How to save money as an e-seller

How to save money as an e-seller

Opening an online store is one of the fastest and cheapest routes into the retail world, but there are still plenty of operational costs to consider

Global shipping, international currency exchanges and flexible return policies can all impact your profits, and these are just a few examples.

There are measures you can take to keep expenditure down, however. Below are a few tips to help you streamline your spending for the best chances of long-term success in the ecommerce sector.

Identify the most popular payment options

It’s important to provide your customers with more than one payment option but offer everything and you will soon find the monthly processing fees adding up. 

Try instead to identify which methods are most popular with your customers and focus on those – you might be scared of losing a customer or two, but most online shoppers have more than one credit or debit card to use, so you shouldn’t notice any significant drops in business.

Depending on how many unnecessary payment methods you have been offering at this point, you could have a handy little boost each month.

Plan your discounts carefully

Discounts and voucher codes are part and parcel of online selling these days. They are great for getting people through the virtual door and for enticing return visits later on. It is important not to rely too heavily on them, however – and to use them strategically.

Before starting a promotion, carefully define your intentions; what do you actually want to achieve? If you are looking to clear space in the stock room a heavier discount on an older product might be appropriate, but you needn’t be too drastic with more current items; sometimes a 10% drop is all it takes to pull a customer away from your competitors.

Automate where possible

As your ecommerce business grows, it will be tempting to employ some human help, and sometimes that will be necessary, but think about how you might be able to streamline processes with technology before jumping straight to recruitment.

Automation technologies can be used to handle everything from product categorisation to stock orders and outbound marketing emails. Chabot’s can even relieve customer service pressure by answering basic questions, giving you more time – and money – to spend on other, more pressing tasks and concerns.

Find a trusted delivery partner

It may be the most obvious and least daunting option to use Royal Mail, but there are plenty of companies out there whose sole objective it is to provide businesses like yours with great global rates and customer service.

Shop around and ask about each prospective delivery partner’s credentials with international e-sellers – do they already work with companies in your field? What deals can they provide as part of an ongoing relationship? Even if the difference is only small, the savings could soon add up over time.

…and a currency exchange specialist 

As an online business, you have access to a huge audience of potential buyers in markets across the globe, but selling internationally does come with a few extra costs. Currency exchange fees, for example, can soon add up to the point where they impact your profits on international orders.

So many online traders use the default currency exchange rates and programmes of their chosen selling platforms to keep things simple, but this is rarely the most cost-efficient route. Consider using a currency exchange specialist that will work with you to give your business competitive exchange rates and importantly, guidance and support when it comes to currency markets. 

These are just a few ways to cut down on your running costs, and while none will instantly double your profits, they will help to make your business leaner and more cost-efficient. And, over time, the rewards will certainly add up.

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