As India’s economy undergoes a transformation, the ecommerce industry is leading the way. If you’ve been contemplating indulging in an ecommerce business, then the time is ripe to take the plunge.
A combination of increased access to the internet and the increase in smartphone users has caused e-commerce business in India to grow quickly in recent years. Ecommerce will remain competitive by keeping up with the changes in technology because the technology has created diverse business opportunities.
Internet penetration in rural India is increasing, leading to an exciting future of e-commerce in the country. One of the largest populations of internet users in the world is found in India.
Consumers have become accustomed to online platforms that enable quicker transactions and delivery in their preferred locations, regardless of whether they are purchasing e-tickets from MakeMyTrip or purchase essentials from Amazon.
The success of ecommerce giants like Reliance Digital, Croma, Ajio, VijaySales, Meesho, Nykaa, Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal is a testament to ecommerce’s true potential. But they could only get to the place they are because they tapped into the brimming potential of ecommerce.
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As Ibeg.org estimates, India is expected to overtake the United States for the title of the second largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034. By 2025, it is anticipated to reach US$ 111.40 billion.
The Indian E-Commerce market was predicted by Invetindia.gov.in to grow to $55 Billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) by 2021, making it the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce market.
It’s important to note that e-commerce is becoming more popular in tier-2 and tier-3 cities since they provide nearly half of all shoppers and three out of five orders to leading e-commerce platforms. The Average Sales Point (ASP) in smaller tier-2 and tier-3 mid-sized cities is similar to that of large tier-1 cities.
In this guide, you will learn how to start process an e-commerce business in India.
Step 1: Determine the best business model and plan
In order to narrow down on your ecommerce business plan and business model, you first need to think long and hard.
The type of E-commerce store you intend to open will determine which business model you choose. You have the option of going with a single vendor or a multi-vendor store based on your budget. Decide on which product line you will use or if you like to have multiple products for your ecommerce store.
Using a single-vendor is easier because it involves only two-parties–the seller and the customer. Also, one supplier means it’s cheaper to pay one and easier to monitor inventory.
Having multiple vendors sell to a large number of customers is a kind of marketplace that requires the vendors to be registered with your site in order to sell their products.
Ecommerce business models such as these give you a sense of sales security, which is one of the benefits of the way they operate. The second benefit is avoiding a disruption in the supply chain due to fluctuations in demand if one of your supplies is not able to sell their products.
It is possible to sell your unique product via your own online business or another similar platform, or contract with other sellers.
You will earn high margins if you are in the own online business scenario, and a commission if you are in the contract with other sellers.
STEP 2: Get Your Ecommerce Business A Brand Now
After determining what business model to follow, as well as what products you wish to sell and who you want to market to, the next step is selecting the perfect brand name for your e-commerce business in India.
You should also come up with a finalised design for your logo along with your brand name to ensure that it is: Short, easy to remember, and in some way reflects who you are as a company.
Your next step is to form your company once you have decided on your brand name and logo. In India, there are four types of companies:
- Sole Proprietorship.
- One-Person Company
- Limited Liability Partnership
- Private Limited Company
Whether you want to run the company independently or bring on additional partners will affect what kind of formation you choose. If your company uses a corporate or partnership structure, you are required to file tax returns and obtain a tax ID number. An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is required by businesses of the above model to open a bank account for their business for filing business taxes. EIN is an identifying number that identifies your company.
You do not need a tax ID number if you choose to operate as a sole proprietor. Instead, you can use the Social Security number specifically assigned to you.
Step 3: Registrate your E-commerce Business in India
The next step is to register and complete all the legal formalities related to opening an e-commerce business in India.
- Download the DIN application form (DIN3) from the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, or you can apply online by attaching and uploading the required documents.
- Ensure you are in possession of your Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Digital Signature Certificate.
- After receiving your DIN, you can request the Registrar of Companies (ROC) to check whether your chosen company name is available. You can also check the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for the availability of the name you have chosen.
- Once the proposed name has been confirmed, you have six months to incorporate the company. You can also renew the company’s name by paying a fee.
- Obtain the Goods and Services Tax (GST) certification, the shops and Establishments Licence (required for payment gateway integration) and the Professional Tax (PT).
- Provident Fund (PF) accounts should be opened with the respective Provident Fund (PF) Organization; employees’ State Insurance Corporation (SIC) accounts should be established to provide medical insurance for the employees; and finally, your company should apply for registration under the Company Act, 2013.
Step 4: Open an Account with a Bank
The Company needs to open a bank account as soon as it has been registered under the Act. This bank account can open with any bank, but it needs to be opened in the company’s official name.
Obtaining GST registration for your online business is mandatory if you are operating your business as a sole proprietorship. Following that, you can open a business bank account in your business name.
Your e-commerce website products can be listed as soon as you have a bank account, and then you proceed towards the payment gateway set up.
Step 5: How to Create Your E-Commerce Website
Building a website from scratch is generally more convenient than using a pre-built platform. Both options have distinct advantages.
