal rights to resell merchandise based on big name intellectual properties and the like, it’s not as simple of a process as “I love Disney, Marvel, anime, etc, please let me resell your stuff”. There’s royalties to pay and more.
Bottom line: don’t waste your time with trademarked and copyrighted items, unless you’re so desperate, you’ll be happy to go through a lot of hassle just to obtain the rights to sell them on a commercial level. Otherwise, move on to a different venture.
Poor Product Pages
Zero work put into the product descriptions, just default specifications ripped directly from AliExpress. It’s pretty obvious he used an app like Oberlo to get the job done.
You need to write a few sentences describing the product and what it does, followed by bullet points listing the features and specs. Help your prospects better understand what purpose the product serves.
It also helps to have an estimated date of arrival listed in product pages; this article shows you how to get the job done. Do also list estimated delivery times (by region) and customer promises below the description. Ideally, you’ll want to hardcode them into the product page template, so you won’t have to add the same exact thing into each individual product.
The product images are way too big, taking up at least half the entire page. Again, using automatic image slideshows to show off the product is a big no-no.
Supplier logos in your product images are also an easy way to turn off your prospects. As soon as they see the logos, they may click away from your site and buy directly from the supplier instead. Fortunately, the logos can easily be edited out with Shopify’s built-in image editor, assuming the image has a white background.
Another red flag in one of the product pages is that “Ships From” is a product variant. China, Russia, and USA are the available variant options. Yep, seems legit… 🤔
No Contact Details
Lacking contact details may not seem like a big deal for Soulja Boy considering he’s a big name artist. The same can’t be said for your own store, however, and SouljaWatch fails to demonstrate why you should display your contact details.
You need to at least have a contact email visibly displayed throughout your store, and I’m not talking about Gmail. It needs to be specific to your domain, otherwise it looks unprofessional. A page with a simple “Contact Us” form won’t cut it either.
Another helpful point of contact is Facebook Messenger, which lets prospects contact you directly with their Facebook account without leaving the website. I don’t use live chat apps, as I find they make more sense for big name brands. On the other hand, Facebook Messenger saves your prospect’s conversation history, which they can freely access from the Messenger app; it’s a more convenient alternative to live chat.
A phone number to your store also offers customers a convenient way to leave a message for you to get back to. If you’re fretting over whether or not you add your personal phone number to your store, you don’t. You buy a virtual number from a service like CallHippo, record and upload a voicemail (or pay someone to do a professional voiceover), and direct all incoming calls to the voicemail, where customers will leave their contact details and enquiry.
While you might receive fewer incoming calls than you think, having a phone number handy goes a long way to adding a level of credibility, and may reduce the chances of you getting hit with disputes and chargebacks.
Missing Legal/Site Information
SouljaWatch has no policies or site information visibly displayed anywhere on their store. At all.
These are basic essentials, and it’s baffling to see a store which has none of these pages. You need to have pages which clearly list your store’s policies, an “about us”, and your communications channels.
Your store policies are found in Settings > Legal of the Shopify admin. You can also add each policy as navigation menu items; no need to create separate pages listing your store policies.
A dedicated FAQ page for people to read also helps, so you don’t get bombarded with common questions like “How long will it take for my item to arrive?” or “Where’s my order?”. You can easily create and manage one with the free app HelpCenter.
Shitty Free Theme
A lot of new stores stick with one of the free themes by default, and SouljaWatch is no exception.
Another common mistake made by wantrepreneurs desiring to make a quick buck. Shopify’s free themes are not optimised for maximum conversions, let alone designed for drop shipping.
Don’t want to turn off your prospects? Use a theme designed for mobile end users in mind. Franklin Hatchett’s eCom Turbo is an easy fix for that, complemented with other features also available as separate apps (e.g. countdown timer, currency conversion). The theme’s a steal at only $97 for a single licence, and you also effectively save hundreds of annual fees worth of other apps.
If you’re planning to open multiple stores, it makes sense to spend $147 for an unlimited licence and is definitely worth it.
SouljaWatch overall is a good example of how to make a shitty-looking online store. Sure, it didn’t deter his most devoted fans from quickly buying his crap, just because he’s a big name. It remains to be seen, however, how long his store will last before it shuts down for whatever reason.
I normally don’t do in-depth reviews of individual stores as most (if not all) of them share too many issues in common. However, since it’s Soulja Boy we’re talking about here, I made an exception, in addition to discussing said issues in detail and how to avoid them.
Want to be successful in the drop shipping realm? Stay away from trademarked items, use a mobile-friendly theme, make your contact details visible, display your site information pages, and write proper copy for your product pages.
Soulja Boy’s store is not a good example on how to build a high converting store. Don’t try to replicate what he’s doing, especially reselling bootlegs, as you’ll just ask for unnecessary trouble.
Now that you’ve checked out my overview of SouljaWatch and understand what to avoid when running a drop shipping store, I recommend your next steps are to undertake in-depth training of running a profitable store using paid traffic platforms.
See below for my recommendations.
- Facebook Advertising: Product Winner Blueprint by Tristan Broughton (my review)
- Google Ads: Google Ads Ecom Academy by Tristan Broughton (my review)
- High-converting, mobile-friendly Shopify theme: Franklin Hatchett’s eCom Turbo
- Install the private app, Sweet Upsell (read my review here), and create pre-purchase and post-purchase upsells to get the most money out of every customer.