Talking of offline retail, 1000s of small aspiring traders are thinking of online, e-commerce, Flipkart, Amazon etc, very few are thinking about offline. But offline is not dead yet. It is still bigger than online. For certain product category yes Offline retail is dead. Like Books, Electronics etc. Surprisingly the distribution network is far ahead…
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En-cash your creativity online. There are 1000s of commodities meaning products you can sell online, e.g. clothing, accessories, mobile accessories like covers screen guards, batteries etc. Gift articles. But the biggest challenge is to have something unique especially for a tiny home based business. What could be that? Because if you for instance sell sarees as home…
Selling online with your own website
Selling on market place is not easy and every sell will have a commission attached, your own site will not have their rules and their commission
Nowadays this is not very difficult as well as not very expensive too.
You can build a website for online business for as low as Rs.20,000/- but the cost can go as high as few crores of rupees.
How? Rs.20,000/- to Rs. Few Crores?
Well, lots of factors involved here, the website that serves few lakh visitors and buyers at a time is built to handle that big traffic, and operations. And a website like this one where you are reading this article is built on a economy server, it’s hand-made by an average technically equipped person that’s me :), with very small size data or pages and images, and most of the technology is taken from free resources. If this site gets 100000 people logged in at a time – the site will not survive.
But let’s take an example of Flipkart – they have over 1 crore products (2014 data) meaning over 300,00,000 images stored and browsed, similar number of pages of information. The database of over 2.5 crore registered users. This needs lot of technology and resources, and therefore it takes a team of over 10,000 people.
The reason I am writing this is whenever we designed the website for some clients, they came with demands to match the features of these big sites. They did not understand that they are paying for a small general store that can not have features like a big shopping mall.
To build your own site – your tech partner or the webdesign company can use the ready to use free software like Magento, Opencart, ZenCart or Woocommerce. Over this free software the software developer can attach the features you need over and above ready and free features. However the ready to use online store hardly need any add on feature.Often it is unnecessary enthusiasm of the new online seller to look like a big website. Which is only waste of time and money. We had clients who wanted to build site like zara.com, HM.com etc for Rs.50,000/-, Zara.com is worth US$ 9,400,000,000.
The consequence is that we returned their money back and said thank you, and after 3 years the website says UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
New to online business?
For Indian sellers.
So finally you decided to start an e-commerce store or an online business, and for sure you must have decided what you are going to sell online. And if you are too new to this business let me tell you few basic things.
- For selling online in India, you need the VAT registration. (Do not get into any further research, you need VAT No. to sell online unless you are selling only in your state and your total turnover is less than 10 Lakh. If you are selling exempted goods like Books, you do not need VAT Regi. )
- To register VAT, you need an office – if you are too low on budget, your own house can be used or in case of rented house you need NOC from the owner.
- You can go to local CA to get this done, or visit www.vakilsearch.com or search in google for local TAX registration office
Now let’s talk about the actual online store. There are two ways you can sell online.
- Your own website
Marketplace (example Flipkart.com)
You can sell your stock on sites like Amazon.in, Flipkart.com, Snapdeal.com, PayTM.com and several other sites. These sites are called Online Marketplace, anyone can register and start selling. Further if you have a big stock, large volume-you can hand over the products to these sites, they will store it in their own warehouses and they will process the orders, you will virtually no do anything other than maintaining the accounts and counting your cash. And of course keep an eye on the progress.
Few sites like Myntra.com, Jabong.com work on contract basis, you can not register online and upload photographs.
How do you do business on Marketplace system.
Like you there are 100s and 1000s who are selling products on these sites, many are probably selling same product. There are 3 elements to survive and sustain here.
- Price competition (Discounts)
- Service Quality
- Variety/Range of products