Gross Margin

Updated on

Gross margin is a crucial factor for e-commerce businesses. It can be calculated by subtracting the cost of goods sold from the total revenue. A high gross margin indicates a strong financial position, while a low gross margin indicates the need for changes. 

What is Gross Margin?

Gross margin is a key metric for e-commerce sellers. It determines the profitability of a business by calculating the difference between the total revenue generated from sales and the cost of goods sold (COGS).

A high gross margin indicates that the company can sell its products at a higher price than it costs to produce them.

This can be a sign of strong brand recognition, customer loyalty, or other competitive advantages. On the other hand, a low gross margin may indicate that the company is struggling to compete on price, or that its production costs are too high.

Why gross margin is important?

Gross margin is important for e-commerce sellers, as it provides a clear understanding of their profit growth.

By calculating gross margin, sellers can determine if they are earning enough to cover their costs and generate a profit.

A high gross margin indicates a strong financial position, while a low gross margin suggests the need for changes in the business model to improve profitability.

What is a Good Gross Margin?

The answer to this question can vary depending on a few different factors like the industry, product category, and business model.

However, as a general rule of thumb, e-commerce sellers tend to aim for a gross margin of 30% or higher.

Gross Margin Example

Suppose you sell a product for $100. If the cost of goods sold for the product is $50, then the gross margin for the product is 50%.

In other words, for every $100 in revenue generated from the sale of the product, the seller earns a profit of $50.

Gross Margin Formula

The formula for gross margin is:

Gross margin = (total revenue - COGS) / total revenue

For example, if your business generates $100 in revenue and has $50 in cost of goods sold (COGS), then its gross margin would be 50%.

Gross Margin vs. Gross Profit

Gross margin is often confused with gross profit, but there is a subtle difference between the two terms.

Gross profit is the amount of money your business makes after deducting the cost of goods sold (COGS) from its total revenue.

In contrast, gross margin is expressed as a percentage and represents the proportion of total revenue that remains after deducting COGS.

Gross Margin vs. Net Margin

Gross margin is definitely an important metric to track, but it's not the only one!

Another key metric to keep an eye on is net margin, which measures the overall profitability of your business.

To calculate net margin, deduct all expenses, including COGS, marketing expenses, and operating expenses, from your total revenue.

Tips to improve Gross Margin?

There are several things that e-commerce sellers can use to improve their gross margin. These include:

  • Purchasing products at a lower cost
  • Selling products with higher profit margins
  • Decreasing marketing and operating expenses
  • Increasing the number of products sold


By understanding what gross margin is, how to calculate it, and what constitutes a good gross margin, you can make informed decisions that will improve your business's profitability.

Frequently asked questions