India is adding more than 2 to 3 startups every day. With the startup industry growing faster, have you ever wondered, How to Start Your Own eCommerce Business in India?
This article will discuss the meaning of an eCommerce business, how to start one in India, and some profitable business ideas and budgetary requirements.
What is Ecommerce?
Ecommerce refers to the electronic engagement by brands and companies to sell products through an online platform.
Over the past few decades, E-Commerce in business has made tremendous progress; therefore, today, you can find every product online.
Ecommerce in India is expected to become a $200 billion industry by 2026 (reports by Deloitte). India being the second largest populous country globally, the demand for any product is higher than many other countries, leading to more scope for business.
E-commerce Business Model
Like any other business model, eCommerce business models can also be classified into four major types, namely:
- B2B: Business to Business
- B2C: Business to Customer
- C2B: Consumer to Business
- C2C: Consumer to consumer
- B2B: Business to Business: The B2B e-commerce business online is the business model where the supplier supplies products to a different business. Usually, these products are raw materials used in producing the final products, which are then provided to the consumers—for example, Indiamart in India.
- B2C: Business to Consumer: The B2C business model is the traditional business model where businesses supply products directly to the consumers according to their requirements and needs. For example, Amazon, Flipkart, etc.
- C2B: Consumer to Business: This type of business model sometimes becomes challenging to understand, but it is pretty prevalent. At such e-commerce business platforms, consumers are supplying products or services to the companies. C2B is more prevalent in the service industries. For example, freelancers and interns.
- C2C: Consumer to Consumer: At C2C platforms, consumers are selling their products and services to other needy consumers through the means of eCommerce business online. For example, OLX.
How to start an eCommerce business in India (5 Simple Steps)
eCommerce Business Idea
‘An Idea is the start point of everything.’
In the eCommerce business in India, you must have a unique idea to stand out. You should know what you want to sell or provide to the consumers. Have your unique selling proposition. Always know about your product’s positive impact on the environment and the changes you want to bring to society.
For example, Nykaa: E-commerce business fashion retail platform Nyka today is the largest in India due to its first-mover advantage and unique idea of serving consumers and bringing ease at home.
Tip: If you are planning to get into the products line, determine whether you will manufacture the products all by yourself or you are going to trade the products, or it will be a combination of both.
2. Have you own Online MarketPlace
Days of brick and mortar have been extinguished, which used extensive investment plans to invest large chunks of money in setting up a shop. Now you need to have an online platform.
But it would be exceptional if you recognised that your website should have a user-friendly interface with constant technological developments and come up in the google search ranking and gain an identity. Make sure to make use of the digital marketing techniques. Digital marketing in the eCommerce industry plays a crucial role in creating as well as breaking the brands.
Tip: as a seller or a manufacturer wanting to convert into an eCommerce business, you can also collaborate and get yourself registered with the already established eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, etc.
Once your brand’s image is established in the market, you can also open your own online eCommerce business.
3. Documentation in Check
Once you have a proper plan and an idea of what you will sell to the consumers and where you are going to do that, the next most important step is to get yourself registered and get all the documentation in check.
India has loosened the norms and the registration process.
Now anyone can apply just by registering :
PAN number, GST details, VAT number, Current account details, and AadharCard.
4. Payment Gateways
This step is significant as the customer expects any eCommerce business platform to have all types of payment gateways.
Due to substantial counterinsurgency, you will find that every online platform will have several payment options: debit card, credit card, Paytm, cash on delivery, Google Pay, Amazon pay, etc.
Getting so many payment options might become a tedious task initially, but it becomes pretty easier to add any other platform.
Initially, as a business platform, you will have to submit several documents like:
- Bank account number
- Address proof
- Aadhar card
- Memorandum of association
- Pan Card
- Website terms and conditions
5. Delivery and Logistics
The last step is to arrange for delivery partners and logistic options. Make sure that these partners and logistics people are reliable and quick.
Indian consumers are reckless; they expect delivery the very next day. Lay down a proper pathway for packaging, shipping, and delivery.
Also, have the required platform and software to keep track of the order executed, shipped, in transit, and delivered.
