5 Hidden Costs of Opening and Maintaining an eCommerce Website

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5 Hidden Costs of Opening and Maintaining an eCommerce Website

ecommerce website

You had everything done before launching your very first eCommerce website.

Naturally, you’re hungry for success and thrilled at the prospects awaiting you. With everything looking so well, it’s hard to take into account that there are aspects you may have overlooked. Or, downsides you didn’t foresee.

Now, not to sound pessimistic, but getting started was the easy part.

You certainly know business people or even friends who started with sound financial resources and support. But, sooner or later they still faced issues that hindered their sales and put them in a corner.

ecommerce website

It’s because maintaining a successful online business is a long-term endeavor. That is why knowing its lesser-known implications will help you a great deal.

With this in mind, take into account some hidden costs you should give a thought:

1. Reliable Security for Your eCommerce Website

Think of your online store as a physical one. You need to put as much (or even more) effort into maintaining the site as you would into running a physical retail.

In each case, you’ll find that the costs of running exceed the costs of opening it.

If you own a supermarket (or any other kind of store), one of your primary concerns is ensuring there is a security guard. You want to minimize theft and keep track of the goods.

The same goes for an eCommerce website: It’s essential to keep it away from cyber-criminals or hackers.

ecommerce website security

And you need to be willing to pay for quality safeguarding. It’s vital that you stay away from cheap shared hosts. They sure seem cost-efficient, but they come with risks you don’t want to pay for.

To avoid that, you should opt for Storefront safe hosting services instead.

2. Shipping Terms

If you don’t pay attention to the shipping conditions, it means you don’t know your clients.

Some reports claim there is an average of 68% shopping cart abandonment. That is mainly due to shipping terms that are not convenient for the buyers. They are interested in purchasing, they like your products, but this interest doesn’t convert into sales.

Customers don’t fancy the idea of paying more than the product price.

That’s why you have to channel your efforts into improving shipping costs. But it’s not always easy to offer free shipping. You can actually stand to lose a lot of money if you don’t:

  • Negotiate with suppliers – if you pay them less for shipping, you’ll be able to decrease shipping costs for your customers. You can do that by ordering larger purchases or paying shipping in advance (to get a discount from the vendor)
  • Make arrangements with shipping companies – settle for large amounts of products
  • Use the carrier package
  • Use online payments for your shipping

Shipping also comes with another potential issue: Lost cargo.

No need for an expert to tell you that it will put a serious strain on your funds. Spend time carefully researching everything before dealing with a particular shipping company.

3. Pay-per-Click (PPC) Outsourcing

When it comes to designing the best marketing approach for an eCommerce website, PPC seems like it’s a guarantee for success.

It often happens that online retailers are lured into thinking the best marketing strategy is to set Pay-per-Click campaigns – that they will magically solve their traffic issues in a short amount of time.

ecommerce website 3

But as with every service that promises miracles, it comes with a downside.

That’s especially true if you are a small business. PPC outsourcing may get you fewer sales than your own SEO efforts.

Also, be careful not to fall for PPC services that ask significant fees only to block access to your account later on.

Managing PPC has to be on the list – which doesn’t imply it needs to be ongoing.

Settle for some initial AdWords. Use analytics to track changes in customer habits and revise your products when priorities change. You’ll end up saving lots of cash.

If marketing is still something you don’t master, look for some help. You can find it at Storefront.net, where we provide smart SEO services as well.

As opposed to a PPC-driven approach, focusing on SEO strategies is a less costly long-term path to success.

4. Unjustified Consumer Chargebacks

It may happen that the customer gets the product and afterward reports it as fraudulent.

Unfortunately, banks often prefer to take the client’s side and not investigate thoroughly.

So, either you get into a legal process that will be time-consuming and money-draining, or you drop the case. Naturally, none of the options sound too appealing.

Either way, you will be at a loss, so make sure this kind of unexpected expenses doesn’t take you by surprise by doing the following:

  • Maker sure you know your seller rights to a T
  • Review your refund policy – only offer refunds when it’s justified and there’s substantial proof involved
  • Hire a lawyer who has a lot of experience with charge-back disputes

5. Website Maintenance Expenses

The traditional costs associated with running a business don’t vanish once you have an eCommerce website. There’s a lot to take into account:

  • Human resources
  • Product costs
  • Logistics
  • Traditional marketing
  • Business taxes and institution fees
  • Utilities

You are at risk of getting caught up in all these worries. In the long run, your online platform will suffer and will be a liability itself.

The website is an operational part of a business, like any other. Don’t overlook site costs. Include them in your budget management and don’t take them for granted.

ecommerce website webdesign

Consider this dynamic: Your revenue goes up, but so do your costs. Managing increased traffic requires more money.

Plus, as your brand’s visibility grows, you will likely become a target for online theft too – which means security costs go up as well (something we’ve already discussed).

Merchandising and marketing could hit bottlenecks as you run out of creative resources, so you need to hire specialists to take care of it.

See? Every component needs to be treated carefully.

Most small businesses fail to keep an accurate report of all costs. Money leaks are usually discovered late afterward. It usually takes time, research and resources to fix the issue.

ecommerce website owner

The good news is that you can sort everything out if you use the right software solution from the start.

We have talked about expenses. But the most noteworthy cost that is not taken into consideration is the business owner’s time and energy. And we all know time is priceless.

Well, that’s something we can help you out with. StoreFront software has been designed to make everything easier for the busy eCommerce owner.

Plus, if you want to know more, you can always get in touch with us at 1.800.437.0144 or info@storefront.net.

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