It’s a great idea to launch your own ecommerce business in India. According to the Nasscom Strategic Review of 2018, the ecommerce market of India was estimated at the $33 billion in 2017-2018 but grew up to $38.5 billion in the year 2018-2019. The growth percentage in the ecommerce business was 19.1% in 2017-2018, compared to that in the year 2016-2017. Similarly, this growth further increased up to 17% more in the year 2018-2019. These details are enough to encourage the interest and participation of anyone interested in the ecommerce business in India. Sites like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal all showed are the best examples regarding successful ecommerce business in India.
So, here is the step-by-step guide helping you on how to start your own ecommerce business in India:
Step 1: A perfect plan and model
To initiate your own online business, you should have a robust ecommerce plan and a promising model regarding this matter. These business models can be of two types, such as a single vendor or a multi-vendor ecommerce store. And according to your budget, you can choose either a single product line or have multiple product lines for running your business.
This ecommerce business model revolves around a single seller and multiple customers. In this case, the money transaction and many other procedures become more manageable because the customers have to deal with a single seller.
This model emphasis on the business between multi-vendors and multi-customers. The vendors should be registered on your site in case you follow this model. Following this model, if you can’t approach one of your suppliers due to some reason, still you can depend upon other remaining suppliers. Choosing this path, you can sell your products through your site or store and earn margins. Or you can also let other sellers sell their products through your store. Doing this, you can earn a commission with each seller registered on your site.
Step 2: Brand name
As you have decided on what to sell and to whom you sell following the models mentioned above, you can now decide a name for your brand in this step. Naming your brand, you should keep in mind that the name should be short and easy to remember, reflective of your brand, and Unique with usually not having another meaning in another language. With deciding a name for your brand also work on the design of the logo for your brand. If you achieve the name and company logo for your brand, then you can think of forming your own company like many existing companies in India.
If you want to run your business in a partnership with other companies based on the partnership-based structure, then you need to have a tax ID number. Employer Identification Number (EIN) is for opening a business account so filing the taxes for the upcoming years. But you can also run your company alone acting on the sole proprietor model by just using your allotted Social Security number instead of Tax ID number.
Step 3: Ecommerce business registration
This step involves the registration and other legal formalities required for initiating your ecommerce business.
♣ You need to apply for the Director’s Identification Number (DIN). This which is possible by downloading the DIN application (DIN 3 form) from the official website of Ministry Corporate Affairs while you can also apply DIN online, utilizing attaching and uploading the required documents.
♣ It’s essential to have your Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Digital Signature Certificate.
♣ After receiving your DIN, you can check the availability of the name you have chosen for your company, by applying for the Registrar of Companies (ROC). But you can also lookup for the name on the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
♣ Once you receive the confirmation on the name, you can then incorporate the proposed company within six months. By paying a certain amount of fee, you can also renew the name of the company.
♣ Next you need to apply for the Goods and Service Tax (GST) certification, Shops and Establishment License, which is necessary for Payment Gateway Integration and Professional Tax (PT).
♣ Then you step towards opening up a Provident Fund (PF) with the respective Provident Fund Organization. And you also need to register with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation for medical insurance of the employees. Lastly, you can apply for the Certification of Company’s Incorporation through which your company officially registers under the Company’s Act, 2013.
Step 4: Creating your bank account
The registration of your company under the Act, you can open up your bank account for running your business. With the official name of the company, you can open up your account with any bank. The account can be opened with any bank but has to open in the official name of the company. If you follow the proprietorship model for your online business, then you need to have the GST registration. This registration will let you open up a bank account in the name of your online business. So, once your bank account is ready, you can list the products you want to sell on your ecommerce website for obtaining and operating a payment gateway.
Step 5: Build your ecommerce website
In this step, you have to work on building your website. You can take guides from other websites regarding this task. You can go for pre-built platforms like Wix and word press, which offer great help with providing you with a variety of templates (related to any business) and guidance so you can run your business with ease. But you can also build your website from scratch. If you want the website of entirely your choice, then you can go for options like Magento, Zepo, KartRocke, Shopify and WooCommerce. As you are building your website, so you should focus on every aspect carefully. Because your website is a visual representation of your brand.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when launching your website; You need to know if you want to run it yourself daily or it’s well to hire a professional in this regard. You also need to make sure that your website brings services and other details about your products every day.
Step 6: Payment gateways
Now if you have built your business website, you need to focus on the payment gateways for gaining profits and such procedures. This step allows you the processing of credit cards, debit cards, cash card transactions and net banking through the ecommerce website.
For obtaining a payment gateway for your ecommerce business, all you can do is to submit the following documents:
♣ Bank account in the name of the business
♣ PAN card of the business
♣ Certificate of Incorporation
♣ Memorandum of Association
♣ Address proof
♣ Articles of Association Identity proof
♣ With submitting all these documents, you find a payment gateway for your online business. Using this payment gateway, you can allow your online payments process. PayPal, RazorPay and PayU are some of the popular payment gateways.
Step 7: Logistics
Logistics is a very crucial step regarding running your ecommerce business in India. Logistics involves the process of shipping an order to a customer or transporting an inventory to a merchant. This step enables you to keep track of shipped goods as long as delivered to the customers. This process enables you to locate and identify the distributor companies with which you want to collaborate. You can also outsource your logistics like most of the companies, by opting for a third-party company working in transport and storage, for running your business with ease.
Step 8: Attracting customers to your website
As you create your website, you need to work on attracting customers to it through a variety of procedures such as:
Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing strategy allows you to grab the attention of the potential online customers, which can bring massive success to your business. This strategy is ruling the world of marketing so far and maintaining its pace in the future as well. SEO helps by putting you on the search engine map, and you can be on the radar of around 44% of the online shopping customers as they begin searching with a search engine.
Using the right keywords
A report suggests that in one-minute Google welcomes about 700,000 searches. So, if you want your website to be on this search list, then you need to be very smart with your targeted keyword list. The right choice of keywords can make your online business show up in the search engines. For this purpose, you can use tools like Google AutoSuggest, Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Dominator, Keywordtool.io and SEMrush.
Advertisements are the ways you can gain more customer traffic on your website. You can go for the ‘paid ad’ option on different social websites such as Facebook and Instagram. Here you can pay a certain amount of money to these platforms so that they promote your advertisement on users’ daily feeds. The users click on the ad and thus get directed to your website.
Through your website, you can publicize posts and news regarding sales as sales and promotions sell like hotcakes with online customers in India. This step is the right way for grabbing customers eyeball when you are in the initial phases of running your ecommerce business in India.
Retargeting is a process which helps your site in gaining more customers. In this step, a cookie enters computers of visitors’ site, who visited your site once, but left without purchasing anything. So, once these customers visit another website that shows advertisements from the retargeting network, your ad can then be shown to them.
Word of mouth
If staring your online business through expensive pathways is difficult, then you can always opt for the oldest practice of making sure that business is being spoken about – word of mouth. You can direct your customers to recommend your brand and your website to other people. You can also link with other website owners and bloggers for reviews about your site, which can bring more customers and attention to your site. Today the ecommerce world in India successfully blooming and it can be considered as well of infinite possibilities at this moment. So, if you have the right planning and if you are ready for putting the required efforts, then you can jump right in.