The relative success and popularity of online payment sites such as eSewa also have encouraged many to tap the e-commerce opportunity. However, dreaming of starting an e-commerce business is one thing and getting the entire Eco-system in place is quite the other. We look at some of the basic requirements of starting an e-commerce business in Nepal:
Choose a product or a piece of work you want to sell. If you are already a store owner or a shop keeper, you may not get stuck on this part.
The Online Store
There are various ways to obtain an online store. If you are willing to invest fully, you may have your own customized online store. WordPress and Joomla provides various plugins and modules to help you build your own store. Magento is a popular e-commerce business platform and can be a good choice. However, in case you are just starting up and want to be away from technical parts and also when funds are a limiting factor, you can set up your store with online applications/tools or e-commerce hosting sites such as Shopify, Bigcommerce etc. For competitive rates, these sites offer basic services that you may require to set up an online shop – services such as uploading your product/services catalog, shopping carts, payment procedure, handling queries and online orders.
Further, you should customize your online store so as to reflect the real company. This means, the logo, color schemes should be in complete co-ordination. This is not necessary when your only public interface is your online store. A Tip! Make your store mobile friendly, so that it loads easily onto a smart phone.
The Payment Gateway
Payment on delivery can be a good alternative but for ease online Payment Gateways can be preferred. Payment Gateways are of two types – One, your own Bank itself which provides its own payment gateway. The other, third-party services which tie up with many banks to provide a gateway such as eSewa, iPay etc.
Rates of these providers vary and hence, you need to do a proper market research on the provider that suits your requirements the best. Consult with tech-experts for better idea payment gateway providers and their integration on your online store.
Specify Terms & Conditions
With growth in business and so many online stores vying for customer ‘footfall’ plus offering discounts, competition is tough in the net world. Further, customers can be easily dissatisfied with poor store layout, payment problems and unclear terms of services. It is therefore imperative to specify the delivery/shipping terms, the returns policy, etc. so that there is no ambiguity in case of a sale gone wrong. Having said this, make sure that the terms and conditions are not unreasonable so as to scare away prospective customers.
Promoting Your Store
In this digital age, you cannot only depend on traditional marketing tactics to spread the word for your e-commerce business. What’s more, with an online store, it make more sense to tie up your marketing efforts digitally, thus leveraging the benefits and visibility offered by platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube. Adding these channels to your core business will get you digital virility with minimal cost.
With the creating, setting and promoting your online store, you must learn every tricks involved in maintaining it. No better way than to make channels of feedback so that you can improvise on the way. Set up your feedback form. Let your customers be your analyzing agents in order to find out functional anomaly in your online store.