Digital marketing costs are rising at almost five times the rate of inflation. Last year, alone, we saw ad spend increase by 24%. As we know, marketing is crucial to the success of any eCommerce business – bringing increased exposure, sales, and eventually, ROI. This week, the eCommerce experts at Expandly are taking a look at the top eCommerce business money-saving tips that will increase your marketing budget, without compromising on your performance – a must-read for any online business.
The Importance of eCommerce Marketing
You’ll likely already know the importance of marketing your eCommerce brand (that’s why you’re already here), so we’ll be brief:
- It gets you high on Google;
- It gets you high on online marketplaces;
- It engages your potential customers;
- It engages your existing customers; and
- Ultimately, it increases your audience, sales, and profits.
And, while any good eCommerce marketing strategy should deliver a return on investment, you need the funds in the first place to be able to implement that marketing strategy – it’s the chicken and egg all over again.
Top Money-saving Tips For eCommerce Sellers
So, without further ado, here’s how you can save money in other areas of your eCommerce business, creating more money for your marketing kitty.
1. Streamline Your Processes
It sounds simple enough, but many eCommerce businesses are running outdated, lengthy, and unnecessary processes because…well, that’s how they’ve always done it. Critique each of your processes, questioning if it’s necessary, if you can save time, and if a tool or system can do it quicker. Common areas that can be improved include:
- Listing – if you’re manually duplicating listings across sales channels – stop. Multi-channel management software can do this for you automatically.
- Shipping – if it’s taking ages to locate stock, pack products, and print shipping labels, reconsider your warehouse layout; and
- Updating stock – if you’re logging into each individual sales channel to update stock numbers, investigate an inventory management tool pronto (more on that below).
2. Reduce Your Sales Channel Fees
Simply listing and selling a product on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy can be costly in itself, with multiple fees and charges. But, there are some sneaky ways that you can reduce your costs without leaving the platforms, if you do your research. For example, you can:
- Schedule eBay listings for free by using a listing tool that holds back your eBay listing until it’s time to go live;
- Avoid FBA’s multi-channel fulfillment fees by outsourcing to a Seller Fulfilled Prime outsourced fulfillment provider; and
- Reduce your CPC ads by speaking with an expert.
3. Improve Your Cash Flow With Inventory Management
Sometimes, it’s not that you don’t have the money to spend on marketing, but, rather that your money is tied up in your warehouse. Improve your cash flow by investing in inventory management software that:
- Automatically syncs stock between your sales channels so that your figures are always up-to-date;
- Gives you an overview of your stock numbers so that you know which stock to re-order and which stock to put into the sale; and
- Allows you to run standard and customized reports so that you can better plan your stock and manage your cash flow.
4. Stay on Top of Shipping Refunds
Comparing the costs of in-house and outsourced fulfillment, and using unbranded packaging goes without saying. If you’re really trying to save money, it’s good practice to stay on top of your shipping refunds. eCommerce parcel auditing identifies when shipping carriers owe you a refund due to late, missing, or damaged deliveries – meaning virtually free money. It also helps you to quickly identify and tackle shipping carriers who could be losing you customers.
5. Allocate Your Funds Quicker With Xero
Hands up if you think you have the money, but you’re just not sure yet because accounting has fallen to the bottom of your to-do list. It happens to the best of us, but staying up-to-date with your finances is not only important, but it saves you time in the long run. Get in the process of sending sales orders to Xero regularly or, even better, push sales orders to Xero automatically using a Xero eCommerce integration.
6. Outsource Tasks
And finally, did you know that outsourcing tasks can save, not lose, you money? Let’s take your finances, for example – if you’re not great with numbers, accounting will take you longer, take you away from other tasks, and potentially result in costly errors. A bookkeeper will be able to do it much quicker and get it right first time. Common areas for eCommerce outsourcing include:
Final Thoughts – Making the Most of Your Marketing Budget
And there you have it – six simple tips for saving money in your eCommerce business to fund your marketing budget. All you need to do is know how to spend it – but we’ll leave that to the experts!
Expandly is a multi-channel management solution that helps online sellers to manage multiple sales channels, shipping carriers, and accounting software from one simple platform. List, manage orders, sync your inventory, bulk print shipping labels, send orders to Xero, and run customized reports – eCommerce made easy, with Expandly.