Top 5 SaaS-Based E-Commerce Platforms in India

The US was once practically the Goliath in the western ecommerce retailing sector. It was also home to top e-commerce platforms exclusively. But there has been a sharp shift in the same from Western Hemisphere to the east, thanks to Globalization. Asia has now a cluster of players like China and India which have their focus on e-tail business. China is the world’s largest ecommerce market and India is not that far behind.

Poised as the fastest growing online market in the Asia-Pacific, India has been witnessing a hockey stick growth in e-commerce. SaaS-based e-commerce platforms also have been on the rise. Some of the trends that are really encouraging are;

  • Between 2012–2017, India has secured a whopping CAGR of 70% (Source: IBEF).
  • The current Indian e-Commerce Marketplace boasts a market size of $200 Billion and is expected to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2021. (a study by Deloitte India and Retailers Association of India).
  • Initiatives by Indian government such as ‘Digital India’,’ Start-Up India’,’Digital Udaan’ have been instrumental drivers for the same.

The inception of Jio has totally changed the cellular market by providing cheap 4G internet leading to the rise of Internet users in the country. This helped India’s internet penetration to skyrocket. E-commerce platforms in India have been able to build a strong foundation as online transactions rose from 2.9% to 5% and are still on the rise.

Not only cultural trends were shared across the hemispheres but the markets are connected as well.

The Journey From Bricks To Clicks

Many businesses based solely on ‘Bricks and Mortar’ presence are now looking to find their footing in the digital marketplace to gain an omnichannel presence. There are 2 ways to do this,

  • Build your own online store in-house
  • Save the cost of hiring a team, maintaining them and other countless infrastructure expenditure by subscribing to one of the SaaS-based e-commerce platforms in India.

Why SaaS?

  • Enterprises have a scope of saving a lot of expenditure using SaaS as it is one of the key drivers of automation.
  • Using a cloud-based service means you will have less on your plate while handling the internal infrastructure.
  • It’s easy to set up and updates are smooth with guaranteed services.
  • Data management and security won’t be your burden.

So if you are looking for such cloud-based SaaS, the following are some best options of such e-commerce platforms in India to check out :

1. StoreHippo

StoreHippo is a well known SaaS-based ecommerce platform in India. It offers turnkey solutions with comprehensive features that can be customized for enterprise businesses. Its solutions also go well with the regular ecommerce needs of SMEs. by its users with its features and offerings. They have proved themselves to be a trustworthy platform for the country’s growing online B2B market.

Features like adaptive payment methods, easy inventory management, integrated logistics with a reliable logistics aggregator like Shipkaro makes shipping easy for store owners. With services acclimated to the Indian market, they are suited to cater to operations of any size. StoreHippo can help your online store turn into a marketplace as well as a versatile independent online store. They are still growing and are adding to their bundle of features. For instance, they overhauled their tax engine to accommodate GST. If you are looking to run an efficient online store with your customers facing negligible hassles, StoreHippo is one of the top ecommerce platforms you should check out.

Benefits of using StoreHippo

  • Integrated logistics partner ShipKaro has made logistics operations easy and smooth.
  • Multi-Store and multi-seller features help store-owners to manage their inventory as well as their marketplace partners.
  • They have a wide range of B2B functionalities which is suited for the Indian market.
  • Technology like PWAs, MEAN will make your online store dynamic. You can customize your store making it devise and platform-specific, making it an advanced e-commerce platform in India.
  • Admin panel is easy and manageable.
  • The platform can be used by anyone with basic computer skills. Also, it is flexible and scalable which can be used by anyone who can handle a computer.
  • Design themes given here are free and are easy to tweak. Customization can be done at the storefront and at the admin dashboard too.
  • SSL security is provided free here.
  • Android and iOS apps can be built right from the admin panel at no additional cost

Limitations

  • International logistics are not automated, you might have to manually manage them.
  • No POS services yet but they are still working on it. Currently focused on online platforms.

2. Shopify

Shopify is another e-commerce service providers in India that have gained popularity in recent years. Shopify provides multichannel selling options to its clients which is quite in tune with the needs of Indian consumers. It’s e-commerce services are simple to grasp and use for the online store owners. If you own a small scale business with limited expenditure capabilities, Shopify can turn out to be quite a decent option. You don’t have to be a seasoned coder for using this SaaS-based e-commerce platform. But handling Shopify’s proprietary code ‘Liquid’ can be demanding to handle a new platform.

Shopify has customizable theme templates which you can use to give your online store a pretty look. It can also accommodate relevant plugins that can help your business to scale up.

