The eCommerce industry is no longer a playground just for large corporations like Amazon. The phenomenal growth of brands like Bewakoof and The Souled Store is proof that even independent brands can make it big in India.
Success in online selling is largely dependent on the kind of products that are sold in the store.
This blog will discuss what to sell online in India and how to build a steady source of income from them.
What Products To Sell Online
Sell Coins Online
Some people take their childhood hobby of collecting coins seriously and will spend a lot of money to get their hands on truly rare coins that are no longer in circulation.
People who’ve been collecting coins stand a chance at making some good money by selling or auctioning off their collection or parts of their collection online.
For example, a special 2 Rupee coin that was released into circulation by the RBI can fetch sellers Lakhs.
How to sell old coins in India online?
Indian Coin Mill is a dedicated platform where people can sell and buy old coins. Even more popular platforms like OLX and Quikr can be used for the same.
Sellers can put up their coins on sale as soon as they set up an account. The sign-up process should not take up more than 20 minutes or so.
Sell Paintings Online
This is the age of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and digital art. Does this mean the market for old-school physical art is dying? Absolutely not!
Those who can afford original paintings will seek out and pay for paintings they believe will be a good addition to their collection.
For someone who can paint well, this is a great opportunity to make some serious money. This brings us to an important question – How to sell paintings online in India. Let’s find out.
How to sell art online and make money in India?
Platforms like Mojarto let painters and artists showcase their paintings and sell them online for a small commission on the value of the sale.
The following are some of the things to consider if someone is considering an online store to sell their work:
- Make sure the store is user friendly
- Make sure the site offers shipping and labeling services
- Make sure they provide basic marketing services, including email marketing and lead generation
- Make sure they charge a reasonable fee
- Make sure they have a reliable and secure payment gateway
If there is enough volume of output, artists can even set up their own website using Shopify to sell their work. If that’s not feasible, the next best option is to start marketing paintings on social media, especially the more visual ones – Instagram and Pinterest.
Sell Photos Online
A picture tells a thousand words, and it can also help earn thousands (in Rupees and in Dollars). The days when we needed digital cameras to take good photographs are long gone.
Modern-day smartphones have cameras and software whose output can put cameras from the recent past to shame.
As a result, a lot of people are snapping breath-taking photographs without even realizing how much money they are worth.
How to sell photos online in India?
Suppose a popular online magazine is writing something about a local attraction and they need original pictures for it.
They will eventually end up buying photographs from a website. The person who put up the photograph for sale will get a part of the commission charged by the website.
The following are the most popular types of photos that are bought online:
- People – adults and children and everyone else from different cultures and countries
- People at work – People working on laptops, speaking, writing, attending a meeting, etc.
- Food – different kinds of food items from a platter to something as simple as chips.
- Tools – hammers, screws, bolts, etc.
- Cities – tall buildings, traffic, people commuting, etc.
- Nature – trees, waterfalls, animals, etc.
- Travel – no explanation needed
Here are some of the most reliable online platforms where photos can be put up for sale:
Formerly known as Fotolia, this is one of the most popular marketplaces for photos. It is owned and operated by Adobe and has been in the market for over a decade. The best thing about this is the royalty share, which is higher than other platforms.
They have been in the market for over 15 years and have over 200 million images, videos, and audio tracks for people to purchase. According to the company, sellers have made over $500 million worldwide.
Although not as large as the two above, this is still a great option to sell photographs. Photos can be uploaded without licensing or any other copyright issues.
This is not a website anyone would expect to see on this list. The site has over 30 million users, and there are many ways to sell photographs on the platform. The biggest advantage of Etsy is the large customer base and the option to sell photographs (both as digital assets and physical printouts).
Sell Furniture Online
The purpose of furniture is now equally aesthetic as much as it is functional. People want their furniture to blend in with the rest of their home or office setting.
The furniture industry was largely unorganized. The industry got a huge boost thanks to the popularity of platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. The online furniture market is also expected to grow by 40% in the next five years.
Interestingly, people are choosing comfort over cost – taking ergonomics into consideration. The prices of furniture online vary from as little as low as Rs. 1000 for a foldable plywood table to as high as over Rs.1 Lakh for beds and couches.
The opportunity is huge for furniture makers and dealers to tap into buyers on different ends of the purchasing power spectrum.
Furniture Product Types
The following are the major types of furniture that are being sold online:
- Home décor
- Lighting and lamps
- Home interior
- Dining and Kitchen
- Electricals and hardware
How to Sell Furniture Online in India?
Anyone interested in selling furniture online should consider sticking to the following steps to stand a better chance at success.
Step 1: Choose a Selling Platform
There are a few different ways to go about this. A platform should be chosen depending on how much and how often the seller wants to sell.
If they are just selling furniture for a short period, they can make do with eBay or Amazon. But, if someone plans to do this for the long term, they should set up their own website using an eCommerce website builder like Shopify and Elementor.
