Selling things online for a profit means paying special attention to your margins. Anything you can do to lower your costs will expand those margins, providing you with the cash you need to invest. Often, finding these savings can be especially tricky – especially if you’ve been meticulously reviewing and optimising your practices for years. But for newer businesses of this sort, there are obvious measures which can quickly yield worthwhile results.
Use Sustainable Packaging
Your customers are more environmentally aware than they ever have been. Ship something in anything other than a recyclable cardboard container, and it’ll be noticed. This is on top of the standard considerations that anyone posting an item should worry about. Is the packaging too big for the product? Does it add unduly to the weight? Does it protect the product against damage, and thereby minimise the possibility of an expensive re-ship? Does it take advantage of the opportunity to market your business?
Answering all of these questions will help you to arrive at a packaging solution that matches your needs, and those of the environment.
Work with a small business shipping specialist
Small businesses might not have the resources to optimise their shipping procedures, especially if they’re shipping to territories across the world. Keeping track of the various customs arrangements, and getting the package as swiftly as possible from one place to another, can often be incredibly complicated work. By working with partners who specialise in SME operations, you can be sure that your packages will have the best chance of arriving at their destination in time and intact.
Know how to prevent and fight chargebacks
Whenever a customer successfully disputes a fee you’ve placed on their credit card, you’ll be billed for what’s known as a chargeback. These are there to prevent businesses from throwing out charges indiscriminately. But sometimes, they’re misused. A customer might, for example, claim to have never received a parcel, when really they have. A paper trail will help you out, here. Keep a record of delivery, shipment, and confirmation. Armed with this evidence, you’ll win every dispute, and avoid every chargeback fee.
Don’t offer coupons randomly
Coupons are a powerful means of engaging customers, fostering relationships, and building the reputation of your business. But if misused, they can be expensive, and barely effective. For this reason, it’s worth setting out in advance what you’d like to achieve with your coupon campaign. Set out a target in advance, and work out what depth of discount you can afford to offer. Identify the customers who you think are most likely to provide a return on the investment. After the campaign ends, review just how it went, and see what lessons you can take into the next one.