Updated on: Oct 21st, 2022
10 min read
Sarees have a high demand in India. Women browse for unique sarees to wear for festivals. Plus, many women prefer to wear sarees for functions. In India, there are festivals and functions throughout the year. Sarees never go out of style because of the variety they offer. Thus, starting a saree business is a lucrative option in India.
The saree industry is growing steadily in India. Many new sellers are entering the market with unique saree designs. There are changes in fashion trends, but sarees are always in high demand. Many new merchants have entered the saree market with beautiful designs. Women wear it to functions, festivals, family gatherings and sometimes even the workplace. The saree industry is flourishing in India, with new types of sarees every year.
Hand-woven and machine-woven, naturally and vegetable-dyed sarees are plenty nowadays. Due to the apparent growth in demand for sarees, it is a lucrative business. A home-based online saree business is less risky as there is not much investment in infrastructure.
To start an online saree business in India, business owners do not have to invest in infrastructure or inventory as they can run the business online at the convenience of their own homes. It requires a good smartphone/laptop, a proper internet connection and a network of distributors and manufacturers to run the online saree business.
Here are some tips to start an online saree business to make it profitable:
Understand sarees and fabrics
Entrepreneurs wishing to start a saree business must know the online saree industry. Thus, you must know the quality of clothes and fashion trends. You need to research the market, sarees, demographics, existing players and competitors. You can attend or join relevant groups or workshops to learn and incorporate saree and fabrics learning.
Understand the product
You must know about the services and products you offer to have an edge over competitors. In India, the saree designs, techniques, colours and craftsmanship change as per the region. You can choose to specialise in selling the type of saree you know about, such as details about its material, cultural origin, history, etc. It will help you answer the queries of your customers. You can also target customers more effectively and highlight the saree features. You can widen the categories of sarees as your business progresses.
Know about manufacturers and distributors
You must have a thorough understanding of saree manufacturers and distribution networks to be successful. Thus, you must identify suitable distributors and manufacturers. Identify local weavers who can provide the best prices. While choosing a manufacturer, consider the product price, quality and ability to supply products as per the demand. Choosing a manufacturer who can maintain a consistent supply of sarees is critical. Customers look for new varieties, and a manufacturer who can support the demand would be ideal for the business’s success.
Have a laptop or smartphone with fast internet connectivity
A laptop or smartphone with a good internet connection is essential for running an online saree business and engaging with potential customers on social media or saree websites. It is vital to be available on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp to operate the online saree business smoothly. Thus, internet connectivity and a device such as a laptop or a smartphone to access social media platforms are necessary for an online saree business owner.
Understand the customers
Before starting the business, you must decide to whom they want to sell their sarees. Since the saree business is online, all women across India can access the online saree shop. However, selling to everyone is a challenge since each woman has her own unique taste and preferences. Some women prefer silk saree, while some prefer cotton. Thus, you must decide who the target customers are and sell products accordingly. You can make customer profiles as the business starts and categorise them according to taste, age, buying capacity, etc. It will help you get an analytical view of the potential buyers.
Determine the cost
The pattern and material of the saree, the cost of the saree bought from the manufacturer, packing costs and courier will determine the saree price. You must offer the highest quality sarees at the best price to attract customers and grow the business. The total capital required for the online saree business depends on the saree prices, internet fees, marketing charges and other minor expenses. You must also figure out the running cost or the amount required to run the business online.
Prepare a business plan
Once the running cost of the online saree business is determined, you must prepare a business plan. A plan is necessary when you require investors for the online business. It also helps to figure out the basics and provides a starting point. Since the online saree industry is not easy to predict, you can make a flexible business plan.
Create a website and social media accounts
Since it’s an online business, having an online presence is a must. Creating a website and social media accounts is a great way to promote and do business by showcasing the saree collections and categories. Social media also helps customers contact you and your business to reach out to more people. You can also use social media platforms for paid advertising. You can showcase discounts and run offers for the sarees along with catalogues on the website to attract customers and grow the business.
