1. If you already own a business, and currently selling your products in the traditional market & now you also want to increase your current customer base by also selling your products online.
2. If you want to start a new business, where you don’t want to setup any physical store and just want to sell your products to customers all over the world through Internet?
This is the checklist that can help you to sell your products online in India:
- A domain name
- A shopping cart software / Website
- Web hosting (optional)
- Payment Gateway (online payment processing system)
- Online Marketing (optional)
1. Domain Name
Just like you have an address for your physical store in any area, so if you provide your store address to your customer, they can come visit your store and purchase your products. Similarly in order for customers to find your online store, you need to have an address online. Domain Name is the address for your online store. Eg: if I am a soft toys manufacturer in India with business name “FunZoo Toys” and if I want sell my toys online, then I might register an address on internet like “www.FunzooToys.com”
Just like you get a registered house number from your local authority, you need to register your Domain Name from a Domain Registrar. It would cost you somewhere from Rs. 350/- to Rs. 2000/- (or $7 to $25) per Year.
2. Shopping Cart Software / shopping website
This is specialized software that will help you to manage and sell your products online. This shopping cart software will allow you add new products to your website, edit the product details like, product name, product id, product price, product description, images of the products, product stock and other product attributes like size, colour, weight, etc…
Shopping cart software will make it easy for you to manage all the details about your products on your internet. You don’t require advance technical skills in order to work on shopping cart. Any one will very little technical knowledge like, if you can browse on internet, then you can manage this shopping cart.
There are 2 types of shopping cart software:
A. Self Hosted Open-source Shopping Cart
Open-Source normally is mostly free software developed by a community of developers. There are many such communities who offer this shopping cart software with basic features for free. Only if you need custom or additional features you will pay separately for each premium feature. The basic free version would work for most of the businesses. But you should have an IT guy friend or employee in order to install this software on your webserver and manage it from time to time.
Your IT guy has to update the software as and when new versions of software are released. So its like only if you / your friend / your staff has IT knowledge to maintain this shopping cart software, I recommend to go for this. There are many other technical considerations you need to understand if you want to opt for this. If you are planning for Open-source Shopping Cart and want to find more technical details, you can connect with me on facebook or twitter…
B. Managed Shopping Cart
Managed shopping cart is the opposite of Open-source free shopping cart. The software here is developed and maintained by shopping cart providers or companies. You don’t need to worry on upgrading the software or any technical errors. You can just leave the technical headaches to the shopping cart provider and can focus on running your business. These companies will charge you a monthly subscription fee for using their shopping cart services and sometimes like a small percentage of your online orders.
Managed Shopping Cart is normally recommended as you will not be wasting your precious time on technical issues, but if you have kind of budget limitation and has technical expertise then you can start with open-source shopping cart software.
List of Managed Shopping Cart companies: 1. MartJack 2. Prostores 3. Amazon
Web-hosting simply means the space where you store information about your products on Internet. It refers to the server space on the internet. Web-hosting is applicable only if you choose Open-source shopping cart or any other custom made software. The cost again depends on how powerful servers you need for your shopping cart. Starts from Rs.300/- or $5.
Webhosting is not applicable in case of managed shopping cart as you will be paying them a license fee, which includes the cost for software, servers & maintenance.
List of Web Hosting companies: 1. Hostgator 2. Blue Host
4. Payment Gateway
Payment Gateways allows the secure transfer of funds from customer’s credit card to your bank account. In order to receive the payment from customer’s credit card or his bank account to your bank account, you need to sign-up for a payment gateway , which is very similar to physical point of sales terminal what you see when you are making a payment at any physical retail stores.
Payment Gateways authorizes internet credit card transactions and deposits the funds into your bank account securely. They charge a transaction fee and the percentage varies from provider to provider and also on your monthly sales figure. Transaction fee ranges from 5% to 1.7% of total order.
List of payment gateway providers: 1. EBS 2. CC Avenue 3. Paypal 4. Times Money
5. Online Marketing / Promoting your Products Online
It’s not enough, if you just have a website with all your products listed. All the above points we just discussed will just be helping you setup the infrastructure which will allow you to sell your products on the internet. Unless your customers know about your products or brand, they won’t be able to come to your online store directly and purchase your products.
Since you are looking to expand your business by selling to customers globally, you need to make sure that when customers are searching online for products related to what you are offering, your website have to show-up. When customers want to buy any product online, they might not come directly to your website unless they already know about you, but how to attract new customers?
Mostly when customers have the need for any product, they go to search engines like Google or Bing and then try to enter the products in the search box, that’s when Google or any search engine will show them with about 10 websites that offer the products they are searching for. Let’s say your online store is the number one listing out of those search results. Customers will click on your online store listing and Google will redirect them to your website, where they will actually find details about your products and purchase them on your online store.
Wasn’t that Free Traffic from Google? But the challenge would be “How to get on to the top of the Google Search Results”? Wells that’s again a big topic called as Digital Marketing, but don’t worry I will covering those topics in details in my upcoming blog posts… Just in-case your want to learn in-depth of digital marketing and making your online store a great success you can also attend “digital marketing in-depth training course” or “SEO training course” from Digital Marketing Academy.
Keep watching… you can also connect with me on facebook or twitter or subscribe to my newsletter option, which will inform you about all my upcoming posts on “how to sell your products online in India”.