5 Budget-Friendly Tips for Ecommerce Brands

5 Budget-Friendly Tips for Ecommerce Brands

Whether you’re a small ecommerce brand with the right stuff to make it, or a big ecommerce brand that’s long been established, budget never stops being important. Even slight changes can have massive ripple effects in terms of margins and, thus, bottom lines. No matter what type of ecommerce store you’re running, ShipMonk wants to help bolster your success with FIVE of the BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY TIPS to protect your bottom line and enhance your profits.

#1 Set a Budget and Keep Track of It

This may seem like basic advice, but at the end of the day simply ensuring you’re regularly asking the right questions is pivotal to protecting your profits. How much are you spending on manufacturing, shipping, marketing, customer support, logistics services, and order fulfillment services? You never want to cut corners on these, or any, crucial areas of your ecommerce brand. However, it’s important to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best value for the quality of services you desire. For example, ShipMonk customizes logistics services and associated fees to the unique needs of every client. So if you have a budget, you can utilize specific order fulfillment services that fit within that. 

Additionally, we have line-level billing and complete transparency so you’re always aware of what you’re spending and when. That transparency is key to keeping track of your budget. It can be easy for costs in different levels of your supply chain to slip between the cracks because there are so many layers to an ecommerce store operation. That being said, no matter how many layers you’re dealing with, or how small the cracks, every digit and decimal place matter. 

So when you look to do business with anyone, ensure that you have continuous access to transparent financials. Setting a budget and keeping track of it revolves around how well you’re able to ensure you can actively, clearly see every factor that’s contributing to it. 

#2 Buy What You Need, Not Always What You Want

Overpreparing can be great in some cases, like when you travel; it doesn’t hurt to have some extra socks or a bonus jacket. But with almost every case of overpreparing there is a price to pay. In the previous example, you have the physical weight that extra travel inventory creates in your luggage that you have to lug around. In terms of running an ecommerce brand, the price of overpreparing can literally be reflected in price. 

When you order inventory, you want to ensure you have enough stock to meet demand, especially around sales and peak season. But, if you are not careful with ordering then you will spend too much money on inventory that you don’t turnover fast enough, and you’ll pay more for warehouse/order fulfillment center space to stock unsold merchandise. 

There are many different models and formulas for strategically ordering inventory. As the leading third-party logistics and order fulfillment provider for ecommerce stores of all sizes across all verticals, ShipMonk recommends the below in-depth articles as resources for fine-tuning your inventory order and distribution strategy:

This is a plethora of articles, but at ShipMonk we know that one of the few cases of overpreparing that doesn’t hurt is when you’re absorbing as much information as possible about best ways to project your budget. For ecommerce stores, that is hyper dependent on how you handle your inventory—ordering enough to meet your customers’ needs in a timely manner, but not so much that you’re blowing your budget on items that don’t sell quickly and take up valuable warehouse/order fulfillment center space. 

All in all, while you may want to be “safe than sorry” at all times so you don’t risk even a nanosecond delay in fulfilling customer orders, that want can counteract your success because of the cost of excess stock. In other words: Whatever inventory system and distribution strategy you go with, you want to order enough but not excess. That is key to keeping your budget under control and helping your bottom line shine.

#3 Go Green, Green Ecommerce That Is

There is a stigma that implementing green ecommerce strategies can hurt your ecommerce brand’s budget. The truth is that when executed in the right way, sustainability-forward choices can actually safeguard your bottom line. For example: 

Eliminate overnight shipping options – If products have a longer delivery window they can travel by ground transportation instead of air, which drastically reduces energy waste while keeping you from spending a ton of money. It’s true we live in a world where people want things as soon as possible, but 2-day shipping is a widely beloved method that achieves a happy balance between fast delivery, not polluting the world with unnecessary rush shipping fuel costs, and significantly less financial impact on your ecommerce brand. 

Have your inventory stored in more than one warehouse/order fulfillment center – The shorter the distance your products travel, the lower the carbon footprint and the less you pay for those products to cross shipping zones. ShipMonk has 12 state-of-the-art facilities and counting strategically positioned across the globe to get products to purchasers quickly without a ton of travel. That’s a win for your budget and Planet Earth!

Make sure you are properly packing your products – That includes using full pallet space, selecting the right size of packaging for orders, choosing the best option in terms of floor-loaded shipping vs. palletized shipping, knowing when to leverage freight shipping, etcetera. If you’re taking advantage of all space available and not wasting space in any aspect of your operation, then not only do you reduce fuel emissions by decreasing the amount of shipments you make, you’re protecting your budget with the same measure. 

