June 9, 2023
min read
Written by: 
Nikolaus Hilgenfeldt
Ecommerce Growth

7 Ways To Boost Your Ecommerce Profit Margin - Guide & Examples

As an online store owner, one of your most common objectives is to maximize profit.

This goal drives your dedication, motivates you to push boundaries, and fuels your relentless pursuit of growth.

And it’s the very reason you are here, seeking fresh insights and strategies to unlock the profit potential of your ecommerce business.

In this article, we will embark on an exciting journey, delving into 7 proven approaches to enhance your ecommerce profit margin.

So buckle up and uncover actionable ways to increase your profitability starting today!

What Exactly Is the Profit Margin?

Profit margin is the variance between your business's sales revenue and expenses.

It measures your business's profitability, with prosperous businesses typically exhibiting higher profit margins.

There are three distinct types of profit margins:

  • Gross profit margin
  • Operating profit margin
  • Net profit margin. 

What Is a Gross Profit Margin?

Gross profit margin represents the percentage difference between a company's total revenue and its cost of goods sold (COGS), and it serves as a key financial metric.

It assesses the remaining money after accounting for the expenses associated with manufacturing and delivering products or services.

[(Total Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold) / Total Revenue] x 100

💡 A higher gross margin signifies that the company retains more of each dollar earned from sales. 

What Is an Operating Profit Margin?

Operating margins encompass a broader range of operating expenses necessary for running your business, for example, rent, payroll, labor, utilities, insurance, advertising, etc.

{[Total Revenue - (Cost of Goods Sold + Operating Costs)] / Total Revenue} x 100

Operating profit margin provides a more comprehensive understanding of the pretax profit margin by considering the impact of operating expenses on your bottom line.

What Is a Net Profit Margin?

Net profit margin considers all business expenses, including the cost of goods sold, operating fees, interest payments, and taxes, to calculate the overall net income.

[(Total Revenue - Total Costs) / Total Revenue)] x 100

It offers a comprehensive perspective on the portion of each dollar earned from sales that remains as net income after you deduct all expenses.

What Is a Good Profit Margin?

Profit margins that are considered favorable may differ depending on location, industry, and personal circumstances. 

To illustrate, achieving a significantly high-profit margin in your market could draw in competitors who offer comparable products at lower prices. As a result, it could potentially jeopardize your business.

So, what should your target profit margin be?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to what constitutes a good profit margin for ecommerce.

However, as a general guideline:

  • A profit margin of around 5% is considered low.
  • A profit margin of about 10% is considered average.
  • A profit margin of approximately 20% is considered very good.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to establish a single percentage that applies to all ecommerce businesses.

For example, a healthy profit margin for a business selling niche technical products will differ significantly from an ecommerce store operating in a highly competitive market.

Sales volume also comes into play. As a result, some businesses may operate with lower profit margins to capture a larger market share and increase sales volume.

On the other hand, a business targeting a small specialty market may opt for higher profit margins to compensate for lower sales volume.

These two businesses would have distinct profit margin percentages and sales volumes.

Still, they could achieve similar actual profits at the end of the year.

7 Ways To Boost Your Ecommerce Profit Margin

1. Optimize Pricing Strategies

Raising prices can increase revenue for each sale, potentially boosting ecommerce profit margins.

However, implementing this strategy successfully and tactfully, without alienating too many customers, can be challenging.

There is no universal solution that guarantees desired outcomes, as optimal pricing strategies depend on various factors such as industry, market position, product range, and external economic conditions.

First, you must conduct extensive market research to determine your business's most effective pricing strategy.

For example, conduct competitive benchmarking, shape buyer personas thoughtfully, and be prepared to learn from trial and error while navigating market fluctuations.

2 Ways To Increase Prices

Consumers typically anticipate price increases in line with inflation.

While this approach may not directly increase your ecommerce profit margin percentage, as the purchase cost is likely to rise as well, it can enhance the cash value of your original profit margin percentage.

