How to Save Money When Running an Online Store
Managing your online store can be a fulfilling endeavor. You have a chance to earn a living while exercising your creative and marketing skills. However, being your own boss has its perks—as well as responsibilities. And one of your main concerns involves maximizing your profit. To do that, look for ways to trim your expenses in the crucial areas of your e-commerce operation, such as your website, inventory, shipping, and payment processing.
Saving Money on Your Website
Paying for an SSL certificate is a must because you need to secure the transactions made on your online store. There are cheap SSL certificates, but they may not be exactly trustworthy. A smart way to save money on SSL certificates is to shop around for the best deal only among reliable companies, the likes of Thawte and VeriSign.
You may also look at deals offered by web hosting companies. They may give you discounted offers on some aspects of your e-commerce site.
As for your e-commerce website design and search engine optimization, get it done right the first time. Invest in the services of a professional. That’s the fool-proof way to save money. If you opt to hire a website designer or an e-commerce SEO expert you have met from Craigslist because his rates are half of what a professional charges, then you are not saving money. There is a big chance that you will end up having to redo the job. Pay a professional to do it for you. Then ask him to teach you how to manage it by yourself.
Saving Money on Inventory
The way you manage your inventory drastically impacts your profit. In order to save money in this aspect of your online retail operation, negotiate with distributors and haggle for a lower price. Also, all defective products and returns must be agreed beforehand as liabilities charged to the manufacturer.
Look into getting volume discounts, early-pay discounts, free shipping, and extended terms. Consider a fair consignment deal. Do not hesitate to request for a free sample of a product. Free samples can add up, giving your inventory a significant boost.
And for hassle-free and accurate stocking of your inventory, place your orders during days when sales are sluggish. Typically, these slow days occur between Tuesdays and Thursdays. You are much more likely to avoid order-processing errors and enjoy better customer service.
Saving Money on Shipping
There are numerous ways to save money to ship products to your customers. Bulk shipping discounts are the most common. To further reduce your freight bills, understand dimensional weight increments and their effect on your shipping costs. You should also invest in different box sizes. You can save money by choosing the smallest box that can house a specific product.
Saving Money on E-Commerce Payment Processing
Accepting credit card payments is unavoidable. One chargeback fee after another can eat away at your profits. So you need to educate yourself on identifying hidden fees in credit-card-processing statements. Learn pricing structures and the world of difference between processing fees on a per-item basis and those based on percentages.
Real-time reporting can save you money over time because it lets you troubleshoot as early as possible any authorization issues, bank deposit problems, and downgrades. It enables credit and debit cards to be either accepted or denied upon checkout. Real-time processing is offered by many merchant services providers, and it helps you save money by automating your online store’s checkout stage—meaning, you or your employees can work on other aspects of your online retail operation