How to Start an Online Store on Shopify

start an online store on shopify

E-Commerce has finally geared up to operate fully again and with the demand levels slowly rising, we can expect to see new players in the market once again. If you’re looking to start an online store, look no further, here’s the ultimate recipe to start an online store on Shopify!

Shopify is one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world with over 1,000,000 online sellers! Its popularity can be attributed to its ease of use and hassle-free integration coupled with a smooth onboarding process.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the quickest way to get back to business or kickstart a new venture by creating an online store on Shopify and some must-have tools in your toolbag. 

Steps to start a Shopify store

First things first, it’s important to set a goal for your store. Whether it’s revenue or order count, make sure to have your North Star in place. Make sure to have a store decked with the essentials. A basic store serves this goal perfectly well. 

Let’s look at the steps you need to ensure to set up your store on Shopify:

Step 1: Pick your online store name

The first step to starting your store is to pick a suitable name for your business. E-Commerce as an industry allows you to be creative with names according to your sub-industry. 

If you’re having trouble coming up with a good name, you can try out the Business Name Generator.

Step 2: Register for a Shopify store 

Modern times have definitely made it easier for e-commerce entrepreneurs to start their business. Previously, you had to get a server, upload an e-commerce system to it, hire someone to change it according to your needs, and pay to maintain it. It was expensive, time-consuming, and the final results were not worth it anyway.

On Shopify, the server setup and maintenance is taken care of. All you need to do is click on the “Start free trial” and click on “Create store”.

We also have special discounts in collaboration with Shopify App Store as part of the back-to-business package, but we’ll get to that in some time!

Step 3: Choose a theme for your store

You can either go for a preset theme or customize your theme according to your preferences. Shopify has also built a free custom theme to help Indian businesses go online in less than an hour

Visit the Shopify Theme Store and choose a theme. There are many free options. If you’re looking to save time, try and find one that won’t need many changes. 

A sample plug-and-play template, customized from Shopify’s end to make it easier for you to launch the online store has been created. Download the theme here.

If you want to customize your theme or edit the store’s look, go to Online Store → Themes → Customize Theme. You can also spot sections to edit the header, body and footer of your page.

Step 4: Decide on a fitting business logo

What do Nike, Adidas, Puma and Louis Vitton have in common? They all have distinct, easily-recognizable logos that identify the brand at first glance.

The next step to creating your online store is to upload your business logo. Just like your company’s name, a logo is equally important for your business.

It’s recommended to hire a professional designer to design your logo befitting to your brand image. Keep in mind that a well-designed logo can go a long way in increasing brand recall too.

Hatchful is a trending, beginner-friendly logo-making website that has been making waves on social media platforms like TikTok. Make sure to check it out!

Step 5: Set up your standard webpages 

In order to set up a fully-functional website, you need to set a few basic webpages in motion. To start with, here are a few must-have pages for any e-commerce website: About Us, Terms & Conditions, Privacy & Returns Policy, Shipping & Delivery Information, and Contact Us.

On the Shopify platform, to create a page, visit → Online Store → Pages → Add Page to get started. Make sure to also do regular content checks to ensure that your website is well-written and adheres to SEO guidelines.

Also, ensure to upload your policy page correctly to ensure trust between you and the customer. To quickly create basic policy pages for your store, go to Settings → Checkout and scroll down to the Refund, Privacy, and TOS statements section to generate each policy sample.

Step 6: Add products

From your Shopify admin dashboard, head to Products > All products. From this page, click the button Add product. Enter a title for your product, along with a product description and photo. Make sure to add variants (e.g. different sizes, colors, etc).

You can group products into categories by following the instructions outlined in this article.

Step 7: Ensuring safe payments

A big part of the shopping experience is ensuring safe, hassle-free and secure payments. Make sure to choose a payment gateway that caters to your needs, to begin with. A payment partner like Razorpay can help you with the above requirements. Razorpay offers one-click integration with Shopify to start accepting payments on your online store.

Step 8: Setting up shipping 

Shipping, undoubtedly, is a factor that can make or break your relationship with the customer. Shipping can be hassle-free if you have a lean management system to help you streamline your process. 

Have a legitimate shipping partner and a good Order Management Software (OMS) to enable the customer to have a smooth tracking experience. Shopify is integrated with major logistics aggregators across India like Shiprocket, Vamaship, Shyplite and other leading courier partners in India. 

A transparent tracking system can significantly up the trust levels between you and the customer. Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up your shipping rates on Shopify.

Step 9: Billing information 

Before launching your store, you’ll need to enter your Shopify billing information but you won’t be charged until your 14-day trial ends. Navigate to Settings → Account and enter your billing information.

Your store is now good to go!

Getting back on track with Shopify back-to-business 

The Indian government has finally eased the lockdown regulations and it’s clear that e-commerce businesses need to re-invent to suit the future. Right from how businesses function to how a consumer interacts with them, things have changed, leading retailers to choose different paths than expected of them. 

