Beep! Beep! It’s time to move your business online (if you haven’t already). With the expanding infrastructure and driving internet usage, users are growing to become more reliant on digital solutions. Particularly, India has seen rampant growth in the number of netizens and the volume of transactions. With the incessantly growing interest in the realm of digital, it is only smart for businesses to enter the internet world and keep their business in everyone’s mouth.
As you start the migration, various questions strike your mind, and one of them is, “what is the best e-commerce platform for start-ups in India?” Fret not! To start your journey, you don’t need many resources; make a list of all the products and services you will be offering, and read on to understand how to select an e-commerce platform.
What is an E-Commerce Business?
An E-commerce business is a model where the selling and buying of products as well as services take place over the internet. E-commerce businesses transfer money and data digitally to handle online transactions. Many don’t know, but in 2021, retail e-commerce sales struck $5 trillion, and it continues to grow. If you are a skilled craftsman or an entrepreneur or have a small-sized business, you must have dreamt of starting your e-commerce store and building a business that brings you a sense of freedom and success. Well, you will learn all that in this post.
What is the importance of choosing the best e-commerce platform?
In this ever-emerging world of technologies, E-commerce has become an imperative part of all types of businesses. With the boost in their popularity, there is a fall in inflation caused by goods and services with the benefits of buying behaviour, cost saving, and competitive edge. Online buyers nowadays understand the convenience of purchasing through online stores and enjoy the aforementioned perks.
If you are still sceptical about taking your business to e-commerce platforms, here are three compelling reasons why you must create one:
Reduction in Costing: To run an online business, it isn’t mandatory for you to have all your products and services presented. Different brands operate digitally, where they have to share their complete inventory on their e-commerce platform. This suggests not only saving since you don’t have to rent a store or purchase a premise but everything involved, such as the energy bills, security, and whatnot. If you wish to create a space where customers can shop, the e-commerce platform is the place to be.
Runs on Fewer Risks: Starting an online store often means considerably lower start-up cost in comparison to other retailers. The digital business owner doesn’t have to take the high expenses of rent, hiring a team to woo the buyer, security measures, utility bills, and other things into consideration. This will allow the owner to sell the products at a competitive price. Having an online store enables you, as an owner, to enjoy increased profitability with fewer risks.
Expand & Broaden Your Business: Having an E-commerce store will help you widen your range of products and services, expand your business, drive more buyers, and diversify sales. It is perfect for moving your brand from a traditional brick-and-mortar store to a cutting-edge, accessible and well-loved business. With Ecommerce, there is no need for you to have multiple branches; one online store will enable you to reach customers globally.
What are the aspects one should look for in an Ecommerce platform?
Following are a few of the factors you must look for when evaluating an e-commerce platform:
Unique Features: Hosted e-commerce and e-commerce packages come equipped with a different set of features, which are heavily based on the kind of market they cater to. At the same time, an e-commerce platform must have standard e-commerce features like checkout, cataloguing, and credit card authorisation modules to be added as a part of the standard feature. However, one often has specific requirements that you must look or ask for in your situation/. This commences with understanding your own unique needs and then validating them against the features provided by the different solutions.
Time-To-Market: How long does it take to design, craft, test and release the solution? The timeline plays a key role, and it may vary, considering the complexity of your needs. It can be stressful when someone offers a blanket answer to this question about e-commerce implementation. How can you expect someone to predict that it will take three months to complete an e-commerce implementation without knowing the requirements? However, many sales professionals often jump the gun and give a standard answer. While custom implementation takes up a long time to complete, hosted e-commerce platforms offer a quick time to market for a business.
Ease of Migration: You have the data- customer information and products stored in one system, and in case of migration, it is easy to move data to a new e-commerce website. Some platforms offer out-of-the-box functionality that simplifies the process of migrating data from one system to the new site. However, things often are complicated with hosted e-commerce solutions. Custom implantation reduces the need for data migration since the custom-made system accesses your data directly.
Scalability Issues: How easy it is to scale an e-commerce site downwards or upwards should be another segment of consideration, especially when choosing a solution to go with. While this is a more hardware question, there are times when software may fail to handle large numbers of concurrent users at the same time. Ensure that your custom development or packaged solution will support a clustered server setup.
What are the top 5 E-commerce Platforms for Start-ups in India?
Shopify is one of the trusted eCommerce sites with millions of stores developed. This is the best and most acclaimed platform for small-sized businesses. Shopify offers an assistant that walks you through the basic setup, which includes customising the store, setting up payments, and adding your inventory.
– Marketing tools: discount system, coupon codes, email marketing system, and social media integration.
