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. 

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How can Google Merchant Center help you boost sales?

With Christmas just around the corner, I’m sure you are trying to rejuvenate your product listings/offerings to attract audience and sales for your eCommerce store.

What is your product promotional strategy?

Creating an excitement among customers and updating your listing as per the customer’s needs can help you increase engagement and purchase actions on-the-go.

Google Merchant can prove to be a time-saving and effective tool to manage your products listings and make changes anytime during the year.

So, why not add this service to your promotional strategies and enhance your product visibility during the upcoming busy selling days of the year and beyond.

How does Google Merchant work?

Google Merchant allows eCommerce business owners to easily upload their offerings/product data in Google, making it available for Google shopping marketplace and other Google services too.

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Use Google Merchant Services to boost Holiday sales and beyond, how?

You may consider digital platforms for promoting your products; however, not being able to earn satisfactory returns on investment (improving click-through-rates for your store) can stop you from growing.

So, how can Google Merchant help?

1- Make your products look unique and stay up in ranking

Even though you are selling antique products with high profit-margins, not making it accessible in a way that could offer value to customers may not influence them to shop from your store. And, dealing with some best-selling products you need to ensure you make your products available to customers who already have multiple options for their purchases online.

What can Google Merchant do?

Google Merchant Shopping Listing service will allow you to showcase your products as per the demand of customers. For instance, considering the ongoing Holiday Season updating your listing to a seasonal layout can automatically make the customer feel special and encourage them to engage with your products further.

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2- Influence instant purchase decisions

Once you manage to attract customer’s eyes towards your products, it’s important you allow them access to a trust-factor for to increase trust for making purchases from your brand. You may come up with a personalized description for your listing; however, showcasing brand value( based on ratings) may stop customer’s giving a second thought to shop from your store.

What can Google Merchant do?

With Google Merchant Product Ratings service, you can integrate public reviews and encourage happy customers to rate your product, and with the increasing number of star ratings for your products can automatically influence new customers to purchase decisions on-the-go.

3- Attract audience geographically

Sellers surely try and expand their online selling reach among customers across the globe, however, having an ability to target local audience can help you easily spread trust and increase more and more sales even after the holiday season.

What can Google Merchant do?

Google’s Local Inventory ads service will allow you include geographical tagging and ensure your store product information is up-to-date. Having an ability to showcase accurate product pricing and availability information can encourage customers in the area to step in your store for making their Holiday and future purchases.

4- Enhance your online store’s visibility

You may sell over multiple marketplaces and digital platforms; however, not having an ability to divert audience towards your online store may take time for potential customers to get familiar with your brand name.

What can Google Merchant do?

Google’s Multichannel Funnels Data service will allow you gain reports of those audiences who have entered your store via your referral links for which you may be paying per click conversions. Why not retain such customers that can help you re-target them directly and encourage them to more purchases from your store?

5- Get a chance to re-target customers

Running promotional campaigns to attract new audience can be costly and slow performing process; however, having an ability to target your repeat customers by suggesting relevant products as per their choices can help you increase your loyal customer base.

What can Google Merchant do?

Google’s Dynamic remarketing feature can help you showcase customers with products based on their previous action taken by them in your store. This can be a helpful solution to encourage those customers who have already shown interest with in store and encourage them to complete their previous transaction and make more purchases from your store.

Wrapping up

Whatever you sell, make it stand out

Google Merchant Services can help you land your products on the first page of Google, which in turn, will automatically boost sales and conversion rates for your store.

To start managing and promoting your products, I would suggest Google Merchant Center can be a cost-effective source for promoting your products and store.

Thinking to sell on Sears? Here’s what you need to know

Sears is a marketplace where a large community of sellers can sell anything they find unique. That’s why shoppers find a wide range of products in Sears pocket which includes Home appliances, gardening tools, baby products (furniture, gears, clothing, and toys), beauty products, home living, fitness, outdoor tools and supplies and more.

Sears

Behind the Screens

Like other famous brands, Sears opens up it’s eCommerce store to a large group of sellers who want to directly sell their products to millions of customers. Interesting point of this marketplace is, the sellers can be from any business group, be it a manufacturer, retailer or buyer himself.

Despite recent financial loss, Sears is still one of the most popular brands in United States.  Every month, Sears gets an average increase of 16 million unique visitors which is really an extraordinary achievement in the ecommerce world.

(Source: nChannel)

Why is Sears the most popular brand of US?

Consumers get all these benefits when they shop from Sears:

  • Earn points: Consumers earn points when they shop from any Sears stores and can redeem those points in the next purchase.
  • Enjoy convenience: They can track their orders and communicate with the sellers online.
  • Secure shopping: Sears does not share customer details with any third party seller. Only contact information and shipping address is shared to the seller to fulfill the order.Sears.com basically wants that consumers should build up trust while they shop from the marketplace. Plus, they focus more on customer satisfaction. The customer can contact Sears anytime through Order Center if they are not satisfied with the services or seller’s product.

