Starting your own business in India is not so complicated these days. According to the World Bank’s latest ranking for the first time, India came in top 100 countries in world’s bank “Ease of Doing Business” global ranking. And e-commerce makes it even easier than traditional offline business.
All big and small business owners are taking their business online because they understand the need of online presence. If you are running your business offline or want to start a business then, start online. In this article, I am going to tell you to step by step process of “How to start an ecommerce business in India”.
Future of E-Commerce in India
Have you ever imagined how big e-commerce industry is in India? It is way more than your imagination about e-commerce market share. India is the 3rd largest E-commerce country in the world after China and USA. In a few years, we will leave behind America.
According to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), there are more than 48crore internet users in India and it will be increased to 82crore in next 3 years. Now, you can imagine the e-commerce growth in India and how big opportunity is here for you.
Online Business v/s Offline Business
Let’s first understand the differences between the new E-commerce business and old traditional Business why you should choose this new era business process. Here I have pointed out some major differences:
- Increasing Demand
Do you know why some businesses grow very fast and its demand remains always high? The reason is they make their customer’s life easy and this is what a customer expects from any business.
In the same way, e-commerce is making people’s life easy and comfortable. Now they don’t have to go to the market and spend lots and lots of time in buying products. After the arrival of e-commerce in existence now, the customers can buy anything from their mobile or laptop.
The demand for e-commerce is increasing which you can see in the above “infographic”. Customers want you to come online and if you will not then, your competitor will surpass you and your business will die soon.
- Infinite Customer Reach
Let’s assume if you are running a small business in your area then, there is a bounded customer reach of your business which is only limited to the people of your area.
But if you are running your business online then the whole world is your customer. There is no limitation on how much customers you can reach. You can sell your products to anyone in the world.
Every day a new customer will visit your web store and purchase from you. This is the biggest advantage of Online/e-commerce business.
- Save Extra Expenses
List of extra expenses in offline business is very long. There are many small and big things on which you spend lots of money like, workers in your store, accountant, your security guard, electricity etc…
You can minimize or save these expenses in online e-commerce business by making things automated. Here you don’t need to hire more workers, no security guard, no office rent.
Online business can minimize your extra expense and increase your profit.
- More Engagement
Your customer can engage more with your products any time and from anywhere. Your online presence also helps you to engage with your customers. It will help you to understand and know more about your customer and their need.
Social media can help you to connect with your customers. Use some big social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc… This way by engaging with people you can make some loyal customers for your business.
- Predict Buying Habits
You can predict the buying habits of your customer using data you collected from analytic tools. Data will help you to make the relationship with the customer.
- Less Marketing Cost
In traditional business, you use newspaper, television, hoardings, and traditional media. Which cost higher, low result and you can’t track the ROI. In traditional advertising methods, you can’t target only your targeted customers.
But in Digital Marketing your marketing cost will be low, it works much faster than the traditional way, high result and you can easily track your ROI.
You can establish your brand with less cost and time. Here you can target only those customer’s whom you want to target.
For this, you can hire a digital marketing agency or establish your own team of 5-8 peoples who will do this work for you. Digital Marketing is the most effective and fastest way to market your brand.
In e-commerce business chances of scalability is very high even internationally. Yes, you can reach international customers very easily.
Here you don’t need a big building, office or rent so, it became easy to scale up.
If a customer comes to your traditional store and he doesn’t buy anything and goes then, you can’t retarget that customer until he himself come to your store.
But here in online business, you can retarget that customer with the data you have collected. You can remarket that product to him again and again until he buys it.
You can also market your new products to him through email marketing. And you can’t retarget and remarket in your traditional store. Data is the biggest weapon for an e-commerce businessman.
- Open 24/7
You can open your store for a limited time period of 6-8 hours and you can’t open over this time limit because you need some time for rest, for family, for other works and also for you too. You can’t open it for 24 hours.
But in online business, your store is open 24 hour and all days in the week without your appearance. Anyone can purchase at any time from any part of this world.
There is no restriction of time and you can earn while you are sleeping which you can’t do in your traditional store.
How to start an ecommerce business in India?
There are two options for you through which you can start your e-commerce business. First is joining an established eCommerce marketplace or, second is to start your own e-commerce store. Let’s deeply go through the “procedure to start an e-commerce business in India”.
Join Established Marketplaces
It’s very easy to join and sell on e-commerce marketplaces. Here you just need to register with them as a seller, list your product, and start selling.
There are many e-commerce marketplaces in India but you have to choose the right, trusted and which suits your product and your expectations.
