Tips about starting an Online Business in India

According to reports, up to 60% of people shop online in USA and up to 80% of people would have tried this experiences once in a lifetime Worldwide, as available. Shopping online has it’s benefits and minimal drawbacks, if its a purchase you made, did not meet your expectations. When you look to shop online, you have open market there for you, with many shops to explore and compare price. Most of all it’s convenient for people who are not able to make much time for shopping. India has one of the biggest market for online shoppers & I am sure many businesses would want to make benefit out of it.

Now, If you are a business man with shop in mall or any other shopping center and interested in opening doors of your shop to internet customers, I would say its definitely worth. It will clear the boundary of keeping your sell in shopping center only, and business will be open to people from all corners of country. But, does it cost too much? How is it worth if not generating expected revenues?

To start with, see how well your shop doing at your location. Now, if you can spare about Rs. 5000 a year to make your presence felt on Internet and draw more customers to your business, don’t you think it would be worth? To, start with think of your Internet Web Store as a visiting card for your local store with more detailed information about your products, shop hours, about your customer service etc. This idea alone is worth spending Rs. 5000 a year as a marketing/advertising cost that you can surely afford. Now, go step further, start accepting online orders for mail in delivery. Simple!

To have successful business on net, one must keep all product information clear, such as product photo, description, return policy/warranty/guarantee etc. Doing this, visitors to your site will become more interested in being your customers as they know that what exactly they getting, and how convenient it will be to get in touch with customer service in case they are not happy with their purchase. And, knowing that you are not home based business, having your local shop, they will know your business is legit.

So, how to start online business?

First of all, you will need Web host. Internet is like planet, and you need space on it. So, web host is a company who will rent you that space. Just like renting shop in some locality for example. If you try finding web hosts in India, you may feel that I must have missed putting extra couple of zero, when I said Rs. 5000 is all it will take. No, I have not forgotten. Look for Web Hosts from USA, if can’t find one that offers cheap services in India. You can easily get a web host with yearly cost of average around $70 a year, which will between Rs. 3000 to Rs. 3500 a year. And before picking web host, you think of name which relates to your business/local shop name to put it as a domain name. A name that anyone can type and reach to your website.

Most of the web hosts in USA offers free domain name as you sign up for yearly paid service. So, you will have name and space on net. Now, you will see your web host has simple software in control panels of your website, through which you can make simple web page for your site putting information and picture. This is the way you can do if you only want to put information. Now, if you want to sell online, you will need to find a shopping cart software.

There are many opensource/free software available online with many free templates to pick a look that you would like. For example -

Magneto – http://www.magentocommerce.com/
OsCommerce- http://www.oscommerce.com/
PrestaShop – http://www.prestashop.com/

And there are many more, simple and more advanced shopping cart software on net, you can select one that you will feel satisfied with. I understand that, you may think how I install all this without any knowledge. Well, If you know basic computer skills, I think you will be OK. All Information on how to use web host control panel, and install software, are given on website of your web host and shopping cart software. Just follow instruction and I am sure you will get it right (or drop your comment here, and I will send you in right direction).

Take few days, playing around your how shopping cart works, read its user guide and you will know how to add all information in it about your business, and products which you like to put for sale. Now, comes important part, how to accept payment online using credit cards? First, I tell you again, don’t fall for those web companies who offer merchant account and set you up to accept credit cards online for fee that starts from Rs. 25,000 and all other transaction fees, and yearly service fee etc.

Go for PayPal. It just charges you 3.9% of total sale value and $0.30 cent per transaction, which is way cheaper than those companies who currently offer services in India. PayPal is US Company, globally known, is legit and offers services in India and is safe for you and your customers. Your shopping cart software would have PayPal future built-in to it, so just enable it, after setting up your PayPal account and you will be good to go.

PayPal will handle all payment security part, so no headache whatsoever for you. This is enough information for you to make your presence on Internet. You still have roughly Rs. 1500 left, spend it for some computer class kid, who can help you out as you need in case you get stuck up :)

And, final thing, put your website name on your business card for your local shop so your local customers can also benefit from it. Remember, Idea is to keep your website clean, put all detailed description about your products. Don’t expect Rs. 5000 that you spending bring you lots of business from net only, think it as money invested for marketing of your business. Have a patience after it, and you will sure get benefit of it. Now, if you are home based business, than you can still follow this same tips, and those who wants to just start something without stocking any products from home, you can also research your local market for items you are interested in selling, and follow this tips and buy – sell – ship as you get order. Expand and Develop your website more as your profit grows.

Hope it helps, and any more information you need, just ask :)

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171 Responses

  1. Sendhil says:

    I would like to start the online e-store for Firecrackers. Whether i have to buy the license for the same or retailer license is enough. Pls. explain

  2. Aayush sharma says:

    hey i wanna start an online buisness with a bit cheap investment can i get an advisor to get back to me on my phone and give some benificial advice????

  3. ashish das says:

    an indian online business can use paypal only to receive payments from aborad. an indian business can not use the service of paypal to receive payments from inside india.

  4. ajay patil says:

    hey i wanna start an online buisness in india with a bit cheap investment can i get an advisor to get back to me on my phone and give some benificial advice????