    One more thing, “Have you heard about U.S shipping?” This is the recent buzzword on the Sears.com. Being an international brand, it’s more focused on how to benefit  international consumers that don’t live in USA because it is quite difficult for them to take the advantage of the best offers going in the USA marketplace. With USBuyGo, now it’s possible. They can shop for any product at discount price from Sears website, get the US address from USBuyGo and enjoy the shipping for free.

Rules and Regulations of Sears.com

Sears works more or less like Amazon. It provides similar kind of selling and shipping facility. Sellers sell their products alongside Sears products. Sellers who do not have resources to process the orders, Sears does for them.

Sears follows the same procedure like Amazon for charging the seller. It takes a percentage from a seller’s transaction and a small monthly fee for enrolling in the website.

The Cost levied by Sears.com

Below is just a summary, other costing details can be found here.

  • $39.99 per month to sell on Sears
  • An additional amount of $39.99 per month to process the orders.
  • Surplus commission fee for fulfilling process.
  • $39.99 monthly fee will be waived if the sales do not reach to $400 for the month.

The negative aspect

No negative aspect is seen which can stop the sellers from exploring Sears. It’s just that a small transaction fee is waived if the sellers fail to reach the target. No overhead cost… Sellers can easily experiment with Sears as it provides better facilities stated below:

  • Customers can shop for the products on Sears.com, Sears mobile and Sears Kiosks located in Sears stores
  • Seller’s product will appear alongside Sears items
  • Access to millions of Sears.com customers who are ready to buy
  • 20 major product categories
  • Easy to use online order management interface
  • Comprehensive seller analytics and reporting designed to help sellers sell more
  • Pay-for-performance. A simple and straightforward fee structure
  • No long term commitment. Cancel anytime

The positive aspect

There are other marketplaces as well bigger than Sears. Then, why sellers will choose Sears as a selling platform? Why not Walmart or Etsy? Walmart follows strict rules in selecting their sellers. It selects the sellers based on their fame, sales projection, and alignment with Walmart’s values. Etsy, on the other side, has a broad assortment of handmade products and its niche is totally different. So if you are thinking to sell handmade items, Etsy can be the best option.

Sears gives more opportunities to the sellers in terms of marketing, selling and shipping. Sellers can bring their own unique products to sell which even Sears may not be aware of. Plus, the rules and regulations are pretty straightforward. Sellers need not worry about the risks while starting their business with Sears.

In Closing

If you are thinking to start your business with Sears then it’s the best marketplace. You can get more opportunities to expand your business and take it to the next level because you are exposed to millions of unique users every month.

Further, for customers also it is the best place to shop. The reason is, it provides the best services to its customers. If a customer is facing a problem with the product or a seller is not responding properly then Sears steps in to solve the problem. While visiting the website you may have seen the tagline which says “Shop Your Way”. Sears actually means it because it gives consumers those benefits which they look for when they shop. If you want to know about it in detail, take a look at their marketplace section.

Tips to gain visibility when selling on Etsy

Etsy is a constantly-growing and busy marketplace that is allowing artisans from across the globe to earn from their creativity.

Currently recording 1.4 million active sellers, this rapidly growing marketplace has a customer base of 19.8 million active buyers helping artisans to make the most out of their art work, online.

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With a number of artisans and sellers registering with Etsy marketplace on a daily basis, it’s becoming difficult for many start-ups to increase visibility when selling on the fastest- growing marketplace which reported revenue of US$ 195.6 million in 2014.

To make it easy for any newbie, I have decided to come up with this article that can help Etsians to do things that actually matters to spread product awareness while having fun, selling on the marketplace.

Firstly, let’s talk about those crucial elements that impacts the most, in Etsy’s search results

Correct product category selection

You may be experimenting with multiple keywords for coming up with the most effective product name, but, all goes in vain; if your product is not listed under the correct category.

Prior 2015, listing on Etsy was a struggle to sellers as there were many categorizations based on multiple concepts, depending on the product type. However, on February 2015, Etsy announced a change to their item categories.

To know more about listing your products with the correct category, click here.

Tags used in the title

Your title may include keywords relevant to other sellers across the marketplace; however, the tag you add to your title can be unique to improve visibility for your products.

For instance: If you are selling Apparel, and you offer the best handmade collection of dress to suit multiple occasions. Now, simply keeping your product title as “men’s casual wear,” or, “best collection for women” will not make your products show up in search engines, easily.

Try and be more specific with your title by adding tags that actually describes the use of your product well, for e.g. “wedding dress for women”. Adding tags like “wedding dress” will improve your product visibility, as customers will enter keywords that would actually serve their purpose for buying the product.

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Please note: Etsy allows sellers to add up to 13 tags in their product name, try and use them all. This can cover more number of keywords that customers look up in Etsy’s search result.

Next: Take advantage of Etsy’s tools

Two crucial product visibility elements offered by Etsy are:

Etsy Shop Title

This will represent your shop, which means your customers will get an idea about what your brand has to offer. Etsy allows sellers to create a “Shop Title” up to 55 characters long, hence, ensure you include the most found keywords to stay up in Etsy’s search results.

