It was about 4 years ago, that S. Prithvirajan, K.P. Jayashree, and Sanjay Dattatri came up with a novel idea to open the first-of-its-kind store in India which would focus exclusively on fulfilling the needs of the senior citizens of India.
Shivani and Yatin Sharma, the proud owners of 1Click Arts, have created a marketplace for all the artists who have their art to showcase before each and every art lover.
Shivani puts it across beautifully, when she says, “It’s not about Hussain or Souza or Raza, it’s about thousands of them gone unnoticed – They never found a name because they never were found.”
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you do not need to worry about manufacturing or sourcing of the products. You don’t have to worry about delivery or customer service or other regular operations of an e-commerce site.
Also, running an affiliate site means that you are able to choose the products and make money on commissions. So if you are good at product selection, marketing and few other things, then you should start your affiliate business now.
However, if you are not great but still are keen to make a lot of money with affiliate marketing, then you should continue to read this article. You don’t need any technical expertise for this. All you need is some knowledge of how the internet and basics of ecommerce. Rest will be covered here.
Every business wants to sell online and if you are an entrepreneur or a wanna be entrepreneur and want to sell online, then you have to read this article in detail. It will definitely show you the path on what to consider and how to start your online business.
The 5 Essential Steps to sell online.
Email marketing is one of those topics that has been discussed at least a gazillion times but it is surprising to see people fail at the basics of email marketing in at least 70% of the emails I receive on a daily basis, if not more. When I try to think about the reason on why this happens, then I realize that it is probably due to the lack of clear set of expectations from email marketing, lack of understanding of target audience, and lack of understanding of why people actually click on an email or buy after clicking on one.
Can you guess the magnitude of contribution of fashion industry in today’s e-commerce scenario? Out of the estimated USD 11bn worth of e-commerce market in India, the fashion industry alone contributes a whopping USD 559 million. Numerous large, medium and small enterprises come together to huge sector, one such contributor is Priyanka Swahney who owns LolasCloset.in.
Priyanka has had a special inclination towards art from the start.
She loves dancing and fine arts. She has studied accounting and finance but felt the need to do something more creative and out of the box. Hence, she started working at a social media marketing firm after graduation and eventually found Lola’s Closet a year later.
When asked about her love for fashion, Priyanka says “Ever since I was a child I had a keen interest in fashion and I’ve always been experimental with my style. I’ve always been into high street fashion and street style fashion. Though I appreciate the designs and fashion that luxury brands and high-end designers have to offer, everyday high street fashion is more my thing”.
Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Start-up entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats while working on projects. They have to focus on a lot of aspects while launching their start-up venture, like to establish a proper growth strategy and building their team and supporting it. In most cases, they are also managing the marketing aspect too. Mostly marketing isn’t a founder’s speciality because they are more inclined towards the product. This is where Start-up entrepreneurs make the same unavoidable mistakes.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
– Seth Godin, Author and Entrepreneur
It usually takes an extraordinary idea with a perfect blend of talent and investors to launch a start-up venture. Travel and exploration were the igniters that led Shalini Manish, an ex-defence officer, to start an entrepreneurial venture. Shalini is a travel enthusiast who wants to make a difference in the world of art and culture. She says “In our travels across India, my husband and I have come across a plethora of unique crafts, products that would suit the taste of a connoisseur and yet be reasonably priced”. She found great artisans in remote villages making amazing handicrafts, apparel and curios, and that’s how she felt the need to bring them to her friends. Thus, Wowshoppe was created.
Shalini has an amusing but realistic approach to being an “Entrepreneur”. According to her, women are born entrepreneurs, even those whom we address as ‘housewives’. Women as “housewives” handle finances and budget of the house, education and sports of children, housekeeping and garden, provide lip-smacking and healthy food to their family, manage travels and vacations, laundry and its upkeep, renovation and maintenance of house, playing the welcoming hostess at parties, attending parent-teacher meets as part of social relationship, They deal with perhaps the most difficult employees i.e the maids, local vendors etc. And still they find time for all the family members. Shalini says that “The sense of responsibility and multi-tasking comes naturally to every woman. That’s why women entrepreneurs are even more successful than men.”
The WOW Team!!
