To provide an enticing, affordable shopping experience to new and priority customers, eCommerce brands can feel compelled to go above and beyond in terms of product packaging, free samples, cheaper delivery options and more.

Although these perks appear to be key in encouraging customer loyalty during a time when it’s most crucial, attempting to surpass competitive offerings on every level can unfortunately be expensive and therefore unsustainable for your business.

That’s why today, we're drawing on the expertise of the packaging manufacturers from Kendon Packaging to discuss a range of tips for cutting costs on key aspects of operating as an eCommerce brand. From opting for efficient, flexible packaging solutions to making use of low-cost marketing channels and finding affordable product delivery alternatives, we’ve got it covered.

Choose Efficient, Flexible Packaging Solutions

With eCommerce, one of the most overlooked costs is delivery packaging. To help reduce overhead, it’s worth considering the weight and size of your packaging. By using the smallest and lightest solution available, you can cut down costs immediately - but, always be sure it still protects the products inside.

Use as little protective cushioning as possible, one layer of bubble wrap should be enough for most non-fragile items. Also, opt for padded envelopes where you can - not only will this save costs on padding materials, but you’ll also save on shipping weight and be able to use smaller boxes for mass shipments.

Create further savings by buying shipping materials in bulk from large retailers - giving you access to lower prices at higher quantities. Packaging materials are easy to store (even easier if you’re savvy about them) and, unlike products, they don’t expire or go out of style - you could use cardboard boxes from 10 years ago and customers would never know the difference.

Another option is to use eco-friendly packaging. It’s lighter than most other types of packaging, which helps reduce shipping costs, even if it’s a bit more expensive to buy. Additionally, you can boost your sales by identifying yourself as a “green brand.” Customers consider eco-friendliness to be a high priority when deciding where to buy, with many shoppers willing to pay extra for green products and brands. In particular, younger shoppers are more likely to be persuaded by this business trend, which is sure to stick around for a long time.

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Make Use of Low-Cost Marketing Channels

As an eCommerce business, utilizing the fact that you’re online is imperative to your company’s marketing strategy. Putting your marketing budget into digital methods is the best choice, however, knowing which avenues are most relevant will ensure your efforts pay off.

Take the time to calculate the return on investment for your campaigns to instantly determine the best way to spend your budget, as different options may offer varying returns on investment. However, analyzing these and investing more money in the high performing ones is likely to be the best strategy to reap the greatest rewards.

There are less expensive digital marketing tactics which are already known for their effectiveness and could be incredibly beneficial for your business. From social media marketing to blog posts which target SEO keywords, influencer marketing to referral programs, done correctly, these strategies can offer a very worthwhile return on investment.

Another successful cost-cutting tactic is to use promotional campaigns. Offering sales, coupon codes, seasonal deals and other promotional offers can effectively gather up new business and reduce inventory storage costs. It can also be a useful strategy to make unpopular items or excess stock easier to sell.

Rethink Your Product Delivery Service

If you’ve changed your packaging but still aren’t happy with the costs of your product delivery service, it may be time to rethink your provider. Researching the best provider could be a real cost-cutter for the long term success of your business.

Using Easyship’s all-in-one shipping platform for global eCommerce, you can transport goods with over 250 shipping solutions and save up to 70% on your current shipping costs. Additionally, Easyship’s tracking service means you can monitor your delivery in real time - allowing you to account for any mishaps and preempt potential issues that could result in extra costs to your company.

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Minimize Returns

When a product is returned, there may be more costs involved than you originally anticipated. Thus, the key is to keep products in the customers’ hands and the profit in yours. From the extra costs of reshipping and packaging expenditures to damaged goods that can’t be resold, customer refunds to the loss of repeat business, high volumes of returned goods can be a crippling expense to any business.

To counteract this, manage your customers expectations right from the start - making sure they know what they’re getting before they buy to minimize mistake purchases. This will save you time and money in the long run. Alternatively, extend the time frame for returns to reduce return rates - longer return policies will relieve the pressure of immediate returns, giving customers time to change their minds and keep the product.

Keeping Costs Down: The Key to Success for Young eCommerce Businesses

eCommerce is slowly gaining more share of the retail market. So, cutting costs on regular operations where possible by making suitable adjustments will definitely benefit your business in the long run. We hope that with these insights, your company will run more efficiently, while also trimming down its expenses.

About the author

Alex Jones is a content creator for Kendon Packaging. Now one of Britain's leading packaging companies, Kendon Packaging has been supporting businesses nationwide since the 1930s.