“We were not thinking about numbers then,But we knew something big can be built out of e-commerce.”-Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal(Founders Flipkart)
Till date, there are many new e-commerce ventures in India having a huge customer base but not a single one if them are more than 5 years old. For anyone who has a base and is thinking of growing up his business, this is an enough indication to start with.
So what all basic ingredients there are to start your e-commerce business in India.
Step 1 : Let’s give it a perfect name.
Foremost thing is, it has to be remember-able. Secondly you need to set up a website so you need a domain which means memorable is fine but unique is also important. The rule is, it needs to be short, easily spell-able and re-callable without any mistake. Take for instances, the names like ola, oyo, snapdeal etc. The list is neverending. All you need is something simple but with a ‘.com’ domain.
Step 2 : Get your online store build.
Now you know the name of your store. What next? The next step is to find a professional to build your web store. This is the tricky, most confusing and the most crucial part. With the cropping of many online e-commerce platforms in India that provide you with a website on monthly subscription basis, people tend to go more for this option.
I would suggest do not join the rat race, rather look around and try to find avenues that can deliver you a professionally built website at low cost.
Step 3 : Register your e-commerce company in India
It is not very different from regular companies. Get your firm registered, this may be as an individual proprietorship or partnership or if you want to go bigger from the start than a Pvt. Ltd company, but registering a pvt. ltd. has its own disadvantages. Consult your CA before coming on to a decision. Business registration is important for an online venture for getting a payment gateway and for invoicing. Although it is not necessary. There are other ways too. There are alternatives like payumoney payment gateway, which do not require any firm registration for starting it and it can be linked with saving accounts for transactions.
Step 4 : How to get payment gateway
So now that you are registered, you need a payment gateway. There are two types of payment gateways in India:
- Payment gateways with no setup fees for example PayPal, Payumoney, Airpay etc.
- Payment gateways with setup fees for example Payu, ccavenue, directpay.
You need to submit a few documents like ID proofs, phone bills etc. for applying the payment gateway. This includes address verification. The whole process takes 10-15 working days for completion.
Step 5 : E-commerce Logistics
For this you can contact your local courier service provider like bluedart, fedex, aramex etc. These services have pan india network and the service provided by them is top-notch. Take quotes from all the possible vendors, compare the rates before coming to a conclusion.
Step 6 : How to market your e-commerce business
Bill Gates wasn’t kidding when he said : “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” Every third person in India is coming online every second for one reason or the another. Marketing your product where people are looking is the best way to make people know about your online store. This can be done either by paid marketing like Facebook Ads, Google display ads and other web based advertisements. In order to create a base of audience, you can go for SEO and Social Media Marketing in India. Hiring a professional for this would help you achieve better results in lesser time.