To begin with check out this article – Indian e-Commerce market is all set to hit a cap of $100 billion by 2020.
Why is this number so important?
For consumers, it means that the eCommerce market is going to grow at a rapid pace providing them with easy buying options. The focus of our article is on the marketers, this stat is even more relevant to digital/ internet marketers who want to tap into the Indian eCommerce market.
eCommerce is easy and scalable but there many players in the market. This doesn’t mean that you cannot have your own eCommerce store. With a few tweaks and better targeting, even you can make some dough with this model.
However, to get started with eCommerce, the most critical component is having a website. Unlike physical stores, the website you own becomes the Identity of your store/ brand. The process begins with choosing the best eCommerce technology platform & hosting.
See what eCommerce platform is the world using?
This article is aimed at helping you through the process. We will give you the necessary information which should help you in making the final choice.
How we come up with the list top eCommerce Hosting Providers in India?
As it is one of the easiest business models to get started with, eCommerce is a competitive space. So, it is very important that you must aim to provide the best experience to the consumer. This is only possible if you opt for the best eCommerce hosting plans in India. Having understood this, we follow a stringent four-step process and come up with the list of best eCommerce hosting plans in India.
The process we follow is PICK-SIGNUP-TEST-RANK and if you are interested in knowing more about it, please read the following article.
8 Best E-Commerce Web Hosting in India 2019
Load time: 436ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~2min)
Load time: 991ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~5min)
Load time: 849ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~5min)
Load time: 462ms
Cost: $2.99/mo (monthly plan)
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~3min)
Load time: 661ms
Cost: $1.99/mo (Free Domain with yearly plan)
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~4min)
Load time: 990ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~2min)
Those are some of the reliable E-Commerce hosting providers in India. Before you go ahead and choose a plan, let us discuss more some aspects you need to keep in mind. These will help you choose the right hosting which matches with your requirement. You will know what to look for when choosing a host for your E-Commerce website.
Factors to consider when choosing an E-Commerce hosting plan
Uptime is the King
Ask anyone who has an E-Commerce store and they will stress the importance of having a good uptime. Uptime is an important metric for any website but it becomes even the more relevant to E-Commerce websites. Consumers these days want everything within minutes and if your site crashes or doesn’t respond, they will simply move on to another website.
This is also seen as a red flag by Google and therefore you may not see much of organic traction. This is why you will have to check the uptime metrics of your hosting providers. This also largely depends on the type of E-Commerce hosting you go with.
The below table provides you with our compiled list of hosting vendors, whom we have tested out and it depicts the results we found.
Shared hosting plans tend to have lower uptimes than dedicated hosting plans.
Type of the Server
The next thing you need to look for is the type of server, there are mainly two types: Physical and cloud servers. Each of them comes with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. You must keep in mind that the website must be robust and scale up should be easy.
ou cannot spend too much time to upgrade your physical servers. Every minute in the E-Commerce business is crucial. This is where cloud servers stand out, they can be easily scaled within minutes and limited technical intervention.
Cloud servers are also more economical than a dedicated server. In terms of power, dedicated servers slightly overpower cloud servers but the difference is barely noticeable. The other features of Cloud hosting make it a better option than having a dedicated physical server for your E-Commerce store.
Server Disk Space
Any type of E-Commerce site will have loads of images and videos going into it. Which means the server must be able to cope up with the load. It is always safe to look choose a server with 20% additional disk space than what you require. If the disk gets clogged up with no space left then the websites slow down.
Slow loading websites will drive your visitors away which will result in lower conversions. Site load time is one of the parameters which Google considers as the ranking factor. The images on the website must be of high quality because these should drive the customers to buy the product. High-quality images and videos take a lot of space, keep all these factors in mind when you choose the best E-Commerce hosting in India.
Building and managing an E-Commerce website is quite different from normal websites. There are many aspects which are only unique to E-Commerce websites. Which is why it is important that you check if the hosting providers offer you a store builder. Store builders make the process of adding, managing and updating products very easy.
There are some more features you need to look for which we have discussed in a separate section. Most of the E-Commerce hosting companies do provide a store builder or you can install plugins which will help you with the same, it is always a good practice to check about it.
