April 14, 2024
How To Start An Online Grocery Business In India

With the advancement of technology and its application in almost every aspect of life, people can purchase almost anything online, including groceries.

Gone are the days when going out to buy groceries was considered a necessary outing. People nowadays want to save as much time and effort as possible and avoid long lines as much as possible.

Many grocery store owners worldwide have adapted to the change and opened online grocery stores. Millions of people worldwide can now buy necessitates without leaving their homes.

An online grocery store in India sells various products, including spices, seasonings, packaged goods, and beverages.

In India, the grocery business is one of the country’s fastest-growing eCommerce success stores. It is thriving, owing largely to an increasing number of people choosing to buy their groceries online.

Furthermore, this online grocery business provides numerous opportunities to anyone who wishes to open their grocery store online to cater to a more localized customer base.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested but are unsure how to start an online grocery business in India. 

Related: Which Online Business in India Is Best for You? Find Out!

Things to think about before starting an online grocery store

Before you start and run an online grocery store, you should consider the following factors.

01). Find your niche

Even though a grocery store should stock all of the items that customers require, it is critical for you as a grocery owner to identify your niche. The grocery industry is extremely powerful in many areas. As a result, competing in a market already dominated by well-known grocery stores can be difficult.

It is critical to identify your market niche if you want to make a name for yourself. People will be able to easily identify your grocery store if you focus on selling specific items rather than making every item available. 

02). Know your market

It is critical to understand your target market. Before you begin your business, you must first determine the eating habits of the locals. This will allow you to identify high-demand items and stock them ahead of time. 

Furthermore, by understanding your target market, you will be able to create a cost-effective pricing strategy. 

03). Determine the delivery zones

Before starting your business, you should decide which areas you want to sell and where to deliver your goods. 

This will help you determine how much you’ll charge for delivery, taking into account labor and fuel costs. Choose a location where you can afford to deliver to make favorable charges.

However, if you choose to include a broader range of areas, you can charge a higher delivery fee.

04). Select a delivery method

You must select a delivery method for your goods. You can form your delivery team or partner with delivery services to pick up the goods at your warehouse and deliver them to the recipient. 

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05). Grocery storage/ warehouse

Another thing to think about is your grocery store. You should consider storing your groceries in a large warehouse in a secure location. The space should be well maintained and equipped to ensure that fresh goods do not spoil quickly.

Benefits of having an online grocery business

With that in mind, you may wonder why you should open an online grocery store rather than a traditional one.

A grocery store’s digital presence is very important nowadays. This is due to the following factors:

i). Customers are increasingly purchasing online

People are still purchasing items online after the pandemic. It saves them time and effort. Another reason you should start an online grocery store is that your competitors do. If you do not have an online grocery store, your competitors will outsell you.

ii). Marketing simplified

It is simple to promote and market an online grocery store in India. You can take advantage of the precise location that you are targeting with online marketing.

iii). Internet branding

You can brand yourself however you want with your online grocery store. You can brand your grocery store to stand for something distinctive that is likely to attract customers.

iv). Run it from any location

The best part about starting an online grocery business is that you can run it from anywhere, including your own home.

Steps to starting your online grocery store

With all factors to consider before opening your store in mind, it is now time to launch your online grocery store.

#1. Market research and business model development.

There are numerous players in the market, necessitating the creation of something distinctive. It is critical to conduct market research before launching your online grocery business. You must ensure that the people you want to sell to have internet access, among other things. The following are some questions that will help you better understand the market

  • What demographical factors define my target audience?
  • What problems do they encounter when purchasing groceries online?
  • How can we differentiate ourselves from other market players?
  • Is your target audience comfortable using websites or apps?

When you’re certain about all of the above, the next step is to select an online grocery business model.

Types of business models

There are various types of business models. You should make a decision that benefits both you and your customers. Let’s start by looking at the various types used by some of the market players so you can make the best decision

a). A business model based on inventory

The owner is in charge of purchasing and storing inventory in this type of business model. This means that the inventory is kept by a business, which then sells directly to its customers.

b). Business model for a multi-vendor marketplace

This business model offers a centralized platform for multiple buyers and sellers. When a business enterprise provides an IT platform to facilitate buying and selling, it only acts as a connecting host between buyers and sellers.