Profitable Ecommerce Business Ideas
Before looking for profitable ideas for eCommerce business idea decide which
e-commerce business model you would like to pursue depending upon your availability of resources like a manufacturing unit, trading possibilities, raw materials, consumer to consumer requirement, or services to prove you the ultimate companies.
With everything being shifted online, especially during covid, any eCommerce today can stand feasible if executed with the right strategy and plan.
What are the best eCommerce businesses to start in India to become successful?
Decide upon a niche product and service while engaging in an eCommerce business, especially in India:
Some of the examples of such business ideas are listed below:
7 Profitable eCommerce Business Ideas
a) Trending gadgets
Gadgets and electronic products are the necessary items that are usually high in demand. Even in times of pandemic, it did not hit hard on sales of such electronic gadgets compared to the other products.
You can focus on just selling a single gadget having all the brands or have all the products under a single brand.
b) Health & Nutrients products (Organic products)
People are becoming more health-conscious these days. Therefore the demand for health and nutrient products are increasing day by day.
If you go by the idea of selling health products, make sure that they are 100% authentic and organic, which will also ensure your brand’s easy goodwill.
c) Sports/Kids Toys/Home Appliances which are not available locally
Selling scarce and not so easily available products in a specific area or all over India is always a good option. Such products may provide some of the monopolistic powers to sellers. Therefore the sellers can charge high, which can lead to greater profits.
d) Fashion (Unique and budget-friendly products)
After the FMCG, Fashion is considered a sector that never goes out of fashion, will always remain in demand; therefore, getting into the Fashion retail eCommerce sector will always remain feasible.
Some more ideas and options:
e) Gifting products for Wife/Girlfriend/Kids
f) Parenting related Niche products
g) Authentic products not available across India
Budget & Resources required to start an eCommerce business in India.
Budget is the most important thing to consider for starting an eCommerce business in India.
Though the capital requirements and budgetary allocations are less than the brick and mortar and traditional business, several other aspects are considered while deciding the budget that is not there in conventional business models.
How much is the budget required to start an eCommerce business in India?
The budget requirement to start an eCommerce business in India is broadly divided into five major aspects, namely:
With massive advancements in the front-end and back-end development of eCommerce websites, the prices for maintaining such websites have been increasing rapidly.
Nowadays, maintaining a small enterprise eCommerce website takes in, on average, $2000, and if you’re planning to start a larger enterprise, it will cost you around $10000.
Make sure you have proper finances, and you are allocating the budget according to the maintenance and development charges.
After the development of the website, the annual hosting charges are also imperative to maintain.
Allocate such a budget with precaution.
The average annual requirement varies from firm to firm. For a smaller enterprise, it is around $500, and for a more big firm, it varies between $2000 to $3000.
If you do not want a customised ecommerce platform you can always check for budget friendly ecommerce platforms such as Shopify or Woocommerce.
As mentioned earlier, managing a proper delivery system with reliable delivery is essential if you run an eCommerce business. They established a long-lasting relationship with delivery people and line as they charge very high from the newcomers.
Although the customer is ready to pay delivery charges, you should maintain minimum charges to attract customers, and therefore, any eCommerce platform will require personal budgetary allocation for delivery management.
You can Choose a delivery partner such as Shiprocket for your ecommerce business which makes your ecommerce shipping easy.
After you have complied with the website and delivery budget, the next thing to care about is the inventory. Inventory management is the answer to achieving for any eCommerce business.
Have proper inventory and allot at least 30% of the total for maintaining inventory to ensure product availability.
Without Digital Marketing, it is impossible to survive in the eCommerce industry. Digital marketing is essential not only for survival but for the growth of any firm.
Therefore, Budget allocation to digital marketing techniques such as SEO management, pay per click, social media marketing, email marketing, YouTube marketing, and online reputation management is essential.
The budgetary allocation should not be less than 10% of the sales and revenue.
Starting an eCommerce business is not as easy as it seems. There are tones of things to care about like the company, niche, website, platform, shipping, customer support, target audience, budget and resources. Therefore enter into the eCommerce business line only after ensuring that you have APLANNING-EXECUTION STRATEGY, A GOOD TEAM, AND FINANCES.