Starting an eCommerce store has never been easier than it is right now.
It’s easy to create an amazing website using Shopify, an eCommerce designing platform to build clean, customer-centric storefronts.
And if you’re like most eCommerce entrepreneurs who are into dropshipping, using an eCommerce solution like Oberlo can speed up your online store set up further since it does wonders at automating a good bit of your product integration process.
What’s more, Oberlo doesn’t leave you to start your eCommerce journey unguided.
The platform is swarming with comprehensive dropshipping guides that you can study to increase your level of expertise in running your dropshipping store.
With both tools, you pretty much have your online store set up, and your products readied — all without you having spent thousands of dollars!
(Example of a store built using Shopify | https://www.ilovebiko.com/)
eCommerce stores are cheaper, and easier to run when compared to brick-and-mortar stores.
But, there are some costs that most eCommerce stores don’t consider and/or expect.
These sneaky costs can eat into your profits and ruin your day, week, and/or month.
What costs are we talking about?
And since you are here, you probably want to reduce your operational costs … right?
If so, you’re in the right place.
We’re going to discuss several eCommerce strategies that will help to reduce your operational costs and help you start pocketing even more profits.
Sound good …?
Great! Let’s get started on what you can do to cut your operational costs down and start pocketing even more of your profits.
Block Fraudulent Purchases
Unfortunately, there are people out there, SCAMMERS, who just want to get something for free.
They don’t care who it hurts, or how much it costs, their goal is to “get one over” on you.
But there are plugins that work with Shopify stores that will help to thwart these scammers.
One plugin that can do this for you is Fraud Filter.
Plugins like this will monitor your orders and stop them if they suspect that it is fraudulent, giving you the chance to look over the order before approving or denying the order.
In the eCommerce world, fraudulent purchases can absolutely kill your whole month – it can even make you consider quitting altogether.
So, make sure you are blocking suspicious and/or fraudulent purchases to help reduce your operational costs.
Reduce Your Product Return Rate
Next, you need to find a way to stop product returns.
A product on your shelf is not profitable. It only becomes profitable when it ends up in your customer’s hands.
But it also needs to stay in their hands.
Whenever a customer is unhappy, for whatever reason, you’ll normally end up eating the cost of the return and/or the product itself as it has been damaged and cannot be resold – OUCH!
So how can you keep the product in the customer’s hands?
Make sure they know EXACTLY what they are getting before they click the BUY button.
This may seem obvious, but are your listings detailed enough?
Have you posted enough pictures in the listing so that there aren’t any misunderstandings?
Maybe you should include a video of the product to really maximize the customer’s understanding.
One way of helping make sure that customers get the exact kind of products that they want before buying is to include customization options on your order forms.
By using online form builder tools like JotForm, you can include details like choice of color, size, quantity, etc.
This can help customers know exactly what they’re getting and lower possible product returns.
Another thing you can do is give the customer a long time before they HAVE to return the product.
While this seems counter-intuitive, it really isn’t. The longer a customer has a product, the less likely they are to return it as they end up liking it – bypassing buyer’s remorse.
Negotiate Your Processing Fees
These are the fees that you know are part of your “losses” category.
You have no control over them at all … right?
Maybe you do …
No, there’s not much you can do about your fees from Visa and/or Mastercard, but you might be able to get the annual fees or other reporting fees knocked down (or removed completely).
Of course, if you’ve just started out, you probably won’t have any leverage.
The longer you’ve been doing business with your processor, the more likely they are to “give” a little in order to make you happy.
You simply have to ask …
When you speak with the representative, ask them if there is any way you can reduce your overhead expenses with their company.
If they say no, respond back that you’ve been with them for so many years and that you’ve enjoyed their service, but you’ve been offered some better pricing and would like to see what they can do to match (or beat) the offers.
After a little back-and-forth, you’ll probably end up saving a little.
Remember, every little bit counts!
Understand Your Marketing Spend
Another area where you can make cuts and still thrive is actually in your marketing department.
Most companies don’t utilize their marketing budgets properly.
In fact, most just throw more money at their campaigns in the hope that they’ll get more eyes on their products which should mean more conversions and more profits.
If you aren’t analyzing your conversion metrics, you are wasting your money – lot’s of it!
Instead, start performing A/B marketing campaigns. Find out which one worked better, A or B, and then do the same but with the better performer and a newer ad.
Drill down to what your customers really respond to.
You’ll find out that you are throwing a ton of money in the garbage that could be used to reach the customers that are truly interested in your products and are ready to buy.
If you need more help with audience research, you can use this handy tool from Facebook Insights. Below is a screenshot of what you might see when you look into your audience.
As we said earlier, the eCommerce industry is booming and there’s never been a better time to start an eCommerce store if you haven’t already.
Platform builders such as Shopify, paired with eCommerce solutions like Oberlo, make starting a store and finding the right products almost too easy.
But you still have to be mindful of those sneaky operational costs.
As you’ve read today, there are some things you can do to reduce and/or remove these pesky operational costs.
Start implementing these changes and you’ll notice that you have more in the bank than you’ve ever had.
So, what are you waiting for?
Don’t raise the prices … cut the costs!