Your ecommerce site can be a lucrative venture than can net you and your brand a lot of revenue, but only if you know where to cut costs. With the help of a professional web design team, you can choose to pare down when and where it is needed without ending up with nothing but the bare essentials.
Hosting and Bandwidth
Ambitious ecommerce owners start off by paying big bucks for big bandwidth and huge server space in anticipation of the huge number of sales they make. Unfortunately, your ambition will not always reflect the number of sales you have.
Before settling on a hosting solution, take a hard look at the numbers you already have. It is not a smart business decision to spend now for revenue that hasn't even come in yet. You can always add bandwidth later through upgrades or by switching hosts during a scheduled maintenance when your traffic goes up.
If you are new at ecommerce and are still testing your product(s), why not hook up with a free hosting service? This helps you keep costs at the minimum, so you can focus on making your website look and feel awesome instead.
For many ecommerce sites, the cost of shipping is the number one expense. New ecommerce entrepreneurs can sometimes fall into the trap of paying too much for shopping simply because they do not know how to negotiate. Unless you have a lot of capital on hand, this can quickly eat up your profits and capital.
If the amount of products you ship out has increased exponentially, use this newfound bargaining power to iron out a new deal. If you are bringing a lot of business to a shipping company, they will probably be more than amenable.
Find ways to get around prohibitive costs by shipping in bulk, using local shipping when possible and shipping for rates whenever you can. Most customers are willing to wait, if they are in a rush they will select the specialized courier service you offer.
Your packaging should be focused on the website -- and oftentimes many customers do not really care if their package arrives in beautiful box with an ornate lace ribbon. What they do care about is the product inside.
Find creative ways to cut down on your packaging. Use recycled packaging, up cycle or get rid of your obsession with plastic wrap. Customers might even thank you. Anyone who has ever had to rip through 800 layers of packaging when receiving mail will thank you.
With the green trend here to stay, this might even be a selling point for your more Earth-conscious customers. Work with your professional design team to see how you can turn this into an advantage.
Keep an Eye on Your Discounts
Every time you run a discount offer or promotion, keep a close eye on your profit margins. Even veteran ecommerce owners make the mistake of either using the same promotion over and over again, or having a discount run too long.
Discounts are supposed to attract customers, not hand over your goods for free. Make sure you run discounts carefully and time them for when you know sales will happen. If you need to attract customers different, try a different tactic. Give your members gift cards, membership cards or special rebates that encourage them to buy more or get discounts if they reach a certain amount.
Too Much Advertising
There is such a thing as too much advertising. Every quarter, make sure you look through your links and see where the majority of your traffic is coming from. Be ruthless and cull down the links that are just not giving you the traffic you want, get rid of banners and focus on those that do. After all, do you really need to have 300 banner ads on 300 different websites?
Like any business model, slashing overhead costs is the key to a successful ecommerce way. Look for ways to cut costs without hurting what your brand is famous for. For example, why will you lay off employees if your store is famous for its personalized service? Instead, maybe you can cut down on inventory costs by getting rid of items that are not moving on the site.
Be smart, be ruthless and you will be successful.