How to start an e-commerce business in India

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How to start an e-commerce business in India? It’s not that easy a task to undergo, you need to go through strong decisions. So if you are interested in starting a new e-commerce business in India, then we are here to show you the right path to start. Carry on with reading this article.

Ecommerce is basically a business model based on the internet. Companies and other manufacturers can buy and sell products through the internet.

Ecommerce operates basically on four market giants, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and other smart devices.

But the tremendous Covid-19 pandemic situation has led everything to be online. And that affects the shopping and online transactions in all subjects like books, garments, foods and beverages, flight tickets booking, train tickets booking, hotels booking and many more. 

Even stocks, and financial services like trading, exporting, and importing have also been affected by this situation. So basically everything can be purchased through an e-commerce service.

That’s the reason e-commerce is now a very important business to start with and gain a huge profit margin.

Ecommerce handles some market segments which will include business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, and consumer-to-business. Ecommerce is a part of the electronic business that is e-business which involves a wholesome online process.

Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Nykaa, Snapdeal, eBay, and all the other online market giants have shown us that e-commerce is the future of the Indian market. As per the economic survey in India e-commerce is growing with a growth rate of nearly 19%.

All the well-known businessmen have acknowledged that a business without internet-based facilities will be out of business soon. This e-commerce business is going to change the Indian business industry as well as the Indian economy.

If you are venturing your foot into this huge business world, then this article is just for your detailed knowledge. This is the time you can start your e-commerce business in India.

But for this, you have to follow a few steps.

Steps to be followed to get into the e-Commerce Business in India

Here is the guide which will lead you to the proper knowledge on how to start an e-commerce business in India.

Step 1: Make a decision on the Business Plan and Model

Firstly, to start an e-commerce business in India, you need to know about the e-commerce business and think of a long-term business plan. Ecommerce is not an instant process. This is a long-term process that will help you to grow at a slow rate. But that will lead you to a huge profit in the future.

Choose from the two different types of business models- a single vendor or a multi-vendor e-commerce store. You can choose between these models as per the budget you have set for this business.

  • There is one advantage to a single vendor marketplace- It involves only two entities. Only one seller will buy and sell the products. You can have more hands-on your business. Also, you may have to pay less because there is only one single vendor.
  • A multi-vendor marketplace has some other advantages- When it comes to making a sale, this process has security. Suppose one of your vendors is unavailable, you can check with other vendors to make the sales of their products. You can have constant sales of your business in this marketplace.

You can decide on your single product from multiple stores. Also, you can allow others to sell on your online store. If you opt for a single vendor marketplace, then you will get a high margin profit.

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In the latter case, i.e. in a multi-vendor marketplace, you can only get a commission whenever a registered seller will make a sale on his e-commerce site.

Take decision on the perfect business plan and model

Step 2: Branding of your Brand

If you have decided on the business plan you want to adopt to sell your products, and have decided on the products that you want to sell, it’s time to think of an eye-catching brand name.

Thinking what will be in just a name? Right? Ok, let us tell you something personal branding is a legal step to creating your business patent. You can also get a trademark registration to stop the duplication of your brand name. 

You have to keep in mind something when you are keeping a perfect brand name:

  • Easy to remember the short name
  • Should be reflective of your business
  • Should be unique

You also have to design a dedicated logo for your brand. If you have decided on the brand name and logo design, then it’s time to create your own Company.

You have to choose between four kinds of companies that are popular, such as:

  • Limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Sole proprietorship (no limitation of liability)
  • Private limited company
  • One-person company

Also Read: List of Textile Business Ideas In India

You have to choose between these because there will be differences in every type of business based on tax ID relaxation.

Branding your brand

Step 3: Get Registered in your e-Commerce Business

Now you have to go through a crucial part to start an e-commerce business in India.

