Chase Bowers is the founder and CEO of Dropified, which serves over 50,000 e-commerce store owners and is a leader in the e-commerce automation space.
Chase has a degree in e-commerce marketing from The University of Alabama and has over 15 years of experience in running and marketing various businesses. He is passionate about mentoring other business owners and sharing his business experiences.
Chase has been featured by Inc. Magazine, was a Google Certified Professional, and held Google certifications in AdWords, Analytics, Website Optimizer, Advertising Fundamentals, and Advanced Search Certification.
Tell us about the early days of Dropified.
In 2015, I was consulting for a few advertising agencies on how to use digital marketing to grow their clients’ businesses. I also had my own clients. This wasn’t ultimately what I wanted to do but it was important for a couple of reasons: 1) it provided consistent cash flow, and 2) it allowed me to have time to work on what I really wanted to do and still have a family life.
What I really wanted to do was create a web-based software business that solved a major need for customers who brought in recurring revenue.
In mid-2015, I had already experimented with creating software and refining what would really sell versus what sounded good in my head but didn’t make for the best long-term business. Around July of 2015, I attended a conference in Las Vegas geared around entrepreneurship and digital marketing. While there, I joined a “mastermind.” In one of our meetings in October, I met someone who showed me how he was earning big money by finding products from manufacturers in China and posting them on his own website to sell. He never touched any of the inventory and used Facebook Ads to show the products to who he thought would be the ideal buyers.
As he was laying out the process, I was fascinated by how simple the business model was compared to a physical store where there was rent, inventory, and loads of other costs. This business could be started by anyone for a very minimal investment. I was interested in doing this business myself, but right away, I saw some major issues if this business was to scale past a handful of customers. There were too many manual pieces to finding products and getting the products sent to the customers after they had ordered. I knew I had to automate this process for myself.
So I did. I had a prototype ready quickly and showed it to some of my friends at the conference. They were pretty excited and encouraged me to keep going and they thought this would be something that others would want to buy.
I had been working with a developer on several smaller projects, and over the course of a month, we had something more robust to share that I could sell. So now I had a product but needed to get the word out. I reached out to the guy who ran the conference and mastermind I attended. He happened to be promoting a course that taught others how to do this exact business model. He earned commission from anyone he referred to the course. To incentivize others to purchase from him, he put together a bonus package. I reached out to him and asked him if he would like to include a free license of Dropified (then called Shopified App) in his bonus package. He agreed and that is how I got my first 1,000 or so users.
With these users, I gained valuable feedback and lots of positive momentum. I decided to offer a special license to anyone who wanted to support the continued development of Dropified. For $297, users could purchase a Lifetime license, and I only offered 50. I posted this offer to my users and the 50 licenses sold out in two days and I had raised close to $15,000. The next weekend, I decided to offer this one more time and they sold out again.
The $30,000 I raised allowed me to work, listening to problems users were having, and developing those into features that would make their lives easier. After talking with users from my mastermind, I decided to work on Dropified for several months and then do a big “affiliate” launch with special lifetime pricing and offer a 50% commission to anyone who referred customers.
I partnered with an affiliate manager and created a week long offer. We launched in the Spring of 2016. After the launch, we switched to a monthly price and finished the year with over $1 million in revenue.
Since then, we’ve reached over $5 million in revenue, with most of it recurring.