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5 Tips for E-Commerce Startups to Save Money on Their Daily Operations

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The global startup culture has seen incredible growth over the last couple of years. While the pandemic played a vital role in this, this growth was also made possible because of how eager some people were to leave their 9-5 jobs and instead become entrepreneurs.

While this culture welcomes all types of businesses, the one that has been poked at the most is undoubtedly the e-commerce industry. As a result, e-commerce startups have become increasingly popular and continue to be so.

E-commerce startups are becoming a popular way for entrepreneurs to sell their products online. They eliminate the need to set up a traditional brick-and-mortar store. However, as exciting as starting an e-commerce business can be, it can also be expensive.

From website design to inventory management, running an e-commerce business requires a lot of investment. Fortunately, there are several ways for you to save money on your daily operations without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

Having said all that, here are a few tips on how your e-commerce startup can save money on its daily operations. For your better understanding, we’ll repeatedly use e-commerce examples from California since it’s a fast-growing market and a good example of how these businesses are saving money on daily operations.

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#1 Use Affordable E-Commerce Platforms

When you start your e-commerce journey, the first thing you need to do is set up a platform for selling your products and services.

There are many e-commerce platforms out there that you can choose from. Shopify is a popular option. However, some startups find it to be too costly. If that’s the case for you as well, consider using more affordable options like WooCommerce or Magento. These platforms offer similar features but don’t cost as much.

You’ll be better off if you can have your own e-commerce website and mobile app right from the go. They will be a rather big investment initially but will also bring in more customers over time. That way, you can cut some of the daily costs with the profits you bring in through these platforms.

In California, you can expect to pay at least $10,000 to develop your own platform. However, costs can go upwards of $250,000 very easily, especially if you want an app along with the site. Spend at least $10,000 to $20,000 on these products initially, and then you can invest a little more if you want to upgrade something.

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#2 Utilize Social Media Marketing

Marketing can be a significant expense for e-commerce startups. However, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer affordable ways to market your products to a wider audience.

Creating a business account on these platforms is free. You can then run targeted ads that reach potential customers based on their interests and location. Besides, if you somehow manage to have decent organic growth, you wouldn’t need to invest in paid ads other than a few special campaigns.

California-based e-commerce companies are already dominating social media platforms through their presence. Their campaigns are mostly ad-based, with only a few companies having decent organic growth. Influencer marketing is also getting popular across the Californian e-commerce sphere.

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#3 Outsource Your Accounting

Keeping track of your finances is crucial for any business, but it can be time-consuming and expensive to hire an in-house accountant. Instead, consider outsourcing your accounting to a third-party service.

Many accounting firms offer affordable services that include bookkeeping, tax preparation, and financial planning. Outsourcing your accounting can save you time and money, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

They are also helpful when it comes to doing yearly financial audits of your e-commerce platform. Outsourcing is a much better option than having an in-house team of full-time accounting executives.

There are over 5,000 accounting firms in California, so it’s natural that businesses there will take advantage of these however possible. New e-commerce industries are more tempted to do so since they can’t afford a full-time accounting team of their own initially.

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#4 Work with a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Provider

Managing your own warehouse can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for startups with limited resources. Fortunately, you can work with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to manage your warehousing and fulfillment.

A 3PL provider can help you store your products, pick and pack orders, and ship them to your customers. That way, you can save money on things like workers, resources, vehicles, warehouse space, and technology. Warehousing is especially expensive, which is why you’ll be better off working with a 3PL provider here.

Take Southern California as an example. With so many areas to cover, a lot of local businesses have teamed up with California 3PL service Sooner Logistics. Since they have warehousing facilities spread across Southern California, it’s easy for the 3PL provider to distribute the products to your clients from their nearest location.

This helps local businesses save money as their products don’t have to traverse long distances before reaching their respective destinations.

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#5 Implement Inventory Management Systems

Effective inventory management is critical for e-commerce businesses to ensure that they always have the right products in stock. Implementing inventory management systems can help you track inventory levels, forecast demand, and avoid overstocking or understocking.

If you’re working with a 3PL provider, they might handle the inventory on your behalf. At the same time, you should work on your own system to have everything running smoothly from your end.

Although a costly initial expense, an inventory management system will help you avoid losses in terms of late or failed deliveries, thus ensuring that your daily operation costs don’t get too expensive at any time.

As an e-commerce startup, you might find the market hard to navigate, especially when it comes to managing your daily expenses. However, by ensuring the things discussed above, you can at least avoid spending more than you have to to survive and grow in this industry.

Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at Startup.info.

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