Shopify, in its attempt to make it easier for businesses across India to get back up after the COVID-19 slowdown, has partnered with Razorpay and other e-commerce solutions that will enable businesses to adjust to the new normal in the coming months. 

From marketing solutions to payments, logistics and more, you can find recommendations to suit your business.

Whether you already have an online store or you’re looking at setting up one, this toolkit has every solution and offer you’ll need to set up shop online at minimal costs and grow your business. 

From Razorpay to Freshdesk, discover attractive discounts on a horde of useful products, only on the Shopify back-to-business page. Find it here!

Must-have tools to boost your e-commerce business

Razorpay- Online payments simplified

Razorpay is highly trusted among Indian shoppers and businesses, providing local wallets and a variety of payment methods for your Shopify store. 

The one-click integration between Razorpay and Shopify is built to help Indian merchants set up a secure payment gateway on your Shopify store in no-time. By setting up Razorpay, you can accept, manage, and disburse payments without losing revenue in large transactional fees.

Check out Razorpay → 

Thirdwatch- Reduce RTO losses

As more brands are going online and consumers start to make purchases digitally, the chances of fraud increase too. Whether it’s about detecting impulsive purchases or incomplete addresses or even profiling suspicious users, Thirdwatch can help you with that.

Thirdwatch is an AI-powered offering that enables online sellers to prevent Return-To-Origin (RTO) fraud losses. The app’s AI engine evaluates every order in real-time and provides actionable results to weed out orders likely to result in RTO.

Check out Thirdwatch →

AdYogi – Automate e-commerce advertising

AdYogi is a marketing SaaS platform that automates and optimises Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads for your e-commerce store. AdYogi is a Google premier partner and Facebook Agency Partner. Their digital strategy team helps you plan and execute to scale online revenues by 10x.

Check out AdYogi →

Shipway- Shipment tracking and automation

Enhance your post-buying experience with Shipway’s all-in-one shipment and package tracking tool & tracking APIs for e-commerce businesses. Let your buyer feel a branded experience with the branded tracking page, in-order tracking status and much more!

Shipway enables you to automate order status notifications, shipment tracking and capture order reviews on successful delivery. Once you start taking orders on your store, it is important to keep your customers informed about the order status. This lets them know when they can expect the delivery of an order and plan their other purchases accordingly. 

Check out Shipway →

Vamaship- E-Commerce logistics management

Vamaship is a prominent logistics aggregators in India preferred by a number of Indian brands. They work with leading courier partners to provide you with affordable shipping and logistics partners. 

Vamaship’s integration with Shopify allows you to manage your order shipment and fulfilment within your store’s dashboard.

Check out Vamaship →

Ezyslips – E-Commerce back-office automation 

Ezyslips is an E-Commerce back-office automation tool that helps businesses in carrier API integration, multi-channel shipping management, automatic order allocation according to the service types, zip codes and weight, fulfilment automation, NDR Management and much more.

Check out Ezyslips →

That ends our blog on how you can start an online store on the Shopify platform and some tools to help you boost your business. Make sure to get in touch with us if you have any questions about how Razorpay or Thirdwatch can aid your business!

Celebrating 2020 Days of Razorpay

Today is an interesting day for us. Razorpay turns 2,020 days young on 29 June 2020!

This means that over 5 years have passed since we began powering your financial systems so that you could continue challenging the status quo with new ideas, products and experiences. 

We have helped businesses across industries create an impact. From helping collect donations worth over Rs 237 million for Kerala floods and COVID-19 relief measures, to providing capital support to over 2,500 startups, the journey has been a remarkable one. 

The infographic below captures this journey in a beautiful way.

When we think of this time in terms of two thousand and twenty days, it seems like a long period of time. But it is time that has flown by us. The last couple of years have gone by at a particularly fast pace, because Razorpay has also evolved at a very fast pace during this time.

From a payments solution provider to a neobank.

We are now present at every stage of a business’s money management processes, powering their finances to help them grow their business. 

So what does day 2,021 and beyond look like for Razorpay? Well, stay tuned. Cliched as it may sound, there are actually miles to go before we sleep.

A big thank you to the Razorpay Team for this wonderful effort. Isha, Anuj and Anupriya from the Design team, Khushali and Sreya from the Content and Social Media teams as well as Sharath and Shreyas from the Product Analytics team for putting this together.

Why a Current Account is Crucial for Businesses

current account

Setting up a current account is one of the most important tasks you simply cannot skip while starting your business. It is very crucial for you to keep your business banking operations separate from your personal banking. 

Having a current account for your business helps you keep track of all your expenditure while simplifying your taxation process.

Before we get started, let’s understand what a current account is.

What is a current account

A current account is opened by businessmen, entrepreneurs, and more, who have to make a large number of transactions regularly. 