    • Hatim Laxmidhar says:

      Dear Aayush, Sure, I can help you out. Please drop me mail [email protected] or call me +91 7875756519

  5. Kishor Kapdoskar says:

    sir, I am looking for some outsourcing work in India Baroda gujrat but that should be from reliable sources and if possible directly formUK USA. I can investment , manager peoples to get this work done. pl. help me how to go about

  6. kalpana yadav says:

    I am into party organizer business. I already have website, now I want to start online shopping on my website for balloons & party supplies. how I can go further & what are the scope of these product in indian market

    • India Mainly says:

      Since you already have a website, you just need to have to extended with shopping cart / online ordering functionality. Assuming you do have proper business license for your party organizer business, you do not need any further license. Regarding scope of business, its an opportunity definitely worth a try. You have your business, you have a website which can be developed for online ordering purpose, you don’t have anything to loose or invest in inventory. Give it a try.

  7. sunny says:

    hi, i have came across in ebay about Import Export Code and since then am confused. Which says the code is required if we are to sell goods internationally. the confusion is of two fold (1) Can we sell cigarettes and other tobacco (both Indian and Myanmar made) products online in their respective brand name. (2) is the Import Export Code necessary for both Indian made as well as for products from Indo-Myanmar free trade if i want to sell them online nationally and internationally at the sametime. with high anticipation for positive guidence thank you.

    • Hatim Laxmidhar says:

      Dear Sunny As per eBay policy, you can not sell any tobacco products. If you do, it will be violation of eBay policy and your listing may be removed without any notification. To know more.. Please read eBay Tobacco policy. http://pages.ebay.co.in/help/policies/tobacco.html Yes IEC is mandatory to list your product internationally, be it Myanmar. As per DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) applying for IEC is exempted. You may use permanent IEC to trade with Myanmar provided by DGFT. You may find more details of importing/exporting from/to Myanmar in below link. This link also have permanent IEC to use (The permenet IEC to trade with Myanmar is 0100000070). http://dgft.gov.in/exim/2000/procedures/ftphbcontentE1213.pdf Regards, Hatim Laxmidhar The Way It Works http://www.twiw.in [email protected]

  8. rexton says:

    Hi i will be starting a fileupload website which will involve paid services, do i need to register my business with some organisation ? and what are the legal regulations. Iam from chennai india

    • Hatim Laxmidhar says:

      Dear Rexton, If you are starting proprietary business (i.e you are whole and sole owner of that business) you do not need to register. What all you need is: 1) A current account with the name of the business. Or if its a home based then a current account with your name. 2) Rubber stamps of your business name 3) That’s all. :) If you are starting as partnership firm or a private limited company, you may need to register as per Govt Act. Please refer to below links for more details on Partnership/Private limited firm in India http://business.gov.in/starting_business/partnership.php http://business.gov.in/starting_business/pvt_ltd.php

  9. manikandan says:

    hi sir i am interested on online shop business i need ur help

  10. shari says:

    I want to start the online cloth store but my cloth sources in Malaysia . i dont want to hav stock in india as it involve cost so i only import the cloth once i get order … any advice

    • Hatim Laxmidhar says:

      Dear Shari Well.. You can surely do this. However, you need to take care of the time line. If you get the order today, then if you import and then ship directly to the customer. This process will defiantly take longer time. Nowadays, customers are expecting faster delivery. Therefore, it is always advisable to keep minimum stock with you. At least one piece of each item. However, if this is not possible for you. The another solution is Drop-Shipping. Please check with your suppliers whether they provide Drop-Shipping. In nutshell, Drop shipping means manufacturer or supplier directly ships to the end customer. To know more on drop shipping please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_shipping Please let me know if you need any further information. I will be happy to help. Regards, Hatim Laxmidhar The Way It Works twiw.in | [email protected]

  11. L.EBENEZAR MARK says:

    Hi sir im going to start a online business,its there i want to get permission from government

    • Shaik Hussain says:

      Yes you have to get permission from concerned authority to start online business. It Depends up on your business. Give me some brief info than i will try to give you some clarification.

  12. arun kumar says:

    hi i am interested in starting a business of packed sugar cane juice is it possible for any advisor to help me out with shell life of the packed juice and technical know how

  13. Pappu says:

    Sir I have designed online book shop website in Magento. Also products like perfumes and other some small products will be available. Now launching this website in next month. So please tell me licences require to start this business. Also please give review about Magento and any good Magento hosting company. Thank You

  14. Uday says:

    Dear Sir, I want to start online book lending library which I will operate from my home. I want to know the process which I have to follow like – do I need to take any licence? Any service tax? etc.

  15. ripon says:

    hi,i am thinking to launch an online store in India, i will trade only inside India, so i wanted to know which gateway should i take to receive payments as because an Indian business can not use the service of paypal to receive payments from inside India. plz help me out, Thankyou

  16. partha says:

    Sir I want do online affiliate marketing; with providing service of computer education. Customer who will buy computer course packege the can sell the package and they can earn through this system. Which type of license I may need to start this business?? Note: the package provide online only.

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