The rise of ecommerce has made starting a small business an even more democratic process than in the past. There are numerous tools that take care of much of the work that goes into creating a website, stocking inventory, and attracting new customers. If you’re interested in starting your own business but are on a tight budget, consider the following ways to reduce costs.
1. Design your Own Website
If you’re just getting started with ecommerce, one of the first steps is to create your website. Many business owners choose to hire a fancy New York web design company or other professional to create their website. However, for start-ups it may make more sense to use a template or hosted ecommerce solution and then pay for the website upgrade later on.
2. Consider Drop Shipping
One of the biggest expenses for a small business is the cost of shipping. There are a couple of ways to reduce this. One way is to find a provider who offers special discounts for small businesses. You can also consider hiring an analyst to help you identify the most cost-effective forms of shipping. Making sure that you have your inventory in line and easily accessible also reduces the headache that can become shipping. A vertical lift module not only does the aforementioned, but it saves space as well. Another option is to sign up with a drop ship business, which will do the shipping for you. Their shipping rates tend to be low, and you have the added benefit of saving money on stocking your own inventory. The drop shipping business will store inventory and ship it for you, so all you need to worry about is landing the initial sale.
3. Use Coupons as Part of a Strategy
One of the major reasons why consumers turn to ecommerce in the first place is to find special deals or discounts. As a result, many expect to be offered coupons for their business. For a new ecommerce business to succeed, it’s important to offer coupons and discounts. Make the most of this operational cost by offering sales on products that are less popular or in ways which will impact your profit margin least. Using a strategy can help you avoid losing too much money in the bid for new customers.
4. Identify the Most Effective Online Marketing Options
Online marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach out to new customers and retain existing ones. Yet the cost of marketing and advertising can really add up for ecommerce businesses. A simple PPC campaign can cost you a great deal of money, and may not be necessary when you use social media for free. To get started with finding the best use of your online marketing budget, you’ll want to use web analytics tools to identify where your demographic spends their time online. Consider free tools like online forums, guest blog posts, and social media networking before spending a penny on advertising.
5. Build Customer Loyalty
It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to attract a new customer to your online shop. This is why it’s so important to focus on keeping your customers once you have initially sparked their interest. A combination of effective communication, excellent customer service, and follow-up marketing can help you retain your client base and build brand loyalty. Engage with your fans through social media, offering special discounts or news to those who have signed up to your mailing list. If customers feel like they are getting VIP treatment, they will be willing to keep coming back. This is far more affordable than constantly trying to attract first-time clients, important as they may be.