The 12 Slides You Need For Your Ecommerce Pitch Deck
Ecommerce is one of the fastest industry globally: it is expected to grow at a 15% CAGR from 2020 to 2027. Indeed, Shopify dropshipping stores to fully integrated ecommerce businesses benefit from an ever-increasing penetration of internet and mobile usage.
As such, many of them are raising capital to start operations or accelerate their development and need to produce a pitch deck for potential investors.
Whilst every business is unique, we strongly recommend to follow a clear structure vetted by dozens of high-profile VC firms globally. Whether you are raising crowdfunding, VC money or even ecommerce financing, having a powerful and clear pitch deck will maximise your chances.
In this article we walk you through the 12 slides you must have in your Ecommerce pitch deck and what they should include. Read on.
Slide 1: Title
This is the front page of your presentation.
Make sure your product or value proposition is clear from the outset: use a caption of the product itself and/or an image of a customer using your product.
Slide 2: Product Offering
Whilst most startups start their pitch deck with the problem they are trying to solve, ecommerce startup are particular. Indeed, online shops and other ecommerce businesses are acting as intermediary between a supplier and a consumer. As such, they are also solving a pain point, but the problem is more logistical than anything else.
That’s why ecommerce pitch decks should focus on the product offering and its USPs (Unique Selling Points) instead.
This slide should not explain in detail your product nor how it works. Instead, include images of your SKUs (if you offer multiple products) on one side for instance, and focus on the benefits for your customers (the USPs). How are your products better than competitors? Why would consumers buy them online whilst they might do so to another trusted, offline retailer for instance?
Also, you should here lay out clearly the product breakdown (by order or revenue) if you are selling multiple products. Are 100% of your sales coming from one single product? Or do you have diversified revenues across hundreds of different SKUs?
Note: the product offering slide can very well be extended on 2 slides instead depending on your business model, the type and number of products you are offering.
Slide 3: Market Opportunity
Here, you need to clearly identify 2 very important metrics:
- Market size: how big is your market?
- Market growth: how fast does your market grow?
If you are operating in a niche market, chances are that you will face some challenges: the information might not be publicly available. In any case, you should be able to make a high-level estimation of your market. Read our article on market sizing and how to estimate TAM, SAM and SOM for your startup.
When looking for these metrics, you have multiple sources of information: public reports, specialised press, etc. Even public companies publish press releases and annual reports including some of their proprietary market estimates so be sure to look there too.
Slide 4: Competitive Landscape
This slide must show 2 different things:
How fragmented is your market?
Are there 3 big players sharing 90% market share or thousands of small players? Here, refer to public market reports and your own understanding of the competitive landscape.
A few questions you must ask yourself:
- Who are your competitors?
- Are competitors selling their products offline or via online channels like you?
- Are they pure players or diversified companies with subsidiary businesses? Etc.
Where do you position yourself vs. competition?
Is your product a game changer other competitors don’t have (yet)? Do you have competitors with similar products/services?
Ideally, you would create a small table with, for each type of competitors (e.g. global diversified companies, small pure players, etc.) the main characteristics they share or not. For instance, do they all a global presence? What is their relative price positioning (expensive vs. accessible)? Who are their target customers? What about their USPs: do they share the same as your product?
Slide 5: Business Model
Here we are explaining what is your business model. For ecommerce businesses specifically, we are looking at your operations and logistics. Do you have a dropshipping business whereby you outsource fulfilment to Amazon FBA (or similar), or do you have your own warehousing and fulfilment operations?
Therefore, this slide will differ depending on the type of ecommerce business you have.
Ideally you would here cover 3 things:
- Front-end: what is the first thing customer see when they look for your products? Are you using a 3rd party website (e.g. Shopify) or a custom-built platform?
- Operations: are orders fulfilled straight from supplier to consumers (e.g. dropshipping) or do you prepare, package and send the products to your customers yourself? Do you maintain any inventory?
- Pricing (only for subscription ecommerce businesses): explain the pricing strategy and how it works
Note: For regular ecommerce businesses, no need to explain pricing here. Instead, pricing should be explained in the Product Offering slide above.
Slide 6: Go-to-market
This slide explains how you acquire customers. Typically, acquisition for ecommerce companies is 2 fold:
- Paid marketing: any paid digital marketing campaigns (pay-per-click or per-impressions), whether it is search (e.g. Google Ads), social media (e.g. Facebook Ads) or referrals
- Organic growth: any customers who click and convert on your ecommerce store without you paying for it. Organic growth is usually driven by search intent (content, SEO) or through recommendations (Trustpilot, Google Reviews, word-of-mouth). It can also be driven by repeat customers (e.g. newsletter, email marketing campaigns, etc.)