  • You have to apply for a Director’s Identification Number (DIN). From the Ministry of Corporate Affairs official website, you can apply online for this Director’s Identification Number (DIN). You just have to attach supporting documents there.
  • Be very sure that you hold a Digital Signature Certificate and Permanent Account Number (PAN).
  • When you are done with your Director’s Identification Number, you have to apply to the Registrar of Companies (ROC). This way you can choose whether the name of your brand is available or not. 
  • If your name is unique, then soon you can incorporate your e-commerce business. 
  • You need to apply for the Goods and Service Tax (GST) certification, Professional Tax (PT) and Shops, and Establishment Licence.
  • Also, open your own provident fund. Get registered for medical insurance of the employees with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation. 
  • Finally, to have your company officially registered under the Company’s Act 2013, you have to register with the Certification of Company’s Incorporation.

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Step 4: Open a Bank Account

So finally your business and brand are registered. Now you have to open an account in the bank. You can create your bank account at any bank across India, but make sure that the account is in the official brand name.

Step 5: Building your Own e-Commerce Business Website

Now you have to create your own business website. You must have a website through which consumers can check the product details. You can either make a website of your own from scratch or make use of a pre-built platform. Though creating a new website is the most trusted one, you can choose any one of them.

If you choose a pre-built option, like WordPress, Wix, and many more, you can avail yourself of a few pre-built templates which you can use in making your website. You can edit the template as per your choice and requirements. 

If you are a pro person, then you can design your own website from scratch. You can choose from Zepo, WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, KartRocket, and many more.

Also Read: Top 25 Best and Small Food Business Ideas In India

Remember that the front page of the website can be a head-turner for your business. Your e-commerce business website will represent your business fully. So you need to create in such a way that the customers will be attracted to your products.

  • You can go for a professional person who can host and run your e-commerce business site. If you want a professional that you would hire, then he or she will look over the website whatever is going on there and report it to you.
  • If you think that you can host your website on your own, then you can easily handle your website.
designing your e commerce website

Step 6: Payment Gateways

When you are all set with your business aspects, now you need to create a payment gateway to have the business transactions online.

When you need to get granted your payment gateway, you must submit some documents as mentioned below:

  • Bank account in the name of the business
  • Memorandum of Association
  • PAN card of the business
  • Identity proof
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Address proof
  • Articles of Association
  • Website terms of use
  • Website privacy policy

When all these documents are submitted, you’ll get your payment gateway. This will give you access to your online transactions for the deals.

Step 7: Logistics

Logistics is basically the shipping process of your products to the customers or transporting to the merchant an inventory. There will be minute details of the tracking system of the product’s location. Until the product reaches its delivery destination, logistics will track the route. 

Logistics involves the locating of distribution of companies. You can hand over these logistics to a third-party agency also. Logistics assist in responding to all queries by customers and help in the prevention of products going missing

Step 8: Attracting your Customers to your Website

Just creating a website and dreaming of a flood of people on your website- is the right thing for the e-commerce businessman.  If you really want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to generate traffic through your website.

Here are some of a few factors that can help you to create traffic to your website:

  • SEO marketing is now a very popular keyword. SEO refers to search engine optimization marketing. SEO marketing is going to change the whole world of the e-commerce business.
  • Getting the attention of your potential customers is not an easy thing. And SEO can help you in this place. SEO can raise the search percentage of your products in the online market.
  • You can check that nearly one lakh searches per minute are done by people. If you really want to show yourself in searches after which you need to go with a proper keyword that will hold the strength of your products.
  • You can use 20-40 words long keywords for your products. Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Dominator, Google Auto, SEMrush Suggest, and Keywordtool.io can be your partner in this matter.
  • You can put advertisements on online and offline media so that customers can have a look at your products. You can put paid advertisements on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many more.
  • If interested, people will click on the ad, they will be led directly to the website. Now you need to convert those interested people into potential customers. That’s the advantage of advertising.

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There are also some other ways to grab the attention of potential customers towards your products. So just try to cope with the changing nature of the e-commerce business. And you will be a successful one in the near future.

TOP NICHES TO START E-COMMERCE

The e-commerce business is vast and consists of several niches. You would actually find a business in every niche. To start an e-commerce business anywhere in the world you must have a niche that you have an interest in and in which you can excel. There are several e-commerce niches that one can choose from and finding the right niche can be quite daunting.