Step 2: Upload Inventory Information
Whether the seller chooses an online marketplace or builds their own website to sell furniture, the next step is to create an online presence by uploading furniture for sale.
To attract more buyers, it is recommended ed to use multiple high-definition images along with accurate data for each and every product. Make it simple for the buyers to decide whether the product is the right fit for them or not.
Step 3: Set Up Payments
Both eCommerce websites and online marketplaces provide multiple options to transfer money from customers to sellers.
The most popular options in India are Amazon Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, RuPay, Visa, etc. The best thing to do is to choose payment options that will be the most convenient for customers. Give them the option to pay Cash on Delivery too.
Step 4: Sort out Shipping Settings
Depending on volume, furniture makers can ship from the backyard or an office or from a warehouse. There are different types of shipping costs that can be charged to customers –
(i) Exact shipping costs: where customers are charged the exact cost to courier the package using a service provider
(ii) Flat rate shipping: where a fixed shipping rate is applied on all products
(iii) Free Shipping: that can be given to customers with a minimum cart value or for certain orders.
Step 5: Start Marketing
Marketing is the key to growing businesses. Most eCommerce sites and website builders have features that let sellers promote their products. Sellers can also promote their products on social media and on paid media channels.
Step 6: Manage Inventory
Once sales start picking up, inventory tracking and management becomes important to monitor stock levels and to keep track of which products are low on stock, out of stock, or need replacing. This can easily be done with excel templates like those offered by Lio for free.
Step 7: Grow the business
Once the business starts picking up and profits start coming in, it is time to start thinking about growing the business. Adding new products and expanding reach to a previously untapped location are some of the ways to go about this.
Sell Homemade Food Products Online
Yes, people, these days are busier than ever. Although most of them don’t have the time to make themselves a proper healthy meal or snacks or anything else, they are willing to pay a premium for homemade food items.
There are small, localized brands like Podi Nan Maga from Bangalore that is making it big by selling homemade food items.
People with a genuine interest in cooking looking for manufacturing business ideas can make a living out of their passion by using the internet to sell their food items.
Is FSSAI registration mandatory?
Yes, an FSSAI registration is mandatory as per the Food Security and Security Act, 2006. If the operation is small scale, an FSSAI registration is enough.
Larger operations with higher turnover will need a license. The decision is completely dependent on the business’s turnover.
How to Sell Homemade Food Products Online in India?
The following are the steps that should be followed to start selling homemade food online:
- Do proper market research and analysis to understand what type of food to make and what the best strategies are to sell them. Identify gaps in the market and position products as something that will fill these gaps.
- Find local suppliers and vendors who will provide raw materials at competitive rates to make food items. At the same time, it is critical to decide on brand-conscious packaging and labeling that allows the brand to stand apart from the competition.
- The next step is to get registered with the FSSAI. In case the business owners have plans for expanding the business, they will have to get a GST registration.
- Before proceeding further, get in touch with local officials from the municipality or Health Department to learn about any further legal requirements.
- The next step is to decide the channel to sell food products. A choice has to be made between partnering with an eCommerce platform or delivering themselves. Local deliveries can be made using Dunzo and similar delivery apps. If budgets permit it, developing an app to run the business would not be a bad idea.
- To create buzz about the brand and products, offer discounts and offers to get that initial list of customers. If the quality of food is good, people will tell their friends and family about the brand.
- Keep changing the menu whilst maintaining quality. Do not be afraid to experiment with new flavors and combinations.
Sell Grocery Online
Indians had been buying food online for years, but very few were buying groceries online. Then along came the pandemic, and even previously exclusive food delivery applications, including Zomato and Swiggy, introduced their own grocery delivery services.
The Indian online grocery market is valued at $2.9 Billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a rate of 28% by 2028 at least. This presents a huge opportunity for even local players.
What to know before setting up the store?
Create a solid business plan for the store to set your niche, quantity, and type of products that will be sold. Here are some other things to consider:
- Source of products: Sellers can either manufacture their own groceries (if they deal in such products), or they can work with suppliers and vendors to deliver groceries. It is important to keep track of the expiry date for perishable items.
- Selling grocery online: The business should be registered online and adhere to all legal compliances. This includes getting an FSSAI license.
- Identify the audience: Will the store be selling to everyone or to a niche audience? Deep market research is needed to make a final decision.
How to sell groceries online in India?
If sellers decide not to partner and instead do everything themselves, they will need a website and an app that customers can interact with and place orders. The website or app will need the following basic features:
- Brand logo and theme: A brand name and voice are needed to make the brand stand apart from the competition. Hire a professional brand consultant to do this. Most eCommerce platforms and App builders have a list of themes to choose from.
- Categories and features sections: Add categories to the online store. Create a main category (example: Shop) and add sub-categories under it like Diary -> Staples -> Spices.
