There are quite a few sites out there that will teach you how to expand your online store, boost sales, and attract more customers.
But growing profit is a result of not only increasing sales, but also cutting costs.
In fact, you might be surprised how much your bottom line improves by keeping in mind a few simple principles.
Here are a few quick tips to reduce costs while maintaining quality.
Try to use discounts strategically. Discounts are a great way to boost traffic to your site, and work well as attention grabbers. There’s nothing that quite gets a potential customer salivating like an 80% off sale.
Some sales can easily bring in an influx of customers that more than offsets the profit loss per item. The influx of new traffic discounts bring can be so encouraging, that you might even decide to offer a site-wide sale. After all, with that much more traffic, surely your profits will increase, right?
Well, hold on a minute. Before you decide to offer that sale, make sure you’ve taken into account how much you’re planning to make per item, how much new business you think you’ll be getting, and most of all, whether you will be making a profit! It sounds like common sense, but it’s not uncommon that a site-wide sale turns into a disaster.
Also, consider using discounts strategically by considering your profit margin per item. Once you are able to identify your lowest and highest profit products, you will know which to offer huge discounts on, and which to avoid discounting. By offering discounts on popular items that don’t need any additional incentives to buy, you are potentially reducing your profit rather than increasing it.
Another incentive often used to increase traffic is offering free shipping. But free shipping can be a double edged sword, depending on the item. In fact, on some low-cost items, free shipping can actually cost you money every time you sell those items! On the other hand, offering free shipping is a proven way to increase sales and traffic.
Consider finding other ways to cut shipping costs so that you can offer free shipping. Depending on the size of your operation and how many orders you ship per month, one way of cutting your shipping costs is by using an order fulfillment service. Generally, outsourcing your fulfillment is a far cheaper option than hiring a fulfillment team and renting out a warehouse. Top outsourced fulfillment providers enable you to ship from multiple warehouses and have favorable shipping rates with courier companies due to the amount of product they ship daily. Not only can this save you a lot of money on your shipping costs, but it can also make the actual delivery-time far shorter.
You don’t have to do everything yourself. In many cases, it’s not only cheaper to outsource jobs and specific projects, but also results in higher quality work from specialists. This not only applies to fulfillment, but also to graphic design, customer service, web design, SEO, anything you can think of. That doesn’t mean that you should outsource all of these things. It just means you should keep an open mind when considering a problem that you don’t have expert resources on hand to solve. You don’t have to outsource to a foreign country, there are many outstanding specialty firms in the U.S. Explore your options the next time you have situation that needs a specialized solution.
How have you cut costs for your online business in the past?
Why should you consider outsourced order fulfillment for your KickStarter project?
Imagine this. Your KickStarter project exceeds its goals and becomes more successful than you thought it could. Everybody wants your new product, and you’re already thinking of new ideas! New product lines, new team members, new locations: there’s just one problem. How are you going to get your incredibly nifty product to your customers?
Chances are you’re not looking forward to long days of packing orders and slapping on labels.
Luckily, there are people out there that will do it for you, and do a great job of it. They’re called eCommerce order fulfillment providers, and they take care of storing, picking, packing, and shipping your product to exactly where it needs to go as fast as possible.
Just in case you are the type that likes to wrap orders though, here are 3 really good reasons why you should consider outsourcing your fulfillment anyway:
Maintain Control Over Your Fulfillment Without Micromanaging.
It’s not easy to fulfill hundreds of orders a week. To do it properly, you’d need an organized warehouse, an experienced fulfillment team, software integrated with your shopping cart, and good relationships with courier companies. None of these are cheap or easy to achieve, and a fulfillment operation must be constantly managed day in and day out. Luckily, it’s very possible to maintain control over your fulfillment while outsourcing it to a fulfillment provider. This can be accomplished if you choose a service with advanced order management technology. Some of these technologies will allow you to keep careful track of your orders, approve/disapprove specific orders, set low inventory alerts, and give you 24/7 cloud-based access from anywhere in the world. So you don’t need to worry about the problems that usually come with doing fulfillment, just on who you’re outsourcing it to. Outsourcing gives you the freedom to work on what you’re really interested in: the growth of your business.
Achieve Industry-leading Speed and Accuracy.
The ability to deliver packages quickly and accurately to their recipients is dependent on a number of factors. Speed is not only dependent on the quality of the workers working on picking, packing, and shipping, but also on the number of warehouses a fulfillment provider uses, and where they are located around the US. A single online seller will find it difficult to maintain multiple warehouses around the country unless they are shipping incredible volume. The difference between an online seller shipping with one warehouse compared with several can be 2-4 business days, a lifetime in the world of online shopping. Consumers today expect their packages shipping on the same day, and delivered within 2 days. In terms of accuracy, top fulfillment providers generally have accuracy rates of over 99.7%, meaning that 997 packages out of 1000 will get to their recipients undamaged with the right kinds of items and number of items in the box. Speed and accuracy of shipping is an important factor in customer satisfaction, and will help you drive customer loyalty and repeat business.