Since the volume of transactions, as well as the amount per transaction are generally high, no interest can be availed upon the balance. But, a current account helps with deposits, withdrawals, and contra transactions.

You can open a current account in any commercial bank.

Advantages of having a current account

The whole purpose of a current account is to facilitate entrepreneurs and businessmen to carry out their transactions seamlessly, on a day-to-day basis. 

Here are some advantages you could get by having a current account for your business. 

#1 Current account = any number of transactions 

One of the most important advantages of having a current account for your business is that there is no constraint on the number of transactions. You can transact any number of times at whatever frequency you need to. 

Plus, the upper limit for transactions is so high that you don’t have to worry about money movement at all! This enables your business to have maximum fluidity in terms of operations. 

#2 Keep your personal assets from your business

It is of the utmost importance to keep your personal and business assets disjoined.  It is always recommended you have a current account so you can track your cash inflow easily. This gives you a superior way of planning and managing your budgets. You also get a roundup on your expenditure.

Having a clean financial record allows you to organise your data, which can come in handy for taxes and deductions. Great bookkeeping is always a bonus!

#3 Current account makes your operations easy

Delayed transactions can result in unwanted hiccups. A current account is just what you need to keep your business operations running like a well-oiled machine! 

Your day-to-day transactions are carried out effortlessly and proficiently. Without any delays or jam-ups with your operations, you also get benefits like online banking. The speed of your transactions is usually high, which helps you maintain a good rapport with your vendors and customers!

#4 Current account translates to business legitimacy

Sure, we already talked about the importance of keeping your personal and business assets away from each other. But there is more. As a businessperson, you may write cheques or make online transfers to your vendors, partners, and more. It may seem unprofessional when you make payments from your personal account.

This is not entirely a deal breaker, but having a current account in the name of your business allows your payees to feel affirmed about you having a legitimate business.

#5 Reap extra benefits from your current account

Your current account has all sorts of other benefits that you would typically get from your savings account.  Based on your business, your bank will offer you free Demand Drafts, NEFT and RTGS transactions, Pay Orders, and more, other than the unlimited withdrawals and deposits you can make with your current account. 

Now that we have talked about nearly everything current accounts can help you with, let us break it to you. There is a whole lot more you can get with current accounts.

Introducing RazorpayX Current Accounts

What if we told you that you could get all the benefits we mentioned above, and then some more?  Traditional business banking is not the most efficient way to manage finances. And, several Razorpay merchants told us how suboptimal their business banking experience is.

We conducted a survey among 1500+ CxOs and spoke to 400+ merchants to understand their business banking experience.

  • 64% of companies believe their payment service providers are best equipped to solve their payment challenges as opposed to banks
  • 10x as many companies polled believe payment service providers innovate better than banks
  • 36% of businesses believe manual dependency and reconciliation are the biggest challenges in their current money management

During the survey, another significant problem that stood out was automating money movement. Businesses spend lots of time and money to get their financial operations moving without any trouble. And, with RazorpayX, we aim to put a stop with all problems around money movement.

We built RazorpayX Current Accounts to help you kickstart your journey towards an efficient and seamless business banking experience. The RazorpayX ecosystem provides you with effective end-to-end money movement capabilities, giving you real-time insights on your transactions.

Payouts via Dashboard and APIs

If you already have a current account in a bank, you surely know that API integration takes forever. With RazorpayX Current Accounts, you get APIs by default.

Integration takes very little time and you can start making payouts to your vendors, customers, partners, employees, and more, almost instantly. You can also make or queue your payouts using the RazorpayX Dashboard. 

Approval workflow

Although approval workflows are available with banks, they are quite difficult to set up. And once they are set up, changing them is very difficult since it is long and laborious, involving many documents.

With RazorpayX, approval workflows are very smooth, right from setting them up and changing them. All you have to do is raise a request and our Ops team will get them done in no time. 

Smart insights and reports

RazorpayX converts your financial data into information, and information into insights, so that you have a better overview of your money movement.  

  • View financial summaries of your transactions with customers, vendors, employees, etc.
  • Drill down views of transactions at a contact level and a category level
  • Instantly access/download financial reports and summaries of your contacts
  • Get data on real-time transactions that help you make better business decisions

Apps and integrations

This is one among other things that makes RazorpayX Current Accounts truly stand out from banks. RazorpayX comes with its own set of apps that give you value-added benefits.

Your business banking operations will be much smoother with apps like Vendor Payouts, Payout Links, and Payroll With these integrations in place, your current account will be 10x times more efficient than your average current account.

[ Suggested reading: RazorpayX – How Businesses can Simplify Payouts ]

The verdict

The real difference is how RazorpayX Current accounts comes with its own package of everything you could possibly need for smooth money movement. 

RazorpayX is your one-stop virtual CFO that you need to maintain everything in one place and keep your money moving efficiently.

