E-commerce enterprises sell goods, services, and money through the Internet, and range in size and variety from retail behemoths like Amazon to generative model platforms like Etsy.
The Indian E-Commerce industry is approaching the next phase of rapid development. If you’ve been fantasizing about entering the realm of boundless profit through E-Commerce, the time is ticking for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide to launching a successful E-Commerce business in India.
1 Find the right Business Plan
When you have a concept for a new E-Commerce business, the first step is to conduct the necessary research to bring it to life and determine its viability. You would want to look at various venues, food options, and themes in the E-Commerce industry that you are interested in, much as you would when beginning a restaurant, and make some judgments about your specific business.
For example, you should carefully consider what your E-Commerce business will provide. Do you intend to offer goods or services? Is it a physical or digital product? Where will the supplies come from? You’ll also be considering the sort of business you want to employ in this regard – will you provide single things, bundles, subscriptions, or something else?
There are two types of company models to select from. There is the option of a single seller or a multi-seller E-Commerce business.
✅ Single-Vendor Marketplace
This business model has the advantage of just requiring two entities – a single provider that sells its goods to other consumers. As a result, tracing a transaction between the two firms is not just simpler. Operating expenses are reduced when just one supplier is payable, and inventory is more efficiently maintained.
✅ Multi-Vendor Marketplace
This strategy involves several sellers offering their items to different clients, with each vendor registering with your platform. You may either sell your unique product through your own online business or enable other merchants to sell their things through your shop.
2 Register your Business
After you’ve decided on the business approach you’ll use to grow your E-Commerce firm, as well as the products you’ll sell and the demographic you’ll sell to, the next step is to name your brand. You should also produce a finalized logo design for your firm.
Next, decide on your company’s legal structure. The legal and financial consequences of the company entity form you choose for your E-Commerce operation are crucial. You will most likely form a sole proprietorship, a single-person corporation, a limited liability partnership (LLP), or a private limited company. Each of these organizational types has advantages and disadvantages, so you should get legal counsel from an attorney or another legal professional to determine which is the best fit for your company.
Let’s have a look at some of the legal requirements for running an E-Commerce business in India:
- Request the Director’s DIN number, which is accessible for download on the official Ministry of Corporate Affairs websites or through the DIN application (DIN 3 form).
- Make sure you own your PAN and Digital Signature Certificate.
- After obtaining the DIN, you should ask the Registrar of Companies (ROC) about the availability of the business name you’ve chosen.
- Apply for GST eligibility, a Shops and Establishment Licence (mandatory for Payment Gateway Integration), and a Professional Tax Licence (PT).
3 Build your Website
Your E-Commerce website, like a real shopfront, will be the face of your company – it will be the first thing your consumers see and use to locate and purchase your goods or services. In this regard, one of the most important aspects of your E-Commerce business will be the creation of your website.
Your E-Commerce platform, whether all-in-one software like Shopify or an open-source platform like Magento, will serve as the basis for building and expanding your online business. Most E-Commerce platforms let you customize your template, add your domain (or purchase one), manage inventory, receive and dispatch orders, accept payments, and do other things.
Even though there are hundreds of these platforms available, you may prefer to begin your E-Commerce business with one of the following basic options:
Shopify, possibly the best-known and most popular E-Commerce platform, offers an all-in-one, user-friendly solution with a variety of add-ons. Shopify subscriptions are offered in four different options, with Shopify Lite starting at $9 per month (which does not include a complete online store).
If you already have a WordPress account, you can use WooCommerce to create and manage your online store. In the area of E-Commerce, this piece of software is completely free to use, and download, and provides full E-Commerce functions. Because it is built on an open-source platform, WooCommerce is ideal for business owners who know how to code.
Finally, if you want total control over every aspect of your online business, the open-source version of Magento may be the best option. With this E-Commerce platform, you can manage every feature and customize your site, but you’ll need technical skills (or pay for it) to do so. While this platform is not perfect for newbies to E-Commerce, if you have the technological know-how or the finances to employ a developer, it is a viable option. Magento is the most feature-rich open-source solution on the market, and it is free to use.
4 Select Payment Methods
When you build up your fully functional online business, you must guarantee that your consumers can make online purchases. Payment options exist in many forms and sizes, and they vary from firm to organization. You must decide which payment option would best suit the essence of your business while also appealing to your clients. It is an important step in achieving profitability and success.
Various payment alternatives for your E-Commerce business:
✅ CreditCard/Debit Cards
Card payments are one of the most widely used and accepted payment methods in India and throughout the world. Merchants may access a worldwide market by accepting card payments as a global payment option. Credit cards are handy and secure. As a precaution, the customer must enter the card number, expiration date, and CVV. By connecting customer information to the CVV number, the CVV number aids in the detection of fraud. Debit cards are the second most popular method of payment for online purchases. Customers that purchase online due to budgetary restrictions typically use debit cards. The major contrast between a credit and debit card is that a debit card may only be used to pay with money already in the bank account, but a credit card charges for the amount charged and requires payment at the end of the billing month.