Cut Costs and Maximize Scalability.
Depending on what and how much you are shipping, in most cases it is cheaper to outsource your fulfillment than do it yourself. Why? For one thing, top outsourced fulfillment providers ship millions of orders a year, and have the ability to standardize procedures, processing systems, and order materials in bulk. Similarly, due to the vast number of orders they ship every day, they are able to negotiate better shipping rates with courier companies like FedEx and UPS, which are then passed on to you, the customer. Storing your inventory in multiple warehouses also reduced travel distance, and therefore cost of shipping. Scale is also something you have to take into consideration, especially on Kickstarter. For example, if you happened to be shipping 500 order a month, a good fulfillment provider can easily handle your volume if it suddenly quadrupled, something that would be difficult to manage with an in-house operation.
Overall, outsourcing the order fulfillment for your Kickstarter project can make your business run more smoothly, not to mention make your life a lot easier. If your new project happens to take off, you’ll be glad you took the time to ensure your products get to where they need to go, quickly and accurately.
Have you tried Kickstarter?
How important is creating a successful survey for your online business?
Customer research is a critical part of any online business, especially an eCommerce store. While there are many ways of conducting research, the most common and generally most effective way is just to ask people what they want.
Would you like to see this car in neon green, for example, or would you prefer a dark blue? Surveys are a great way to ensure you are spending your resources on the areas that have the most potential to bring in more sales. Too often however, surveys go out and get response rates in the single digits. So here are a few quick tips to ensure you are getting the most from your customer research initiatives.
Ask Relevant Questions
Ask questions that will actually help improve your business! Creating the questions is the first thing you need to do with any survey, and one of the most important steps. But the longer a survey is, the less people will want to fill it out, so the number of questions you can ask is limited. That means avoiding questions that you want to ask but are not critical to your immediate goals! Figure out exactly what you want to learn before you start creating the survey, then craft questions that will move you towards answering them.
Make the Survey Easy to Fill Out
Accessibility and ease of use is an important factor in increasing survey response rate. First, make sure the layout of your survey is designed in an intuitive manner, and that the instructions are clear. Is it a multiple choice survey, or do the respondents have to write answers? It's also essential that you avoid using jargon or complicated words when writing the actual questions and answers. The more people understand what you're asking, the more likely it is you'll get the data you're looking for.
Create Shorter Surveys or Offer a Reward
People have short attention spans, especially in the era of the internet, smartphones, and YouTube. The shorter your survey is, the more likely customers will be to fill it out. Of course, sometimes you need more detailed information, and that requires longer surveys. In those cases, you can offer a reward for filling out a longer form. For example, coupons, raffles, and free products are typically used to encourage more respondents.
These are the simplest and more effective methods of increasing response rates on surveys. Depending on the industry, people will be more or less likely to respond. As with all things in business, test, test, and test again until you find what works for you.
Do you have any stories where a successful survey helped you make a decision?
There is one question were often asked that is not listed on our websites or any FAQ. What is your logo supposed to symbolize? A logo, probably more than any other single aspect, is something that represents the company to the customer, a symbol that stays in the mind of the viewer. This symbol can be more than just a picture. At its best, it can become a representation of what the company stands for and the concepts behind it. For example, the Starbucks logo evokes the smell of fresh ground coffee, just as Coca Colas logo induces a strong sense of nostalgia for the past.
Now if youve seen the Webgistix logo, you might be asking why weve kept it the same for over ten years. Its an orange circle with a blue W, whats so special about it? And what, exactly, are those two dots supposed to be?
The history behind this began when we first started Webgistix back in 2001. At the time, Webgistix was a concept. We didnt have warehouses or employees. We had a plan, and a vision. It was with these in mind that we created the logo, which represents more than a single idea. It stands for global eCommerce, with the circle representing the world. It symbolizes two people from different nationalities, joining hands in harmony. It symbolizes the customer vendor relationship and also the buyer seller relationship. It symbolizes the two radically different concepts of Webgistix, online commerce and offline fulfillment. It represents all these things, all these opposing forces, coming together and raising their hands in victory. Thats what that logo means to us, and what I see when I look at it. Depending on the story behind them, logos can grow to become the most significant part of your brand.
Do you have a story to share about the logo of your company?