- Product details: Add details about every product offered in the store. Be as descriptive as possible and use high-definition images.
- Checkout and payments: This is where customers should be able to pay for what they have added to their cart. As mentioned earlier, provide multiple payment options, including Cash on Delivery.
Sellers who do not want to build their own website or App should get themselves onboarded with a local delivery service provider.
Dunzo and Swiggy Instamart are the most popular options with an extensive network across all major cities.
There are even local players in smaller towns and cities that sellers can leverage. If both of the above options are not feasible, sellers can make all deliveries themselves using their own vehicles.
What’s Hot And Selling In India
Other than what’s discussed above, the following are some of the other products that have been consistently finding their way into carts often as of late.
Sell Exercise Bands Online
Exercise bands or otherwise called resistance bands have become extremely popular ever since gyms were shut because of the pandemic.
The closure of gyms resulted in people turning to home-based workouts, and exercise bands happen to be the easiest home workout equipment – acting almost as substitutes for weights.
Sell Yoga mats Online
The yoga mat industry is expected to reach around 17 Billion by 2025. The industry has been growing steadily because of the increasing adoption of yoga and also because of home workouts. Pay attention to what the target audience is looking for on social media.
In fact, social media is the best medium to market products like yoga mats as they are linked to a phenomenon with a cult following, a.k.a, Yoga.
Take high-definition photographs and videos of people using yoga mats and also partner with influencers who can promote the brand organically.
Sell Bicycles Online
Bicycles have made a comeback – big time! This is partly because of lockdowns and more people becoming health conscious.
After being seated all day working, people like to burn some calories and also get some fresh air. Bicycles can solve both of these needs.
Someone who is interested in selling bicycles should find manufacturers and suppliers who can provide inventory at competitive rates and then proceed with selling them by setting up their own online store or by onboarding with an eCommerce marketplace.
Sell Pet Supplies Online
Pet owners want to give their bellowed furry friends the best life possible. This has led them to buy all sorts of accessories and supplies, including beds, snacks, and toys online.
Buyers turn to the internet because most local pet stores do not have the variety of products they are looking for.
Sell Home Décor Online
Apart from furniture, people also want what complements their home and furniture to be as visually appealing as possible. This has led to a huge demand for products, including drapes, cushion covers, flower vases, table mats, rugs, and carpets.
Sell Water Bottles Online
By the year 2030, the global reusable water bottle market is expected to be worth around $11 Billion.
The surge in demand can be attributed to the increased awareness of the environmental effects of non-reusable bottles and more people following a healthier lifestyle.
The best way to sell water bottles is to create marketing content showing them in use. For example, create an Instagram reel showing an athlete sipping from the bottle after a short run.
Sell Handmade Items Online
There is something intriguing about custom handmade items. They are steadily gaining popularity, be it jewelry, footwear, handbags, or table mats.
Anyone scrolling through Instagram is bound to run into a page that sells handmade items. And these pages generate sales too. The opportunity is not to be missed.
Sell Candles Online
Scented candles have become extremely popular as of late. They are believed to help people relax. Makers of scented candles can sell candles alone or include them as part of a gift basket.
Sell Jigsaw Puzzles Online
This humble game has been around since the 1760s. Cut to the present day, artists and manufacturers are looking for ways to make it more interesting.
The global market was valued at $9.1 Billion in 2019 and is expecting a CAGR of 15.1% by 2025. With a lot of people confined to their homes, games like these serve as a way to kill time and bond with their family members.
Prospective sellers should first identify the niche they would like to target. For example, kids’ puzzles or wooden puzzles.
They can also start a social media campaign where they repost puzzles customers have completed.
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.
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.
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.
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? Start with your Lio automation process for your brand and start your journey to success.
Cash flow in the eCommerce industry is much more than most imagine it to be. How could it be not?
The question of what to sell online in India has more answers now than ever. The market has now opened up for almost all kinds of products – most of which were previously unheard of in the market.
Anyone who is driven enough can start selling their products online with relative ease, considering the wide array of platforms and tools available to help them to achieve their business goals.
Thanks for posting on the topic of Profitable product ideas. It inspired me to start my online food product business. Your step-by-step explanation on this topic really helped.
thankyou for your kind words. So happy to hear this great news! All the best for your new venture!
Hello! My new painting business just got going. Could you please provide me a brief overview of the insurances my company needs?
thankyou for the question.
General liability insurance. liability coverage and professional liability insurance are few of the insurances which are required for a painting business. Do research more according to your needs.
I’ve been hearing a lot about the FSSAI regulation. Why is it necessary to register the same, exactly?
The Indian government has always placed a priority on food quality. Every sort of food company operator must register with the FSSAI in order to uphold these criteria for the protection and safety of the public’s health.
To ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was established. Its mandate is to establish science-based guidelines for food articles and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import.