The WOW team consists of defence personnel, her family members and aspiring women who are enthusiastic and seek work-life balance. Taruna Verma who is a food blogger at easyfoodsmith.com, Shivi Ahluwalia and Sucheta Bannerjee who conduct craft classes. Mrs Swadesh Wahi and Mrs Renu Bidani, who are above 70 but their art and craft speak for them. Jessica is just 18 and she handles the exhibition team. Shalini says,“Jessica’s ideas are innovative and fresh. Namita and Rinku represent the Namrin brand of WowShoppe. Jagrutiben is an artist from the JJ School of Arts. The team is yet growing.”
In future Shalini plans to have artisans on-board from every state of India, and WowShoppe having a recognition for its quality nationally and internationally.
E-Shop as well as Offline Stores
The WowShoppe team has 3 dimensions of sales i.e. physical stores, exhibitions and an online store, all complementing each other to boost the sales. WowShoppe has 2 physical stores in Nashik, one in Deolali Army Camp as a factory outlet and the other in Soma Winery, Nashik, as a Franchise Store. Shalini says, “We are soon coming up with Franchise Stores in other locations too. We have an online store, physical stores and we conduct exhibitions in various places. The response is so overwhelming that at the end of the day we are rejuvenated to try and do more and more.”
About Online Handicrafts Industry
Shalini thinks that e-commerce will complement the handicraft industry and will benefit the buyers and artisans. Most of the artisans are still limited to their place of work. They don’t get the exposure and the right price for their art. The buyers don’t have the option to search and buy the handicraft easily. The only few stores which are available, cater to a particular demography.
She says, “The artisans and the buyers both are happy with the revolution in this field and it has a lot of untapped potential. E-commerce and handicrafts’ trend has made it convenient to reach even the international market.”
Partnership with www.easyfoodsmith.com
When asked about the collaboration with easyfoodsmith.com, Shalini went on to praise Taruna Varma and said, “Taruna Verma from our team is an MBA, she handles social media and various vendors, but her skills are limitless. She is a writer, an artist, a photographer, a chef and a food blogger at easyfoodsmith.com. The cuisine website is hers and she has been felicitated with many awards by national and international food fraternities, which is commendable”. Shalini feels that adding easyfoodsmith.com to her website has aided her in sharing easy and healthy food recipes with all viewers and readers.
For a Social Cause
The WowShoppe team promotes tribal art, products by blind schools and artisans from rural areas. The artists from Wow Team provide training to the women from economically backward sections and help them in earning with pride. Thus, they are also doing their bit to support our Honourable Prime Minister’s “Made in India, Make in India” drive.
The WOW team also conducts exhibitions for social cause and provides part of the profits to NGOs.
Kudos to Buildabazaar.com
Shalini says, “Whenever anyone starts a new business, everyone wants the best. I had read and studied about all the e-commerce platforms, had spoken to so many entrepreneurs already in this field, analysed and compared the services and pricing and finally I decided to go for Buildabazaar. Life is much easier after that as I get good support from the team, I have a dedicated project manager to handle my account.”
When asked Why BuildaBazaar, Shalini candidly says, “BuildaBazaar was my first and the only choice as every other platform lacked something or the other. BuildaBazaar provides the complete solution right from designing to post selling. Their team has developers to logistics experts and a great back end support.”
While signing off we asked Shalini if she had any words of motivation for other aspiring women entrepreneurs and to that, she said, “Follow your heart, go for it”. Her mantra for motivation goes as “Khudee ko kar buland itna, ke har taqdeer se pehle, Khuda bandey se khud poochhey, bataa teri razaa kya hai” which means ‘Elevate yourself so high that even God, before issuing every decree of destiny, should ask you: Tell me, what is your intent?’
Last week we shared about the basics of social media marketing, but now is the time when we discuss about something which is really essential for your e-commerce venture. If you have decided to sell online, then you need a way to collect money for your products and services.
So, here’s an attempt to help you to get you through the process of selecting a suitable payment getaway for your e-commerce website. Below is a bit of information and basic insight about payment getaway.
First of all, we need to be clear about the terminology called payment gateway.
A Payment gateway is one of the most useful means of authorizing credit card or other forms of electronic payments for an e-commerce website. These payments can be made online via a website or at an actual brick and mortar retail establishment. Payment gateways protect sensitive information like credit card numbers and other account information by encrypting the data they transmit to merchants and payment processors. This helps your customers to do easy and convenient transaction and it is a safe and reliable option for your e-commerce venture.
There are some points which you need to remember while choosing your payment gateways. They are as follows
1. Get An Idea About How You Want The Checkout Process To Work.
All payment gateways do not function the same way. There are two types of Payment gateways and it is very important that you know the difference between both of them.
