Know this before selling food online in India

Know this before selling food online in India

India has emerged as one of the most promising market for online businesses. With steadily increasing internet penetration, Indians are buying a lot more than just electronics and books online.

In this progression, Food happens to be one of the major subdomains in this emerging e commerce market in India. Sellers are naturally attracted to selling goods that comes with frequent and recurring demand patterns.

According to retail consultancy Technopak, the online grocery retail market is growing at 25 to 30 percent in the metros and other large cities in the country. This is quite promising for aspiring sellers who want to expand their online footprints in this market and maximise their profits.

Grofers.com, Peppertap.com and bigbasket.com are the ones that are currently leading the online food selling marketplace in India.

If you also want to dive into this market, there are a few prerequisites to fulfill-

Registration with FSSAI-

A license from FSSAI or Food Safety & Standards authority of India is mandatory to sell your goods online. Merchants with FSSAI approval can only sell edible items online or offline.

VAT Registration-

Ensure you check eligibility for your product and obtain a VAT registration number from the local sales tax authorities.

CST –

CST will be levied when goods are moving from one state in India to another.

Important Parameters to consider when fulfilling online food orders-

1- Consider at what temperature the product needs to be kept throughout the fulfillment transit.

2- Invest in proper boxes, jars, dry ice, to ensure products are been delivered fresh.

3- Choose experienced fulfillment service to avoid late delivery, especially in the case of gifts.

Stock keeping and storage of food items calls for high-standard inventory management and well equipped physical distribution.  That is why it is essential to have an efficient inventory management software coupled with a capable logistic partner.

While physical infrastructure in still deficient in India with reference to Food storage and distribution, nonetheless, things are changing fast. Online sellers looking for greener pastures, can certainly rely on Food to be the next driver of growth.

Read the entire post in detail, and tips to come up with a great online store for your food business. 

Effective promotional strategies to increase visibility over popular marketplaces

Experts at Orderhive(a multi-channel retail management solution) does not only provide customized software to ease back-end processes, but also, understands seller’s concern and offers insights that could help them grow.

In one of our recent conversation with sellers who had gathered at a local event in India, the most discussed challenge by sellers, is the struggle they face to attract traffic and keep orders flowing in when selling over popular marketplaces.

Analyzing the process of leading marketplaces, I have come up with this blog to offer insights that could help small marketplace sellers gain a kick-start and grow successfully.

Firstly an overview of the leading online marketplaces

Amazon.com

This platform records with 294 million active users across the globe. Allowing sellers with wide product category range and in-house fulfillment services(known as FBA), Amazon offers separate websites for United States, India, United Kingdom and more.

Flipkart.com

A leading online marketplace, Flipkart is gaining increased popularity and is ranked 7th among the top sites in India. This marketplace also provides its sellers a fulfillment advantage(known as Flipkart Advantage).

“Flipkart F1-Stop seller support program” are attracting more and more small sellers, and Orderhive who recently partnered with this innovative marketplace model- will act as a help-line for small sellers to gain insights and perform better.

Ebay

Ebay allows its sellers to offer their services across 190 countries. This platform is increasing its importance among sellers as it helps them access a customer base who are ready to pay good for their products.

EBay believes in helping sellers improve visibility, hence, they have a listing limit for each of their subscription plan.

The above online marketplaces are growing rapidly, and, more and more sellers are trying their luck to be a part of their large profit-base. Yet, many are forced to shut their online stores due to poor returns on investments.

Instead of blindly spending hundreds and thousands of dollars for promoting your products, why not use features offered by the marketplace that are specially designed to help small sellers grow.

How do these marketplaces help small sellers increase visibility and sales for their online stores?

promotional-strategies (1)For Amazon sellers:

Amazon’s Sponsored product

Use Amazon’s “Sponsored Product” feature that allows sellers more control over products by increasing visibility in search results.

How does it work?
Sponsored products uses targeted ads that helps sellers increase their product visibility when any online shoppers searches for the keyword that you bid on. The best part, you only pay when an Amazon shopper will click on your ad and land on your product detail page.

