How to Start an Online Business in India

Are you entertaining the idea of starting an online business in India? Would you like to learn how to start an online business from home? 

Starting an online business in India can turn out to be one of the best decisions that you will make in your life. It’s imperative to point out that the E-commerce market is huge and it continues to grow as time progresses. 

What does this mean? This means that there is plenty of room for you. There’s no reason for you to ignore this golden opportunity. 

If you would like to become financially independent, you should consider becoming an owner of an E-commerce website. You will be in place to sell goods and services without a high overhead. This will give you an advantage over many store fronts. 

Can you imagine how your life would be if your site generate thousands of dollars per month?

How to start an online business in India with low investment? We will now take a close look at the best online business opportunities in India. After you read this article, you will be ready to get started with your new and exciting business venture. 

A Realistic View on the Future of E-commerce in India

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The increase in internet penetration and smart phone production is helping the E-commerce industry expand each day. This is why it’s reasonable to say that the E-commerce industry in India is doing very well. 

Recent studies show that India’s online business economy will double from $125 billion to $250 billion within three years. When you combine this with the internet penetration taking place in India, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this is the perfect time for you to build an e-commerce website. It’s also vital to mention that most people prefer buying their items online these days. 

What are the Pros of Starting an E-commerce Business in India?

  • Increasing Demand. It may be hard for you to believe, but India has the fastest growing E-commerce market. Online marketing experts believe that the demand for online goods and services in India will continue to increase as time progresses. 
  • Many Wonderful Opportunities. FDI policies makes it easy for anyone to get their online business off the ground in India. Government affiliated organizations like Digital India and Startup India is being pushed by well-known market players. 
  • Start from Home. An online business allows you to sell various goods and services from the privacy of your home. You will not be limited. Simply choose a hungry niche, set-up your site, and start promoting. 
  • More Investment is Taking Place. Many E-commerce companies have recognized that more people are becoming familiar with digital terminology. This is why they are now investing more money into their virtual marketing campaigns. The digital marketing arena is an even playing field for everyone. 

What are the Cons of Being the Exclusive Owner of an Indian Based E-commerce Website?

Well, there is one con that you must keep in mind. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It will take time and hard work for your business to become profitable. 

Unfortunately, many aspiring online marketers give up before they reach their business financial goals. Please keep in mind that it could take several months for you to see positive results. Let’s examine what you should do and should not do as an online marketer. 

The Things You Should Not Do

  • Making Assumptions. This is not the time for you to make assumptions. You must do your due diligence. 
  • Study Your Market Carefully. This will help you figure out what your prospects are searching for. Once you recognize the demand, you can fulfill it with your product or service. 
  • Selling Too Many Products in One Market. Many novice online marketers make the mistake of selling too many items in the same market. At first, this may seem like a good idea. However, this approach will make it extremely difficult for you to build your brand. 
  • Failing to Develop a Solid Marketing Plan. There’s an old saying, “You must crawl before you walk.” Starting a new online business based in India is exciting, but you must develop a marketing plan before building your website.
  • Spamming Your Prospects with Multiple Pop-Ups. This is an annoying digital marketing technique. You will drive your customers away if you use this outdated sales tactic. 

The Things You Should Do

  • Make Sure Your E-commerce Website is Fast. It will be extremely difficult for you to get sales if your site is slow. 
  • Build an Email List. This will help you stay in touch with your sales prospects and regular customers. You can use your list for future promotions. If you fail to build an email list, there’s a strong possibility that your competitors will secure more sales in your niche. 
  • Use Quality Images. You must use quality images for your products. Your prospective customers will not spend money on your site if your product images are poor. 
  • You must be Professional. What does this mean? Your product information should include the price, description, and other important details. 
  • Study Your Competitors. There’s a strong possibility that you will have other companies selling the same product. This is why you must study your competition. Paying close attention to your competitors will help you find out what is selling well in your market. 

What are your competitor’s strengths? What are their weaknesses? Getting the answers to these questions will help you learn more about your business vertical. 

Let’s say that one of your main competitors is offering a discount on their product. This may be a sign that you should follow suit. Paying close attention to your competitors will help you compete for your fair share of the market.

Your competition can be classified into three categories:

  • Local Level: You are starting out at a grass root level. It’s important for you to know who’s selling the same type of product. You should reverse engineer their selling process and check out their reviews. Gathering these vital details will help you build a strong marketing strategy for your product.
  • Mid Level: This is the level where you are generating thousands of dollars every month. At this point, you are ready to take on stronger competition in your business vertical. 
  • High Level: This is the point where you have been in business for several years. When you reach this point, you should be ready to build an industry for your product. 