Prevent Fraud on Your Online Store With Shopify Tags

shopify store e-commerce shopify tags

Shopify, one of the world’s largest e-commerce hosting platforms, powers over 6,00,000 online businesses and houses at least one million active users! With attractive website themes, clear UI, lakhs of Shopify tags and APIs to choose from and many more lucrative features, it is the one-stop-shop for e-commerce beginners. Shopify has users from 175 countries and its popularity isn’t unprecedented. Shopify online stores come with a variety of advantages such as:

  1. Speed and security – Shopify is currently integrated with multiple payment providers, and its built-in quick checkout allows customers to pay with minimal load time.
  2. Marketing – Shopify allows custom Title tags, meta descriptions on every category page for SEO and allows you to build customized landing pages to market your online store better.
  3. Design – Like industry peers such as WordPress, Shopify offers multiple free themes and numerous custom-built premium themes, along with the option to customize and add features for Developers.
  4. Shopify App Store – The Shopify App store hosts thousands of apps and provides you with all the features that you need to run an online business. It provides various free and paid apps and adds flexibility for brands having an online presence.

We at Razorpay Thirdwatch, have consistently aimed to provide the best fraud prevention services to all Shopify users. That’s why we’re here with some great news!

As you may be aware, Thirdwatch is an e-commerce fraud prevention tool that helps online sellers detect risky orders that signal cancellation and consequently bring down RTO. With the all-new Shopify Tags feature, Thirdwatch can now capture risky orders directly from your online Shopify store. All the details on how Shopify tags and Razorpay Thirdwatch can help your e-commerce business are below. Let’s begin!

What are Shopify tags?

Shopify tags are a great way to organize your online store in the backend. Tags are not visible to users, but go a long way in filtering information on your online store.

You can use tags to label products, transfers, customers, orders, draft orders, and blog posts.  One way you can use tags is to group related products so you can make changes to them more quickly.

For example, you could add the “Fall collection” tag to your retail store. At the end of the season, you could search for the “Fall collection” tag on your Products page to get a list of the specific products and use a bulk action to hide them from your sales channels.

How to add a Shopify tag to your store

Adding tags to your store is a pretty simple process. You can add a tag when you are creating or editing products, transfers, orders, draft orders, customers, or blog posts.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the specific product, transfer, order, draft order, customer, or blog post details page in Shopify.
  2. In the Tags section, enter the name of a tag you want to add or select it from the list of existing tags. If you enter the name for a new tag, then it will automatically be created for future use in the section. You can search for ‘Thirdwatch’ to find our tag.
  3. Lastly, click on Save for the changes to reflect.

What are Thirdwatch Shopify tags?

Razorpay Thirdwatch is an e-commerce fraud prevention tool that flags suspicious orders that could signal a cancellation. Depending on different risk factors, Thirdwatch flags it as a ‘red’ flag or a ‘green’ flag. The seller can then choose to make a decision to either approve or reject the order.

All the above actions usually occur on the Admin dashboard that the online seller will have access to, once they install Thirdwatch. With the new Shopify tags feature, they can now directly capture and make decisions for orders from their Shopify store.

The Shopify Tags feature is also great for e-commerce developers who create online stores, OMS, etc. for e-commerce sellers. With this feature, developers can segment history data according to different Thirdwatch tags, including flagged and decisioned orders.

Types of Thirdwatch tags

Flagging

TW-Red This flag indicates a high-risk order that needs immediate decisioning. The seller can choose to approve/reject the order once flagged red.
TW-Green This flag indicates a healthy order with no signs that may indicate a cancellation. This means that, as per Thirdwatch’s criteria, your order is good to go.

 

Approval status

TW-Approved If an order is flagged as red by Thirdwatch, and it’s reviewed by the merchant where the seller chooses to approve on Thirdwatch dashboard, this tag appears.
TW-Rejected If an order is flagged as red by Thirdwatch, and it’s reviewed by the merchant where the seller chooses to decline on Thirdwatch dashboard, this tag shall appear.

 

Address updation

TW-ShippingAddressUpdated This refers to incorrect/incomplete addresses that require address updation for successful delivery. This tag appears when the seller updates the address on the Thirdwatch Dashboard.

 

With the all-new Thirdwatch tags feature, get timely updates on address confirmation, order status and much more! Get in touch with a Thirdwatch expert today if you have any questions on how Thirdwatch Shopify tags can add more value to your business!

Payout Links: Automate Money Transfers Without Bank Details

The COVID-19 pandemic that unfolded recently has resulted in a significant change in the way transactions are carried out today. While the demand for goods and services is increasing, many e-commerce businesses and online gaming companies are struggling with their manual financial processes to get instant access to their customers’ bank account details for refunds and prize money.

E-commerce is one of the largest online businesses in India today. Granted that most e-commerce businesses accept payments online, over 60% of Indian consumers still prefer CoD (Cash on Delivery) over making an online transaction.

