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How to start e commerce business in India? A Complete Guide to begin e Commerce Startups

Updated on March 17, 2016

How to start e commerce business in India? A Complete Guide to begin e Commerce Startups

E Commerce is the hottest buzzword in the industry today. Today, many businesses have taken the online route to reach customers and sell their products and services. E commerce enables businesses to cut costs and achieve economies of scale. The e commerce industry in India is expected to cross $38 billion in 2016 and many players have queued up to reap the benefits. Companies like Flipkart which started as tiny enterprises are doing business in billions today. Snapdeal, Amazon, eBay and Myntra etc are other successful eCommerce companies. With increased internet penetration and mobile usage, more people are expected to search for products online. Internet is becoming the virtual shopping space for many people, mostly youngsters. Apart from mobiles, garments and shoes, people are even buying Groceries online

The greatest advantage with e commerce startups is that they require the least investment. Need for infrastructure capital expenses are almost nil. There are lots of cloud computing platforms online that support related services such as webhosting and Payment processing. With impetus given by government through its “startup India” mission, entrepreneurs can explore the e commerce space and make good money. So, all you need is an Idea on which you could build your e Commerce startup. Decide which product or service could be profitably marked online to consumers in your city or country

Come up with a good Idea: Idea is the base for any business. Hence, decide which product you are going to market through your e commerce startup. The product could be anything- You could sell used mobiles, organic foods, Recycled Green products etc. If your product is innovative, you will get more customers

Find Vendors/suppliers: E commerce is conducted over the internet but one ultimately sells a product or service. Hence, you need to find a vendor who will supply the products. For example, if you decide to sell shoes, you need to find a bulk supplier who would supply branded shoes of good quality or ones manufactured by him. Once you find a trusted vendor, you need to sign a business agreement with him. Inventory, logistics and tax are related issues that you need to look into as well.

Reach Angel investors: Angel investors are ones who have money in their hands and are willing to fund people having innovative business ideas. Government have given tax concessions to angel investors to encourage them to help startups. E-commerce start-ups have collectively raised more than $10 billion from private equity and venture capital investors since the start of 2014. Industry Stalwarts like Ratan Tata have invested in Startups in India

Crowd Funding: Funding is one of the major requirements for any Startup and sometimes, funds raised through conventional avenues may not be enough for an entrepreneur. This is where Crowdfunding comes handy. Crowd funding is the practice of pooling funds from a large number of people, mainly online, to help kickstart your business. Ideally, small amounts of money are collected from large number of people. If your business is good, many people might be interested to invest in you

Legal issues: You need to obtain your Tax ID number for conducting business. Make sure that you pay VAT/service taxes to the government. If you are unaware of the procedures, contact a business/legal consultant

Advertise your Business: Marketing your business is necessary to sell your products. The biggest advantage with e Commerce business is that people can easily find your site online through search engine results. This will reduce advertising costs. You also need to build your e commerce site to attract customers based on their preferences.

Build your own E Commerce Website: Internet is the very medium on which e Commerce thrives and hence, it’s necessary to build your own website. Your website must be rich in quality and customer-friendly. Today, many companies provide e Commerce webhosting services for free. There are also free payment gateways like Paypal. You can build your own e commerce site in no time

Tap the Mobile phone user base: It has been found that nearly 50% of internet users use mobile phones to search for products online. Hence, it’s important to tap this user base. Mobile commerce (m-commerce) has become a separate domain today. Hence, you need to customize your e commerce site for mobile users

Data Storage: Data storage is important for e Commerce. It is also useful for business data analysis. For example, you have to determine which products are frequently bought or which product is most searched by customers. This will be useful for marketing purposes. Cloud data storage is a good option for small e commerce merchants. Many cloud analytics software are available on the market

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