Most of the popular product categories are eligible for the “Sponsored Product” feature. And  targeted ads appear under search results, in the right column on search results pages, and in an ad placement on detail pages, allowing sellers gain maximum exposure for their products.

For Flipkart sellers:

Recently, according to an article published by one of the leading news house in India, Flipkart has plans to waive out commission they charge sellers and push sellers to advertise over their platform.

“Product Listing Ad” feature

Similar to Amazon, Flipkart has recently come up with “Product Listing Ad” feature that every seller should adopt to increase product visibility and sales, both.

Product Listing Ads will make it automatically improve clicks for your products on Flipkart.com.

How does it work?

  • Select product and create an ad campaign.
  • Your selected products will be highlighted as “Featured Products” across multiple pages on Flipkart.
  • Buyer browsing across the sites will be promoted with your ads.

For eBay sellers:

Product Identification Code

eBay considers the products MPN, and GTINs- to help online shoppers quickly find for products they are looking for.

Including product identifiers such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs) or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) for products will help eBay sellers keep their products up in search engines and automatically increase their chances of more and more sales.

Listing Analytics

Another effective method to improve visibility for your products on eBay, is adopting its  “Listing Analytics” feature.

How does it work?

  1. Review and analyze key metrics of your product listings
  2. Know each of your products performance each time.

When selling on marketplaces, small sellers should focus more in using their in-built features which are specially designed to help them grow.  Such platforms are constantly seen to come up with innovative business models, all in an effort to help their sellers grow and increase overall growth for the marketplace.

For sellers who selling on other marketplaces, following are useful tricks that you can adopt to increase visibility

Offer personalized content

Content has always been the key for getting out products and services to customers, however, offering content in a selling tone does not help sellers divert traffic to their marketplace store.

Offering valuable content with a personalized tone are already helping eBay sellers boost sales. Similar to eBay, all other marketplaces encourages its sellers to come up with content that offers value to potential, as well as, existing customers.

Leverage social media

As mentioned above, excellent content goes in line with the distribution of content through your social media channels.

Facebook

This platform offers a feature called “Advertising on Facebook.” It allows sellers offer content, promote products, and divert traffic to their online marketplace stores.

Twitter

Twitter has evolved from a real-time information feed to a promotional platform. Sellers are taking advantage of it’s advertising tool to generate new traffic by promoting products and content to followers in their advertising arsenal.

Another remarkable feature, Twitter Ads are helping many sellers to increase click-through-rates, as well as, captures potential customers details which are later used in their re-targeting strategies.

Happy selling 🙂

Things to keep in mind while devising Facebook strategy for eCommerce business

With over a million of users, Facebook is proving to be an important tool for marketing your eCommerce business. This is because, it allows eCommerce business owners to regularly interact with customers enforcing brand messages. Therefore, Facebook is a must-go-to for all eCommerce business.

Marketing your eCommerce business and offerings using Facebook will help bring in new customers as well as retain existing ones. But, simply creating a Facebook business page and sharing content about your business and offerings is not enough. You need to have a Facebook strategy in place to succeed quickly.

The following five core strategies will help you streamline your Facebook activity and turn your Facebook page into a success story.

Facebook strategy for eCommerce business

1. Enable social sharing buttons

Simply depending on Facebook to get social may not bring out results that you are expecting. So, the foremost thing to keep in mind while devising Facebook strategy for your eCommerce business is enable social sharing button throughout your site. Facebook “share” button will make it easy for customers to share content and offerings of your business what they like. The more “share” you get, the better chances of sales opportunities.

Also, it is advisable to use a part of website’s homepage that invites people to “share” your Facebook account. Once they hit the “share” button, your eCommerce business account; or the page that they like will reflect in their activity feed which is automatically visible in their network too.