This mode of payment creates a gash in the system for businesses if their customer wants to return their purchase since the business does not have the bank account details of their customer. 

Let’s face it. On average, about 30% of online businesses experience returns. Since CoD facilitates a big chunk of online purchases, this is not a problem that can be overlooked. 

What is RazorpayX Payout Links? 

Payout Links is the easiest and fastest way to disburse funds into your customers’ preferred bank account via IMPS, UPI, NEFT, and RTGS.

What problem does Payout Links solve?

Like we mentioned before, CoD refunds are something that most e-commerce businesses face. The process is manual, not to mention time-consuming. 

Here’s what happens when a customer returns their purchase, opting for a refund.

  1. The business sends out a form or an email which the customer needs to fill out with their bank account details
  2. The business hands the details over to the team responsible for making payouts to complete the refund process
  3. If the customer does not respond to the email or form, an agent from the company reaches out to them via call or email 

So, what’s wrong here?

The first thing that’s happening here is that once the business receives the information sent by their customer, they actually have no way of verifying the validity of their account information. 

Next, the finance team will collate the information and make a one-off payout by uploading the account information on the bank’s portal, or make a bulk payout if there is more than one refund. 

There are multiple iterations for something that can be very straightforward. The business, the finance team, and customer care executives are involved for the refund to take place successfully. This takes up many many hours of manual processing, while this time can be utilised for other important tasks. 

This is why a refund takes 5 to 7 business days, making it difficult for both the business and their customer. 

Can you imagine this entire process carrying through in minutes? That is precisely what Payout Links can do for your business.

How does Payout Links work?

Payout Links helps automate the entire process of making a refund to your customer within minutes. All you have to do is create a Payout Link on your RazorpayX Dashboard by entering your customer details along with the amount that needs to be refunded. You can send the Link to your customer or have RazorpayX send it out. 

Also, if you need to create several Payout Links, you can use APIs to create them in bulk.  Now that your customer gets the Link, the process is done in a blink.

Here’s what happens next.

  1. Your customer opens the Payout Link and verifies themselves via OTP
  2. They enter their preferred account which can be a bank account, or their UPI ID
  3. On successful entry of their account details, they receive their refund almost immediately
  4. Your customer is notified if there is any error with the account details they have provided, so they can re-enter the details or try with a different account

Why make your customer wait for 5 to 7 business days? With Payout Links, you can easily reduce the multiple touchpoints and automate the process, and make the refund in a few minutes! Talk about elevated customer experience!

Bonus: If you have already made a refund using Payout Links to your customer, their account details automatically populate the next time they receive a Payout Link from you. However, they can still add a different account if they choose to. 

Popular use cases

To further help you understand how you can make the most of Payout Links, here are the top use cases.

E-commerce: Like we discussed before, e-commerce companies that don’t have a wallet of their own, or need bank account details to set up a customer account, can make use of Payout Links to make refunds to their customers.

Rental businesses: Most rental businesses take an upfront security deposit for the rental services they provide. And, once the rental period is over, they refund the security deposit to their customers after making internal quality checks. Payout Links works best for this use case.

Online gaming: Gaming companies (and other companies) that offer rewards, cashback, and reimbursements to their customers can use Payout Links to disburse money in real-time, since instant gratification is very important in these cases.

Suggested reading: Money Movement Decoded for Online Gaming Companies

payout links ecommerce cod refunds

Razorpay Instant Settlements is the Gamechanger Your Business Needs

Instant Settlements

The financial universe of a lot of businesses revolves around various immediate obligations such as payments to suppliers, incurring revenue expenditures or paying loans on time. These obligations eat out a major portion of a business’s working capital. On top of that, the time gap in receiving payments from customers and making payments to vendors affects a business’s cash reserves significantly.

Effective cash flow is the key to survival for small and medium businesses. Whether your business is growing or just starting, smooth cash flow is the only mantra to sustain among the competition. Even a large enterprise making huge profits can collapse due to non-availability of cash or liquid funds. 

With the default settlement cycle, once customers make online payments, they will only be credited to the business’s bank account after the settlement cycle. This engages more money in the business’s working capital and causes cash-crunch. 

Is the current settlement cycle feasible for all businesses? 

Now, imagine a scenario. You have sold a product and made a profit out of it, but does that mean cash has been credited to your bank account? No, Right! The money takes time to reach your account due to our banking settlement system. Depending upon your business, it can be T+2 or T+3 settlement cycle. This can create unfavourable situations for some businesses while making payroll payments, ordering inventory and paying bills. 

