eCommerce is a booming sector in India and anyone can start an online store. Online store has so many advantages over the physical storefront, because for online store you need to pay the rent and with online store you can reach millions of customers from your home and there will be no boundaries for your customer base.
Most of the people in India are afraid of starting their own business as they think it will be risky. Before starting the business you must require some motivation, zeal and knowledge about how the process happens. You must need a great product, solid marketing plan and an user friendly website for starting online store in India.
Reasons behind people unsuccessful in business
- The main reason for failure people start the business right away without doing the research.
- Most of the people don’t know what they are doing and no pre-designed business model.
- Lack of marketing strategy.
Here I am explaining the different methods to start an online store in India.
Part 1 : Select the product and design the business model
- Before starting the online store first select the product which you want to sell. Be careful in choosing the products do small research and the product you select must be adaptable to online selling, like some products are conducive to selling online and some cannot be sold online and must be viewed in person.
- Choosing the product which you want to sell is only the part of creating a successful online store. You need to highlight your product and figure out what differentiates you service form other services. Before jumping into the selling products have a look at the websites you are competing with.
- Advertise your products in the popular online market places and check out the competition with in those portals. Maintain quality and offer something original, for example if you are selling handicrafts then the originality of the product will draw the customers attention.
- Make sure that you have enough expertise on the product you are selling and make your expert knowledge and passion part of the package. Create the user friendly purchasing process and set your store apart by making the shopping easy and fun. Offer some discounts on the products which will attracts the customers.
- First test your business by selling the products on small scale. First try selling the items individually on Flipkart, eBay, Myntra etc., By selling the products on small scale look for who is buying the product, what is attracting the customers, how is the customer sanctification and how much they are willing to pay.
- Before starting the online store design a detailed business plan, the perfect planing makes your business successful. Figure out the cost of operation and marketing take the below factors into account.
- Operation and marketing cost.
- Shipping cost.
- Charges for registering the domain name and web hosting services.
- Register your business, when you want to make the things official. Customers trust only the registered business.
Part 2 : Design your own online store
- First select the domain name for your online store which is short, catchy, unique and easy to remember. Choose the domain registration company and try the different name until you find the name you satisfy. Go creative in choosing the domain name such that it must be easily remembered by the users.
- The next step is choosing the good web hosting service, because the website is the backbone to the online store. There are so many free web hosting service are available, but those are with limited options. Since you are using the site for selling the products online you need to pay for the service to get the options you need.
- Online store requires large storage space and the free hosting services won’t offer much storage space. It is better to choose the hosting service that allows you to customize your website by doing your own programming.
- If you are expert in designing the website, then you can design your own website otherwise hire a web designer. Design the website more user friendly, which looks easy and simple for the customer to buy the products. Remember that when creating the website don’t fall into the trap of making it too flashy and straight forward especially in the case of online stores.
- Design the website simple and choose only few fonts and colors to use and include to gather the email addresses, so that you can send the alerts, newsletters and offers.
- Now choose the e-commerce software which allow the customers to view the products and make a secure purchase. E-commerce software are also used to send the emails to the customers and it stores the customers and financial information. Spend some time in researching the companies before choosing and select the company which offers best customer service.
- Create a merchant account with the financial institution and give an option to the customers to pay with the credit and debit cards. For the small online stores, creating an account with the PayPal is the best option.
Part 3 : Use an all inclusive e-commerce site
- If you are not able to create your won website from scratch, then you can select from the plenty of service that offer the platform to setup your online store with in few hours for low cost. In this way you no need to learn how to create the code or hire the web designer. You will get all the tools and you can start selling your products straight away.
- Using this services has so many benefits as well as limitations such as you need to work with in their systems. All these inclusive services will take small share from each sale you make.
- Below are the list of some of some marketplaces which lists your products online and charge some thing on each sale.
- India Times
- 24 hours loot.
- Unwrap India
- HomeShop 18
- Rediff Shopping
- Art of everyday
- Fashion at click
- Choose the e-commerce site and hosting sites for your online store which suits your product better. If you don’t like any platform for selling your products the it better to go for building your own website for online store.
- There are so many online store hosting service in India like Zepo.in, Godaddy.com, Bigrock.in, Shopify.in and more. Spend some time in choosing one of the best store hosting services, choose the best hosting service providing good customer service. This attract the customers who don’t want to do their own programming.
Part 4 : Market your Online store
- Promote your online store through social networking site like Twitter and Facebook. Because social networking sites are important means of promoting the online business. Create the page for your business and encourage the users to like and share your page to spread the word.
- Offer some discounts and incentive for the customers those who promote your store. Keep the social accounts of your store up to date with the information and new products.
- Start a blog for your online store to promote your business and pair your products with the experts knowledge to attract the more number of customers to your site. Feature your competitor products on your page and ask them to feature your products on their page.
- Send the sample pieces of your products to the prominent bloggers and ask them to review your products and you also write some guest posts on other’ s blogs.
- Send the newsletters, offers and discount coupons to the customers through the email and invoke them to buy them on your site. Be careful in sending emails, don’t send emails very often, the customers may unsubscribe to your email alerts.
- Select the best SEO company to increase your site’s search engine exposure and getting the back links to your site.
Part 5 : Register your online store
If your online store goes live then you need to register your business according to the state laws.
- List out the different business entities for your store i.e, Public or private limited or LLP.
- Choose the best entity which suits your business.
- Register your company or LLP according to the rules of the state.
- Obtain the tax registrations such as TIN, PAN, Sales tax, Service tax and more.
- Register your business with intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks etc.,