When it comes to running a retail brand, it is important to find ways to be as efficient as possible.
Why? Well, when you’re spending too much time and money trying to accomplish the simple things necessary to get your product out to your customers, it really can eat into your profits and make it harder to grow for the long term.
The good news is that there are certain steps you can take to eliminate waste and improve your processes. In fact, most are so simple that you might have even overlooked them. Here are eight ways to save your eCommerce business time and money.
1. Make It Easy for Customers to Buy
One of the easiest ways to streamline eCommerce business operations and improve your overall bottom line is to make it easy for customers to buy the products you’re selling.
This means offering multiple payment options, such as credit card, Apple Pay, or Paypal. Some online sellers also opt for layaway plans through specific apps as a way to reach more buyers.
In addition, you can revamp the user experience of your website to make the checkout process simpler. After all, the easier it is for someone to buy, the more sales you’ll start to see over time.
2. Identify the Best Sales Channels for Your Target Market
To streamline your eCommerce business, you should also take the time to identify the best sales channels for your target market. Again, this might sound simple enough, but it is something that a lot of brands overlook.
Begin by thinking about where your target customer is generally looking for products. Is it an impulse buy on social media? Do they trust influencers and always buy when certain brands promote an item? Or are they dedicated to using Google search results?
Make sure you’re considering other sales channels like Walmart, Amazon, and others as options, too.
3. Hire 3PL Shipping Experts
Simplifying the shipping and warehousing process is another way to save time and money for your eCommerce business. 3PL, or third-party logistics, refers to when you use a third party to store and manage the items you sell, and then fulfill and ship your orders as customers make purchases.
Often, this is less expensive and more efficient than buying or renting a warehouse and paying employees to staff it. Furthermore, most 3PL companies get better shipping rates based on the volume of orders they process across multiple brands, which ensures you’re saving money getting those items out to customers.
4. Use Coupons and Discounts Appropriately
Another area where eCommerce brands can save money in their operations is by using coupons and discounts appropriately. What do we mean by this?
Sometimes new brands think it is super important to always have a special offer or coupon going out to their new and existing customers. While this can be an excellent promotional tool, you still want to be smart about how you do it.
For example, if you’re using an offer of free shipping, make sure you’re not accidentally costing your business more than your profit margin. The same goes for discount codes, which should always fall somewhere below your margin for expenses including shipping and warehousing.
5. Find Ways to Incorporate Social Media
Saving time starts with better brand recognition. After all, if your target market already knows who you are, you don’t have to work as hard to make that first sale.
To accomplish this, always look for ways to incorporate social media into your brand. Essentially, the goal is to leverage these digital platforms as a way to boost your sales and save you time.
For example, have a page that you constantly add new products to on Facebook or Instagram. You can also utilize digital marketing and paid advertising elements like Facebook ads, Instagram shopping profiles, use of influencers, etc.
6. Know Your Strengths
One really important aspect of saving your eCommerce business time and money is to know your strengths. Some newcomers to the industry try to do too much, which leaves them running around trying to do everything on their own.
The best process is to handle what you can but work with an outside expert on certain things that you might not have the time or resources to fully accomplish.
A good example of this? Warehousing and shipping. In many instances, eCommerce brands aren’t fully equipped to handle all that this entails, which equates to a lot of time and money waste.
7. Negotiate Shipping Rates
If you aren’t already using a 3PL company to handle your shipping, make an attempt to negotiate your shipping rates. Most of the major carriers offer discounts based on volume or can cut you a deal if you’re doing a fair amount of monthly sales.
For big items, consider working with a shipping broker who has an understanding of the types of products you sell. This can often be a great way to still ensure you’re getting the best rates while still ensuring items get to the customer in a timely fashion.
8. Look at Packaging Costs
Another area to make simple changes is your packaging costs. Often, those boxes and mailers cost a lot more than you thought at the beginning. To help reduce waste and eliminate added fees, take a look at what you’re currently using and see if there’s a better alternative.
Most box companies these days also offer custom solutions, which give you the option of adding your logo and creating shipping supplies that meet your specific needs more efficiently. In addition, you can even switch to green materials that are far better for the environment.
Wrap Up: Saving Your eCommerce Business with Simple Changes
While most of these ideas seem simple enough, it is easy for a lot of brands to overlook them—especially in the beginning. By making just a few changes and refinements, however, you can rest assured that your eCommerce business is running as smoothly, efficiently, and profitably as possible.