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How to Sell Online in India: Sector Profile and Step-by-Step Guide

Dezan Shira & Associates
Step-by-step guide on starting an online business in India and e-commerce trends and emerging business models. 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) allowed under automatic route in B2B e-commerce and in marketplace model of e-commerce. 100% FDI allowed under government approval route for e-commerce by food retail companies if the products retailed are manufactured and/or produced in India.

Spurred by increasing smartphone penetration, an expanding internet user base, and rising consumer wealth, e-commerce platforms have revolutionized the way business is done in India. Estimated to be currently at 25 percent of the total organized retail market, India’s online retail segment is projected to reach a 37 percent share by 2030.

The country’s online market appeal is significant: it has a large domestic market base, rapidly growing Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, a relatively young and trend-conscious consumer base, rising disposable incomes, several digital payment platforms, improving last mile logistics enabled by hyperlocal start-ups, and since the lockdowns last year – an accelerated preference for online shopping in urban areas through increased integration of e-marketplaces like Amazon, Zomato, Myntra etc. with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This behavior has also replicated on the growth on online business service segments like gaming and fitness.

Such growth trends and shifting consumer patterns create highly attractive opportunities for foreign companies that may have previously hesitated to enter the country’s traditional retail space.

How to sell online in India

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Step-by-step guide on how to sell online in India

Discovering market niche

The first step is working out what product(s) are to be sold and market research for the same. Once the cost feasibility is ascertained, it is important to create a digital catalogue of the products to be sold, which includes product code, product name, description, category, selling price, discount (if any), brand, color, and other applicable attributes.

Choosing a business model

Build own e-commerce website

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