Security of any website is very crucial but it becomes all the more important for E-Commerce websites. All the product related data would be stored on the website. You would also be dealing with user data and payment information. Hence, you have to ensure the highest security measures are implemented on the website.
A part of this depends on the type of server you opt for and the hosting provider. There is some security measure which is provided at the server level, you cannot make any changes in those settings. You will have to check and see if the security at the server level meets your requirements.
You can also implement certain security measures at the website level. This is completely under your control. There are many plugins which can filter spam comments, unauthorized login attempts, block traffic from a certain country etc. This holistic security strategy will make your E-Commerce website less vulnerable to cyber threats.
Here is a report by Sucuri on Hacked Website in 2017.
Tools and Features to build Best E-Commerce Sites in India
Most of the E-Commerce hosting providers provide additional tools to make your store building process easier. Here are some must-have tools/ features.
Product Management Features
The success of an E-Commerce store depends on the products it showcases to its visitors. As there is no way to experience the product, product images are the only way in which you can grab the attention of the customers. This is why it is critical that you have an easy to use product management system.
It should allow you add images of multiple sizes without compressing the quality. The option to edit or enhance the quality of the images can come in handy. There must be an option to optimize images for SEO which could drive organic traffic.
How many times have you abandoned a website just because it didn’t have a suitable payment method?
This can happen to your store too, you need to understand that you are catering to a global audience. Ensure to have 3-4 payment options which allow consumers from all the countries make a purchase. Check if the payment gateway supports debit cards, credit cards, Paypal and other commonly used options.
Even the checkout process should be simplified. Do not try up selling in an aggressive manner as this may drive away the visitors. Keep it simple and direct the visitors straight to the payments page once they choose to buy a product. Allow them to review the details before making the payment.
Some top payment gateway vendors in India
Inbuilt SEO and Marketing Tools
You might not pay attention to online marketing when you have just started the store. Few months down the line, you will realize the importance of online marketing. There are paid and freeways for marketing your E-Commerce products online. Having inbuilt marketing tools saves you a lot of cost and time.
The best E-commerce hosting providers in India sometimes provide free ad credits which you can use to run your first campaign. You will have to test the waters of Google Ads and Facebook ads as every product will have a specific audience. They also provide free tools which will help you optimize the store and make it search engine friendly. There are many websites which have made some minor SEO tweaks that have resulted in increased traffic.
eCommerce Technology Platforms
Deciding which e-commerce platforms to go with is quite crucial to your success. Majority of them looking to build E-Commerce websites aren’t really coders. They are mainly entrepreneurs with a business background. To make it easy for the less tech-savvy entrepreneurs, many hosting providers have come up with the feature which can help you install this platform with not much hassle. These are also called auto installers or Softaculos by the hosting vendor. You must look for this feature if you do not want to get your hands dirty with coding.
Some top e-commerce platforms are,
- WooCommerce (WordPress)
- OpenCart and many more.
Two Examples of End to end E-Commerce platforms
- Shopify: If you have not heard about Shopify, you have certainly been living under the rock. Shopify is the most prominent E-Commerce platform which powers thousands of stores. They provide end to end E-Commerce solution. From domain, hosting to tools, Shopify offers a complete solution. Their pricing is not among the cheapest but it is worth considering the features being offered.
They even offer a 14-day free trial which allows you to experience the platform without spending a dime. We have made a complete guide on Shopify, which will surely be of some use to you.
- WordPress: WordPress is a CMS platform which powers more than 50% of websites on the internet. It is easy to convert any WordPress website into an E-Commerce store with a help of Woo-commerce plugin.
Once you have hosted your website on the best E-Commerce hosting company, you can add the WooCommerce plugin. This plugin allows you to add and build a store on your E-Commerce website. WooCommerce is a wisely used E-Commerce plugin which powers over 28% of the stores online.
Which E-Commerce hosting plan should I settle with?
When it comes to an E-Commerce there are so many aspects you will have to factor in. We have discussed all those which should enable you to make the best choice. Also, to make it easier, we have already listed the top 8 E-Commerce hosting plans in India. These have been tested and have been listed only after they showed good results.
However, we do not want to choose for you. Based on the requirements and budget, go with any provider and start your E-Commerce journey. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, if you have additional queries.