2. Share promotional content for those who “like” your business page

You need to keep the “likes” go on and on for gaining maximum visibility and business for your site. Your customer take time and share your eCommerce business account in their networks by liking it. Therefore, appreciating or thanking them with promotional discounts, content, coupon codes or gift vouchers will encourage them to spread a good word of mouth and you’ll automatically bring increase the number of “likes” for your business page. This social way of getting attention should be is a must-have for your eCommerce business.

3. Don’t forget to provide regular updates

Mélange is the key for social media. Therefore, it is crucial that you provide regular updates that includes images, content, links, about us section and others that are relevant to your eCommerce business. Also, it’s a good idea to regularly update your status. While updating your status make sure that they are relevant to your business and unique to get your audience engaged.

4. Consider adding a Facebook store tab

Don’t overlook the importance of Facebook store. Earlier you could only use Facebook as a platform for promotions, but today it allows you to sell. Facebook for business will allow you a very cost-effective way of providing an additional webs store. Considering a Facebook store tab on your official website is a must while devising Facebook strategy for eCommerce business. They offer multiple storefront themes, you can pick one as per your business needs and enjoy maximum visibility for your products and business too.

5. Don’t neglect SEO

Facebook is no doubt one of the most popular social networking site, but that doesn’t mean you neglect the SEO. You want to divert more and more people on your Facebook landing page or your Facebook store, therefore it becomes important to infuse SEO best practices for Google to identify you. Focus on appropriate keywords in your “About Us” page, product description and other content area of your Facebook account. Also, Facebook offers a URL to name your business, it is wise to use it. Doing this you’ll have your business name with the keyword Facebook in the URL, which will keep your business visible in search ranking.

In summary

Facebook is slowly proving to be an effective platform for promotion and now even selling too. Therefore, keeping in mind the above things will help you create an ideal Facebook strategy for your eCommerce business. To know more about eCommerce business and management system, you should visit – www.orderhive.com/blog.html

Purchasing Email List Can Ruin Your Brand’s Reputation

Leads that are purchased in return for big bucks containing huge database of email addresses which are said to be potential contact information.

What do you understand by purchasing an email list?If you are new to email marketing with aggressive sales targets, purchasing email list can seen to be a tempting quick fix to gain contact information and communicate your message. While tempting for some, email lead list services do more harm than good for a brand.

Unfortunately, companies are still paying big bucks purchasing leads and using them for marketing and sales campaigns. Maybe if they knew the bad part about the purchase email lists, they’d re-evaluate their outbound efforts and consider cultivating their own leads through inbound means.

Read further, to know how can purchasing email list ruin your brand’s reputation.

1. The data cannot be trusted

Every three out five competitors may happen to have the same list. So, companies who purchase email list can expect to have duplicate leads. This means those lead information and contacts may have already be used and through those leads even you contact the same people who may not want to hear from you who in turn will spread negative comments about your brand over their social networking sites.

How many unsolicited mails do you receive on a regular basis? I receive about two to five in my inbox per day, which is quite annoying and interrupts my day. Imagine blasting out thousands of emails through such leads can drastically arise a damaging effect on your brand, because inaccuracies in your data will cause the recipient to immediately question your credibility.

2. Low Response rate

Receiving an unsolicited email is like starting a conversation with a stranger on the bus. For instance, when you receive a marketing email from a company that you may have never heard of, you probably flag them as spam or simply delete it. Similarly, trusting your purchase email list and bombarding emails to those contacts may bring you low response rate because either the recipients are not sound with your company or service or the email address provided are of poor quality.

If you’re buying a purchase email list, keep in mind that the other vendors may have the same list, and even businesses elsewhere who bought the list, are also emailing these recipients. By the time you reach the recipients’ inboxes, those readers are going to be exhausted and annoyed by the barrage of unsolicited commercial email they’ve been receiving. This way you will not receive a positive response rate and also affect your brand value.

3. Hampers your IP reputation  

When a person doesn’t know why they’re receiving emails from your business, there’s a higher chance they’ll mark your email as spam or even get annoyed and report a complaint for such unsolicited emails.

For instance, if you purchase a 1,000-person list and receive just 1 complaint, you’ll most likely get a warning from your email marketing provider letting you know that you’ve been reported as having a high spam rate and to stop.

