The online grocery business is ruling the current market. They were a big hit during the lockdown and earned millions delivering varied products, like oils, cereals, pulses, pantry, meat, and dairy products. Previously, most of us relied on brick n mortar stores and supermarkets to get our groceries but the fear of crowds, exposure to covid19 and convenience of online shopping is making us change our old habits. And this is a great business opportunity for those who want to start an online grocery business even with a low budget.
HOW TO START AN ONLINE GROCERY BUSINESS
- Collection of Order :
The very first step of starting an online grocery business is the collection of orders. For managing your orders, you can either develop an application or build a website for your store. There is another option where you can register with an eCommerce platform. You can also take orders over the phone, but there exist way more ways of errors in managing.
- Execution of the Order :
It is a very crucial step. With so many competitors in the market, you need to provide quick acknowledgement and delivery of the orders. With the right platform, you can stay sorted about this step.
- Collection of Payments :
For smooth payment collection, you should include the online payment facilities like credit, debit cards, online wallets like Paytm, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Phone Pe, Bhim UPI, etc. You can include shipping charges based on the distance and the total amount too. You can keep the cash on delivery mode too as there are many elderly people who are not that accustomed with online payments and linking with bank accounts.
And all these can be achieved at a very low investment too. You just have to strategize beforehand and utilize good contacts for tie-ups with wholesalers in this grocery business.
START AN ONLINE GROCERY STORE IN LOW BUDGET :
- Find an appropriate platform to take your store online:
As already discussed in the previous section, choosing the right platform to take your store online is the very first step of starting your online grocery store. Choose a platform that allow you to start your own webstore within the app, by this we mean, they should be giving you your own store’s QR code and/or direct link such that customers reach directly your link when you promote it and you don’t have to be dependent on a chance that a customer finds you from within a whole lot of your competitors.
- Set perimeter of your service based on your budget:
An online grocery store means a customer will be placing orders online and expect 90% of customers to expect home-delivery over pick-ups, and therefore it is important while starting low that you set your service area in a way such that you can afford delivery. Targeting a bigger area and then losing on fuel or manpower for delivery and even worse failing to deliver on time will only set the growth trajectory of your business downward. A better option is to start low and go higher with earned profits.
- Understand your market for effective inventory management:
An efficient inventory management is a must to ensure that you don’t lose out money on dead stock and perishables. Make sure that you maintain a tight inventory and focus on stocking products that will go out faster and regularly ensuring the regular cash-flow in the business. And for this to become possible you have to have a proper research on the customer preferences and demographics of the area you are serving. So make sure to research your area of service well and in advance such that you don’t stand losing money after start which can be much detrimental to your already set lower budget.
- Register your business:
When you are starting low, there will be lots of areas to compromise and give a miss, but not registering your business is not one of them. Registering your business is the most important thing to be done in the process of starting your online grocery store, may in whatever budget.
As an individual, you have to start with a sole proprietorship firm. If you have partners, then go for LLP registrations. To complete the registration process successfully, you can get in touch with any tax consultant or chartered accountant.
The following licenses and permits are mostly required to start an online grocery store in India :
- FSSAI License And Registration
- Shop Act Registration
- GST Registration
GST Registration is not mandatory for business unless you are selling outside your state or your aggregate turnover in a financial year exceeds Rs 20 lakhs.
oneapp is a discovery app that offers grocery stores owners a digital platform to take their business online at low cost. Within oneapp you can create your own web store with a unique weblink and request your customers to visit your online store directly after registering with the app. The uniqueness of oneapp lies in the fact that it offers you your own space to start your webstore and not pitch your products against your competitors. With oneapp, the experience of your customers will be very much alike visiting your physical store but online.
Read our article on: “Top 10 Online Grocery Shopping App & website in India“