The lucrative world of online business is inviting vendors from all categories to come and join the web for growing their business. If you are a seller thinking about diving head first in the e-commerce industry but don’t know how, there are a few steps you can keep in mind if you want to start your ecommerce setup. This will be the right time to hit the nail on the head, as everyone around you in frantically searching for gifts, products, offers and services.
The giants like Amazon and Flipkart has shown that there are plenty of opportunities for you to grow your business. According to the Economic Survey of 2017-2018, the ecommerce market in India was estimated at the $33 billion – a full 19.1 percent growth rate since 2016-2017! What’s more, the Nasscom Strategic Review of 2018 estimated the ecommerce market at $33 billion in 2017-2018 and claimed that it reached $38.5 billion, indicating a commendable growth rate of about 17 percent in the financial year 2018-2019, the Business Standard reported. But, did you know that these platforms are not the only way you can approach the ecommerce industry. Let’s see what other possible options you have.
The first thing you should do is understand the requirement and set up a plan. There are single vendor and multi vendor marketplaces. You have to opt for the most suitable option. Single vendor sites sells products to different customers but the multi vendor sites, sell different products to different customers. Through these sites, it is very efficient to keep track of the transactions and manage all of it with less administrative resources. It is essential to know that you can sell your own products or allow other sellers to sell products on your platform. You can make profits in the form of commission and profit margins. Following the requirement and the setup, you should move over to branding. This should not constitute the brand you are selling or the name of your business but the image you would like to portray and project to the customers.
On the technical side, the online business set up requires an EIN (Employer Identification Number), for business bank account and taxing purposes. EIN is a unique number that identifies your business. The following trail of paperwork includes DIN number, PAN and GST as well. But we will not be diving into the legal formalities. Let’s focus on the primary requirements at an operational level. On a side note, don’t forget to open a bank account on the company’s name. This account can be used in the payment getaway and the same can be used for refunds. It will become easy to analyse profit and losses on the B2C level.
If you are diving in to create a brand new website, you can either use a pre-built platform or you can build it from the ground up. Both the options have their advantages and disadvantages which you can weigh depending on the size of your organizations and the costing involved.
Profit and loss!
You have to remember that it is not just about generating orders but also executing them. Logistics are so important while building a brand image and carrying your name in the market. The shipping and returns along with express deliveries can be a lot to manage. Logistics is one of the major reasons as to why a lot of vendors prefer joining e-commerce giants rather than starting their own website. You have to provide tracking services, process customer service requests and manage canceled/ returned orders. If this seems a lot, you’ll need a lot of manpower to manage all of this. There is a possibility of mishaps while managing the logistics, if your products are lost or damaged, it will be you bearing the loss.
The last and final step is to understand how will you bring in customers, you cannot expect people to visit your website, you have to create the traffic. There are SEO’s at your disposal, along with other marketing options. You can place ads and run campaigns. More traffic means more brand awareness. The market suggest that the conversion is under 3% of the traffic. You have to do the math for the sales. If you want more buyers you need to create more traffic.
In this ever changing market, e-commerce has really cemented its feet as an essential medium to grow your business. Make sure that you are not the last person to join the party. The time is ripe and if you fall back, a few years down the line where the shopper is smarter and quicker, you will be too behind to catch up. Incase you are wondering that setting your own website might be a stretch for your business, you can always list your business with marketplaces. It is essential that you understand the hows and the what’s of the industry. You can grow from there. ')}