Now it’s time for us to look at the steps you must take to start an online business in India with no money. 

11 Steps You Must Take to Start an E-Commerce Business in India

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1. Develop a Solid E-commerce Business Model for Your Niche

When it comes to setting up a ecommerce business, you must set up a good model. Your business model should over the following: concept of your business, thorough market research, a good marketing plan, an effective operations plan, and professional financial planning. 

2. Select Your Service or Product

As a new ecommerce business owner, this will probably be the most important decision that you will make. It’s imperative for you to select a product or service that is in high demand. After that, you must choose a selling platform. You can sell your product or service in the marketplaces. Your product can also be marketed on your website. 

You will have an easier time getting your online business off the ground by selling your product or service in the marketplaces. You can leverage them to get sales throughout the year. 

Here are some of the most successful online businesses in India around today:

  1. Shopclues
  2. PayTM Mall
  3. Flipkart
  4. Snapdeal
  5. Amazon

Besides learning how to sell the platforms above, you must choose products or services in high demand. 

3. Perform Your Market Research

Your market research will help you see what consumers are buying in India. If you’re new to performing market research, you can follow the simple checklist below. 

  • Choose your product or service
  • Learn more about the demand for your product or service
  • Identify the competition in this niche or business vertical
  • Use customer surveys via in person or over the telephone to gather more important details
  • Try to find out if the market is in need of a new product or service

This checklist will help you conduct market research like a seasoned professional. Your market research will put you in position to be successful with selling products or services online in India. 

4. Get a Full Understanding of the Online Business Model

Now it’s time for you to see how much capital you will need to get your online business started. Determining the cost of operating an online business in India will be based on the type of service or product that you are offering. 

Here are the costs you must take into consideration: market research, web hosting, email marketing services, web developing, human resources, manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, marketing, rent, taxes, and accounting.

Calculating your costs accurately will make the entire process smoother. 

5. Rules and Regulations for E-commerce Business

You must follow legal procedures while setting up your E-commerce website. This involves choosing a structure for your online business. You can run a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited liability company. 

GST registration is now mandatory for e-commerce business. It’s your responsibility to get GST number for your Indian based E-commerce website. Regularly File tax returns and have a GST number if you have chosen a partnership, corporation or sole proprietorship.

You need a bank account to handle your transactions. You can get in touch with any legitimate bank, but you must make sure that your GST registration has been completed. Apply for GST registration online.

Now it’s time for you to get the legal permits and registration to run your E-commerce business. Check with your local or city government for more details. 

6. Create Your E-commerce Website

Here’s where the fun begin. At this step, you must create your website. Your website will be your selling platform. 

1. Register Your Domain Name

Choosing the right domain name for your E-commerce website is important for your success. Make sure you choose right one.

There are many domain extensions available like .com, .in, .org etc. I will strongly recommend .com. If you know your niche and audience very well then you can go for .in.

2. Choose Website Hosting Service

After getting your domain name the next step is you need to find hosting service and host your website on server.

You have a choice to make. You can go with a self-hosting website or you can outsource the hosting tag to an experienced web hosting professional. 

Is there a difference? With self hosting, it will be easier for you to be successful with a simple business based in India. This includes self-motivational coaching, content writing, and tips on online business.

Best Web Hosting Providers

  • SiteGround
  • Bluehost
  • HostGator
  • InMotion

I recommend SiteGround hosting for fast load speed. According to Google, website loading speed is an important factor for search engine ranking.

3. Choose Right Website Platform

Building E-commerce business is not just creating website and putting products. You need right platform to handle complicated tasks.

Top 5 E-commerce Platform

Woocommerce is popular free plugin for WordPress. Woocommerce now powers 380,000 E-commerce websites. 

You may be tempted to put your skills to the test by developing your website. However, you should consider hiring a professional web developer if you want to build a good brand and leave a lasting impression on your sales prospects. 

7. Creating Content for Your Website

Once you get your web hosting established, it is time to publish content for your product. This includes your company’s objective, photos of your product, and your complete bio. These things will make your visitors feel more comfortable to do business with you. 

You should also add a shopping cart, a blog, and details about your product.

8. Use Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization will help your site get a high-ranking in the search engines. A high ranking will send tons of visitors to your site. This will increase your chances of getting sales and loyal customers. 

SEO can help you get a sharp edge over your competition. Please keep in mind that on page search optimization and off page optimization hold their weight in the E-commerce industry. 

