eCommerce has been one of the biggest booms recently and is only getting bigger. India is no exception to this rule, with the number of online shoppers increasing yearly.
In fact, according to Statista.com, there were over 135 million online shoppers in 2019 in India.
At the same time, online retail spending in India is expected to grow nearly sixfold to USD 300 billion by 2030 with expansion in the number of digitally-influenced shoppers and online shoppers, said BCG.
If you are looking to start your own online eCommerce business in India, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on starting your own online eCommerce business in India.
The current state of online eCommerce in India
In India, eCommerce is booming. By 2025, India is expected to have the second-largest online population after China.
There are over 800 million internet users in India, up from 357 million in 2017. The majority of these users are young, educated, and affluent. This makes India an ideal market for eCommerce businesses.
The current state of online eCommerce in India is very strong.
Many successful businesses have been able to tap into this growing market. Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon are all doing very well in India.
They have been able to provide consumers with a great online shopping experience. These companies have also invested heavily in logistics and infrastructure to ensure that orders are delivered on time and products are of good quality.
Many smaller businesses are doing well in the eCommerce space in India.
One of the reasons for this is that there is a low entry barrier. Any business with a good website and an efficient delivery system can start selling online.
However, it is important to note that not all businesses are doing well in India’s eCommerce space.
Many companies have found it difficult to make profits due to the high competition and thin margins.
Due to poor infrastructure, reaching consumers in remote parts of India is challenging.
Why is now the time to start an online eCommerce business in India?
As we’ve seen, India’s e-commerce sector is booming and is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. This presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to start their online businesses.
Here are a few reasons why now is the time to start an online eCommerce business in India:
a) Market is growing.
The Indian e-commerce market is expected to reach $200 billion by 2026. This presents a massive opportunity for businesses to tap into.
b) Increased internet and mobile penetration.
With increasing internet and mobile penetration, more people shop online in India. This presents a great opportunity for businesses to reach out to new customers.
c) Favourable government policies.
The Indian government has supported the e-commerce sector and introduced several favorable policies, such as allowing 100% FDI in the sector.
These positive policy changes provide a conducive environment for business operations in India.
d) Skilled workforce.
India has a large pool of talented and skilled workers that can be utilized to set up and run an online business.
e) Favourable demographics.
India has a large population, with a young and growing middle class increasingly spending more online. This makes India an attractive market for businesses to target.
What are the steps to starting an online eCommerce business in India?
Step 1: Figure out what you are selling.
Before you can start selling anything online, you need to figure out what you want to sell.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually not as easy as it sounds. There are a few things you need to consider before deciding on what to sell:
- What are your passions? What do you love? Chances are, if you’re passionate about something, you know a lot about it – and that knowledge can be turned into profit.
- What is in demand? Do your research and find out what products or services are currently in high demand. These are the items that people are searching for online – and if you can provide them, you’ll be successful.
- What can you provide? Once you’ve decided on what to sell, take a look at your own skills and resources.
Do market research.
The most intelligent thing you can do before diving into the eCommerce business in India is to do your market research.
This will give you a good idea of the potential size of your market, what kind of competition you’re up against, and whether or not there is a demand for your product or service.
How will you do this?
There are several ways to get market research done:
- Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool – This is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to see how many people are searching for specific keywords related to your product or service.
- Look at competitors’ sites – Look at what your competition is doing and try to identify any gaps in the market that you could exploit.
- Talk to potential customers – The best way to find out if there is demand for your product or service is simply to ask people! Try conducting surveys or interviews with potential customers.
Step 2: Set up your website.
Now that you have decided to start an online eCommerce business in India, your website is next. This may seem daunting, but with a little planning and some help from experts, you can get your site up and running in no time.
The first thing you need to do is choose a domain name for your site. This is the address that people will use to find your site on the internet.
Once you have a domain name, you need to find a web hosting company that can host your site. There are many web hosting companies in India, so take some time to research and find one that fits your needs.
Once you have found a web hosting company, the next step is to design your website. You can either design it yourself or hire a web designer to do it for you.
If you decide to design your site yourself, many online resources can help you.
Such resources include:
This plugin can be added to WordPress websites in India and allows you to turn your site into an online store.
It is user-friendly and has many features to help you get started. Most importantly, it is free to use!
The main features include:
- A shopping cart
- Product pages
- Inventory management
- Payment gateway integration
Shopify is a platform that allows you to create an online store. It has everything you need to get started, including templates, product pages, a shopping cart, and more.
