The ecommerce industry is paving the way in the next wave of change for the Indian economy, and if you’re considering stepping into its world of endless profits, the clock is ticking…the time to start your own ecommerce store in India is now.
How to setup an eCommerce Store in India?
Setting Up Store
I’m not going to go into detail about why you need an online shop. If you’ve already made up your mind and want to join the ecommerce revolution, congratulations, and let’s get started.
When it comes to selling online, you have two choices:
1. Sell on Snapdeal, Amazon, Shopclues, Flipkart, PayTM, and other marketplaces.
2. Sell on your own Ecommerce Website
Selling on Marketplace VS Own Ecommerce Store
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Marketplaces have more capital, better infrastructure, and more customers than traditional retail stores. They put a lot of money into marketing and infrastructure, as well as support and other important things. So all you have to do is upload/list your products and wait for them to sell. All marketplaces charges you some fee whenever you get a sale. It’s usually around 10-30% of the selling price depending on the category you are dealing in!
However, having your own store helps in the creation of a brand plus its more profitable. Here you are not competing with other sellers unlike marketplaces.
Having your own Ecommerce store gives you more leverage over inventory, marketing, and end-user experience as well. Marketplace may appear to be a low-cost alternative at first, but its hefty fees may become an issue in the long run.
What about a hybrid strategy?
Building your own store and getting more customers and orders from those marketplaces with the introduction of ‘Multi-channel Retailing.’ In a moment, we’ll discuss about multi-channel retailing.
Ecommerce Website Building Platforms and Software
You’ve decided to build your own Ecommerce Website and are looking for the best platform available. One thing to keep in mind is that none of the platforms offers flawless experience, and each has its own set of limitations and benefits.
Shopify and WooCommerce are the leading platforms when it comes to building an ecommerce website. And of both, shopify is my favourite and I will explain you why? Wix, Zepo, Magento and KartRocket are some common alternatives.
I am considering that you are a solopreneur or a small business owner and based on this I am going to recommend you the best platforms.
Shopify brief review
Shopify is at the top of my list of suggestions for a potential business owner. What is the reason for this? Since it’s the most user-friendly platform with a wide range of customization options. There’s no way around it. I adore this platform and will make every effort to avoid being a huge fan.
Shopify is a low-cost hosted platform (plans starting at just $29/month). You also get a 14-day free trial when you sign up for the first time. With Shopify, you don’t have to worry about anything, including design, production, and hosting.
To design your store, you don’t need to be a programmer or even hire any coder. You can set up a complete store in just a few hours. It has a large knowledge base, and the assistants are fantastic and happy to assist you at any time.
They recently introduced a feature called multi-channel selling. Now Shopify also allows you to sell directly from your Facebook Page, Pinterest, Other websites, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter.
It’s App and Theme Marketplace allows you to add new features or functionality. There are many professional themes and templates available on its marketplace for free or at a minimal cost.
Scaling and order management is super easy. When you get big, you can simply choose a higher plan and you’re done.
Mobile commerce is important as 90% of the sales comes from mobile devices, and Shopify has got you covered. Shopify’s themes are all super responsive, and the checkout process is optimised.
Advantages of Starting with Shopify
🔹It’s a lot easier to get started.
🔹Affordable Minimum Setup Cost
🔹Great Customer Support
🔹User friendly (Best user interface and easier to adapt)
🔹Tones of Theme & App
🔹Easy Order Management
🔹Can create up to 5 Staff Account and assign different responsibilities to each.
🔹Mobile devices Friendly
🔹Facebook and Google Ads Integration
Disadvantages of Starting with Shopify
🔸Not as much customizable as Woocommerce
🔸Very few Indian Payment gateways integration available
Shopify Quick Links
14-day Shopify trial
Top Indian Shopify Stores List
WooCommerce brief review
Type- Self Hosted
Indian Payment Gateway Integration – PayU and CCAvenue
You’ve most likely heard of WordPress and how easy it is to use for publishing. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that adds an eCommerce component to your website.
WooThemes has built it, and now Automattic company recently bought WordPress. Due to the WordPress integration feature and open-source design, WooCommerce has grown in popularity since its inception.
WooCommerce is a platform that is self-hosted, which mean you must host it on your own server/hosting account and manage it. Which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of WooCommerce and other self-hosted platforms are that they give you more control over your site, are less expensive than hosted platforms, and allow you to customise your site with unlimited plugins for almost anything. Because of this, it’s widely popular among experienced and big eCommerce companies.
Self-hosting has the downside of requiring the knowledge for setup, configuration and management, which is quite difficult for beginners. You must be aware of and informed about regular updates, plugins, and performance optimization, which are all taken care of by platforms such as Shopify.
When it comes to features, WooCommerce and Shopify are comparable. Choose Shopify if you are looking for quicker and seamless site management or WooCommerce if you are looking for a cheaper option.
Advantages of Starting with WooCommerce
🔹Cheaper than Hosted platforms like Shopify
🔹Customization options are plenty
🔹It’s easy to use
🔹Scalable with Addon Plugins
Disadvantages of Starting with WooCommerce
🔸WooCommerce has higher initial setup costs
🔸Requires more time in setting up
🔸Maintenance and Optimization needs to be done
Hosting for WooCommerce
SiteGround is the best hosting platform I have ever known. I have used Godaddy and Namecheap before and now using Siteground.
If you need excellent 24×7 support, a fast server, and a simple user interface at a reasonable price (starting at $4/month), SiteGround is a good option.
StudioPress is another option which provides hosting and attractive themes into a single bundle.
Resources for WooCommerce
WooCommerce Themes (Free or Paid)
Magento brief review
Magento is a bigger player. It is the most widely used platform by ecommerce operators. However, it is too large for small stores and not ideal for a one-man operation. The cost of setup is far higher than any other platform on this list.
KartRocket and Zepo brief review
They are a new Indian player attempting to become India’s Shopify. To be honest, they still have to go a long way to get close to their Canadian counterparts (Shopify).
Because of their close integration (Special pricing for merchants) with Payment Gateways and Logistics, as well as their Indian support, they are worth considering.
I’ve heard positive feedback about the Zepo team. I’ve never tried KartRocket but you can try can check for ityourself.
Shipping and Order Fulfilment
To deliver the product to your consumers, you’ll need to contract delivery service. E-commerce growth has benefited the shipping and logistics industry, and there are now several players available in this sector.
There is no sure winner in this competition. I’ll just make a list of the most famous logistic carrier with a website link so that you can contact their representative to get the best price.
If you are a beginner you can go with any one of these logistic carrier mentioned above. When you start getting more than 30 orders a day, you can opt for an eCommerce Logistics aggregator.
In the beginning, I discussed multi-channel retailing. Using those major players might be a smart way to create more sales and customers.
How do you go about doing it?
You can directly upload your goods to marketplaces and handle inventory manually in your store’s backend. However, since the task is difficult, we can have automation software to help us with it.
BrownT is one of the most well-known names in this area.