5 Cost-Saving Efficiencies for eCommerce Businesses

All businesses are looking for ways to boost the bottom line. 

Increasing sales revenue is obvious, so companies put effort and resources into marketing, sales, and client acquisition and retention. 

These are all necessary activities for eCommerce businesses, but don’t forget about the other side of the coin: saving money. Tapping into cost-saving efficiencies can save both money and time, which, in turn, will also save you money!

Here are 5 areas of cost-saving efficiencies for eCommerce businesses to pay attention to today. 

5 Areas Where eCommerce Businesses Can Save Money

1. Operations

Daily operations include everything from administrative tasks to financial bookkeeping to client management. These are important tasks, but often take significant time and effort to complete. 

Automation is a way to save on key processes. The main benefit here is to save time so the team can devote it to other money-making activities. Here are a few examples of automation options for eCommerce businesses: 

  • Set reminders and email prompts for abandoned shopping carts
  • Add new client emails to your marketing email list
  • Schedule social media posts ahead of time
  • Use an AI bot to answer customer inquiries
  • Automatically track all sales in a spreadsheet

Today, there are thousands of ways to automate simple functions and tasks to save you time and money. Zapier, for example, is one tool that automates workflows across over 5,000 different apps. 

2. Suppliers

Most things can be negotiated. When working with suppliers or service providers (i.e., utilities and maintenance), you don’t have to accept the first quote as the end price. Instead, negotiate with them to get the best prices possible. 

Here are a few tips to successfully negotiate: 

  • Ask if there are discounts for volume or high-quantity orders
  • Take advantage of any early bird or special occasion discount
  • Do market research to know what competitor rates are and use them as leverage
  • Request a discount because of customer loyalty
  • Form a relationship with them through consistent positive communication; being a good customer can go a long way to a successful negotiation! 

3. Packaging

Shipping boxes, envelopes, tissue paper, poly mailers, and everything in between—packaging is a core element for eCommerce businesses. Because of that, it’s a key area to find some cost-savings efficiencies. 

Three things to focus on: 

  • Only use what you need: Don’t use massive packages for something small. Instead, make sure the package fits the item—good for your pocketbook and the environment.
  • Buy in bulk: Leveraging economies of scale is always a good way to reduce costs. By purchasing large quantities of your packaging needs, you’ll also always have resources at your fingertips. If storage space is an issue for you, check out our innovative warehousing solutions to help you out.  
  • Invest in high quality: Better quality packaging means it will last longer, be less prone to damage, and provide a better customer experience, all of which ultimately support your bottom line. 

4. Returns

Managing and minimizing returns is another key area for cost savings in eCommerce businesses. When a customer returns an item, there are many costs—shipping costs, packaging costs, and labor costs to manage the return. 

You can minimize returns and exchanges with two key changes:

  • Help customers make the best purchase: Perfect things like product descriptions, sizing charts, or video explainers so your customers know exactly what they’re purchasing. Ensure your customer service team is also working hard to help customers get it right the first time (more on that below!).
  • Extend time frames: The longer someone holds on to an item, the less likely they are to return it. So, try to alleviate the pressure to decide right away with longer return policies. 

5. Customer Service

Acquiring customers costs money, thanks to marketing and sales expenses. So, one of the best cost-saving efficiencies is to retain the customers you have by going above and beyond with your customer service. 

You’ll save on the customer acquisition cost and drive revenue from increased spending. 

Here are two ways to boost customer service: 

  • Make it special: Set yourself apart from the many eCommerce retailers out there today. Something as simple as designing custom packaging to create an unboxing experience makes your product and company special and memorable.
  • Offer personalized help: There are many ways to streamline customer service, including the use of AI chatbots. But it’s important to know when the “human touch” makes a difference. For example, a video chat service for an apparel company might help a customer pick out the right size for them. This personalized experience is more enjoyable to the customer and minimizes the potential for returns. 

Each eCommerce business is unique in its offerings and operations. But these five areas for cost-saving efficiencies are useful for most companies. Take some time to review them and consider where you can start saving money today to better serve your customers and grow your business. 

If you’re looking for a partner to help you save money on your essential business supplies, get in touch with us today.