How to start an ecommerce brand from scratch!
How to start an ecommerce brand from scratch!
E Commerce is sure to be the next big industry which is rapidly growing without any sign to pause at any case.
According to Statistia, the Indian ecommerce market has rapidly expanded and growing at 6X year on year from 2014 to 2021.
It is also expected to grow even at 10X speed by the end of 2030.
Currently in India the online buying shift came to full pace with the outburst of Covid-19 Lockdown which forced everyone to stay in their home and as buyers were unable to purchase their desired items offline which made them shift to Online mode of Purchase.
Here’s an article from Economic times that says the impact and shift of buyers towards online mode of shopping.
During this period India direct to consumer or D2C brands saw a 10x growth in terms of their online sales and growth overall.
According to Livemint, Currently India has over 622 million online active buyers this number is said to increase to approximately 900 million by the end of 2025.
This shows us quite clearly that the growth in the ecommerce space is India is not just a one time show and will be continuously growing year on year.
And if you’re an Entrepreneur looking to start your own Venture then this is the right time to be in the India ecommerce industry and ride its growth curve.
Now the Question comes: How can you start your ecommerce brand in India and grow it to a multi million or maybe a multi Billion dollar brand ?
Indian e-commerce Industry is surely growing without any sign of pausing anywhere near but with this growth there comes fierce competition as well.
Currently the Indian ecommerce market is dominated by many Local and International brands taking up a huge chunk of the ecommerce market share.
So with this kind of competition you need to have a proper detailed plan to navigate your way towards dominating a particular segment of the market.
So here’s the step by step detailed guide for beginners who are just getting starting their journey of building an ecommerce brand in India.
1. Finding your Niche market segment
To find a perfect Niche for your ecommerce brand you need to find a perfect mix of Passion and Purpose.
Here’s one of my favourite quotes from Steve jobs “If you don’t love it, you’re going to fail”
Building an ecommerce brand that too from scratch ground 0 is quite tough. You have to go through many ups and down, some months you could find great wins and some you would lose.
So It’s quite important that even if you’re building a brand you must work on something you’re passionate + you also need to have a good purpose.
We have a detailed Article around how you can turn your passion into a thriving business
Click here to read the full article in detail
Now let’s figure out a purpose for your passion, you can also call it a goal towards which you will work and create a product that would be needed in the market
Let’s say your passion is baking cakes and candies. Your purpose/goal could be to make India healthy without compromising on the taste.
2. Finding the Problem or Gap in Current Market offering
This is one of my favourite parts which is to dig into the current market and find out the loopholes in it.
In the first point we figured out the passion aspect of it. Now it’s time to use that in action by finding the current market offerings.
Let’s say your passion is around Baking and the purpose is to make cookies healthy or something like that.
Now your first job is to find the brands who are currently selling products somewhere closely near to what your product would be once it’s ready.
Let’s go deep in the research I generally do it in this way let’s first find out
These are brands that are working on the same problem or have a product that somewhere resonates with you.
Let’s say you are planning to sell Healthy cookies then you should find a brand that does similar to what you do.
You can find them via the following ways mentioned below:
a. Simple google search
b. Youtube search.
c. Find them on Instagram hashtags ( ex – #healthycookies )
d. Check out marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart etc
Here are some Insider lesser know Tricks
e. Go on to any big brand social handle and like their page/ Visit their site do this for more than 3 brands for next 3 days and you will see ads related to such brands
f. Checkout tools like ads spy to find similar companies selling the same product
Once you find couple of them do a quick research on their best selling products that are nearly close to what you sell
(Pro Tip: Try to order them and see how they provide you the buyer experience )
Go through their reviews, 5-4 start ones for finding the best things , 3 start reviews say the best things that you would want to note down and also check negative reviews.
Once you get that note they somewhere do the same process for more than 5 brands. This will help you to find the loopholes.
The common loopholes could be regarding the taste, price , guarantee or offer.
3. Planning the prototype version of your final product
Now once you accumulate the common data points around different brand research we did in step 2 combine it together and try to add the best things in your product, add more important elements which are lagging and remove the points from the product which customers have often complained about.
Ex – While making healthy cookies you could add other nutritional elements that solves a particular problem and maybe give guarantees or better pricing.
To make your process easier we have a template for you that will help you to to it
The usage of the template is mentioned in it.
Once you will be done with the template you will be getting ready with the Idea about what kind of product you want to have for your ecommerce brand.
4. Build your prototype and get feedback
Now that you have planned your prototype it’s time to build the prototype and test it with your target audience group to get the correct feedback.
There are two ways of building the prototype
a) Build it by self – Let’s say you have planned to make a fitness brand that sells baking products like cookies and pastries etc.
Now for these products you don’t necessarily require a 3rd party supplier or manufacturer to build your product before you scale it. As these can be made by you.
Recommendation: If you can make your first set of prototype + Extra 50 – 100 pairs without any problem of materials or equipment setup to make the product then it;s better to make it by yourself.
b) Build it with help of 3rd party vendor – If you are unable to build the product prototype totally by yourself maybe because of lack of expertise to build it ( example shoes now you can design it but when it comes to building it requires separate expertise ), resources or equipments then you can find a 3rd party vendor that can do it for you.