Use keyword tools to find the best keywords for your business niche. You can use SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner to get the job done. Both tools work exceptionally well. Once you have your keywords, add them to your website. 

External and internal links should be placed on your site. Your external links should come from authority sites like Wikipedia or other high-ranking sites on the first page of the search engines. The search engines will detect these links and reward your site with a higher ranking. 

Getting on the first page of Google and other popular search engines will catapult your online business in India. It can take months for your website to get a high ranking in the search engines. You must exercise patience while your website moves through the rankings. 

9. Implementing Your Marketing Strategy

It’s now time for you to take action. You must make an earnest effort to set up your brand for your targeted audience. The time-proven online marketing tips listed below can help you do this with ease. 

  • Online Press Releases. What are online press releases? This is where you introduce your product to the world. With online press releases, you are making a formal statement about your product. One online press release has the potential to send thousands of visitors to your website in one day. Sending out one online press release per month will do wonders for internet business. 
  • Unique Logo. A unique logo will distinguish your company from competitors. You should consider hiring a graphics professional if you are not capable of creating an impressive company logo. 
  • Email Marketing. We discussed email marketing earlier. It can help you build a bond with your targeted audience. You can use your email messages to inform your subscribers about new events surrounding your product. Sending one to three email messages per week to your subscribers on your email list can increase your sales dramatically.
  • Free Social Media Marketing. It would be a huge mistake for you to underestimate the true power of free social media marketing. This type of online marketing can help you market your product to thousands of people in India without spending money. 

Facebook is probably the most popular social media platform around today. Millions of people visit Facebook daily. This is why you should create a Facebook page for your company. It’s an easy way to get exposure for your company and your product. It’s realistic to say that one Facebook page can send hundreds or thousands of people to your website every day. 

Chances are that you are familiar with YouTube. This is another social media platform that gets millions of visitors every day. You can leverage YouTube to drive tons of traffic to your company’s website. 

Create a YouTube channel for your product. On your channel, you can create videos about your company and your product. Over time, you will get subscribers to your channel. If they like your product, there’s a strong chance of them becoming a loyal customer.

It’s important for you to create detailed videos and ask viewers to subscribe to your channel. You should also ask viewers to press the like button. This will help your channel rise in the rankings.

You can also create accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. These social media channels can send free traffic to your website. They will also give credibility to your E-commerce business. 

Being active on social media is an easy way of building a strong presence. You can market your product free of charge. 

  • Pay-Per-Click Marketing. Paid advertising can help drive targeted traffic to your E-commerce website. You can run Google Ads and Bing Ads. However, you must be extremely careful when you use pay-per-click marketing. Your account will be charged for every click. Make sure that you have enough money in your marketing budget for your paid advertising campaigns.
  • Build Relationships. Building relationships is the key to succeeding with an E-commerce business. You should build relationships with organizations dedicated to helping E-commerce businesses. They can give you vital information about your market. These organizations can also pair you with sales channels that will promote your product. 

A joint venture may also increase your product sales. You can feature a non-competitors product on your website. In return, they will do the same for you.

Why should you do a joint venture? It’s an easy way to get targeted traffic for your website. There are many companies that will be more than happy to form a joint venture with your company. 

10. Making Side Income with Google Adsense and Digital Marketing Partners

You can make side revenue by running Google ads on your E-commerce website. This is a simple way to make monthly passive income. You will be compensated when site visitors click on these ads. 

You can also promote digital items listed on Clickbank, ShareASale, or Commission Junction. These sales can increase your company’s annual revenue. For example, some digital items are being marketed for $49. Just imagine if you are able to sell 100 digital items at this price every month. You are looking at making an extra $4,900 every month. 

11. Get Ready for Growth

You will face new challenges while operating an E-commerce business. In short, it will be a new learning experience. However, this does not mean that you will not be successful. 

Testing is critical to online marketing. You must test the different marketing strategies listed above. This will give you a chance to see what works and what doesn’t work. 

As we stated earlier, you must pay close attention to your competition. They will leave clues for you to follow. Following their lead will help you avoid making critical mistakes that can hurt your profits. 

Your E-commerce business will grow over time. You will not become a millionaire overnight, but you will be able to generate a full-time income from the comfort of your home within several months. 

How to start an online business in India with no money? It’s not unusual to see this question posted in dozens of online marketing forums these days. The steps in this article will help you get off to a great start. 

You must be ready to work hard if you want to be successful. Fortunately, there’s enough room for you to get started today. 

Are you ready to start online business in India? Let me know your thoughts and feedback on comment section.

Good Luck!

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