A niche is a specialised segment in an industry like eco-friendly, CBD, technology, service or anything else. These can be further specified on the basis of the following things:

  • Psychographics like lifestyle, behaviours, attitudes, interests, etc.
  • Location
  • Demographics like age, education, gender identity, income, etc.
  • Pricing (high-end vs. affordable products, for example)

So what are the benefits of choosing a niche when you are to start an e-commerce business?

  • Better profit
  • Less competition
  • Increased consumer loyalty
  • Reduced operations costs and marketing

How does one find the niche which is right for them and their business? Well, here’s how to do it.

Choose What You Know And Love

Sure choosing a product that sells well would do you good, but it would become difficult for you to market it. You must choose a niche that you have an interest in. A niche that you understand and are passionate about because only then you would be able to justify your marketing as you would know exactly what to talk about and highlight. You would also enjoy doing business and ultimately run it successfully.

Do Some Keyword Research

Do thorough keyword research for your potential niche. make use of a keyword planner for it. You can see the search volume that indicates how successful the business would be and what the customers are looking for. The higher the search volume, the more profitable the niche would be.

Know The Trends

Apart from keyword search, look for some trends and do research on that as well. You can know about the popular trends with the help of Google Trends which will show you the interest of people in that particular niche. You can view searches of your potential niche along with your interest in the location.

Don’t Sell Just One Product

It can be tempting to start an e-commerce business with just one product but it is definitely not an ideal start. Choose a niche where you can sell multiple products which would help you in the long run to source, find and market other products.

Select Products With High Proft Margins

To start an e-commerce business, you must select a niche with products that have high-profit margins. So how would you learn about the products with high-profit margins? Take a look at the cost of a single product vs how much people are willing to spend on it. With this, you would be able to know and get an idea of how much profit you would be able to generate. This would only give you a general idea of how much you would be making as it does not take account of things like shipping, marketing, storage etc.

Best E-Commerce Niches In 2022

Beauty And Health Products

This is the niche with the most longevity. This is a fast growing industry with an annual compounded growth rate of 4.75% worldwide and revenue is up to $511 billion in 2022 from $483 billion in 2020. There are all kinds of products that fall under this nice like lipsticks, shampoos, foundations, perfumes, nail paints, creams, powders and everything else even remotely associated with make-up.

Men’s Skincare & Beauty Products

Men’s skincare and beauty products have really caught up in the market and more and more men are coming forward and enjoying these products. There are several products that are a part of this niche like beard wax, hair wax, face wash, beard comb, exfoliants, lip balms and more.

Recommerce

Since consumers have become more conscious of the planet, re-commerce or reselling has really increased and more people and opting to buy from such sellers. If we talk about stats the reselling market s valued at around $28 billion and is believed to reach $64 billion by 2025.

Eco-Friendly Products

The world is becoming more and more conscious of the kind of products they consume. Everyone is more aware and wants to use products that are eco-friendly hence there is a big segment that has opened up for eco-friendly products. There is a huge demand for more traditional and natural products. hence you can choose products like bamboo combs and toothbrushes, natural face creams, shampoos etc.

Home Gym & Fitness Equipments

A very popular e-commerce niche, home gym and fitness equipment is something that you can opt for to start an e-commerce business in India. Many people today have opted for setting up a gym or having fitness equipment at home rather than visiting the gym. It is convenient and also lets them plan their workout at any hour of the day. Because of this, there is a huge increase in sales of gym and fitness equipment.

Online Education

To start an e-commerce business in India, online education is another great niche. With the advanced technology, people have started to use technology for learning and their education. The global online market has really grown especially in the past few years and is here to stay hence this is a great niche, to begin with.

Pet Products

Pets are a huge part of our lives and they are more than just pets for us, they are family. Since we give them equal attention and love, we also love to spend on them to spoil them with treats, toys and spas. The pet products and care industry and really boomed over the last few years. You can choose this niche and opt for products like treats, clothing, accessories, body products, toys etc.