You can use a pre-built platform like Easebuzz Webstore or WordPress or Wix since they provide you with readymade templates based on the kind of online business you are running.
Rather than having to build this website from scratch and waste resources and time, you can customize the ready-made template for your specific design, and add all the information you require.
The custom platform option: Many people say this is the best method of building a website from scratch, since you can visualise and design your entire site exactly as you’ve imagined it.
Among the most popular choices for making websites for ecommerce businesses are WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Zepo, and Kart Rocket.
Your website–the face of your entire online business–represents your entire brand visually. The colour, font and images should do their part to tell the story about your brand, and no detail is too small.
While launching your company’s official website, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Depending on your ecommerce business, you may wish to host it yourself or hire a professional to oversee and manage it, on a regular basis. You must ensure that multiple posts are uploaded and shared on your website, whether the content is about the services you offer or image files of your products.
Step 6: Payment Gateway Set-up for Your E-commerce Business in India
How E-commerce payment gateways help and why they are necessary
In Ecommerce Payment Gateway, allow web servers and clients to interact with each other and process transactions. Payment Gateways allow online sellers to recieve and process payments. Customers use credit cards or debit cards, expiration dates, and CVV codes to complete the payment process. The seller’s bank account is credited with the payment.
For your online business to become profitable, you need to choose a payment gateway that will accept any debit or credit cards, net banking, and cash card transactions via your ecommerce website.
The following documents are required in order to apply for an ecommerce payment gateway:
- A bank account in the name of the business.
- A PAN card for business.
- Certificate of Incorporation.
- Memorandum of Association.
- Article of Association.
- Proof of Identify.
- Proof of Address.
- Website Terms of Service
Your online business will then be provided with a payment gateway, through which you can allow online payments. For example – India’s Best Online Payment Gateway | Easebuzz.
STEP 7: Setup of Logistics for E-commerce Business in India
An e-commerce business in India would not be successful without logistics, the process by which orders are shipped to customers or inventory is transported to merchants. In addition to tracking the shipping goods, this process also keeps an eye on them while they’re in transit, until they reach their final destination.
Logistics management consists of finding and identifying distribution partners to be partnered with. E-commerce business in India owners prefers to outsource their logistics to third-party logistics companies.
Let’s take a closer look at logistics.
- In India most ecommerce businesses, when a customer completes an order on your website, you will receive an alert through inventory software. Once you get confirmation from the software, you can then ship the product.
- It’s a good idea to partner with a distribution and supply company so that when a customer orders, the third-party company is notified and can quickly ship the packages out. It’s the more organised approach, but usually only appropriate after your online business grows slightly and you acquire enough resources to negotiate with a distributor.
- In smaller companies, however, you can often package the product in question and send it directly to the buyer – e.g., if you work from home or maintain an office and store inventory there. Having your delivery process outsourced will save you the extra cost.
STEP 8: The Best Way to Attract Your Target Audience to Your Website
Marketing via Search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing will continue to dominate smart marketing well into the future.
The Success of any ecommerce business depends upon grabbing the attention of potential online customers. SEO strategies help you appear on the search engine map. You need to be on the radar of 47 percent of online shoppers in India, who initiate their search with a search engine.
It is estimated that approximately 3.8 million google searches are made per minute, so making sure your website shows up in these searches is essential. Your online business may appear in the search engines if there are different kinds of keywords in use. One type of keyword is the phrase that is between 0-26 characters, commonly known as ‘head term’. Another type of keyword is the phrase between 26-40 characters, which is typically more specific.
There are lots of tools you can use to find keywords that you will use to rank your content higher on search engines, likes Google Keyword Planner, Google Autosuggest, Keywordtool.ai, Ahref, and SEMrush.
You can also pay for advertisements on platforms like Quora, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram and have them promote your advertisements on users’ daily feeds by paying a certain amount of money for the platform to accept the ad. It is up to you to convert these users into potential customers once they click on the ads.
Another way will be promotional activity. In the initial stages of starting an E-commerce business in India, promotions and sales go over well with Indian customers. If you would like, you can post on social media notices concerning these sales.
The next aspect is retargeting, which places a cookie on the computer of those who visited your ecommerce website once but did not make a purchase. If the cookie is placed correctly, then the advertisement will display when the user visits another website affiliated with the retargeting network. The results are typically positive with this route, although it’s expensive too.
You can always turn to word-of-mouth marketing, the oldest and most effective approach, when you’re just starting out, especially if you don’t have much money for campaigns such as advertisement.
It is possible to have guest bloggers review your brand and their articles can be used to drive traffic to your ecommerce website. You can ask your customers to tell their family and friends about your brand to gain better exposure.
The e-commerce business in India is constantly changing, while social media is on the rise, so your potential customers have many ways to reach you. This will determine whether your online business succeed.
India’s ecommerce sector has become a major economic growth driver, with several unicorn companies emerging from it. Growing numbers of online shoppers and a continuing maturation of ecommerce will create the opportunity for service providers to decrease costs and increase efficiency through virtualization and automation.