Let's consider an example of an online electronics store and a smartphone charger:

Before price increase:

  • Charger cost: $10
  • Sale price: $20
  • Profit margin: 50%
  • Actual profit: $10

After a 10% price increase:

  • Charger cost: $11
  • Sale price: $22
  • Same 50% profit margin
  • Actual profit: $11 (a $1 increase)

Another effective strategy is gradually raising prices while closely monitoring customer demand.

By carefully observing the market response, you can determine when price increases start to drive customers away.

At that point, it is advisable to halt further increases to maintain customer loyalty and retention.

2. Discover the Power of Automation

Using automation in your ecommerce store effectively minimizes expenses and increases overall sales.

By automating specific tasks, you can save on operational costs and allocate resources more efficiently. For example: 

  • Streamline the process for customers to activate their warranties automatically.
  • Automate the procedure for customers requesting and processing refunds, reducing manual intervention.
  • Order tracking enables customers to track their orders without manual assistance easily.
  • Simplify the purchasing process, making it more convenient for customers.
  • Enhance customer support by incorporating a chatbot to address common inquiries and provide assistance without live agent intervention.

3. Master Fulfillment Efficiency

Implementing a centralized inventory management solution that offers visibility to you and your customers is crucial to increasing profitability.

Without one, you may encounter sales-related issues such as:

In addition to resolving these challenges, an inventory management solution can enable you to make data-driven improvements throughout your store.

For instance, you can quickly identify: 

Slow-moving products and create effective bundling strategies to drive more sales.

Fast-moving products and maximize your profits by regularly restocking these items.

Consumer trends and interests, allowing you to tailor subsequent campaigns accordingly.

Pro Tip From Myos

Whether you encounter shipping delays, unexpected stockouts, or a time-limited advertising opportunity, unforeseen expenses are an undeniable reality in the business world. These unanticipated disruptions to your cash flow can impede your sales and even derail your progress.

While your competitors seize the advantages of peak season opportunities, discount inventory, or enticing new advertising deals, you struggle to replenish your inventory and allocate funds for your next major product launch.

Even those that offer working capital solutions to online retailers, such as banks and credit unions, present unfavorable terms that might appear manageable in the short term but leave your business vulnerable in the long run.

Myos offers asset-based working capital financing for ecommerce sellers and addresses these issues specifically.

With funding up to £2.5 million, accelerate growth without requiring any ownership stakes in return or personal guarantees.

4. Give Priority to Your High-Value Products

By now, you understand which products sell quickly in your store and which don't.

To enhance your ecommerce profit margins, you need to increase sales of your top-selling products.

These items generate the highest profits, so focusing on maximizing returns from them is beneficial.

Here are several strategies to prioritize high-value products:

  1. Increase stock availability by shipping more of these products.
  2. Display popularity badges, such as "popular" or "best-selling," on the product pages to highlight their success.
  3. Feature these best-selling products as top recommendations to attract customer attention.
  4. Offer discounts specifically for these products during seasonal sales or promotions.
  5. Collect comprehensive customer reviews for these products and utilize them in advertisements or other promotional materials.

5. Reduce Operational Costs

Instead of solely focusing on boosting profits, reducing operational costs and expenses can be a faster way to achieve this.

Your ecommerce store may have inefficiencies in various areas, which fall into the following eight sources of waste:

1. Defects – Assess the number of defective products received per shipment and the frequency of sending them to customers.

2. Overproduction – Evaluate whether you are producing more goods than you sell within a given period, considering the speed at which your stock sells out.

3. Waiting – Identify and minimize the waiting periods between shipment and customer delivery, avoiding unnecessary delays.

4. Not utilizing talent – Review your human resources and assess if everyone on your team uses their complete skill set, or hire additional personnel if necessary. 

5. Transportation –  Evaluate the effectiveness of your logistics department in terms of customer delivery and reducing wait times. 

6. Inventory excess – Ensure your inventory aligns with the actual demand, preventing excess stock that ties up resources.

7. Motion waste –  Assess the productivity of your workers during work hours and identify opportunities to maximize their output by minimizing non-essential movements or inefficiencies.