How To Automate Your E-Commerce Sales Business

When you decide to start an e-commerce business in India, you must automate your business to run it in a more efficient and organised manner. Automation helps you in running your business in a more structured manner where all tedious and repetitive tasks are taken care of and there is no room for errors. You have more time in your hands as you don’t have to overlook all tiny tasks. So let us look at how to automate your e-commerce sales business.

First things first, you must identify your automation sweet spots. With your business model, you can choose your workflow and which parts of your business you want to automate.

Production: If you are making your own products pr self-producing, this means that you have full control of the production and are solely responsible for it which is a challenging responsibility. But with the help of automation, you can get free time with automation.

Wholesale: If you have a wholesale model where you curate, commission and buy your products directly from wholesale vendors and then ship them to the customers, then this is wholesale. As an owner of a retail store, your job is to source high-quality products at high volume while working within the constraints of your budget as well as demand. In an e-commerce retail setup, automating your marketing and setting up timely notifications for important things can make your business go a long way.

Customer relation: Customers are one of the most important parts of a business. One should in fact start an e-commerce business keeping in mind their customers, what their demands and needs are and how you can build your relationship with them. With automation in place, you can send timely notifications like on their birthdays, anniversaries, offers and discounts, about sales through it. This way the customer stays connected and up-to-date with your business.

Data Automation: Start an e-commerce business without data automation and you are bound to face some errors. Once you automate your data, everything becomes easier to track and people associated with the data would get updates on their WhatsApp or normal text.

How To Market Your E-Commerce Business

You must have heard the story of the hare and the tortoise and the lesson that it teaches – slow and steady wins the race. The same is true for E-commerce businesses. It takes a lot of time to engage with the customers as it is not always easy. You need to keep trying several business strategies to attract people and get more and more followers. One needs to be persistent as well as aggressive in their marketing techniques.
Anyone can market their e-commerce business but would have to know of a few techniques to make it successful. To start an e-commerce business one should know the techniques of marketing it well. Let us talk about a few of them.

Spread The Word On Social Media

In today’s time, one needs to have a social media presence to attract and reach out to more and more customers. To start an e-commerce business and to successfully run it, you need to have a social media presence. Select a platform that you would be using to engage with your customers. The key to getting success in social media is consistent postings at the right time.

You can see the analysis and details of which posts are doing well, who all liked and or engaged with your posts and make dedicated posts for those people. Also just focus on one platform where you think you get your ideal customers and then spend your time and sweat on it rather than being on each and every platform and losing time and wasting efforts.

Be consistent in your postings and for this, you can also use various apps to schedule your posts.

Make Use Of PPC Advertisement

Pay Per Click, also known as PPC is one of the most popular types of marketing that companies make use of. Companies pay for each click that their ad receives. With PPC advertisements you can calculate whether the campaigns are cost-effective. This you can do by comparing the ad costs to the amount of traffic and sales generated by the ad.

Search Engine Advertising is the most common type of PPC advertisement and Google Adwords is the most popular PPC software. With Adwords, you can create ads that appear on the Google search engine.

Social Media advertising also makes use of PPC models.

Go Multichannel

One of the best ways to sell your products is to not just dedicate selling to one platform but use multiple channels like Amazon, Etsy, E-bay etc. This must be done as such marketplaces draw more customers than a single online platform. You can reach various potential buyers with the help of these platforms whom you may have otherwise missed on.

With this, you would also get brand loyalty from your customers. Hence to start an e-commerce business, it becomes important to be seen on multiple channels.

Create A Blog

To start an e-commerce business without a blog is of no good. You must run a blog where you can talk about your company, services and products that you offer. Build valuable and trustworthy content where you can promote your business.

Create content where you answer your customer’s issues and problems that they face. Give tips and tutorials and how they can use your products in a new way.

Have An SEO Strategy

To make sure that your online platform sees a lot of footfall, make sure you integrate SEO keywords. This can be done in the product description, title and any other content that is a part of the website. Add frequently searched phrases and terms to get more traffic and boost sales.

