Before getting into details about how to set up your own e-Commerce store in India, here are a few facts about e-Commerce trends in India.
- 50% growth was noted in e-Commerce market in the last five years
- 11 million people made online transactions in 2011
- 38 million people expected to make online transactions in 2017
- One among every six Indians is online
This series will help you understand the nuances of an e-Commerce store and outline some important aspects that need to be considered while setting it up, especially in India. The topics covered in this series include the following:
- Introduction – whats an e-Commerce store, how does it work
- Product – identifying your products, prices and categories
- Domain and emails – how it works, how are they priced, how to choose a domain and support email id
- e-Commerce platform – how it works, how are they priced, how to choose a partner
- Payment Gateway – how it works in India, how are they priced, how to choose a partner
- Courier Partner – how it works in India, how do they charge, how to choose a partner
- Marketing – how does it work, what are the channels (onpage seo, ofpage seo, social media marketing, blogs, email marketing), how to choose a partner
So let’s start with the first section.
e-Commerce Store: What is it? How does it work?
The latest buzz in town is e-Commerce. But what’s e-Commerce? In simple terms, e-Commerce refers to the use of internet to conduct a business or offer a service. With an increase in the number of people who have access to internet, the number of people who utilise such services has risen proportionally.
Some of the commonest examples of e-Commerce stores are ebay, flipkart, amazon, and snapdeal. One of the major aspects driving this practise is the ease of shopping over the internet. Given the amount of traffic noted on the roads in all major cities in India, people prefer buying over the internet rather than spending about 1-2 hours just to reach the shopping destination!
Next question would be how do these e-Commerce stores work? Broadly put, these stores act as a medium to convey your orders to the seller who would then fulfil it. Say, we have a clothing store displayed on the internet. To buy from our store, all you need to do is visit the store’s website, choose the preferred clothing from the products displayed, choose your payment option and complete the sale. We get an update about the sale that has happened along with the details such as the product chosen and the address where it needs to be delivered. We then get the product packed and delivered to your destination. Payment for such orders can either be collected upfront through a payment gateway (where the buyer pays the money using credit/debit card or netbanking) or at the time of delivery (popularly known as COD or Cash on Delivery).
The backbone of such an arrangement is a robust e-Commerce platform which helps the seller display all the products online and enables the buyer to choose what he/she wants to buy and complete the monetary transaction with ease (and securely).
In the next part we will understand more about choosing the product to sell through an e-Commerce store, deciding its price and category.
Next Lesson 2: What to sell online >
The author, Dr. Lirish Chinnappa, is the founder of CoorgShoppe.com, an online store that sells cool stuff from Coorg. He also moonlights as a dentist and writes for various technical papers around the world.
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