Let’s understand the industry-wise pain point through the following examples:

  1. E-commerce: Online sellers and service providers, making high-value transactions, might struggle with the default settlement cycle. These businesses need funds to start working on their orders, especially during infrequent sales period such as this lockdown. With delayed cash flow, the orders might get delayed, which in turn can negatively impact businesses in a competitive market.
  2. Lending: The lender has to pay additional interest in the settlement period to their financiers, even if the money has already been sent to them. When the end-customer makes online payments, the settlement period adds a delay and interest is accrued by the lender accordingly. The business loses a good amount of cash through interest payments for the settlement cycle, and also hampers its goodwill among the financers in the market.
  3. Utility providers: Most users pay their utility bills on the last date and the default settlement cycle is an issue due to the upward trend of online payments. If the amount is paid online, it is credited to utility company’s bank account after 2-3 days from the date of payment made by users. With ever-increasing online payments and declining cash collections before the due date, the provider might fail to meet some of its financial commitments.
  4. Online education: Education providers offer courses to students in exchange for a certain amount of fees. The students pay their fee electronically, which is credited to the provider’s bank account after the settlement cycle. Meanwhile, the provider has to manage its day-to-day payouts such as teachers’ compensation, recording studio charges and so on. The time gap between these payouts and receiving fees from students affects the business’s cash flow. 

But, is it possible for a business to be cash-efficient and also fulfil various financial obligations on a daily basis? Yes!

How is Razorpay helping businesses with liquidity issues?

Wondering, how? With Instant settlements, Razorpay settles business payments immediately at a nominal fee instead of default settlement cycles. This feature allows businesses to get early access to their money, avoid daily cash flow challenges for any kind of payouts 24×7 even during bank holidays and non-banking hours

Words of appreciation from our happy customers of Instant Settlements

Here’s how the instant settlement feature helped MoneyView:

“Same-day settlements help capture EMI payments made by customers on last dates of payment and still deposit with our financing partners within the requisite period, thereby leading to better money flow management and customer experience” – By Saurav Goyal, CFO, MoneyView

Here’s what the owner of TeleAstro has to say about Instant Settlements:

“Instant settlements option helped us to manage our business with even low working capital. It’s almost like getting paid in cash instantly by our customers. We are anyway competing with bigger corporates to run our operations. So Early Settlements helps us a lot!” – By Animesh Pratap, Owner, TeleAstro

Suggested Read: 24x7x365 Settlements Even on Holidays – Never Run Out of Cash

The instant settlement feature is available to all Razorpay customers subject to a routine risk check and can easily be enabled from the dashboard. You can go to settlements tab on the dashboard and click on ‘Enable now’ or ‘Settle now’ to use Instant Settlements. Also, you can check the nominal fee applicable to such transaction before confirming. 

So, what are you waiting for? 

‘Supercharge your payments and get ready cash with Razorpay – Login now

 

Payroll Changes Due to Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan

Recently, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan package made headlines all across the country. The government announced major steps that will be taken to alleviate some of the impacts of the pandemic on the economy. 

The package involves fiscal policy and relief measures for various industries as the economic ramifications of the pandemic have left no sector untouched.

Read more: Highlights from the Atmanirbhar Package

How does Atmanirbhar prompt payroll changes?

As a part of the relief package, the government also introduced a few measures that will change payroll processing to an extent. Here are the major payroll changes in effect.

  • Reduction in EPF contribution
  • Minimised TDS rates 
  • Changes in Direct Tax (ITR filing deadline)
  • Selection of tax regime (Dual Tax Regime)

payroll changes atmanirbhar razorpay payroll

EPF contribution rate

Under the Atmanirbhar package, the EPF contribution rate of both employer and employee is reduced to 10% from the previous 12%. This is for all categories of businesses that come under the EPF & MP Act, 1952. 

This payroll change is introduced to aid both employers and employees of over 6 lakh businesses manage funds in a slightly relaxed manner.

As a result of the reduction in the EPF contribution rate, employees will have access to higher liquid funds because of higher take-home pay. This also helps lower the liabilities of employers to a certain extent.

This payroll change is applicable for the months of May, June, and July.

Note: The reduced EPF contribution rate is the minimum number for the period mentioned above. However, employers and employees can make higher contributions.

New TDS rates

During the Atmanirbhar package announcement, the government also called forth the new TDS rates. 

According to the announcement, there is a reduction in the tax deducted at source by 25% for all non-salaried payments. Dividend Income, interest on Fixed Deposit, and more fall under the category and the TDS rates are applicable at different levels. 

The new TDS rates have come to effect as of May 14th 2020, and will continue to be applicable for the financial year 2020-21. 

payroll changes atmanirbhar razorpay payroll

ITR filing deadline 

The Atmanirbhar relief package also pushed forward a change in filing Income Tax Returns. 

The government announced that there would be an extension for ITR filing deadline. Earlier, the ITR filing deadline was July 31st 2020, from which the due date is pushed to November 30th 2020. 

The extension in the deadline is a part of the earlier extension made for receiving Form 16 from March 31st 2020 to June 30th 2020. This is to ease some burden on the taxpayers for the financial year.

