E-commerce Cost Cutting Tips
If you want to run your own online shop you should not expect your expenses to be limited to renewal of your hosting account and domain. You will need to spend some more money to organize your business, so those expenses or let us call them investments, need to be as efficient as possible – you need to spend your money wisely. While some expenses cannot be avoided, some may be easily pruned – today we are going to let your know which exactly steps you can cut cost on and how.
That’s where it all begins – the first mistake many e-commerce owners make is they get expensive hosting on a powerful server while having just a small website. What happens is they waste their money on hosting, which power they don’t exactly use full-throttle. This is something incorrect that needs to be looked after – if you are only launching your project, it is worthwhile to take a simple budget plan that will be enough for your needs while your business is being developed. Hosting providers are loyal about upgrades, so you are not going to have any troubles when you need to change your environment to something bigger and more powerful – you may even get a discount, so you can expect much money to be saved while acting that far-sighted.
Domain cost cutting usually comes down to getting a free domain along with your hosting account. That looks and sounds nice, but they usually offer only one domain – what if you need more? Well, you may need more since you may want to run your corporate blog or newsfeed or whatsoever under a separate domain, not a subdomain. You may also need to have some similar names “reserved”, so anytime a websurfer makes a typo, he or she gets to your and your website only. Finally, you may simply have several projects to run, so regardless of the purpose of multiple domains registration, you need to get them with as much profit as possible – therefore you need to find a registrar that offers discounts even on small batches of domains. Checking the latest deals, that registrars constantly offer may help you a lot with that, especially if you not only check their main website but media resources – blogs, Twitter and Facebook profiles, etc. – as well.
Advertising and promotion
That’s the very point you have a great deal of options at. To put it simple – the more manual work you do in advertising, the more money you save on it. What you can choose among is: guest blogging, link exchange, review posting, social media activity, affiliation and PPC. Of course, we can hardly tell you about each of those activities in many details, but a short review we are going to give you should help you with making your choice.
Guest blogging. This type of self-promotion will be useful if you offer some services. You will need to find a relevant guest blog, usually in business or in certain niche you particularly deal with and place an interesting eye-catching article that is going to represent you as a pro and show that your project is the one to trust. Since the idea of guest blogging is noncommercial self-promotion, your article should not look spamvertized, additionally, they may limit you in backlinking (usually 2 links are allowed), so you need to think carefully what those are going to be. If you have a blog, it’s advisable to put the first link there but not to your website directly.
Link exchange. This is another free way of advertising. Although it has lost its popularity lately, you can still gain something on it, but what you need to make sure about, is that the resource you are going to exchange links with is as relevant is possible, otherwise you may have issues with SEO that is going to harm your search engine visibility.
Review posting. This activity is kind of close to posting at guest blogs, but it allows your message to look more advertising. Review placement makes sense for many online businesses – what you need to do is find the directory that would match the niche of your business and leave a review about your company or about some of its services or products specifically. You can also search for websites that create listing of companies of a certain category. Reviews on such sites are usually left by prospect or existing customers, so adding your company information there will do you good, too. There is, however, something to look after –review posting and company listing can be both free and paid, so it’s always advisable to learn the website policy first.
Social media activity. This way of self-promotion can also be free or paid – depending on your goals. Usually you start with creation of a business profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and probably some other resources which is free. And then everything depends on your strategy – you may either pick your target audience manually by communicating with people and sharing interesting useful things, or simply grab and take them to your page using targeted ads.
Affiliation. This advertising activity is definitely costly, but what is good about it is that you define the cost on your own. If your business is about selling goods or bringing customers to use some of your services, you may look for some helpers among your most active clients. Of course, helpers need to be rewarded for what they do, so you need to work out an affiliate program that is going to deliver affiliate commissions for sales your partners make. If based on a percentage rate, your affiliate program is not going to take that much.
PPC. Finally we have come to the most popular and effective advertising activity – PPC marketing. This means involvement of such search engines as Google and Yahoo!. Talking about Google and namely its AdWords – one of the most powerful advertising tools so far we can’t hide the fact that it can’t be cheap. But if you setup your campaign effectively, your Return On Investment (ROI) is going to make you happy. Additionally, getting back to the topic of hosting we can give you a tip, that some hosting providers offer Adwords credits along with their hosting accounts. Apart from that, Google issues Adwords coupons so you may have some free credits on those, too.
If you look into starting your own e-commerce project, you need to work out a business plan that is going to show you all the expenses you expect to have. If you are lucky and conscious enough, believe us those are going to be covered soon and effectively. If you don’t know where to start at – have a look at the E-commerce hosting plan we offer and Sitevalley.com. Give it a try with 30-days money back period and make sure you are on your way to success.