According to a recent estimate, the e-commerce business in India is expected to grow from US$33 billion in 2018 to US$100 billion by 2020. Mobile e-commerce and online retail has pushed India into becoming the second largest smartphone market globally!
With 331 million internet users accounted for in 2018, India’s influence in the world of e-commerce cannot be ignored. We’ve compiled a few simple steps for what it takes to start your own e-commerce business in India!
Setting Up Your Online Store
There is nothing like owning your own website with a custom domain name, but if you are just starting out, having a Facebook Business Page is sufficient.
You are recommended to get a custom domain if you can afford it, as it assists with discovery through search engines and allowing the drive of organic traffic to your online store.
If you are unsure of how to set up your own online, there are plenty of affordable services available online to assist you with it.
Shopify is a complete e-commerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders — all with a few clicks of the mouse.
If you need to purchase a domain but are not sure just where to get it, checkout Godaddy.
Godaddy is an Internet domain registrar and web hosting company
You can also use WordPress to set up your website as an online store! You can even learn how to create your own website with Google Webmaster.
The services provided by these platforms are geared towards assisting you with starting your e-commerce website!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) [restrict]
When posting content on your website, ensure that the content is suitably optimized for search engines. This is an in-depth topic that requires some time to understand.
One way to ensure that your content is optimized is to hire a professional digital marketer to manage it for you.
If you want to learn about it yourself, there are plenty of existing articles and courses on the web to help you. Here are some course you can take up to get your SEO capabilities rolling!
Set up a Secured Payment Gateway
There are several gateways available for e-commerce business. They are relatively easy to understand and use, so it is up to you to pick one that suits you best. If you plan to be selling your products internationally, then gateways like PayPal, PayUBiz, PayTM and are preferred because of their convenience.
Whatever your choice may be, try and include an option for cash payment as this is still a popular method in India and many other countries.
Do note that if you are selling goods, a VAT or CST registration may be needed once your annual turnover crosses 5 lakhs.
Terms & Conditions
Depending on your selling platform, providing customer satisfaction and return policies will impact your business. So be sure to clearly state what your personal terms and conditions are, and be wary of the platform’s regulations as well.
If you are selling from a personal website, ensure that you have the following enlisted under your T&C agreements:
- Payment and Security
- Purchasing and conditional criteria
- Shipping and delivery
- Refund and exchanges
The last thing you would want is a bad customer review early on into your setup. Other customers are bound to look out for reviews to find out if you are trustworthy or not, so make sure that you prioritize customer satisfaction.
Ensure that you are fully aware of your liabilities as an online retailer. For more on this, check out our article on registering a sole proprietorship in India.