– Easy abandoned cart recovery
– Perfect fit for beginners
– Costly apps and themes
– Some add-ons are complicated
– Limited accessibility to HTML & CSS
It is an open-source e-Commerce platform from where you can download and update for free. You are not required to pay a monthly fee, and it comes equipped with a robust store management calibre, which states that you can make good use of its SEO, products, manage users/customers, coupon codes, orders, tax rules, and whatnot. OpenCart enables you to choose exceptional themes and modules to expand the functionality of your online stores.
– Free model platform
– Myriad E-commerce designs & templates
– Multiple store functionality support
– Steep learning curve
– Limited customer support
– Expensive add-ons and modules
Bigcommerce, as the name suggests, focuses on a large-sized company that is selling at a larger scale. As part of the onboarding journey, customers are prompted to set up taxes and automated shipping. This site comes integrated with payment channels like PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon.
– Integration with tools like Unicommerce
– Process orders hassle-free
– Enable us to provide coupon codes and offers in seconds
– Track the history of the customer’s wallet amount
– Can replace orders and process refunds
– The interface is outdated and requires a makeover
WooCommerce is a built-in store in WEEBLY that enables the customer to access the prebuilt store. The e-commerce store displays analytics in one dashboard for super easy access. In comparison to other platforms, this is considered to be the most sorted and user-friendly platform. It works great for those with development experience.
– High scalability & low shop cost
– Smooth setup via WooCommerce wizard
– Endless options for free & paid plug-ins and themes
– Not released in Germany
– Legal texts aren’t included
– Focuses only on the US market
Magento is one of the trusted and best e-commerce platforms where you can use open-source technology. This allows the users to control the appearance, functionality, and content of their online store without hindering the shopping experience. Magento offers various tools and features, such as advanced SEO, marketing, and catalogue management tools.
– Flexibility & Personalisation
– Built-in features & smooth functionality
– Mobile-friendly & large community support
– Complex architecture that requires technical support for customisation
– Demands expensive plug-ins & high maintenance cost
Benefits of using an E-commerce Platform
Faster Buying Procedure: Customers spend less time shopping for what they desire. E-commerce platforms come to the rescue for many buyers- the process of shopping is simple and quick. They can browse through hundreds of items at a time and purchase what they like. When online on the e-commerce platform, customers can find products available in physical stores that are far away or cannot be found in their locality.
Store & Product Inventory Creation: A product listing is what the buyer or customer sees when they browse your list for an item. This is one benefit of an e-commerce platform for sellers. The online business allows you to customize your product listing once created. Creating a listing here will take very little time; you need to fill in the product name or codes like UPC, ISBN, or EAN. Sellers add many images, product categories, descriptions, shipping fees, prices, and delivery dates. Creating your listing shows the customer what you offer.
Cost Reduction: One of the major benefits of e-commerce to businesses that keeps them interested and hooked on online selling is cost reduction. Many sellers have to pay quite a lot for maintenance; however, that is not the case in the e-commerce platform. Those who don’t are required to pay extra for rent, store design, repairs, inventory, and more. In many cases, after investing in stock, services, workforce, and maintenance, sellers don’t receive the profits or ROI that they look forward to. This is when the e-commerce platform works the magic.
Affordable Marketing & Advertising: Sellers don’t have to spend a lot to promote their products. The e-commerce realm offers affordability and faster ways to market online. E-commerce marketplaces are visual channels that allow sellers to showcase their products. Amazon sellers can rely on advertising tools to add infographics, videos, and high-quality images.
Targeted Marketing: When you sell online, you don’t have to pay anything to reach the mass, which can be costly. Your marketing budget is based on reaching out to specific audiences who are likely to buy or be interested in what you are offering. As aforementioned, you can customize and choose who sees your advertisement on online platforms based on demographic detail, keywords, geographic location, and hobbies. Unlike conventional shops, this is a better way to get an incredible return on investment for businesses.
To sum up, an e-commerce website or store is an easy, economic, and risk-free channel for you to sell products online. You can consult our professionals to have experts create a strong digital presence for your brand. If you have an ideal and smart business plan, sellable products and the right e-commerce products, you can have a strong online presence with great potential for chart-breaking revenue and sales.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Which e-commerce platform is ideal in India?
Amazon is the biggest online retail platform in India since it dominates the traffic in the metro and all tier-2 cities. The company is extending its seller support services to 3 tier cities, making online selling easy for local businesses.
What is the best e-commerce platform for small businesses?
Millions of small businesses in India opt for low-commission marketplaces such as Meesho and Shopclues. While Meesho offers a 0% commission model, Shopclues charges competitive commission rates.
What is the future of e-commerce in India?
The Indian eCommerce market is estimated to reach $188 Billion by 2025 and $350 Billion by 2030.
What will retail appear like in 2025?
By 2025, we may witness a sharp shift in customers’ buying habits. This will force businesses to adopt an online or maybe a hybrid model of selling goods. Start-ups and cutting-edge technologies will fuel this migration as buyers need modern services at competitive prices.