Tax regime selection (Dual Tax Regime)

Although not a part of the Atmanirbhar package, the Dual Tax Regime has also resulted in payroll changes. The regime brings prevalent changes in the way taxes are calculated from the financial year 2020-21. As opposed to the higher tax slabs with benefits and exemptions, the new tax regime is all about lower tax slabs, but without the benefits and exemptions.

  • The new income tax for employees whose income lies between ₹5 lakh and ₹7.5 lakh is 10% whereas according to the old regime, the income tax is 20%
  • The next slab is for the range between ₹7.5 lakh and ₹10 lakh, where the tax is 15% while the tax is 20% in the old regime
  • Employees with income between ₹ 10 lakh and ₹ 12.5 lakh would pay 20% tax, which is reduced from 30% in the old regime
  • Finally, for income over ₹ 15 lakh, the tax is 30%

Suggested reading: How to Choose the Right Tax Regime

Payroll changes – how to be compliant

Since there are multiple changes in payroll, it is absolutely important for businesses to be compliant. 

If you are dealing with payroll using spreadsheets or an outdated payroll software, it can set you back in more ways than one. Change management is one of the biggest troubles if you have to implement every single one of the payroll changes. This can limit your productivity since payroll processing is laborious and time-consuming. 

Next, your HR team will have to spend long hours every month to keep up. 

If you are wondering how you can manage payroll with minimum impact while being compliant, we have a solution for you.

Opfin is 100% compliant with payroll changes

Opfin is compliant with all the new regulations that have come about as a part of the Atmanirbhar relief package. You don’t have to worry about dealing with compliance ever again! 

It is also compliant with the Dual Tax Regime, allowing employees to choose their preferred regime during the time of their investment declaration for the financial year. 

Employees can see their projected taxes for the year based on their income and regime so that they can make an informed decision keeping their tax liabilities and savings in mind. Further, you completely automate your payroll process without any manual intervention.

Also read: Automate Your Payroll Process With Opfin

Don’t rely on outdated payroll software while you can carry out your payroll operations without any interruptions. Stay up-to-the-minute with changing regulations and compliance with Opfin while it does all the hard work for you.

How to Provide a Good Shipping Experience During the Lockdown

shipping orders e-commerce business india

The COVID-19 situation has brought in waves of change that have altered societal and consumer behaviour drastically. One of the industries that are currently going through a complete change in approach is the e-commerce vertical.

From shipping to tracking, e-commerce and hyperlocal business owners are now forced to re-evaluate their business models in order to adapt to the changing world order. Last-mile delivery, complete digitization, end-to-end sanitization, contactless delivery, etc. are a few methods that have been currently innovated in order to stay afloat.

On May 8th 2020, Razorpay Thirdwatch hosted a webinar with Shipway on “Ensuring the best post-shipping experience during the lockdown”, featuring Gaurav Gupta, co-founder of Shipway and Abhijeet Gaur, Product Lead at Thirdwatch.

During this session, we discussed a few important strategies that e-commerce businesses need to follow, in terms of ensuring a good shipping experience and keeping fraud at bay. In this article, we will be covering key takeaways from the session, just in case you missed attending it. Let’s begin!

Times are a-changin- A look at the trends in e-commerce

Most e-commerce companies have resumed operations, at least in part and we’re seeing a steady growth in shopping patterns. Changing customer preferences and shopping habits have given us many learnings. Here are a few trends that we have observed after the intervention of COVID-19:

  • According to McKinsey, e-commerce businesses will grow at least 3 to 6 times in the months to come
  • About 54% of consumers are expected to cut spends in malls while boosting spends on channels like e-commerce
  • During the first seven days of Lockdown 3.0, the fashion retail sector has recovered 30% of its pre-lockdown order volumes
  • Order volume for electronic appliances increased significantly, with a recovery rate of 35% in the first week of the Lockdown 3.0
  • There has been a 5-7% rise in the average order size compared to the week before the lockdown was announced in March.
  • Amazon has grown its overall sales amid the pandemic, with revenues rising 26% to $75.5 billion
  • E-pharma and online grocery sector witnessed a massive spike of 100% during the first two stages of lockdown, with the average order size increased by 20%
  • Snapdeal reached 50% of pre-lockdown volumes within 5 days of expanded operations. Compared year-on-year, the order volumes for the first 9 days of May 2020 was 52% of volumes  in the same period last year
  • Paytm Mall Senior VP Srinivas Mothey said the company has seen the demand for non-essential items pick up in all orange and green zones.

Changing customer expectations

Just like we stated before, the whole lockdown situation all over the world has brought in waves of change in customer behaviour online. We are observing new habits online due to shifting priorities. Here are a few key pointers on customer expectations.