For each and every product there is a specific marketplace. Here is the list of some big and popular eCommerce marketplaces of different products in India:
Amazon is the biggest and most popular e-commerce site in India as well as in the world. You can sell any type of products from apparel, books, e-book to furniture and electronic items.
Myntra is a fashion and clothing e-commerce site which only deals in apparel. If you are a seller of those items which more focus on the fashion side then you can start selling on myntra.
- Oyo Rooms
Oyo rooms are hospitality services based marketplace where hotel and resort owners sell their rooms and services.
It is a food selling marketplace where sellers and customers come to buy and sell food products.
- Red Bus
Red Bus is a transport based e-commerce site where different-different transport service providers sell their transporting services.
- 99 Acers
It is mainly for real state and properties. If you are in real estate business or a property dealer then you can register on this marketplace.
These are just a few examples there are many more in the market find out which will work better for your business and start selling on it.
Yes, it is easy to sell on these big e-commerce marketplaces but if it has some advantages then there are some disadvantages as well. Let’s take a look at those;
Advantages and Disadvantages
Let’s first look at some advantages.
- Easy to start
- Big customer base
- Pre-build Brand name
- They take care of shipping
- No marketing required
Here are a few disadvantages which you must know.
- Shipping delays
- No control over the site
- High competition and low margin
- Marketplace’s fee
- No option to promote your brand name
Start your own E-commerce Website.
Starting your own e-commerce website can be a big risk. To start an e-commerce web store you need a big investment to invest in a domain name, hosting, web developer, marketing, and many more things.
But it is good for building your own brand name in the market and will help you in long-term survival in this business.
But also keep in mind it is very hard to compete against big players in the business like Amazon and flip kart. You will have to work harder to fight in this direct competition with these big and popular brands.
You need a great business plan, an extraordinary marketing team and updated with the new technology from time to time.
There is an option through which you can minimize the competition. Start with a niche website. Select a product and start selling only that product on your website.
How to create an e-commerce website
Follow these steps to start your eCommerce website from scratch;
Buy Domain Name
Your first step in creating your eCommerce website is buying a Domain name. You can get a domain name for the lowest price of 99Rs from Godaddy.com.
Your domain name is the identity of your business so, choose it very carefully. Here I have mentioned some tips to select a better Domain Name for your website.
Tips to Select Domain Name
- Your domain name should relate to your niche.
- Try to add your targeted keyword in the domain name.
- Don’t choose a domain name with numerical and special characters in it.
- Try to keep your domain name in between 12 to 15 characters.
Select a hosting Plan
This is the most important step in creating an e-commerce website. Invest in a good hosting provider company for your website because a website is fully depending on Hosting.
A slow server speed can cause lots of difficulties in the growth of your business. Due to the slow loading speed, customers will avoid visiting your website; it will affect your SEO.
Choose a platform
You are running a business so, you don’t have much time to brainstorm in coding for the website and all that. So, here you need a simple and easy way to create your web store.
You have two options either you can hire a web developer or do it by yourself with word press. Word press is best and easy here, you don’t need to know any coding just simple use free and premium plugins to create your eCommerce website.
Integrate Payment gateway
I am assuming now, you have created your website it’s time to get a payment gateway to collect payments when customers buy the product from your web store. You can accept payment from your customers through credit card, debit card, and net banking, E-wallet etc… one you have a payment gateway.
This step is only applicable for those who will sell on their own website. If you are planning to start with marketplaces then, you don’t need they will provide you.
Contact Shipping Company
You are all set to take orders from the customers but how will you deliver your products to the customers?
Contact a trusted shipping company to ship your order. I have personally used ship rocket when I was doing Drop Shipping and I had a great experience with them.
Also, Read; Start a profitable Drop Shipping business in 5 easy steps
In this section of the blog, I will explain you some legal requirements to start a proprietary e-commerce website or start selling on marketplaces.
LLP or Company registration
It is good to have a company or LLP registration while starting a new business because; it helps in getting a bank account in the name of your business and a GST registration also.
It also improves the ease of doing business.
It doesn’t matter where you are selling your products online in a marketplace or on your own website. GST and other tax norms are required.
Open a Bank account.
After company or LLP and GST registration now it’s time to open a bank account. With the LLP registration now, it will easy for you to open a bank account in the name of your business.
Go to any Bank in your area and open a bank account.
Note: Don’t forget to clearly mention…
- Terms and Conditions
- Website Dulcimer.
If you are new to this business then, it is better to start with the big marketplaces so, that you will get to understand the market and competition and then if you think this is working for you start your own website with your own brand name.
Follow these basic steps and you are ready to start your business. Good luck. Comment down below if you have any question.
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