It also has some great features to help you grow your business, such as:
- Marketing tools
- Abandoned cart recovery
Shopify does have a monthly fee starting from $24 per month, but it is worth it if you are serious about starting an online store.
BigCommerce is another platform that allows you to create an online store. It has similar features to Shopify, including templates, product pages, a shopping cart, and more. However, it also offers some unique features, such as:
- A built-in blog can help with SEO and drive traffic to your site.
- 24/7 support – someone is always available to help if you need it!
- Checkout Customization – Customize every inch of the checkout experience with a server-to-server checkout API and SDK.
- Coupons & Discounts – Create over 70+ native discounts and promotions — no scripting required.
- SEO – Get more traffic with customizable, SEO-friendly URLs and out-of-the-box Metadata and robots.txt editing.
BigCommerce does have a monthly fee, but it is worth it if you are serious about starting an online store.
Magento is a popular eCommerce platform that offers many features and flexibility. However, it is more complex than other platforms and can be difficult to use if you are unfamiliar with coding.
Main features include:
- Flexible pricing options
- A large number of extensions and plugins
- The ability to create custom themes
- Add AI-powered product recommendations to show visitors the right products at the right time.
- Choose the algorithm that best matches your operational needs by priority or distance. And if you need more flexibility, you can develop extensions or add existing extensions to meet your needs better.
Once your website is designed, you need to add content and products. Again, many resources are available online to help you with this step. And even the platform you pick will have tutorials on how to do it.
To help you out, here are some resources:
- How to upload products on Shopify
- How to upload products on WooCommerce
- How to upload products on Magento
- How to upload products on BigCommerce.
Step 3: Choose a payment processor
After you’ve uploaded the products you want to sell, it is time to choose a payment processor.
A payment processor is a company that handles online payments for businesses.
There are a few things you should consider when choosing a payment processor:
- What types of payments do they accept? (Credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, etc.)
- What are their fees?
- How easy is it to use their system?
- Do they have good customer service?
Some popular payment processors in India are CCAvenue, PayU, and Razorpay. Do some research and decide which one is best for your business.
Step 4: Market your store
There are several ways to market your store and get the word out there. Here are a few tips:
a). Use social media platforms.
There are over 518 million social media users in India. Use this to your advantage and market your store on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Create social media accounts for your store and start sharing engaging content such as product photos, special offers, etc.
b). Use email marketing.
Email marketing is a great way to reach out to potential customers. Create a database of potential customers and start sending them newsletters, special offers, etc.
c). Use print media.
Print media such as newspapers and magazines are still popular in India. You can use this to your advantage by advertising your store in these publications.
d). Use word of mouth.
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing tools. Ask your friends and family to spread the word about your store.
e). Invest in Facebook ads.
Facebook ads are a great way to reach out to potential customers. You can target your ads based on location, age, gender, etc.
All you need to do is create a Facebook page for your store and start running ads.
f). Add a blog to your online store.
A blog is a great way to connect with your customers and give them information about your products and services. It is also a great platform to showcase new products, run promotions, and host contests.
You can easily share guides about your products on your blog, which can help increase product sales. In addition, a blog can be used to build brand awareness and establish your store as a trusted source of information.
To get better results, consider implementing SEO strategies on your blog posts. This will help ensure that your blog appears in search engine results, making it more likely to be found by potential customers.
g). Consider influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is word-of-mouth marketing that involves partnering with influential people in your industry to promote your products or services in India.
This can be done by sending them free samples, sponsoring their content, or providing exclusive discounts.
Working with influencers can help you reach a larger audience and generate more sales. In addition, it can also help build trust and credibility for your brand.
What are the best products to sell online in India?
Some popular products to sell online in India include:
Books are always in demand, and there is a huge market for them online. You can start an online bookstore and sell both Indian and international titles.
Read also: 20+ Best Places To Buy Books Online In India.
India is a country with a rich culture and diverse traditions. This makes it the perfect place to sell clothing online. You can start an online store that specializes in Indian or ethnic wear.
Jewelry is another popular product to sell online in India. There is a large market for both traditional and modern jewelry pieces. You can start an online store specializing in selling either type of jewelry.
d). Home décor items.
Home décor items are always in demand, especially those with an Indian theme or design. You can start an online store that specializes in selling home décor items from India.
In conclusion, starting an online eCommerce business in India is not as difficult as it may seem. A few simple steps need to be followed to get started.
First, research the market and find a niche that you can fill. Next, create a website or blog and promote your products or services.
Finally, make sure to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies so that you can keep your customers happy and coming back for more.