Once you have clearly explained your acquisition strategy and what tools you are using (e.g. Google Ads for paid search, Instagram and/or newsletter for content), ideally you can show, among others:
- Your average Customer Acquisition Cost
- Conversion rates (paid vs. organic)
- Your monthly paid ads budget
- The number of followers you have on social media
- Your newsletter count
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Slide 7: Traction
Only include this slide if you already have some early traction. Traction can be revenues for instance, but not necessarily (e.g. if you have social media followers, pre-orders, etc).
As rule of thumb, the more historical performance you have, the more details you should give. For instance, if you start generating revenues 12 months ago and experienced a steady growth until then, include a bar chart of your revenues over the past 12 months.
Instead, if you have limited financial performance and/or numbers have been quite volatile, include today’s numbers instead. For instance, what is your total revenue today? How many orders do you process? How many of your customers are repeat customers?
Also, be sure to include non-financial Ecommerce metrics as well: conversion rates, LTV, etc.
For a complete list of the 7 most important metrics for Ecommerce businesses, refer to our article here.
Slide 8: Team
This slide is one of the most important: investors invest in great teams before anything else.
The slide can either include the co-founding team only, but can also include key professionals and/or advisors as well.
Include key team members if they add real value. For instance, if you have a VP Marketing who has 10 years experience in a high-profile Ecommerce company, selling similar product to yours.
Include advisors only if they are relevant to your industry. Do you have angel investors with significant experience who advise you on strategy? Do you have a PhD who acts as advisor to your health supplements ecommerce startup (on regulation and market access matters for instance)?
For the team members’ details, keep it simple: name, position, years of experience and/or previous companies is more than enough.
Note: add a clickable link to the respective Linkedin profiles so investors can refer to a more exhaustive resume for your team members (if relevant)
Slide 9: Roadmap
The roadmap slide tells investors where you are going and how is product going to evolve in the future. You can either keep it high-level (e.g. your long-term strategy) or more detailed (e.g. the pipeline of the near-future product launches).
Investors do not just invest in your product as it is today. You might offer a limited number of products today but are in a position to broaden your customer base significantly tomorrow by cross-selling other products.
Also, you might develop a different pricing strategy and offer subscription ecommerce in the future, building upon today’s repeat customer base.
Note: if you choose to include your product pipeline, keep it very simple. Your Ecommerce pitch deck isn’t a brochure whereby you would list all your expected products in the future (especially if there are a lot of them). Instead of SKUs for instance, focus on the SKU categories and potential additional benefits and customer segments you might target as such.
Slide 10: Financial Plan
Along with your product and the team, this slide is highly important. Unfortunately, many Ecommerce startups overlook the importance of financial projections in their pitch deck.
Think about your audience: investors (venture capital firms or angel investors) are financially literate individuals. As such, they invest in your business to generate returns. Logically, they care a lot about your financials and more especially, the expected financial performance of your business.
Do not expect investors to make up their own plan for your startup if you haven’t. As CEO, founder or entrepreneur alike, you should have a clear idea of where you are going.
As rule of thumb, the more advanced your startup is, the more granularity you should include here. Pre-seed startups might keep it short (1 slide) yet we recommend seed and Series A+ startups to include 2 slides instead.
Common Ecommerce metrics you should include in your financial plan slide are:
- Conversion rates
- LTV and CAC
- Repeat Customers Rate
For a complete list of the 7 most important metrics for Ecommerce businesses, refer to our article here.
Note: when presenting your financials, we recommend for pre-seed startup to show 3 years. Instead, seed and Series A+ startups should include 5 years projections as investors will likely ask for it for their own return analyses purposes.
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Slide 11: Funding Ask
All pitch decks have a clear goal: raising capital from investors.
This slide is where you clearly state your ask: how much are you raising?
Read our article on how to determine how much you should raise for you startup. Disclaimer: while raising too little creates obvious problems, raising too much isn’t necessarily better.
On top of the amount, a good practice is to include a pie chart of where you will spend that money over a given period (your runway). Will you spend the bulk of it in sourcing your products (COGS) and logistics? Or will you use a large portion in sales & marketing to commercialise your product?
Our ecommerce financial model template includes a cash burn dashboard where you can easily assess how much you should raise, and where you will spend your money. We also included charts ready to be pasted onto your Ecommerce pitch deck. See how to use our cash burn dashboard here.
Note: if you are raising capital to pay your suppliers to source your products and/or simply for your paid marketing acquisition budget, you might look at ecommerce financing instead.
Slide 12: Contact
The last slide of your presentation. It has 2 main goals, this is where:
- You open the floor to questions from your audience when you are pitching
- You provide contacts (email and telephone) for investors who would only receive the PDF version of your presentation