To identify keywords for SEO optimization, you can use keywords like Google, Amazon etc. Once you have integrated the keywords into your pages, you can also see the analysis and success with the help of SEO Strategy and Google Analytics.

Form Strategic Partnership

Another popular way to get your business growing when you start an e-commerce business in India is in the form of a strategic partnership. Generate buzz about your store by partnering with other major players. Have your website features, tell them to write a review for you, to share your products on their pages, and other such things so that you gain more traffic.

In fact, even social media influencers can help you to start an e-commerce business and they market it successfully.

Also Read: How to Start an Import and Export Business in India

How Lio Automation Can Help You Business Process

Automation surely does make a difference in running a business whether small or large. It can be tricky and overwhelming at first to switch all the business processes to automation but not with Lio. 

Lio Automation gives you many amazing features that make your work super simple and effective. There are very many features that will help you and your business in various aspects. From connecting and staying in touch with your customers, to working together as a team, and everything in between, Lio Automation will truly make your business run smoothly and make it reach new heights of success.

If you are using Lio Automation for your business processes consider all your data safe and secure all the time. Not only is the data saved in the cloud, but it also offers a data versioning feature in which you can actually see the many changes the document or file has gone through and who has made those changes. You can save the version of the file as required by you. 

Another great feature that Lio Automation offers is colour formatting the sheet. Colour formatting can help bring information and more clarity to the audience. Applying colours to different parts of any data will let you narrate a more effective story that easily catches one’s attention as well.

You can create dashboards for each file which would give you the clear details of your company’s operations, marketing campaigns, sales and other analytics. This is one useful feature that would truly make a difference to your business and help your see all the processes clearly so that you can make well-informed decisions.

Since customers are a big part of any business and staying in touch with them is a crucial job, Lio automation gives you the ability to automate Whatsapp communications. Automating WhatsApp communication is another popular trend that businesses can benefit from. With the help of this, you would be able to save a lot of time, boost your customer retentions and renewals, save a lot of money, have lower operating costs and much more. 

Lio Automation also makes working in teams very easy with their Task feature. you can not just assign tasks to your team efficiently. You can set the priority of each task along with the due date. Your team will get a notification about the task automatically, even on Whatsapp, they can see their assigned tasks in the app, mark them complete, and you will get a notification on Whatsapp! 

Not just this, Team management and work allocation are made super easy with Lio Automation. You can also work with teams in real-time and see all the changes happening.

You can share invoices and receipts with your customers while also sharing the payment links with them to make the whole transaction process smoother and absolutely hassle-free for everyone. 

There are several other amazing Lio automation features that are made so that you and your business can benefit from them. Excited to know more about it? Switch to the Lio automation process for your brand and start your journey to success. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I get an e-Commerce License in India?

You have to apply to the authorized company to get the Licenses and Registration to start your own e-commerce business.

How do I Start an e-Commerce Business?

Start an e-Commerce Business using this process-

– Decide your perfect business plan and model suitable for your business
– Branding your brand
– Register your e-commerce business
– Opening a bank account
– Build your e-commerce website
– Payment gateways
– Logistics
– Advertisement
– Promotion

What are the 3 Types of e-Commerce?

Business-to-Business (websites such as Shopify)
Business-to-Consumer (websites such as Amazon)
Consumer-to-Consumer (websites such as eBay)

What is the Advantage of e-Commerce?

– Low costs
– The flexibility and speed
– The high levels of data.

What is the Difference Between e-Commerce and e-Business?

Ecommerce is basically an online commercial activity and transactions over the internet. In e-commerce, the transaction is limited.

E-business is performing all types of business activities through the internet. E-business consists of limitless transactions.

Conclusion

I believe that there will always be hurdles in the way of your business. But what you need to do is constantly adopt the hurdles and convert them into your strength. 

You have to arrange a foolproof business plan, own business vision, future goal, plan of development in the business website, and many more.

So don’t waste your time anymore and jump into the highest growing business industry in India and start an e-commerce business of your own.

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About the author

Surabhi Guleria

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