When you run a business online, you’re already removing a lot of the overheads that most traditional shops encounter. You don’t have to pay rent on a building in a prominent part of the city’s shopping district to attract customers. You don’t even have to spend as much for utilities or staff. This doesn’t mean that an online store isn’t without its high costs. Here are three ways to make sure your e-commerce is as profitable as possible.
Increase delivery efficiency
For an online website, delivery is one of the most important things to consider when providing good customer service. It is also often very time consuming and surprisingly, labor heavy. Whether it’s picking the order, packing it up, or even having to make a regular journey to deliver the parcels to your chosen courier company, it could take hours just to dispatch a few small deliveries every week.
One way of reducing the cost of this process is by outsourcing it to an order fulfillment company. Companies like these solely focus on the delivery process, which means that they have ways of reducing shipping costs that just wouldn’t be practical for a small business to implement themselves.
For example, Red Stag Fulfillment has warehouses on both the East and West Coast, which means you never have to face the cost of shipping a product across to the other side of the country. They can also reduce the costs of having to pay for packing materials and your own storeroom, as well as removing the need to contact a courier yourself. All of this not only saves you money, but it also gives you more time to focus on attracting more orders.
One of the most unnecessary costs any online business can encounter is from having to deal with returned products. If they’ve been returned because they haven’t received the item they ordered, then it can be a very costly error. Whatever method you choose to dispatch your products, it’s essential to use a system that reduces the possibility of human error. For example, the fulfillment company mentioned earlier uses barcode scanners to check they have selected the right product to dispatch.
Check for any damage or defects before you pack up each product. If you are selling fragile products, consider the best packing materials to use to make sure the item arrives in one piece.
Stock what sells
A lot of your money could be tied up in stock. To make a profit, you might decide to bulk purchase or manufacture hundreds or even thousands of a particular item to reduce the production costs. Of course, you’ll make a profit once they sell, but what if nobody wants to buy them? You could be forced the heavily discount them or even dispose of them as a last resort.
Before buying any stock, conduct some product research to check that there is a market for that item. Look at what has sold well before on your website and see whether there are any common trends you can design your next product around.