Launching your prototype will also be done in two phases
a. The test prototype – This you can consider as a small beta test where you put all your observation and start building for a small number of people, maybe for a small group of maximum 15 -20 members
This will help you to check and make changes in product before you make them at a bigger scale and get a deeper feedback as these users will be a part of your Target audience group.
As there will be very few people you can give the product for free and sit them to ask questions on a very deeper level to make the product better and refindined.
Once you get all the inputs that are necessary and you fix all the details mentioned in then you’re set to go to the next phase of the prototype building.
b. The priced test prototype
This you can refer to as a mini launch where you can plan a product set of more than 50 products where your primary goal is to make them ready for the final set of customers.
This you’re doing for the purpose of product market fit, get content for your marketing campaigns and get the right pricing of your product that is accepted by the market.
If you are looking for a perfect pricing recommendation of your product then you can use our FREE product pricing calculator that will help you to price your product better
Here’s a link to it choose the wholesaler/Retailer tab.
5. Packaging and Pricing of the Product
Packaging is one of the most integral parts of any ecommerce brand as this is gonna be the most impactful touchpoint for your customer and most of the time the most cared, shareable factor too.
With better product packaging you can give a great customer experience to your customer.
Take Apple packaging as an example, it really creates an impact on your customer and your brand value.
We have a detailed video on Product pricing. Do watch it for more details on better product packaging.
Once your done with product packaging the next step is to look at the correct pricing
This is something you need to take a deep care about, India as a market is quite sensitive towards pricing of the product.
If you price the product correctly you can grow and scale very easily and if you do it in the wrong way you might lose customers, your margins etc.
Look at first at your cost of making the product and delivery of it, add your margins on top of that and once you’re done give a detailed view on competitor pricing too.
To help you further we also have a product pricing calculator so do have a look at it.
6. Building your Ecommerce store for your ecommerce brand
Now that you have all basic systems and your product in place your next job would be to build your ecommerce site to sell your products online.
Earlier building an ecommerce site was a really time taking and hectic process that would cost you a hell lot of money but now it has been super duper easy witty Typof.
You can create your ecommerce store in just a few clicks and that too for FREE. Neither you need to write a single line of code nor you need to take care of the backend of ecommerce operations like managing the order flow list, logistics management in different apps.
Typof makes it super easy to use and everything you need to start and grow your ecommerce brand.
Get Started by creating your free store now.
7. Launch plan and getting your First set of orders
Till now we have worked on our product, the prototype,pricing, packaging and our ecommerce website.
Now it’s time to create a detailed plan on launching the product to the market and getting those first few initial customers.
Getting your product in the hands of your customer is the real test of a product as well as the brand.
For that you need to reach the customers who would be able to buy your product and use it.
So to find those sets of customers you need to answer these typical questions.
Answer this question visualising the end customer in mind who would be using your product, would be happy with it, refer it to others and keep buying from you.
a. What’s the typical age of my customer?
b. Where are they residing? Tier 1 or tier 2 cities.
c. Why would they find my product helpful? Or why they would buy my product.
d. What things do they love to do in their spare time?
e. Are they working professionals, housewives or kids?
f. Which platforms would they be most active in?
g. What kind of influencers do they follow?
h. What type of content do they watch?
i. When would they use my product?
These questions will help you to uncover the details about your suitable customer even if you don’t have the data of real customers. We generally call it customer avatar or customer persona.
Once you get these questions now the next step is to find those customers and pitch your product.
Before pitching here’s a pro tip : Create a specific coupon and offer for the launch.
If you have created your Ecommerce store with Typof you can easily create any type of discount codes and offers
Here’s how to create a coupon code with Typof
Here’s a Dashboard view – In this navigate to the orders section underneath it you will find an option called coupons.
After clicking on the coupon button you can find all your coupons under one dashboard. Then hover to create coupon
Enter the details into the following fields to create a coupon
You can find your customers and reach the with following ways
1. By organic social media marketing
2. Promoting your products with Ads on various platforms
3. Promote your products with influencers
There are infinite ways to do it we will be covering this in detail in our next blog on customer acquisition for ecommerce brand ( Launching soon )
8. Deliver your orders to customers and gather feedbacks
Now after getting orders from customers now it’s time to pack and ship it to their relevant address mentioned by the customer.
For that you need to reach out to delivery companies who will be delivering your orders to your customers with safety and security.
For that you need to create manual orders on the platform after you get registered with them.
Now that’s typically a lot of manual work
With Typof you can do it all in one place without manually creating order pickups with India’s top delivery and logistics company in one place.
9. Ask for feedback and referrals
Once your order reaches your customer you can collect your feedback which is really important for you as a seller because these will be your first set of customers.
Don’t wait for too long generally after the customer has received the order, generally collect or get in touch with them within the next 3 days.
Here’s a simple process:
Order received by customer > Send them a WhatsApp congratulating them on their first purchase > Send them an email > Fix a time to call them > If the customer didn’t fix any time call them during the next 3 days.
And once you get the feedback from keep upgrading your product ( if required ) follow the same process and keep marketing your products.
Pro Tip: Your repeat customers will give you the real profits as an ecommerce brand
As a new brand you might spend actually high and acquire the first set of customers maybe in negative, so once you get those first set of customers try to get them to buy back from you
Want to Build your Ecommerce brand Build it with Typof ( An extended version of your team ) get the best of all ecommerce tools with proper support and step by step guidance.