8. Excess processing –  Avoid wasting resources on unnecessary packaging or processes that do not add value.

6. Boost Your Average Order Value

If your goal is to increase your ecommerce profit margin, focusing on elevating your average order value (the average amount of money a customer spends per transaction in your online store) is essential.

You can take several practical approaches to raise the AOV in your ecommerce store:

1. Incorporate product recommendations on product and checkout pages.

2. Utilize upselling and cross-selling techniques for complementary products.

Highlight products that pair well with items already in a shopper's cart. For example, suggest a yoga mat alongside dumbbells or a water bottle with protein bars.

3. Offer incentives for meeting order minimums.

Encourage customers to spend a specific minimum amount by providing incentives such as a 20% discount on orders over $100 or free shipping for reaching a certain order threshold.


4. Create product bundles or packages.

It enhances the perceived value of a customer's purchase and improves the overall shopping experience.


5. Implement deals and special promotions.

One effective way to increase net income is by offering coupons or specials on higher-margin products.

Since these products yield higher profits per unit sold, you can temporarily lower their prices through enticing promotions, enticing shoppers to take advantage of the deals.

7. Harness the Power of Digital Marketing

Harnessing the power of digital marketing can be a game-changer for boosting your ecommerce profit margin.

You can reach a wider audience through strategic online marketing efforts, increase brand visibility, and drive more qualified traffic to your online store.

For example:

1. Target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, ensuring the right audience sees your ads.

Doing so can increase the likelihood of attracting customers who will make purchases, thereby boosting your profit margin.

2. Optimizing your ecommerce website for search engines can improve its visibility in search results, leading to increased organic traffic.

It means more potential customers discovering your products, increasing conversion rates, and a higher ecommerce profit margin.


3. By crafting compelling social media campaigns, sharing valuable content, and actively interacting with your followers, you can drive more traffic to your ecommerce store, increase customer engagement, and ultimately boost sales.


4. Utilizing email marketing campaigns to nurture customer relationships and promote your products can be highly effective.

Sending personalized, targeted emails with relevant offers and discounts can encourage repeat purchases and increase customer lifetime value, ultimately improving your ecommerce profit margin.

5. Employing conversion rate optimization (CRO) techniques involves optimizing your website's design, layout, and user experience to maximize conversions.

Enhancing the user journey, streamlining the checkout process, and implementing persuasive calls-to-action can increase conversion rates and drive more revenue without increasing your marketing spend.

Wrapping Up

A healthy profit margin places your business in a favorable position for growth.

When you monitor your ecommerce profit margin, you gain insights into areas that need improvement and identify strategies to enhance this crucial indicator of success.

If you have experience in the ecommerce industry, you're well aware that expenses can accumulate rapidly.

Regardless of whether marketplace payouts pose a challenge for your store, balancing the everyday costs of running a business and the essential investments you need to remain competitive is an ongoing struggle for ambitious sellers.

Working capital addresses this challenge by providing solutions in the following ways:

  • You can make strategic decisions when purchasing inventory, ensuring you have the right products in stock at the right time. 
  • Allocating funds from working capital towards advertising allows you to create more effective campaigns, resulting in increased brand visibility, customer engagement, and, ultimately, higher sales.
  • Working capital provides the means to explore new product lines or enter untapped markets. It enables you to diversify your offerings and expand your customer base, opening up new avenues for growth.
  • You can invest in hiring and training additional staff to alleviate the burden on existing team members, increase productivity, and enable you to handle higher order volumes efficiently.
  • If expansion through acquisition aligns with your growth strategy, working capital can provide the necessary funds to acquire complementary businesses. 
  • You can use working capital to invest in strategies that improve your rankings and visibility on marketplaces, for example, optimizing product listings, implementing SEO techniques, and sponsored advertising.
  • Working capital can help cover increasing operational costs, such as rent, utilities, and employee wages, ensuring your business remains sustainable and profitable.

By leveraging working capital effectively, you can address financial challenges and seize opportunities for growth, ultimately staying competitive in a dynamic marketplace.

So, sign up with Myos today and explore all the financial solutions available!

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