To know more about Etsy Shop Title, click here.

Etsy Shop announcements

This section gives sellers an opportunity to attract audience and engage with their products. Be loud about your special offering and new product releases, using Etsy Shop announcement.

Picture3To know more on Etsy Shop announcement, click here.

Third: Use Etsy’s Promoted listings

With millions of people looking up for products on Etsy on regular basis, how can you increase your product visibility?

Etsy’s “Promoted Listing” feature is helping many start-ups small business owners to make their products visible in front of potential shoppers, frequently.

Using “Promoted listing, your products will be showcased as ads within search results, irrelevant to what position they appear in Etsy’s search results. Etsy also helps sellers to “Manage Promoted Listings,” as well as, offer stats to review performance of their “Promoted Listings.

Last, be socially engaged

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Etsy allows sellers an ability to easily connect their products across multiple social media sites, helping them get noticed in a full-proof way.

Take an advantage of this, and increase visibility for your Etsy products on leading social media channel Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

For example: Creating a “Facebook Business page” for your “Etsy Shop,” will allow you share your listings  and make them visible in front of millions of potential customers who visit the site on a daily basis.

To know more about Etsy’s social media connection, click here.

Don’t forget to keep optimizing!

With the above, you can try and increase exposure for Etsy products on the marketplace, as well as, across the web. However, optimization is the key for a steady growth.

What can you do?

Integrate an analytic tool

“Google Analytics” will help you understand and track down any metrics you set up. And, in case of expanding your business by opening multiple Etsy Shops, you can measure performance for all of your stores from a single place.

Make complete use of Etsy Shop stats

An in-built analytic feature offered to all Etsians, “Etsy Shop stats” allows insightful facts and figures to help them increase awareness, effectively.

For instance:

Using Etsy Shop Stats, if you uncheck the boxes for “Google” and “others”, you’ll be left with the keywords people are using on Etsy to find your shop and items

Play with keywords in Etsy Search bar

Last, type all those keywords that have been used to search your product in Etsy’s search bar and gain access to list of products that show up under those keywords.

Having such data, Etsy sellers can find it easy to understand whether the keyword is too saturated to be worth trying to optimize, or, which one will work.
Godspeed:)

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etsy
https://www.etsy.com/in-en/

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 🙂

Tech Strategies Every eCommerce Startup Should Implement

For any eCommerce startups, the most common challenges is poor start-up capital and manpower constraints.
In this digital world, it is always smart and wise to adapt technology not only to automate and easy major business activities, but also, stay within budget and prosper quickly.

Technology has come so far, that it allows eCommerce startups an ability to automate all crucial business tasks that would take long hours, ultimately hampering the bottom line results. The beauty of technology, is it allows business owners to run and manage major operations in an inexpensive way.

ECommerce Startups

This article will highlight tech strategies that will help eCommerce startups to build a strong presence and gain a competitive advantage, allowing them to grow smoothly.

Must-have tech innovations every startup should implement

  • Multi-channel system management

    As an eCommerce start-up, you’ll want to spread your product visibility over multiple channels to increase customer base. But, do you realize how difficult it gets to maintain each channel, separately. A multi-channel inventory management and order management solution is proving to be a bliss for many eCommerce business owners that allows them to easily sync and manage multiple channels from one integrated cloud-based system. With all your channel under one roof, you can constantly monitor your business activities and take necessary actions on-the-fly.Orderhive, a complete multi-channel system has already proved to be a great help for many eCommerce startups, which in turn, can be an ideal choice for you, too.

  • Marketing automation

    As a startup, it becomes important you retain your existing customers rather than diverting new ones for your eCommerce business. This is helpful,because it will save you cost. But, how will you do that?

    Email marketing has proved to be the strongest promotional strategy, and continues to be, till date. As a start-up, it is crucial you try and gather more and more customer’s email address, that will help you strategically target them with offers they would like.

    Marketo – a modern marketing and email marketing software has helped many startups to rapidly acquire customers, and convert them into loyal advocates who, in-turn, influences new customers.

  • Social media management

    Many social media sites are allowing business owners a platform to promote and attract audience, for free. And, as a startup you need to take an advantage of this potential source. However, monitoring each of your social accounts manually can be a time-consuming process. Bringing in automation in your social media management will save your time and effort, that you can use in other important activities.

    Socialoomph – an easiest and feature-rich social media management tool will allow you boost social media productivity across all your channels. This will help startups to schedule posts in advance and provides analytic, helping you to make better decisions and make the most out of your social media campaigns.

  • A/B testing software

    Your website is the ultimate space where customers will land and make a purchases. But, in many cases they exit your website without taking any actions. Therefore, you need to frequently optimize converting pages of your site and settle with the ones that offer the best results. But, how will you know that?

    Optimizely – a simplest A/B testing tool will cater to the need of eCommerce startups. This innovative technology will allow you to know your website behavior among all the variations and track which one works the best for you. Knowing this, you can optimize your website, in a way to encourage engagement and increase sales for your business.

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