If you consistently get spam complaints, your account could either be temporarily blocked or your email provider may close it indefinitely. Your email deliverability could also drop drastically and your emails will start hitting spam boxes instead of regular inboxes, which is not at all a good sign for your brand.

4. Impacts sales momentum

Spending time and money on third-party email list is surely going to hamper your sales flow. You cannot trust the data to be genuine, hence you are not sure about the response rate. So, blindly targeting people, will bring in more complaints and negative feedbacks for your brand which in turn creates a bad impact on your sales momentum.

So, what’s the solution?

Purchasing email lists, you are unable to confirm it to be a potential source. Are you willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Instead it is always recommended to begin creating your email list from scratch using an email subscriber form on your website. It’s slower, but your response rate will be so much better!

Image Source: help.madmimi.com

How to successfully run an Etsy Shop?

If you are one of them who has a passion to design handmade products and are making few bugs selling it either in your friend’s circle or through an exhibition, then why not turn your craft into a more profitable business! Etsy is a devoted marketplace for handmade products where millions of people across the globe connect to buy and sell unique products. Offering an easy-to-use platform to showcase you handmade, vintage items and craft supplies, Etsy will allow you to grow your independent creativity giving a competitive advantage for the building a successful store! For all those people who would like to turn their art into profit-making business without even opening a store, then Etsy it is! Curious to know more about Etsy? Thinking it may be a good compliment to the way you’re marketing your craft business at present? Check out few tips that will help you successfully run an Etsy shop.

1. Do your homework before jumping

Many talented artists who have listed their handmade products on Etsy.com are wondering why aren’t their products selling. This is because they haven’t done their homework properly. So, if you are planning to open Etsy store, then you first need to well-educate yourself with Etsy policies. Also, you can connect with a support person during their set hours though Etsy’s live chat feature. Doing this, you can easily iron out kinks you may have in mind before actually starting with Etsy.

2. Create a name carefully

Etsy will not allow you to change your username once created. So, create a name carefully as it will accompany you forever. It is always recommended to choose a username same as you would like to name your shop. Unless you have a specific name in mind, you can always compare other sellers name in the search box that are leading in Etsy’s page. Try similar combinations, pick a good one and stick with it.

3. Add relevant images to your products

Etsy is an image-driven platform, so your product image will influence a buyer’s decision based on their needs, taste and quality of your image. You are allowed to showcase five images for each product that you list, so ensure you add relevant images to your products that are clear, creative and with proper close-up.

4. List your products in dribs and drabs

Listing all your products at the very first day will no doubt keep them up in Etsy’s search results giving you a competitive advantage to bring in more sales to your store. But, let me tell you your product ranking will go down in search results as and when new sellers upload their unique products on Etsy. So, listing products in batches day-by-day will help you keep your newly added products up in Etsy’s search. This way you have your products visible for a longer time.

5. Focus on keywords

Getting your Etsy products found on Goggle can be a hassle, but proper research and use of small niche words will be of a great help. Small niche words are found less on Google, but at the same time are less competitive. The smaller competition, the better the chance your products will rank in Google for a particular keyword. Focus on keywords that people interested in your products will search for and use Google keyword tool to get more relevant keywords and determine using the ones that are worth!

6. Informative “About us” page

Your “About us” page will influence may shoppers loyalty towards your brand. So being visible about your company will help shoppers determine whether to shop products from your site or not. The more visible your company profile and policies are the better sales you will experience. If you have beautiful handmade products to sell, then why not express that in words and make your “About us” page more informative, creative and influential.

7. Identify your market

Implementing marketing campaigns in general is a waste of time, cost and effort. Knowing your target audience makes it easier for you to target them and bring in sales. So, identify your audience in small segments and market your products to them rotationally. Or, if you have an online store and selling products since quite a while then analyze through past sales and track those audience that are interested in your product and who are actually buying them. This way you can identify your market which makes it easier for branding your Etsy store.