Overall, when your warehouses/order fulfillment centers are packing and sending your products in an optimal way, and you are offering shipping options that don’t unnecessarily pollute the planet, you are taking epic steps toward eco-friendly ecommerce while minimizing spend. But those aren’t the only ways that green ecommerce tactics feed into a more fantastic bottom line. Other strategies that reflect green ecommerce brand practices, but actually save your budget, include:

#4 Be Shrewd about Your Shipping Selections

As mentioned, there is a constant tug of war for ecommerce brands in terms of meeting customer expectations for fast delivery and protecting your budget. After a decade of leadership in the third-party logistics services space, ShipMonk can say without a doubt that the best budget-friendly tip in this regard is to find an expedited shipping option that works for you. What it comes down to, really, is 2-day shipping. 

Overnight shipping puts great strain on your budget. Even if you do strategically split your inventory across the globe with our extensive network of order fulfillment centers, the cost of getting orders picked, packed, and shipping that quickly takes a huge financial toll. And in terms of paying for that, there isn’t a real win. If you charge your customers a lot to cover the costs themselves they could get upset, especially since offering free shipping is a more common practice these days. Meanwhile, if you cover the costs you are significantly impacting your bottom line in a bad way.

Ground/economy shipping, on the other hand, may be the most affordable option. But while that method may make your budget smile, it isn’t a reliable way to make your customers smile. Ecommerce stores these days have to keep in mind that the modern online shopper expects to be satisfied speedily. They want their orders delivered as fast as possible, and if another competitor offers that and you can’t, then you may just lose the sale.

That’s why 2-day shipping is such a great option. It is a value add-on to shoppers who have been molded to expect quicker delivery times year over year. It keeps you competitive with other ecommerce brands, as customers have been known to pick one seller over the other based on delivery times. And it is not as costly as an overnight or 1-day shipping option. Additional tactics you can employ to keep 2-day shipping costs low and protect your budget include:

  • Set a Minimum Order Value
  • Tie Your Shipping to Membership Plans
  • Be Zip Code Selective about This Shipping Option
  • Leverage Multiple Order Fulfillment Center Locations 
  • Harness the Power of Ground Shipping
  • Utilize the Resources of a Third-Party Logistics Partner

Those methods can keep your 2-day shipping costs in line with your budget, which will allow you to take advantage of other 2-day shipping benefits like reducing cart abandonment, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, and expanding your seller talking points! 

For more information on how to successfully implement the budget-friendly 2-day shipping option, check out our 2-day shipping 2-torial and ShipMonk’s analysis on top ways to offer 2-Day shipping.

#5 Outsource to a Top Order Fulfillment Partner

If there’s one thing all ecommerce store owners have in common, it’s that there are never enough hours in a day. If there’s a second thing they all have in common, it’s that their time is worth a lot. With that in mind, the best way you can protect your bottom line is by dedicating hours to the areas that matter most in your business for growth and scalability, not day-to-day operations. If you have a trusted third-party logistics partner like ShipMonk on your side, you will minimize that wasted time on all fronts.

We have a proprietary ecommerce platform for our clients that unifies and simplifies order, inventory, warehouse, and shipping management. There are many benefits of having user-friendly, one-stop-shop software like this. In terms of budget specifically, though, it saves you and your ecommerce brand countless hours of time on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. No more chasing down data. No more balancing multiple platforms as you oversee your expanding operation. Everything you need to run your business is at your fingertips.

The advantages of outsourcing to a third-party logistics partner don’t end there. How much money do you waste on reshipments due to inaccurate orders? How much do you spend on labor to get orders picked, packed,and shipped quickly? How much does shipping take out of your margins on a regular basis?

In addition to top ecommerce order fulfillment technology, by outsourcing order fulfillment services to a leading company like ShipMonk, your budget reaps the benefits in four more core ways. 

  • You can take advantage of our 99.9% order accuracy rates.
  • Enjoy 4X faster picking and packing times than the industry average.
  • Access a strong network of shipping relationships. 
  • Leverage our Virtual Carrier Network (designed to get you the best rates at all times without handcuffing you to any one carrier).

So you see—working with a third-party logistics partner gives your ecommerce brand the best chance at sticking to budget by saving you time and simplifying your operation. As a result, this kind of partnership can increase your margins and ability to grow.

Friendly Advice for a Budget-Friendly Business

There is never a wrong time to reevaluate your spend and see how even slight adjustments can increase your margins. The above five tips are musts for maintaining a budget-friendly ecommerce brand. To work with the third-party logistics experts who can help turn those tips into effective aspects of your operation, contact ShipMonk today

Our bottom line: our team of order fulfillment specialists cares about doing everything in our power to protect your bottom line so you can grow and scale effectively and affordably. Don’t wait; the time to save money and build a better business is now!

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