By the end of this article on 'How to start an online store (2020)', you will have a fair idea on how to start an online store and the basics of getting your business online.
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Let’s face it. If you have a product to sell and you are not online, well my friend, you are missing out on a lot of business.
With almost everything and anything you can think of going online and being digital, setting up an online store is more a necessity these days than being just an option.
Why restrict your audience and reach to only the local market? Start selling out of town, out of the city, or even out of the country.
And do you need to be physically present in all these locations? No way! And that’s what makes the online business so lucrative. It’s the thought of reaching out to a massive global audience, right from your doorstep.
Yes, there is work involved, there is a fair amount of backend operations and managing that is required. But hey, you are saving on infrastructure, cost towards personals & salaries, local body permissions, etc., and a whole lot more.
Now, before we get into how to start an online store, it is important to understand the scope and market size of eCommerce in India.
As shown in the above graph, ehe e-commerce industry across India is estimated to be worth around 200 billion U.S. dollars in 2027, a significant rise from about 64 billion dollars in 2020.
Unsurprisingly, a growing digital population, expanding beyond the country’s urban centers spent an average 224 dollars per user in 2017.
The increase of smartphone users was directly proportionate to the growth in the e-commerce sector.
Here is another report from the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), as shown above.
The e-commerce industry been directly impacting the micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME) in India by providing means of financing, technology and training and has a favourable cascading effect on other industries as well.
The Indian e-commerce industry has been on an upward growth trajectory and is expected to surpass the US to become the second largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034. Technology enabled innovations like digital payments, hyper-local logistics, analytics driven customer engagement and digital advertisements will likely support the growth in the sector.
The growth in e-commerce sector will also boost employment, increase revenues from export, increase tax collection by ex-chequers, and provide better products and services to customers in the long-term. Rise in smartphone usage is expected to rise 84 per cent to reach 859 million by 2022.
E-retail market is expected to continue its strong growth, by registering a CAGR of over 35 per cent and to reach Rs 1.8 trillion (US$ 25.75 billion) by FY20.
If all this isn’t enough proof, what else will prove the point that eCommerce is big and is set to grow even bigger. And if you are not online, you surely will be missing out on a huge opportunity.
7 Advantages of Running an Online Business
If all this isn’t proof, what else will prove the point that eCommerce is big and is set to grow even bigger. And if you are not online, you surely will be missing out on a huge opportunity.
If you are starting off with your online venture, you needn’t go all out all at once. Take baby steps. Especially if you are like a fish out of water in the online space.
As a small business, you may only need an email address to communicate with your clients, customers, and your suppliers. As you get a hang of the online business, your supply chain, your logistics, delivery, payments, etc., you could then consider building your online store.
This is typically a step taken when you have tasted success with your product, and you find there is a market for your product.
Here are a few advantages of why you must start an online store.
1. Wider Reach
As indicated earlier in this article, why stick to your local crowd when you have the potential to reach a global audience. Your products are available online and thus the reach is far greater than your local store. And opening an online store allows you to test new markets. And honestly speaking, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain with business increasing from a new market destination.
2. Always Open
Unlike your offline store or shop, your online store is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Your online store works for you even if you are on vacation or you are asleep. Even if you were to consider the current pandemic which we all are facing, with your offline shop or store closed, wouldn’t you have been able to generate business, if you had an online store? This is another big advantage of why you must start an online store.
3. Online Business Can Be Automated
With a bit of trial and error, you’ll be able to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. And once you know this, you can automate a lot of the processes. With various lead magnets and email autoresponders, you can be in constant touch with your clients. Send them offers, vouchers, coupons, etc. You really needn’t be spending time sending individual emails, etc. All these can be set on autopilot.
And you would agree to the fact, engaging with your existing clients is imperative for repeated business.
[Related article: Online Marketing Solutions to Help Grow Your Business]
[Related article: A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing (2020)]
4. Cost Savings. Low Overheads
Consider having a team across various cities around the world. In addition to the team, the infrastructure cost as well. Will our small retail store be able to handle such costs and overheads? For sure we can’t.
And that’s another huge advantage we can leverage on. With tie-ups and associations, we can partner with various firms and companies to take care of logistics and shipping. In any online business, if you can master the shipping, delivery, and customer care, you will be a huge success.
5. Work From Anywhere
Don’t we all love this aspect of an online business?
With systems set up and going completely online, it really doesn’t matter where you are. As long as you have your laptop and internet connectivity, your business goes on. All you will need to do on a regular basis is to monitor the inquiries and coordinate for the product delivery. Which, honestly, doesn’t require your physical presence.
6. Improved Customer Service
If all you had to do was monitor the inquiries and coordinate the shipping, you have time on your hands to manage the customer service. And thus, there is a much-improved sense of accountability when you are personally handling customers directly.
7. Faster Delivery
When you do get into the online space, you can tie up with various courier and shipping agencies who have in turn partnered with popular carriers for shipping and delivery. You tie-up with them and work out a percentage of the sale.
Provided below is a comparison between the three of them
ShipRocket has four subscription plans: Lite, Professional, and Enterprise. While the Lite plan is free, ShipRocket charges a fixed monthly fee for the other plans. With the Professional plan, you can ship for as low as Rs 23/500 gm.
ShipKaro has three subscription plans: Individual, Business, and Enterprise. While Individual is free, ShipKaro charges 1499 and 2999 respectively for the other plans.
ShypLite has no subscription plans. You pay for what you ship. The shipping rates start from Rs 38 for shipping within the same city.
Flat rate for most of the orders and COD remittance thrice a week.
Weekly COD remittance.
ShypLite charges 2.30% of the order value.
PIN code coverage
- ShipRocket: 26000+
- ShypLite: 14,000+
- ShipKaro: 20,000+
8 Step Checklist on How To Start An Online Store
- Step 1: Identifying a product to sell
- Step 2: Evaluating your idea
- Step 3: Sourcing your product
- Step 4: Research & Plan
- Step 5: Register your business legally
- Step 6: Setting up your store
- Step 7: Launch your store
- Step 8. Promote your store
12 Best eCommerce Platform to Start an Online Store
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