In this article, you will learn how you can deploy Woocommerce to create an online store in a matter of minutes.
If you are an aspiring eCommerce entrepreneur in India, this guide is exactly what you need right now.
According to Wikipedia, India has an Internet user base of about 696.77million as of May 2020.
That is about 40% of the population.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that the Indian e-commerce industry is expected to surpass the US to become the second-largest eCommerce market in the world by 2034.
In fact, according to Forrester Research Indian eCommerce industry will be valued at US$99 billion by 2024 from US$ 30 billion in 2019.
And grocery and fashion/apparel likely to be the key drivers of incremental growth.
If that is not a motivator enough to start an eCommerce website in India, I don’t know what is.
Why start an online store in India?
Here are some advantages of eCommerce in India;
- Allows you to start selling fast unlike a traditional retail business where you have to take care of several logistics.
- Low cost – starting an online store in India is cheaper. Allows you to avoid costs like a physical storefront, inventory, or payroll.
- Shopping starts online today in India. Many people are turning to online to shop.
- The online store allows you to collect insightful customer data you can use to optimize how they shop. This way you can improve their shopping experience.
- Having an online store allows you to provide more information about your products and services to your customers. That is why product description is the pillar to building a successful eCommerce website in India
- An eCommerce website allows you to sell to a niche market. It is hard for that rare coins collector to find customers offline, but thanks to the vast internet, you can find exactly who you are looking for.
Now that you know why you need an online store in India, how do you get started?
How to start an eCommerce website in India
There are two distinctive ways to create an online store in India.
Using online store builder
One, use an online store builder like OLITT to create everything.
These are tools that give you access to eCommerce website templates and tools you need to get started.
With them, you don’t need any coding knowledge to get started.
Installing a shopping cart on a domain
The other way is adding a shopping cart to an existing domain.
And that is what we are going to discuss in detail today.
For this to work, you need a domain name and hosting account.
It also works if you have an existing website and just looking to add a shop to it.
The tutorial you are about to see works best with WordPress websites.
The other thing you need is shopping cart software.
A shopping cart is a facility on a website that records items selected by a customer for purchase until the transaction is completed.
Here are some of the most popular shopping cart software in India;
- Woocommerce (You will learn how to use this in this guide)
- Shopify. Shopify provides customizable and responsive themes you can use to create your eCommerce website in India
Why do you need shopping cart software?
Here are some of the reasons why you need the shopping cart sofware in India;
- Allows users to save products and return to later
- Provides a variety of payment methods
- Can collect customer insights as we mentioned earlier.
- Makes it easy to manage inventory in real-time
Now, time to show you how to create an online store using Woocommerce in India.
How to use/install Woocommerce in India
Woocommerce is software that can help you list products on your site so that visitors can buy.
Comes as a WordPress plugin and all you have to do is download, install, then activate it.
To do that, head over to your WP dashboard.
Click on Plugins >> Add new.
This will take to a WordPress Plugins repository.
On the search box, type Woocommerce and you will get the results and the top one is the plugin you should install.
As you can see, Woocommerce has over 5 million active installations.
That means over 5 million websites already use this shopping cart.
Go ahead and click on Install Now.
Once it finishes installing, activate it.
That is how to download and install Woocommerce to your website in India.
The next step is setting up everything including uploading products and setting prices.
How to set up Woocommerce in India
After activating the Woocommerce plugin, the next step is setting it up.
First, provide your store details.
Such as your address, country, city, and postcode.
If you are creating this online store on behalf of someone or a client, tich the box.
In which industry does the store operate?
Choose the ones that apply below;
If you are creating a fashion online store in India, tick the first box. Tick Food and Drink box if you are selling beverages, drinks, and foodstuff.
The next step;
What type of products will be listed?
Choose any that apply
If you are creating a website to sell digital products like eBooks, the ‘downloads’ option is the best.
For membership websites, the ‘Memberships’ option works best but note that it will cost you Rs. 1210.51 per month.
But for physical products like electronics, apparel, leave it in the first option, ‘Physical products.’
The next step to set up Woocommerce in India is providing additional information about your business.
- The number of products you intend to list on your site
- Tell Woocommerce whether you already sell somewhere else, and if not, choose no.
The next thing, Woocommerce will suggest additional places you can list your products to reach more potential buyers.
Check the works you want like Facebook Marketplace, email marketing through Mailchimp, etc.
For this tutorial, we are going to turn off all of them to make it simple.
And the last step of setting up Woocommerce in India is choosing a theme.
This will determine how your store will look like.
You have three options;
- Use your existing website theme
- Pick a paid online store theme
- Use free themes
- Upload one from your drive (if you have downloaded or created a custom one)
Whichever you go with, make sure it serves you best and helps your users find what they are looking for fast.
Once you have picked a theme, you will be taken to a dashboard where you can control everything.
How to add products to your Woocommerce website in India
On your dashboard, click on add products.
There are several ways to add products to the store;
- Use a template
- Add manually (recommended for small stores)
- Import via CSV (perfect for larger stores with a lot of products)
- Product migration if you have a store hosted somewhere else.
For this tutorial, let’s go the manual way, shall we?
Click on Add Manually.
Provide product name;
Make it as descriptive and persuasive as you can.
This will help you convert more visitors to sales.
Choose a type for this product.
- Simple is suitable for most physical goods and services (we recommend setting up a simple product for now).
- Variable is for more complex products such as t-shirts with multiple sizes.
- Grouped products are for grouping several simple products into one.
- Finally, external products are for linking off-site.
Also, Check the “Virtual” box if this is a non-physical item, for example, a service, which does not need shipping.
And if purchasing this product gives a customer access to a downloadable file, e.g. software, check this box.
What is the price of the product? Put it here
The second box is for when you have offers.
You can even schedule the sale price to revert to the retail price after some time.
Add a quick summary of your product here.
This will appear on the product page under the product name.
Finally, adding product tags and images.
- Assign categories to your products to make them easier to browse through and find in your store.
- You can “tag” your products here. Tags are a method of labeling your products to make them easier for customers to find.
- The product image should be clear and of high quality.
- If you have more than one product images, add them here
Follow these steps to add all of your products to your Woocommerce store in India.
When you are finished editing your product (s), hit the “Publish” button to publish your product to your store.
How to find your Woocommerce shop
Depending on your website theme, you can find your shop by visiting yourwebsitename.in/shop (if you used an existing theme).
If you used Woocommerce themes, your homepage will the shop page by default.
Is WooCommerce good for India?
Yes, Woocommerce is the best in India. This shopping cart software makes it easy for you to customize and add features to your online store.
It is available for free. The costs will only come from hosting, domains, and payment gateways fees.
Which Payment Gateway is best in India for WooCommerce?
Here are some of the best WooCommerce Payment Gateways in India;
#1 Razorpay – charges 2% per transaction.
#2 InstaMojo – takes 2% +INR 3 per transaction.
#3 Cashfree – cuts 1.75% per transaction.
#4 PayPal – charges 2.5% + Rs. 3 per transaction.
#5 CCAvenue – 2% per transaction.
There are others, but these serve you best.
Can WooCommerce in India handle 50000 products?
Yes, Woocommerce if configured correctly, can handle large products of 50K, 100K, or even more.
How much is WooCommerce a month?
WooCommerce itself is free.
But remember you need a domain, hosting space, and maybe a premium theme.
WooCommerce in India can have additional costs like a theme (~$59), plugins and extensions (from $25 each), and developer fees ($20-$150/hour).
If you are just looking for a simple website, here is a guide on how to start a blog in India.