Register the business
The online saree business should be registered as a sole proprietorship or a partnership firm. You must also get the GST registration and PAN card. You should also open a bank account in the name of the business. You may even regiter your saree business on the Udyam website and get an MSME registration to get the benefits provided by the government. However, MSME registration is not mandatory. Registration of the business ensures credibility and makes it legal. Customers prefer to buy from an online business verified by a registry, making it trustworthy.
Tie up with E-commerce companies
Tying up with e-commerce platforms, such as amazon, Myntra and Flipkart, will help to launch the business conveniently and cost-efficiently. You can reach out to more customers when you tie up with e-commerce platforms. You only need a GST number and PAN to register with e-commerce platforms. The biggest advantage of registering with e-commerce platforms is that they take care of the logistics, allowing you to focus on your products. However, the e-commerce platforms would verify the saree quality, and you can start selling them once the e-commerce platforms approve the saree quality.
Some of the profitable online saree business models and ideas are as follows:
Social Media Selling
Social media selling is selling sarees through social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. Facebook and Instagram allow businesses to showcase their products and sell them to interested customers. It is a low-cost way to start an online saree business. Social media channels offer an excellent platform to market the sarees.
Online Wholesale Saree Business
In a wholesale saree business model, the entrepreneur buys sarees from wholesalers in bulk directly and sells them to online retailers. In this model, the entrepreneurs must have a storage facility to stock the sarees. It can also be stocked in a room at the entrepreneur’s house. The entrepreneurs usually sell sarees in bulk in this model. It is a seller-to-seller model.
E-Retail Saree Business
In the e-retail saree business model, the entrepreneur will set up an e-retail saree store. Entrepreneurs can set up an online saree store on an e-commerce website or make their own store website. Customers purchase the sarees from the e-retail saree stores by surfing the store website, selecting the sarees to buy and getting delivery of the purchase. In this model, the sarees can be stored in the entrepreneur’s house or it can be arranged to be delivered directly from the manufacturer or distributor without holding stock.
Saree Business at Home
The saree business at home model functions like a retail model, but sarees are stored in the entrepreneur’s house. It is usually done on a small-scale basis. The customers may even visit the entrepreneur’s house to buy the sarees, or the entrepreneur can take the sarees to customers. It operates with minimum scalability and thrives mostly on word-of-mouth marketing.
After setting up the online saree business, it is essential to market it. Entrepreneurs can create a plan that covers online marketing. They can also plan offline marketing since it is affordable and is one of the top ways of marketing. Offline marketing, such as catalogues, pamphlets and brochures, will help the business. Online marketing plans should include social media marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The marketing of the online saree business can be done in the following ways:
Entrepreneurs can spread the word about their saree business to friends and family through Whatsapp. They can create a Whatsapp group for interested people, share the latest saree collection and create a Whatsapp business account for selling the same.
Entrepreneurs can create a Facebook page to showcase their saree collection and market it online. They can publish catalogues of sarees and keep posting regular videos and posts about the sarees. Unique and creative posts will attract customers and motivate them to shop in the saree store.
Instagram shopping has been a successful strategy for online marketing. Entrepreneurs can get the attention of buyers on Instagram by posting styling tips and product pictures and using the right hashtags to raise the online store’s reach. They can also create reels and stories for better reach. Instagram for business provides analytics and related services to help sellers market their sarees better.
Entrepreneurs can promote their sarees on Youtube. They can post videos of their sarees and show their features on Youtube. On Youtube, an entrepreneur can also get organic reach of the saree business and paid promotions.
Reselling apps, such as Meesho, can help to promote the saree business. As resellers, entrepreneurs can also share products from the reselling apps with their network and earn a commission on every transaction.
In India, the online saree business has lucrative business opportunities. It requires minimal technical expertise and can be started from home with low investment. Sarees are continuously in demand in India. Hence, the profitability of the saree industry will always sustain.
Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.