Even the most frugal of entrepreneurs will have to cut costs from time to time in order to ensure success and growth in their business. Sometimes, it seems like there are no ways to save money, but you can find ways if you look closely enough. Here are 6 surprising ways to cut costs in packaging and retail.
1) Supply chain automation
Identify ways that you can reduce costs by automating your supply chain. You don’t necessarily need advanced technology or sensors—even something as simple as setting up a software package to track inventory will give you insight into how much stock you have on hand, when it was purchased, and whether or not you are paying too much for a certain item. That information alone can help you make smart purchasing decisions while saving hundreds of dollars per year. Meanwhile, there’s an added benefit: time saved doesn’t cost anything.
2) Better store displays
Stores are a big part of retail. The packages you choose for your product, combined with the way your product is displayed on store shelves can either make or break sales. Using simple tricks like arranging shelf items by color rather than by size or shape will make products stand out more, attracting consumers’ attention while also streamlining sales processes as they search for what they want. When it comes to packing your product, look at ways to reduce costs with supplier audit while maintaining quality standards; there are numerous factors that determine the cost, such as if you’re going with retail packaging (e.g., boxes or bins) vs. bulk packaging (bags).
3) Loyalty cards and reward points
Loyalty cards or punch cards give customers a reason to come back. By giving your customers a small reward (for example, 5% off their next purchase) for every X number of purchases, you are creating an incentive for them to purchase from you more often. It will also allow you to collect data on your most loyal customers so that you can reward them appropriately for their loyalty.
Since loyalty programs are not new, you should develop an incentive program with proven results that others have used before. Businesses like Best Buy have been known to do things like offer free iPods after collecting a certain number of points from purchases made at their stores. Customers love it because they get rewarded, and companies like Best Buy love it because it increases sales through customer loyalty.
4) Email marketing
Email marketing is a fast, cost-effective way to reach your target market. But it’s more than just blasting out an email—it’s about engaging with people on an individual level. We all have different preferences for our inboxes, from how we sort our messages to which folders we file things away in. When you use that information to tailor emails, you can create targeted experiences for your audience. It’s critical that you know what people want when they get involved with your brand through email marketing.
5) Using social media
Social media is a great way to cut costs in retail. Every social media post about your business, for example, builds brand awareness for free (or close to it), which can generate more sales with minimal additional effort. Social media also allows you to take advantage of price-matching strategies from competitors—if they drop their prices on certain items, you can match them or even beat them with a lower price if you see a niche opportunity. If customers know that you have access to all of your competitors’ prices right at your fingertips, there’s much less risk that they’ll go elsewhere when searching for deals.
6) Selling excess goods
In any type of business, you are going to have some product leftover at the end of a sale. Before you throw it away, think about what kind of packaging you can get for it and sell it that way. Here you can take help from an inspection company in China. You can also package something together with items from other sales or clearance racks. Many retailers offer bulk discounts. Why not take advantage of them? You could also set up a system so that your employees can sell goods on behalf of their customers or their own personal items they don’t need anymore. They’ll make a little extra cash while keeping unsold goods out of landfills.