8. Brand your products and store

Once you know your target audience, you need to make your Etsy store and products visible to them. So, your branding method will be the most important source to bring in traffic. Your branding methods can include blog posts, social media, newsletters, and much more. Ensure you brand your products and store to the right audience at the right time for quick and better results.

9. Have patience

Once you brand your Etsy store and products, give time for customers to respond. Success doesn’t happen overnight. There can be days when you may have no sales but there can also be days when your may be flooded with sales. Sales can go up and down for no reasons. So stay positive during slow times and find out ways that can bring in sales!

In summary The above mentioned tips will no doubt help you, but continuously implementing changes to your store is a never ending tasks of successful Etsy store owner!

How to increase your ecommerce sales with minimal marketing?

How would you react if I tell you that you can increase sales with minimal marketing? If you are one of those many ecommerce retailers out there, you wouldn’t believe me. But, what I am going to share with you isn’t something extraordinarily and you may have already heard about it. Hence, if you have overlooked this concept earlier and are looking for an easy to understand tips for increasing sales with minimal marketing, then please continue reading.

How to increase your ecommerce sales with minimal marketing?

Tips to increase sales with minimal marketing

Tip 1 – Identify your sales sources

It is always recommended to follow a pattern for your sales. This will help you to easily track and analyze from where your sales are generated and which is the is the most-effective source. This way you can easily divert more time in marketing within those sources instead of marketing on other sources, which may not bring in sales. You sources can include social networking platforms, a particular city or state that generates more sales. Knowing this information you can improve your marketing tactics, focusing on the correct sources, which in turn will help you minimize marketing efforts and cost, while you maximize your returns.

Tip 2 – Target your key customers

Many ecommerce sellers undertake specific campaigns to divert new customers, but at times overlook the importance of customer engagement. Bombarding ads, emails, or links to people, is no doubt a good start for marketing, but the one who contacts you though emails or even comments in your brand’s discussion should be given more importance – as they can be your key customers. Focusing on people, whom you know, is keen to know about you brand will be of a great help rather than blindly targeting people. Therefore, ensuring that you deliver on all promises, even the simplest ones like returning a phone call, replying an email or even question will help you increase engagement with the correct customer, as well as save time, money and reduce marketing efforts, efficiently.

Tip 3 – Keep in touch with potential clients

Always remember, you can eliminate most of your marketing efforts and cost by keeping your eyes and ears open. Knowing your potential clients (partners, suppliers, friends etc.) and keeping in touch with them will help you identify correct marketing opportunities and save much time promoting your products and services to the correct people. It is suggested to implement a monitoring tool that will help you know where more sales are generated from and optimize your marketing tactic, promoting the right product  to the right source.

Tip 4 – Analyze and learn from others

With all information available over the Internet, it is better to analyze and learn from your competitors before you plan a marketing campaign. No doubt, competition analysis will connect you to so many advantages, but, only if done correctly. When executed incorrectly, competition analysis can consume more of time, effort and resources. And, you would not like that to happen. Therefore, it is always recommended to take time, research and understand your competitors strengths and weakness to figure out what are their marketing tactics and how can it give you competitive advantage.This way you can minimize your marketing efforts and cost.

Tip 5 – The most common, but the most effective, use 80/20 principle

It makes sense to concentrate one’s energy on successful outcomes, instead of bombarding in the dark, hoping to produce a positive ROI.

The 80/20 principle is most effective when looking at products sold. So, it becomes helpful when you analyze your sales behavior and promote maximum selling products on relevant products page. Or, even include top sellers at home page.

When it comes to monitoring specific times of the day and day of the week KPIs, you may see that a Google AdWords campaign generates the most sales on weekdays between 12:00 pm and 11:30 pm. Why not take 80% of the budget and apply it towards that particular time frame? The more specific a campaign is, the easier it is to measure and scale. This way, you eliminate your marketing efforts and reduce cost, focusing on the most specific campaign to boost sales.

