March 3, 2017
Funding an e-commerce startup is tough, but it can be harder to protect it from bankruptcy. Aside from maximizing sales, you also need to reduce your spending to ensure the long-term sustainability of your company.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses tend to go overboard during its early stages. According to studies, “living too high” and “rapid expansion” are two of the main reasons why plenty of businesses fail to pass the four-year mark. Other pitfalls include inadequate knowledge in pricing, financing, planning, and borrowing.
To keep your e-commerce business afloat, you can depend on the following cost-effective tools and platforms:
1. Shopify Lite Plan
If you want your online business to survive, you need to look for a platform that matches your needs without excessive features that bloat its price. Shopify Lite offers everything you need to start selling online for nine dollars a month. It allows you to embed a Buy button on an existing site or sell your products through Facebook — all without writing a single line of code.
Shopify Lite provides small businesses and entrepreneurs a low-risk way of testing the online waters with their products. But even if you don’t have a product idea in mind, the platform lets you build a store now and look for products later.
2. MailChimp Free
Connecting with your customers via email is still the best way to foster loyalty, maintain brand awareness, run promotions, and squeeze more sales. Although there are plenty of email marketing platforms out there, MailChimp is the best for startups because of their Forever Free plan.
With MailChimp’s free plan, you can cater to up to 2,000 subscribers and send a maximum of 12,000 emails per month. The platform can be integrated with e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. Despite being 100% free, users can still use core features like the email builder, templates, A/B testing, and multi-user accounts. You can refer to this guide from Conversion XL for ways to boost sales with an email campaign.
3. Magento Community Edition
Magento is, by far, one of the most advanced e-commerce platforms to date. It is an open-source, flexible platform that anyone can use to build an online store from the ground up. While only well-established companies can afford the Enterprise Edition, startups can take advantage of the Community Edition to build just about any store for free.
Magento also allows you to access a marketplace where you can easily purchase and install extensions. These apps allow you to integrate features like sales tax automation, payment methods, shipping, and tools that improve customer experience. You can also find a library of themes and templates that let you customize your store’s look without depending on code.
4. Facebook Shop
Today, Facebook is more than just a vehicle for social media marketing and advertising. It now has a shop section feature, which enables businesses to sell directly to their followers. You can get started by clicking the Shop button from your business page’s main menu.
Facebook will then let you choose whether to handle checkouts on your business page or through a separate website. You can also use Messenger to facilitate transactions yourself. Once you configure how sales would work, you can now add products to your Facebook page and promote them via sharing or paid ads.
In a competitive world, it’s tempting to acquire all the best tools and platforms that can get you ahead. Just remember that it may lead to poor investment decisions that will destabilize your company’s future. Hopefully, the tools above are enough to give your business some traction as you pursue controlled growth.
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