Hosted & Non-hosted Payment Gateways
A hosted gateway means that it will take the customer off of your store’s checkout page. Once the customer has paid, the customer will be redirected back to your store’s to finish the checkout process. The most popular hosted gateway is PayUMoney.
What if you do not want a customer to be directed off of your store? In that case, you will want to choose a non-hosted gateway. A non-hosted gateway allows your customers to enter credit card information directly on your checkout page.
The Process Of Choosing The Perfect Gateway
Well, when it comes to choosing between hosted and non-hosted gateways, it all actually comes down to your market and what kind of business you are doing. Many customers are willing to use a credit card while others may prefer the security of an online payment account such as PayPal.
2. Have An Insight About The Difference Between Merchant Account And Payment Gateways.
It is very important to know about the difference between the terminologies when it comes to e-commerce. A payment gateway can approve or decline the credit cards as well as online payment alternatives such as PayUMoney or CCAvenue accounts. People often get confused about the e-commerce term “payment gateway” with a similar term called, “merchant account.” A merchant account is where funds are held before being deposited into your bank account, the payment gateway’s role is simply to decline or approve a transaction which is done by your customer.
3. Documents Required To Avail Your Gateway.
To avail a payment gateway for your website, you need to provide a certain set of documents. The basic documents which you need to provide are KYC and Undertaking. KYC includes identification proof, address proof and bank statement. Although the list of required documents may vary from medium to medium. But you have to keep in mind and be very sure of your requirements while choosing the perfect gateway for your e-commerce website. You should also know that every type of registration needs a different set of documents according to the requirements.
4. You Have To Be Sure Of What Type Of Products You Want To Sell.
Always remember that whatever you do on your website will influence on the brand of your product. So, before you decide upon the products, you should do a complete market research as it gives you the idea about what you are getting into. There are a certain providers who don’t allow you to sell certain products. There are a certain products which cannot be easily sold online like e-cigarettes. For that, you will need a different type of payment gateways. There are some that allow you to sell physical products. So if you are selling ebooks or other digital content then you need to examine potential gateway providers for restrictions on products.
5. Look For A Mobile Responsive Option For Your Gateway.
Nowadays, people prefer shopping online through their mobiles. It might become a big turn off for your brand if the payment gateway site, to which the customer gets redirected to is not mobile responsive and it might result into a bad reputation for your brand. So, please be specific about having a mobile responsive payment gateway.
If your payment gateway is not mobile responsive then your customer might just leave your website without buying the product as the nonmobile responsive page might not give him a perfectly user-friendly experience. So, please ensure that your payment gateway partner offers you a solution which enables your customers to have the best possible user experience, giving them every reason to come back in the future irrespective of the device they use.
6. Secure Socket Layer Is A Must Have
Secure Socket Layer, which is majorly known as SSL, is a certificate which your e-commerce website needs to protect the personal and financial data of your customers. It is a certificate which ensures safety on your site for financial transactions.
An SSL certificate can be purchase by you with a little bit help from your web hosting provider. It costs a set amount which you pay per year and it is worth every penny you pay as it ensures the safety of the financial information of your customers.
7. Shopping Cart Is An Important aspect
Shopping cart is one of the most important aspects of your e-commerce website. With the help of shopping cart, the customer is able to select items which they desire to buy and the shopping cart automatically calculates the total cost inclusive of the shipping and handling charges and taxes. After that, when the customer places the order, the customer is taken to the check-out where he or she is asked to provide his/her payment information, which is then collected and managed by the gateway as described above.
8. What Should You Expect When It Comes To Charges
It is very important to educate yourself about the charges for having a payment gateway. There are a few common charges associated with a payment gateway such as setup and transaction fees. This varies from provider to provider, so you’ll need to do a proper research what each gateway charges. Some may only charge a transaction fee while others may charge a monthly on top of a transaction fee.
9. Take Care Of Security
In 2013, 60% of organization were exposed to actual or attempted payments frauds. So Before we even consider anything else we have to talk about security. Showing your potential customers and customers that you are serious about protecting their sensitive data is very important for your long term success. Every payment gateway provider has to meet minimum criteria to be certified by Visa and others. This level of security should be considered a starting point, and nothing more. But anyhow, We can’t stress and ask you to research well enough before considering any payment gateway providers. Thoroughly investigate security with each potential provider as it is solely for the reputation of your venture.
So, we hope we have guided you efficiently through the intricate details of payment gateway in order to help you to take your e-commerce venture to new heights.