Conclusion

Focusing on these tips will help you increase sales with minimal marketing- you don’t need to boil the ocean. For example, you know that maximum of your online referrals come from social networking site – LinkedIn, then spend maximum efforts on LinkedIn, and minimize marketing on the rest. That’s a smart and the most cost-effective of marketing.

How can online marketing help your offline store?

Today, visibility holds an important role for the success of any business. The more visible your products and services are, the faster you generate customers, in turn increase sales for your business.

With so many online stores offering products and services at a much reasonable price, people have changed their way of shopping, from traditional to virtual. You may have a chain of offline stores offering niche products and services, but having a bunch of regular customers, may no doubt, bring regular sales to your store, but limits your profit-margin. Today, the buzzword for any offline store is “online marketing.”

How can online marketing help your offline store?
Why online marketing is important for your offline store?

Many offline store still follow old business tactics, sticking flyers on transport vehicles or employing staff to hand out coupons, but let me you these are costly methods, having limited range, and in the end, environmentally unfriendly(flyers that you use ultimately goes in the trash). Instead, online marketing can be used to accomplish same outcomes, but with better results.

Effective online marketing tools and takeaways:

Global reorganization: Creating a business website will help offline store owners increase presence online. “Google” the best search engine allows any offline store owner to create a business page, which in turn can be found by shoppers from any corner of the world. For instance, if you have an “apparel store,” creating a business page with Google will increase your store’s presence in “Google search” and “Google Map.”

More traffic: Organizing events is one of the marketing strategy that an offline store woud implement, but doing it in a traditional way will make it a costly and hectic process . “Facebook,” one of the most preferred social networking site till date, has powerful online marketing tools. For example, if you own “software” store and you want to invite clients for your new product launch, “Facebook” allows you to create event page and share it within your network, targeting the correct group. This way you save yourself as well as your client’s valuabe time and money.

Effective promotion platform

Today, visual online marketing platforms are much in demand. Sites like “Pinterest,” “Instagram,” “YouTube,” with millions of active users, allows you to target potential customers through images and videos. For example, if you have a “eyewear store,” and you want to introduce new set of collections, then these visual platforms has the most effective tools to showcase your innovative collection through images or videos(your videos can be the making of your product) amongst potential audience. Also, with Pinterest’s “pin” feature, gives you an ability to highlight your products in a very effective way. The more people in your network “pin” your products, the more it gets visible online, increasing more chances of sale for that product.

Increase conversions

Including sign-up forms for appointments on your website will help you boost conversions. For example, if you have an “electronic store,” then you can use sign-up forms as a marketing tactic to attract customers for a free demo. This way you receive feedbacks from potential customers for your product and service, as well as enhances customer relationship.

Focus on potential customers

It becomes very important to focus on what your customers wants and things that promote your business. “Twitter” allows you to follow people, groups of your interest, and over time, the quality of what you share will help you grow strong followers who are your potential customers. For example, if you have store with “women’s shoe collection,” Twitter offers you “communication plan tool,” where your plan focuses your on topics designed to drive in potential customers and publish your tweets at the times you are most likely to engage people.

Partner with companies that promote your brand

Its always wise to tie up with brands of your interest, already having a mass of potential audience. This way you can promote your niche products and divert traffic to your offline store. Many offline stores use “LinkedIn” for this kind of marketing strategy. For example, if you have a store of “computer accessories,” LinkedIn offers you a tool know as “Sponsored Update Feature.” So, with this tool you can tie up with a company similar to your interest(e.g. computer), and promote you products to their target audience that will increase the exposure and reach of your brand. Also, you can determine the value and engagement of your sponsored updates through “Showcase Page” analytics tool in LinkedIn. This way you not only promote your brand, but also with proper analytics you can make better marketing decisions, targeting the right audiences.

Conclusion

Implementing online marketing will allow you to keep connected with new customers that are tech savvy; making customer retention easier. It is always suggested to any offline store owner to get social with the community, create a following host events, and engage with local consumers in an effort to stay top of mind.

You might also read: Must-have strategies for ecommerce marketing