According to a recent survey, the e-commerce industry acquired 33 percent of the market share in 2015 and is expected to grow by 37 percent by 2018. The success of online e-commerce giants such as Flipkart, Amazon and MakeMyTrip have inspired entrepreneurs and business leaders to tap into the e-com market.
Even though getting the entire eco-system of this business in place and sustaining it is one of the greatest challenges being faced by e-com companies, creating an e-commerce store online is not as hard as you may think. All you need is the dedication to learn and equip yourself with right information.
With online retail sales increasing every year, this is the best time to start your own e-commerce website. There are many platforms, such as Freewebstore, Shopify, Big Cartel and others, that provide the cheapest possible ways to launch an e-commerce store. You’d be surprised to know that you can launch your own in less than a day, for a fee as low as $19 a month, and no, you won’t be compromising on quality.
If you have already decided to enter the race of e-commerce startups in India, here are three basic steps to build your business.
Pick the industry and the product
Given the prevailing competition in almost all sectors of the industry, this might seem like a hard nut to crack. Selling online innately focuses on the huge market, giving you millions of products and services to choose from. But identifying a profitable niche and your passion for it will drive your success. Along with these, price, local availability, shipping size and margin are a few other options that you need to consider before settling for a particular category of product.
Here are a few questions that you need to ask before making the final decision:
- How much does the product cost?
- What will be the ROI?
- What will be your cut on every sale?
- Would you be able to buy or restock the product locally?
- How big or small is the product?
Get the website up and running
The next step is to pick a name for your business and get the website up and running. If you have huge money to invest, you can consider getting a custom store design. However, if you are just starting out with limited funds opt for hosted e-commerce platforms such as WordPress, Godaddy.com, Opencart.com, Shopify.com, Goodsie.com, or a similar site. These websites offer basic services such as domain names, limited website hosts, uploading catalogs, payment procedures and handling online orders.
Once you have your website up and running, it’s time to work on creating a brand personality. Creating a logo is the first step to creating a personality for your brand. You can get a custom logo made from a graphic designer for as low as INR5,000, or you can opt for a cheap route with design platforms like 99design and 19 dollar logos. But read these five mistakes that you should avoid when creating a logo for your startup.
Website designing is another element that will ensue you to hire a website designer, which can cost you anywhere between INR 50,000 to INR 5,00,000, depending upon the scale of your business. However, if you want to minimise the startup cost, you can always purchase a website template from online marketplaces such as ThemeForest. Such websites offer beautifully designed, mobile friendly themes specific to a number of ecommerce platforms. They usually cost about INR1500 to INR 3000 – a fraction of what you would have paid to a web designer.
Get a secured payment gateway
In India, we have two types of Payment Gateways – banking services and third-party services. Third party services tie up with a number of banks to provide a consolidated gateway. It is important to note that rates of these providers vary on the basis of one’s requirement and offerings. Thus, you need to conduct a thorough market research to find the one that suits your requirements the best.
CCAvenue, DirecPay, Paypal and EBS are the leading third party gateway providers in India, as of now. They offer gateway solutions such as e-merchants with real time, multiple payment options, payment through debit/card cards, direct debit and multicurrency.
So what’s next? Add your products, define terms and conditions, talk to your logistics partner and get set ready to ship your first order! Do not forget to spread the news through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This is how you can market your startup without spending anything. Let the world know what an amazing product you have created to make their life simpler!
BY SONAL MISHRA