Have you seen those beautiful sarees that keep showing up on your Instagram feed and explore page? Ever wondered why so many online stores are focusing on selling sarees? Well, we have the answers to these questions, right here.
A saree is evergreen, and Indians love wearing them all round the year. Which means there’s always going to be someone looking to buy one for a festival, a wedding, an office celebration, a break up with their toxic boyfriend, or a movie date.
A saree is not just a garment, it’s 6 meters of refined elegance and beauty. Given India’s rich karrigars, weavers, and fabric offerings, there is a lot of scope for designs and each saree can be draped in a 100 ways! Everyone wants one, and rightfully so.
With the online retail market booming, people can shop at the click of a finger from any corner of the world. The internet has billions of customers looking to buy a saree, and there’s enough space for you to become a seller, while also having a growing clientele.
If we’ve got your levers working on the whole saree-seller thing, here’s what you need to know. You can also watch this YouTube video on how to kickstart your selling journey:
Everything you need to know about an online saree-selling business
1. Understand the saree business
Before you start selling, you need to know your sarees well enough. What’s the difference between a Banarasi and Bandhani? How much time does it take to make a saree and what’s the manufacturing cost like? Make a list of all the parameters you need to know and conduct market research to see how your competitors are doing. Understand their business model and their marketing strategy. Start talking to vendors and basically find everything you need, to start this 9 yards wonder.
Here’s a list of things you can look into as a starting point:
· Different kinds of sarees in the market
· Manufacturing time
· Cost of manufacturing
· Competitor study
· Different business models
2. Know which sarees you want to sell
After your market and industry research, lock the kind of sarees you want to sell on the basis of fabric and design. Figure out if you want to design these yourselves with a team or if you want to buy these in bulk from vendors and manufacturers and then sell them for retail. You should also find a distinct selling proposition or design that will set you apart from your competitors. Try to find a gap in the market that you can fill.
3. Set your target customers
Find out which income groups you want to cater to. Do you want to cater only to women or anyone who likes to don a beautiful saree– trans folks, non-binary persons, or even men. Which parts of the country do you want to sell your product to? Do you want to target the everyday wear market or occasion wear market? You need to know all of this before starting your business.
4. Devise a business plan
If you’re starting your business without a business plan, you’re starting wrong. Create a proper business plan and include these costs in it:
· Capital components
· The prices of sarees
· Human resources (salaries)
· Other miscellaneous expenses
This will help you reach the total capital needed for your online saree business. The prices of your sarees would depend on the material and design you use. Once you’ve done that, figure out the running cost or money required to keep the business running (which is all of the above).
5. Sample some sarees
At this juncture, you can sample some sarees with your vendor and team. And you can also get them photographed for the catalog. You can do this yourself without anyone, but professional help is advisable here. For that you’ll have to assemble a team of a photographer, model, stylist and vendor to get the best results. But if this seems out of budget, you can prop your sarees on flat-lays and get the photographer to take pictures. This will help you in your cataloging process.
6. Create a website and social accounts
Since you’re planning to build an online business, having an online presence is mandatory. Both websites and social media are great for showcasing your design and product. Moreover, using social media would allow you to connect with your audience and reach out to more people. Instagram and Facebook are great platforms for online saree businesses. In the world of online business, Instagram shopping has been an excessively successful tool to sell your products online. Moreover, you can showcase the discounts and offers along with your catalogs.
7. Register your business
Once you’ve finalised a name for it, move ahead and register your business as a legal entity. GST number and PAN card number are essential for this purpose. In addition to that, you will also have to register for taxes. The process for the same varies from state to state. And finally, a bank account needs to be opened in your online business’ name. You can register it as a partnership, or a sole proprietorship.
Business registration checklist:
· GST number
· PAN card number
· Bank account
· Digital modes of payment
8. Manage the logistics and resources
Figure out how you’d like to deliver your products to your customers. You can partner with a courier company or sell via platforms like Meesho, Etsy, Amazon, Nykaa Fashions and Myntra, to name a few.
You should go for the less complicated and least expensive platforms in the beginning. Don’t forget to put customer service in place for quick redressals, along with a team to help you with your business.
9. Invest in online marketing
Nothing sells without marketing these days. Even if your product is top notch, the best quality in the industry, you will need to market your product via ads and native content. For this you can use Google Ads, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads manager and a whole lot of promotional platforms. You can also park some funds for SMS marketing and newsletters, for new offers and discounts. Use social media to the best of its abilities to sell your sarees.
An online saree business in the current landscape can be extremely profitable. The digital boom that we’ve been witnessing over the past 5-6 years is reason enough to start your online saree business today. Although it can be overwhelming initially just like any other business, this business can be rewarding in the long run.
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