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c). Business model for hyperlocal grocery stores

The business model aids in the optimization of multiple supply options to meet consumer demand within a specific region.

d). Business model based on click and collect

The business model combines the best of both online and offline shopping experiences. It allows customers to order groceries online and pick them up at the nearest grocery store.

#2. Form legal entity and ta registration

After deciding the business model you want for your company, the next step is obtaining business registration for your online grocery store. The first step in starting a business is to register it with a legitimate registration authority.

For the online sale of groceries, your store must pay sales and services tax, which must be registered. If you have partners, you can register your business as a proprietor or as a partnership. You should also obtain the necessary permits and licenses to operate.

#3. Development of website/ choosing a platform

You have two options for starting an online grocery store:

  1. Create from the ground up
  2. Make use of a ready-made grocery eCommerce platform.

If you decide to create a grocery eCommerce from the ground up, you will need to create a website or hire a website development team to assist you.

Building from the ground up necessitates a significant amount of time for research, development, testing, and deployment. The process takes time, which makes it costly. Overall, it provides a high level of customization.

On the other hand, a ready-made grocery e-commerce platform is more convenient and less expensive. It includes pre-integrated features and APIs. it also has a one-time payment and requires less time to set up.

Both building from the ground up and using a ready-made platform have cons and pros. Choose the one that best meets your company’s needs and complements your offering.

#4. Choosing a revenue model

Now that you have a website for your grocery store, the next step is to decide on a revenue model. There are numerous ways in which this model can assist marketplace owners in making and scaling their own grocery business profitable. 

Various revenue models are appropriate for your online store, and you can combine them all. Consider a revenue model that is appropriate for your industry, target market, and capabilities.

  1. Commission revenue model

In an online delivery service, the commission can be charged in two ways: by the commission on each transaction and by the delivery commission.

  1. Sales revenue model

If you are the sole seller in your online grocery store and also manage brick and mortar store, this model allows you to profit from both

  1. Vendor subscription fees

This revenue model is similar to a membership fee in that vendors pay you a fixed subscription fee for a set period.

  1. Advertising revenue model
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When leads click on your ads that appear on sites such as Facebook and Instagram, you increase the number of visits to your online grocery store. This way, you can generate leads, nurture them, and encourage them to buy from you. 

#5. List and launch your products

At this stage, you’ll be putting your products in front of online shoppers looking for groceries.

#6. Marketing

A marketing strategy for your online grocery store is critical to the success of your business. With so many online grocery stores, finding ways to stand out or even let your customers know your store exists is critical. 

You can start an online grocery store by following the steps outlined above. However, turning your face away from reality is pointless. There will be numerous challenges, and it is critical to be aware of them in advance.

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Challenges of starting an online grocery business

  1. Strong competition from other brands

Certainly, your online grocery store will not be the first.  People already trust well-established stores. This means that for your store to stand out, you’ll have to compete with other online stores selling similar products as yours. this should not deter you from starting.

Get your business there, market yourself, and above all, provide excellent services, and you will gain loyal customers

  1. Understanding user demands

Customers will always expect you to provide the best services possible. All users have different requirements, and you must understand them and know what to provide. If you want your business to succeed, you must satisfy customers.

  1. Receiving accurate feedback

Feedback is a great way to learn about the market. However, not all feedback is positive. you may receive feedback from competitors who wish to bring you down. Furthermore, you may receive inaccurate feedback from some customers at times, making it difficult to identify areas that need to be improved to provide better services

  1. Keeping all necessary items available

You must ensure frequent replenishment as a grocery owner. However, supply is not always guaranteed. Always notify your users to avoid any miscommunication.

  1. Being creative in approach

You must be creative to stand out in the market crowded with grocery stores. You must develop more innovative marketing strategies. Moreover, make certain that your website is visually appealing.


People are already accustomed to placing orders from their phones, so demand for an online grocery business will never diminish.

Starting your own grocery business in India not only provides people in your neighborhood with another convenient shopping option but also allows you to earn good money because the business is profitable.

Related: The Complete Checklist for Starting Your Online Business.

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