How to start an eCommerce business with little to no investment (In Nepal)

If you are not online, you are losing a good number of customers. Regardless, you are a small or large scale corporate you need to have an online presence. While the cost might not be the big concern for corporate houses, small and local business need to think twice because of technical complexity, capital, and manpower requirement. In this post, I will be talking on how you how you can start your e-commerce business with little to no or zero investment in Nepal. Not only I will talk about establishing an online shop but also talk about the optimal use of resources. Trust me, after reading this post you will be ready to have your own online shop ready to connect with the customers!

The internet has changed the way we consume and buy. More and more people are getting connected to the internet. The surge of ecommerce can be seen in Nepali market as well. With easy and cheaper accessibility to the internet, the eCommerce in Nepal is booming.

Easy way to start selling online in Nepal

1. Social Media Presence

Majority of Nepali is on Facebook. The first step would be to have a Facebook page. Start by inviting your friends. You can enable shop feature to display a catalog of products. If you want to reach more customer you start paid campaign. You can allocate a budget of as little as $2 i.e. Rs 205per day! You can contact freelance for your campaign as they are much more flexible than ad agency in terms of pricing.

Instagram is also a good hub. Instagram is the best suit for you if your target market is youth demographic and product you are selling is trendy, unique and hip! They also work great for offline stores and restaurants. Follow people that share interest in the niche you are offering.

create facebook shop

Facebook shop

2. Product Photography

For better performance, it is essential to have a good image for your product. If you are selling electronic items you can get many images from Google Image itself. If it is not available, place your model/product behind plain background and take a photo. It doesn’t even have to plain background, just place the product in some nice place like a garden or rooftop. For eg. Look the product “Nike Presto” sold by one of the OTUvendor. If you have a mobile with the 8MP+ camera you can use mobile itself. Be sure to retouch image with apps like Snapseed (for all type of look) or VSCO (for Instagram-ish/vintage look) or Photoshop Express. You can place your camera close to the product for dslr like bokeh effect.

3. Logistic and delivery

online delivery nepal

The core of online shopping is to deliver the goods to buyer’s place. If you can, for delivery you can have your own staff, deliver it by yourself or most easy and cost efficient way would be to outsource the delivery job. In Kathmandu companies like Fastr Delivery(Recommended Delivery Partner), Nepxpress,  Nepal Express Delivery, and Aramex are doing delivery around Kathmandu Valley. Outsourcing delivery will reduce your fixed overhead on delivery staffs and will also enable you to focus on what matters to you most. Hence this will effectively the reduce the hassle on supervision of staff.

4. Graphic Designing

To keep your audience engaged you need to have eye catchy graphics and images. For this, you can hire a staff, hire freelance, outsource the job or if you can, design material using Photoshop by yourself. Since all may not be proficient in using Photoshop. For those who are not very tech savvy, they can use CANVA. Canva is a free online tool that enables you to design modern and beautiful graphics using drag and drop control. Also, Canva is free and there are pre-made templates choose from. For free stock images and photos, I generally head over to Pexel or Pixabay.

5. Start selling online from marketplace like OTUShop

OtuShop is an open marketplace focused on local market and local vendors. You can sign up for account in OTUshop for free of charge. As a vendor/seller you will get access to all advanced eCommerce tools as found in high-end eCommerce platform. As a result you can connect with new customers and also manage your shop the way you want. Sellers are given almost all control including – control delivery price, location, stock management tools and much more! If you already have Facebook/Instagram page, you might think is not essential to be part of the marketplace. However you can take advantage of platform’s tools, customer, and audience. Facebook is a multi-purpose platform. Searching for product/store is not very great. Otushop use geo-location feature to locate the vendors near customer’s location and display results accordingly.
If you are interested, please refer to getting started page or feel free to contact us.

Finally if you are serious about your business, you can also make your own website. I will be covering on how to build website in minimum cost in next post.

I assume you have required inventory and sorted the supply chain. If you are looking for whole-seller you can find plenty in Ranjana Galli/Ranjana Complex. You can go there are approach. If you have existing store you can go online in no time with ease. Facebook Group “Entrepreneur of Nepal” is a good place to find the suppliers as per your need. Also, this a good place for discussion. I have excluded the cost of inventory as this is very flexible and if you have existing offline store it won’t be that hard.

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