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The top players in the Indian online retail industry seems to be in the middle of a three way game of chicken – Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal are bleeding away profit margins in an effort to gain bulk market share. The problem with this strategy is that it only works for those who can afford it. For the average online seller, it can be a tough decision to provide free shipping, let alone offer ridiculous discounts on their products. Yet, this tendency of one-upping each other, mainly through competitive pricing, seems to be ever-present in all echelons of the marketplace. The immediate need for the online retail market in India seems to be to think about sustainability, though there is not enough talk about it.

It is understood that we can make profits by selling more products, ie, acquiring a larger market share. But we can also do the same by cutting our costs. This way, our emphasis lies on finding creative ways to save up on resources that we might generally take for granted. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the mantra. This is essential for any online seller, as a way to reallocate resources efficiently to maximize profits. With this in mind, let us look at a few creative and unusual ways for an online seller to save up his resources.

1. Recycled Packaging

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In many ways, online selling equals packaging. There always has to be an emphasis on safe and durable packaging. Products are transported over long distances with train, plane and automobile, and sturdy packaging is the only thing coming between the potential wear and tear that the object might face in the journey. At the same time, packaging also tells a lot about you as an online seller. Using recyclable and recycled material while packaging is a great way to save up on costs and impress your customers. You can also give your packaging design a second thought. Just by reducing a few inches of packaging material per box, you can make sure that the product fits snugly while making large savings on the packaging material.

 

2. Selling Bulk Orders

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A rule of thumb while thinking about saving up is to find if it can be done in bulk. Bulk orders cost way lesser to process than individual orders of the same size. Not only does the process of invoicing and packaging become a lot easier, you can also get a discount from your logistics provider and other outsourced operations on bulk orders. During lean shopping seasons, you can focus on acquiring and fulfilling bulk orders while during retail shopping season you can switch back to individual orders.

 

3. Emailing Invoices

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This is something that many corporate online retail enterprises are already getting aboard on. Emailing invoices instead of printing them is a great way of saving up on your paper and printing costs, while showing your customers that you care about the environment. You can use a multi-channel inventory management tool like Browntape to automatically send emails and invoices to the right customer. You can also use various other email management tools like MailChimp which give you a plethora of options in interacting with and engaging with your customers.

 

4. Share Workspaces

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This is a new trend that has surfaced in the past few years – shared workspaces is a great way to save up on rent, office services and other costs. Many shared workspaces already exist in many cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, etc. where startups and enterprises share large workspaces, which gives them access to various services and amenities at a shared cost. While this trend did come up through the millennial startup culture, it seems to be a great way to cut down on costs without compromising on the quality of work. Here is a list of a few shared coworking spaces that might be useful.

 

5. Sustainable Supply Chain

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Finally, rather than giving you a specific tip, we give you a way to look at your specific organizational structure to find leaks and wastage of resources. This can be anything from the use of paper cups in your office to massive bottlenecks in your warehouse chain. The idea is to take a fresh look at everything and finding creative ways to convert leaks into profits. By trying to reduce consumption, reuse products and recycling materials, you can make the most of your investment and save up on precious resources.

This is what we have on unusual ways of saving resources for online sellers. To know more, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading ecommerce experts, and we are always happy to help.

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