E-wallets are one of the newest trends, providing a whole new buying experience. E-wallets are rapidly growing in popularity. E-Wallet registration is possible for both shops and customers. After opening an e-wallet account and linking it to their bank account, they may withdraw or deposit funds. When utilizing an e-wallet, the entire process is quick and simple. E-wallets, which are considered advanced and quick digital payment methods, may be coupled with mobile wallets via enhanced features such as near-field communication (NFC). Prepaid e-wallet accounts hold client information as well as a range of credit/debit cards and bank accounts in a safe manner. It simply takes a single registration and eliminates the need to re-enter information each time a payment is made.
A bank transfer is still a vital payment mechanism for E-Commerce, despite its decreasing popularity. It is considered a backup payment technique if all other choices fail. Furthermore, some internet shops prefer to accept bank transfer payments. Customers who have signed up for internet banking will be able to conduct online transactions utilizing bank transfers. Customers must authorize and validate transactions, making bank transfers the safest way. It is a handy payment mechanism for online purchases that do not require a credit card from the customer.
✅ Cash Payment
Let’s face it: in India, cash still reigns supreme. It takes the shape of the cash-on-delivery option for E-Commerce. Cash is frequently utilized for physical items and cash-on-delivery sales. It does pose several hazards, including robbery and the absence of a promise of a real transaction during delivery. While cash on delivery does not necessarily require clients to pay with cash (they can pay with cards or mobile payments, as payment terminals are frequently present with delivery agents), failing to do so is a disaster.
5 Find Logistic Partner
Choosing the appropriate logistics partner is crucial for your E-Commerce business because it allows you to track the items being transported at every stage efficiently and consistently. This can help you avoid things from going missing and respond to consumer questions about the intended delivery more efficiently.
Because the brand’s reputation is at stake, a third-party logistics supplier must be trustworthy. When choosing a logistics partner, make sure the firm can deliver the items on schedule and in excellent shape, as well as adhere to your organization’s requirements. Given the huge amount of possibilities, consider the following when selecting your next logistics partner:
Freight Management: Choose a logistics firm that specializes in freight management. As a result, they can swiftly adjust to your changing demands. When you want expedited delivery or a huge item, you must guarantee that the 3PL can manage it properly and without taking up too much of your time.
Find a logistics company that uses cutting-edge technology to improve service standards. You’re looking for a firm that can provide you with personalized and innovative solutions.
The perfect logistics partner will grow with your company. You want to work with a 3PL that will work with you in the long run so that as your company expands, it can provide services and solutions to efficiently handle a large load.
When choosing a partner, the cost of outsourcing your logistical requirements should not be a major concern. While you want to get the best deal possible, you also want your items to arrive on time and in good condition to keep customer loyalty. These three goods should be well worth your money.
✅ Customer Service
Good communication is essential when dealing with a logistics company. You will undoubtedly need to locate another logistics supplier if they do not answer immediately to your phone calls or emails and are unable to deliver solutions and services that satisfy your expectations.
6 Market your Business
To establish a consumer base and an online presence, you must properly promote your E-Commerce firm. Customer involvement is not always straightforward; the average cart turnover rate is 69.2%. To reach your target and boost income, patience and a range of marketing tactics are essential.
✅ SEO Strategy
SEO is vital for all websites, not just E-Commerce sites. The more optimized your site, the better your chances of ranking well, which leads to higher visitors and revenue. This is one of the most effective tactics for assuring the success of your website. Regrettably, search engine optimization has multiple components. It will take time and effort to understand the ins and outs of SEO, but the sooner you start, the faster you will be able to optimize your site.
✅ Social Media
Because the opportunities are limitless, social networking platforms are a key aspect in developing your online profile. Millions of people use these pages, and your firm should participate. If you launch a social media campaign, you will notice dramatic effects in a short amount of time. Social media marketing is also popular since there is no cost involved, even though the investment will make it much easier. Begin by providing links and information that will draw your target audience back to your website. There are so many various tactics for social media marketing that after a while, you will be able to locate the perfect one for your website.
✅ Promotions to Attract Customer
Promotions have always been an important part of marketing any new firm. Before the Internet was overrun with E-Commerce pages, new businesses relied on opening deals or other sorts of advertising to attract clients. A similar strategy is used on the Internet. You will reach a far broader audience if you deliver a bargain or a sale. Consumers appreciate a good deal; thus, develop a fantastic offer and watch as they rush to your E-Commerce business.
Paid advertising is more expensive, but it may be incredibly effective, particularly for young E-Commerce shops. Paid advertisements will produce fantastic benefits if you can maintain a high conversion rate. Pay-per-click advertising, for example, allows you to get reimbursed each time someone clicks on a link that leads them to your website. You must convert them once they come on your website. As a result, if the user interface and conversion process are well-designed, you will see favorable outcomes soon.