One of the best businesses that you can start online is an e-commerce store. Although you do need some capital to get it started, the barrier to entry is much lower than in a traditional retail store. There are also costs to operate the business which are generally much lower than with a brick-and-mortar store. When things start to click then the profits can also be a lot higher since there is lower overhead.
Like any business, it makes sense to make sure that your costs are minimal so you can increase your profit margin. There are a number of ways to decrease your expenses so you can operate at a lower cost and make more money. In fact, there are possibilities for savings that don’t exist when it comes to running a traditional store. In this article, we will go over several ways to save money with your e-commerce store business.
1 – Do your Own Photography
Hiring a photographer to take pictures of your products and then edit them for the product page on the site is very expensive. When you have a lot of products then this can be a major expense. It is very important to make sure that your pictures are good, though since the shopping experience online is very visual. Since the potential customer can’t pick up and inspect the product, they need to see good pictures of it.
There are a number of tools that you can use to edit and improve the images so they pop off the screen and are irresistible to click. For instance, this free convert tool will help you convert your images from the raw files to a jpg or png to use on your site. All you need to pay for is a good camera that will take decent pictures and then learn how to edit them. Even an expensive camera is going to be cheaper than hiring a photographer to take a picture of every product you have.
2 – Shop Around for Shipping
Once your products are manufactured then you have to get them to the fulfillment center as quickly as possible. If you’re also able to do this cheaply then this is a bonus. Shipping prices depend on a number of factors that are going to be different for every shipping provider.
This means that you shouldn’t accept the first quote that you get. It pays off to shop around and find quotes that may be lower. The thing to look out for is a lower quote that also involves longer shipping times. Taking longer to ship products that you need to refill your inventory is going to cost you money in the long run.
If you can sort out your inventory to have shipments start sooner than a long wait time will not hurt you if you are running out of products at any point.
3 – Offer Bundles
There is a system of upselling items that not only brings in more revenue but it can also save you some money. Have software set up on your site that will use an algorithm to suggest other products to add to their cart since they compliment each other. This will reduce the cost of shipping if people are buying multiple items together.
It will also save money since you will have fewer products on the shelves at the warehouse. If the fulfillment center you use charges for long term storage fees, then it makes sense to move as many products as possible, bundling is a good way to do this to save across many fronts.
4 – DIY Marketing
A potentially effective way to drive traffic to your store is to use paid ads on Google and social media. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing it can be very expensive. It is not unheard of to blow through your entire budget in days with paid ads when the ROI is low.
The best thing to do on a budget is to do your own marketing and try to build traffic organically. The first thing to do is to create a blog on your site. This will help you get on the top of the search results for buyer intent keywords and it won’t cost you anything but the time to write the articles.
Next up is using social media to build a fan base. If you focus on the platform that your core audience is hanging out and create good content you will build a sizable following. Make sure that the content you are posting is helpful and engaging and you will be able to convert those followers into buyers on your site.