How to start an online food and beverages store in India?
Here is your ultimate guide to sell food and beverages online! Read on to know how you can start an online food and beverages store in India.
The most important aspect of any food and beverage business is obtaining the required licences. This is applicable for all, irrespective whether you are a retailer or a manufacturer. Apart from local licences, obtaining the FSSAI number is mandatory for all in the food industry and can be applied online.
Decide on the type of food business you will be operating (as a seller or a manufacturer or both), finalise the place you will be operating from and obtain the necessary permissions and licences.
After you have accomplished these, you can decide the model of your online store. It can be started either in the warehouse model (where you store all the products in a single/multiple warehouses from where they are shipped to the buyers) or a dropship model (where you tie-up with different stores and ask them to ship the ordered product).
The next important aspect is tying up with a reliable logistic partner. Food and beverages are considered as perishables as they have a limited shelf life and need to reach the buyer within stipulated timelines. So it is equally important to choose the foods and beverages that you are going to sell online. Check out logistic aggregators such as gojavas during the initial periods or directly tie-up with any of the logistic companies. Almost all logistic majors now have an e-Commerce wing and are enthusiastic to rope in online stores. Other aspects to be taken care of include the packing materials, management crew and an office (or warehouse) to run the operations.
Once you have addressed all the basic concerns, next step is to finalise on the online store. With the availability of several e-Commerce platforms it is quite easy to set up an online store. Shopnix for example can help you set up an online store within a day! Choose a platform which gives you attractive themes, easy-to-use webstore interface, excellent service, user-friendly online store and is hassle free. Cataloging and listing the products is an important step in setting up an online store. Make sure you have excellent pictures (especially foods; what looks best, sells the fastest!) from a professional photographer for uploading on your online store.
Be active online
Online stores need both online and offline marketing, especially in places where food lovers (referred to as ‘foodies’) are actively participating. Make sure you are an active member of online food communities where members discuss queries and concerns related to foods and beverages. You should take part in discussions and answer any food related queries actively to ensure that the users not only acknowledge your knowledge about foods but also realize that you have an online store from where they can buy such products.
Make sure you interact with others who are in the business to learn, improvise and scale up your store!