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How to start an e-commerce business in India?

With a stunning CAGR of over 35%, India's e-retail market has already reached Rs. 1.8 trillion (US$ 25.75 billion) in FY20, and it's only getting started.

By Neha Yadav
New Update
E-commerce business in India

E-commerce business in India

As Bill Gates once said, "If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business." This statement rings true now more than ever, especially in India, where the e-commerce industry is booming.

Indian E-commerce Industry Market Share – 

With a stunning CAGR of over 35%, India's e-retail market has already reached Rs. 1.8 trillion (US$ 25.75 billion) in FY20, and it's only getting started. Analysts predict that within the next 5 years, the online Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) will skyrocket to US$ 100-120 billion, thanks to the explosive growth of the e-commerce industry and the projected 300-350 million online shoppers. 

India is poised for further e-commerce growth. How?

Policy Support –

  • 100% FDI is allowed in B2B e-commerce.
  • 100% FDI under the automatic route is permitted in the marketplace model of E-commerce.

Increasing Investments – 

  • The recent rise in digital literacy has led to an influx of investment in E-commerce firms, levelling the market for new players to set up their base while churning out innovative patterns to disrupt old functioning.

Attractive Opportunities –

  • In 2022, the Indian e-commerce market is predicted to increase by 21.5%, reaching US$ 74.8 billion.
  • India’s e-commerce market is expected to reach US$ 350 billion by 2030.

The likes of Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal have shown us the vast potential of the e-commerce market. These giants have become as big as they are today by understanding and experimenting with the endless possibilities of e-commerce. And the good news is that you too can join in on the action and start your own e-commerce business.

But before delivering into the details of how one can start their e-commerce venture, here is a detailed SWOT analysis of the industry in India’s context. 

Strengths – 
  • Availability & ease 
  • Global access 
  • Startup friendly 
  • Easy discounts 
Weakness – 
  • Consumer mindset 
  • Lack of communication
  • Generation gap
  • Costing challenges
Opportunities – 
  • Endless opportunities 
  • Technological help
  • Marketing strategies 
Threats – 
  • Competitive 
  • Digital fraud 
  • Data privacy 
  • Government regulations

Now, let us take you through the most important steps of building a successful e-commerce venture –

Step 1: Decide on the perfect business plan and model. 

There are two types of business models to choose from - a single vendor or a multi-vendor e-commerce store. It is important to note here that you can choose to sell a unique product/s yourself (Bewakoof, Odd Giraffe) or allow other vendors to list themselves and sell their products (Myntra, Flipkart)

Pro tip – Spend time and resources on building a pitch deck and a business plan that will help you across the board. 

Step 2: Brand your brand. 

Once you have narrowed down your product offerings and target audience, the next step is to come up with a perfect name for your brand.

Pro tip – Need help finding the perfect name for your brand? Visit Namelix – a business name generator you can use for free.

Step 3: Register your e-commerce business. 

To do this, you'll need to apply for –

  • Director's Identification Number (DIN)
  • Permanent Account Number (PAN)
  • Digital Signature Certificate. 
  • Goods and Service Tax (GST) certification
  • Shops and Establishment Licence, Professional Tax (PT)
  • Provident Fund (PF) with the respective Provident Fund Organization. 
  • Certification of Company's Incorporation, where your company will be officially registered under the Company's Act, 2013.

Pro tip – Startup Pedia can help you navigate you way through the preparation of these documents and make them functional.

Step 4: Open a bank account. 

Once your company is officially registered, you will need to open a bank account in the official name of the company.

Pro tip – Did you know that once your business is officially registered, then banks themselves contact you to open an account with them? 

Step 5: Build your e-commerce website. 

When setting up your website, you can either choose a pre-built platform or build one from scratch. Building a website from scratch is usually the more favoured option as it provides greater flexibility and customization options.

Pro tip – There are many places where you can build your website for free using a range of templates. The most popular ones are – Wix and Carrd. Additionally, if you want to get a personalised and dynamic website or App for your business, you can reach out to Build With Innovation at 7678330040 & 9599663545.

Step 6: Set up a payment getaway

You need to set up payment gateways for your online business to become profitable, as it will allow the processing of credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and cash card transactions through the e-commerce website.

Pro tip – Consider using PayTm for Business or Razorpay, as they are easy to set up and offer guidance in a seamless manner. 

Step 7: Arrange logistics 

This step is essential to carrying out a successful e-commerce business in India. Logistics refers to the process of shipping an order to a customer or transporting an inventory to a merchant. This process also keeps track of the shipped goods which are in transit until they are delivered to the customer in question.

Pro tip – eKart, Bluedart, Delhivery, Expressbees, and Shiprocket are some safe and tested platforms that offer logistics services. 

Step 8: Get traffic on your website 

After all, is said and done, you need to get users to your website, here are some ways –

  • SEO marketing 
  • Accurate keywords
  • Advertisements
  • Retargeting 
  • Promotions 
  • Word of mouth

Pro tip – Startup Pedia can help amplify the voice of your business across social media platforms. 

In conclusion, the e-commerce industry in India is thriving, and starting your own e-commerce business could be your key to financial success. By following these steps and taking action, you can make your mark in the world of e-commerce and secure a bright future for yourself and your business.