Benefits of using Shopify

  • They have POS tools, helping you to easily manage offline stores as well.
  • Plenty of third party add-ons in their app store help to improve Sales and Marketing strategy.
  • You can buy an existing Shopify store using their exchange marketplace which can give you the jumpstart you need.
  • A good option to venture in dropshipping.

Limitations

  • Compared to other e-commerce platforms in India, the plans are a little bit pricey and overall backend features are limited.
  • Shopify stores rely heavily on third-party add-ons which are priced. Those plugins will add to your store set up expenses.
  • Their proprietary coding ‘Liquid’ written in Ruby, may prove to be challenging for first-time users.
  • Advanced reports are available in their high-end plan only.
  • If you and your business are based in India, accessing phone support might get a little difficult.

3. Get me a shop

Talking about e-commerce platforms in India, we must take a glance at Get me a shop by Times Internet of the Times group. This SaaS-based platform packs quite a punch with a lot of features that can help your business to thrive online. With an easy to use the platform, you can take your website live in minutes and start selling. It provides you with a secure and affordable base with many tools to manage your business online. Many additional CRM and marketing tools make it one of the top e-commerce platforms in India.

Benefits of using Get me a shop

  • Automated posting of products and services on social media helps quite a bit. It makes social media marketing work quite easy.
  • CRM tools help users manage customers easily with integrations such as chat boxes.
  • A business manager is provided on their ‘Platinum’ plan to help with the store setup.
  • Centralized and easy to use admin takes away the pain of managing your store.

Cons

  • SSL is given as an add-on but not free which is necessary for a SaaS-based e-commerce platform.
  • Limited staff accounts are provided in their plans so a huge enterprise might have an issue if they want to add admins for ease of operations.
  • Reports and analytics are not that in-depth, their ‘Advanced Analytics’ is only available in the ‘Platinum’ subscription.
  • The creation of mobile apps is provided as add-ons but not included in the base package.

4. Zepo

Zepo is another Indian e-commerce platform used by small to medium businesses. This SaaS-based e-commerce platform is strong and has enterprise-grade potential. This is an easy base to build your online store up giving it a classy look. Zepo can help users build mobile and online stores effortlessly with social media integrations. Their collection of services includes integrated payment solutions, courier aggregation with premium support, automated AI-driven marketing solution and marketplace selling solutions integrated with the website.

Benefits of Using Zepo

  • Their admin panel is simple, which users can understand easily to design the store.
  • Personal account manager to set up the client’s store, though available in the Premium plan only.

Limitations

  • Services suited only to small scale businesses.
  • Customer support and service has received a lot of flak from users, the major issue being lost shipments and payment delays.
  • Limited features as compared to other e-commerce platforms in India and a bit pricey for the same.

5. Build a bazaar

Build a bazaar is another SaaS-based e-commerce platform that provides variable services and features making it another one of the most popular providers in India. It has a strong do it yourself a platform that will enable you to take your website look appealing. Websites can be customized with themes and widgets.

As a starter, easy integrations with payment gateways, social media platforms, and other ecommerce modules, you can easily take your business online and get started. This SaaS-based ecommerce platform is growing fast with a lot of reputed brands already trusting it with their ecommerce operations.

Benefits of using Build a bazaar

  • Integration with Infibeam marketplace helps your store to display products on their platform.
  • Like Shopify, they have a fraud management module to avoid fraudulent charge-back loss.
  • They provide a bundle of e-commerce modules such as ERP integration to enhance backend functionalities.

Cons

  • Multilingual functionality is only provided in the ‘Platinum’ feature, rest plans only support English.
  • SSL security is a paid add-on for their basic plans and is only given free in ‘Platinum’ plan. SSL is must-have security in a SaaS-based e-commerce platform.
  • Many features that would help a business are only included in ‘Platinum’ such as unlimited products, mobile apps, multiple social media logins. This platform will be suited more to enterprises and not small businesses starting out.

Conclusion

With all these facts at your disposal, you can now easily make an informed decision to pick the right e-commerce platform to build your business online. Just consider the benefits you can gain with the features they have to offer. You can even get started right now with a 14 day trial period they offer. The Indian e-commerce market has a lot of scope for new entrants. Be sure to grab an opportunity while you still have a chance.

Sign up for their trial demos and find out which of these Top E-commerce Platforms will help your business flourish.

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Abhishek Aggarwal

He is an ecommerce expert with 7+ years of experience.With hands-on experience of handling B2B and B2C ecommerce projects