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The basics of cutting costs in eCommerce

Photo by Karolina Grabowska: pexels

Whether you are marketing cost-effective computer components or whimsical glass patio ornaments, you will face serious competition in the online market.

According to reports by Forrester, the eCommerce market could surpass $500 Billion by 2020 and there is an increase in the entrepreneurs and marketers eager to take a slice of this hefty prize. But, only those savvy eCommerce merchants who fully understand the need for an economical approach will truly stand to win anything.

An economical approach to the market is also essential in maintaining first-rate relations with your valuable online customers. This includes taking advantage of the most cost-effective means of postage that allow you to pass savings on to your valued customers.

Studies have shown that this practice alone is what savvy online consumers look for when selecting the merchants with whom they will do business. Not, only does reducing your overhead allow you to establish a good relationship with savvy online customers, but it also allows you to create a broader profit margin for yourself when the big numbers are added.

In order to eliminate all unnecessary spending and reduce the cost of your eCommerce venture, the following article will include some important best practices that you can apply to boost your bottom line.

1. Ship less

This doesn’t mean you should try to make fewer sales, the idea is to make the most from each one. This is done by reducing the weight and size of the order and here are some practical ways to apply this and begin saving money right away.

2. Use smaller packaging

Postage costs increase with the volume and weight of your packages. There isn’t much you can do to reduce the weight of the items you are shipping but there are things you can do to ensure the packaging isn’t adding to the volume or weight of the entire shipment.

Just consider the costs associated with this aspect of e-commerce alone. Many of us remember ordering a pair of earrings, memory sticks or other small products online and having the tiny item arrive in a shoe box. This often happens when, in an effort to reduce costs, a merchant ships packages in whatever boxes they can find as opposed to taking advantage of a wide array of shipping materials available from an established provider. But, getting the right-sized packaging is a good way to reduce overhead in the long run and streamline eCommerce.

Smaller parcels and packages cost much less and can allow you to qualify for lower rates. Even better, they are a real space saver. If you do sell small items, find a packaging that allows these items to be slipped through the standards letterbox, this will slice out a chunk spent on shipping in boxes. Furthermore, your customers won’t have to be home for a delivery.

3. Get your measurements right

Postal carriers will add a charge to your postage costs if the packages being sent end up being much larger than you had described when booking the service. This is where a simple tape measure will allow you to get the details just right. Having the exact measurements on hand will also allow you to review the costs offered by various shippers and get the best shipping rate for the sizes of your packages.

4. Reduce, reuse, recycle

In addition, to be an environmentally-friendly option, the practice of recycling and reusing can help you reduce the overall expenses on shipping. Many businesses include leaflets and packaging slips or other promotional material in their packages representing a cost that accumulates. This cost is then passed on to the consumer as part of the shipping and packaging charges.

Brochures and catalogues also increase the weight of your package and this can increase the costs of shipping each package. It would be a good idea to offer customers options for opting out of this program to receive brochures and pamphlets in their packages. Another idea is to ensure that catalogues are sent out once and not again till they are updated next season.

5. Slow down on the bubble wrap

While it is essential that all items arrive at their locations in perfect conditions, bubble wrap and packing peanuts are one spot where merchants can greatly reduce their expenditure. Not only do these items add volume and weight to the packages you are sending, and effectively increase the postage costs, but this also costs cash to use.

Take a minimal approach to this and find a masterly way to economize, Customers notice these things and they notice waste, these things tell the smart consumer who will be more likely to endure in this game.

6. Get efficient with your dispatch operations

It is surprising to find out how many eCommerce merchants do their packaging at random intervals throughout the day. This can become a time-consuming and problematic way of doing this.

Time is your most valuable resource. While you may not actually save any cash by shipping all your items at one time, you will save time that can be best applied to other aspects of your business management. Instead of packaging orders throughout the day, it would be a better idea to have this aspect of the work addressed in one two-hour session at the day’s end. Depending on how many orders you are receiving in a day, this is an important way to set yourself up for business growth by saving lots of time.

7. Use air delivery only when necessary

Air postage is a costly thing. It would be far better to have your shipping handled by ground freight. You will only want to use air shipping for those clients who need their items in a rush and order a special service for this. Other than that, it is far better to send packages with cost-effective ground freight.

8. Store your products closer to market

If you have a host of clients in one particular area, or you notice that most of your shipping goes to a single region, you may find it cheaper to store your items closer to this area. This will greatly reduce the costs of items being sent between these two points. If you find this is a good way to save cash, pass the savings on to your customers to potentially ship more products to this location.

9. Use online postage services (like ParcelBright!)

From large volumes of shipping to smaller ones, an intelligent service like ParcelBright. This service works with its clients to select the best shipping services from a wide selection of companies. This means that one company may offer the best prices for shipping tents and coolers, but another would be better for shipping the rest of the camping accessories. This allows the merchant to shave important pennies from their shipping costs and can result in monumental savings over time and many shipments. Alternatively, if you wish to find and purchase stamps easily and for less, check out USAStampGuide.com


Hopefully, the tips and pointers mentioned here can help you reduce the costs of your eCommerce shipping. Even better, they can help you realize the importance of keeping your expenses low so that so can reap big profits from your efforts.

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