Direct purchase from brands

Over the last two weeks, we have also spoken to many sellers who have seen an increase in customers purchasing products directly from brands. This can be attributed to the following reasons:

  1. Customers are beginning to value authenticity over everything else. This also plays an important factor in trust.
  2. Access to the latest collections, higher varieties and a consolidated platform is encouraging customers to directly purchase at brand outlets/official websites.
  3. Deep discounting provided by big brands such as Allen Solly and Louis Philippe at their franchisee outlets is also driving more customers to brands directly.

What are customers expecting?

Shipway is a popular e-commerce solution that specializes in post-purchase experience. They help e-commerce businesses by automating order tracking and NDR management. Shipway has collaborated with many e-commerce firms all over the country to list customer expectations that we can expect in the post-lockdown period. We can expect all of these factors to directly have an impact on customer satisfaction, too. Let’s have a look.

  1. Consumers expect quick, hassle-free order fulfilment from businesses. This can be done by collaborating with shipping companies that are well connected across Tier 1,2 and 3 cities.
  2. With hygiene and sanitization as a top priority, customers are now expecting timely updates at every step along the way. A seamless tracking mechanism can go a long way in ensuring customer happiness.
  3. Customers are also looking for an expected date of delivery during these uncertain times.
  4. The best way to a customer’s heart is through great return policies. After all, returns make a huge impact on both the customer and the seller.
  5. A flawless system in place for returns, pickups, refunds, exchanges and cancellations will also make a huge difference to customer perception and will keep customers returning for more.

What can brands do?

Here are a few tips that e-commerce brands can do to keep up with the rising levels of customer expectations:

  1. Set the right expectations around delivery and return policies upfront. 60% are more likely to purchase from a retailer who tells them the exact date a package will arrive. 2 out of 3 customers check the return policy before making a purchase.
  2. Send the right communication, at the right time, through the right channel. Choose wisely between channels like SMS, emails, WhatsApp notifications and IVR calls. A few examples of communication are shipment booked, in transit, delayed delivery due to COVID-19, etc.
  3. Keep customers in a branded tracking experience. Enable a personalized tracking page for your brand for providing timely updates.
  4. Communication for returns is very important and can make or break your relationship with the customer.  Make sure to draft a suitable return communication plan according to different use-cases.
  5. Keep track of your Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and is correlated with revenue growth. Find out your NPS here.

Importance of tracking and transparency

A large part of shipping operations in e-commerce works on a strong foundation of trust between the customer and the seller. A major enabler of trust is transparency and tracking throughout the entire process.

Companies like Shipway help e-commerce companies in providing a branded tracking experience to their customers. From a marketing perspective, too, this can be extremely beneficial for brand recall. Here are a few reasons why you should implement branded tracking for your company:

  • On average, a buyer tracks their package 7-8 times before delivery
  • Keep your customers coming back for more by cross-selling options and showing recommended products on tracking pages
  •  Reduce customer queries and improve the feedback loop
  • Bring down your RTO rates and returns with the help of branded tracking pages

Why is Net Promoter Score crucial?

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a relationship survey that helps you understand whether your customers would recommend you to others. You can trigger auto email alerts when an NPS drops below a certain level. You can also use the NPS as a standard to optimize your customer engagement plans.

Businesses use NPS to capture feedback and assess overall customer satisfaction. With its numeric scoring, management can easily calculate their average and see how content their customers are. Additionally, the system’s standardized scoring clarifies positive and negative reviews, and the comment section available with questions provides further details justifying the respondent’s score.

Ensuring a good post-shipping experience

In conclusion, we know that e-commerce companies must follow a basic set of hygiene methods to make sure that there are no loose ends in securing a good post-shipping experience. Here are some final takeaways for you:

  • A proactive, rather than a reactive approach, is essential for an effective post-shipping experience. Reach your customers before they reach you, that’s the key.
  • Experiment and adapt fast to new technologies and solutions as per changing trends.
  • Ensure that you provide a great post-shipping experience with methods such as status updates, branded tracking pages, reverse shipment tracking, etc.
  • Make sure to automate processes outside core business operations in order to save time and resources and focus on business.

We at Razorpay Thirdwatch, too, are helping businesses fight RTO and returns during a time like this by providing a wholesome e-commerce fraud solution. If you have any questions about how we can help your business, make sure to get in touch with us at thirdwatch@razorpay.com. Check out how we’re revolutionizing order confirmations and detecting suspicious orders here!

Money Movement Decoded for Online Gaming Companies

payment solutions for online gaming companies neobanking razorpay

The online gaming industry has seen a rapid expansion in recent years. It owes its growth to many attributes like increased smartphone penetration, accessible data, affordable tech, and the rise of the digital payments user base. 

Lately, we’ve seen the upsurge of several popular online games like PUBG, Fortnite, and more, successfully stirring up the interest of the youth of India. With more and more gamers joining the bandwagon, the demand for online games has increased. 

This has resulted in the outset of many online gaming companies in India. payment solutions for online gaming companies neobanking razorpay

The many forms of online gaming

“Online gaming” has multiple interpretations today. With so many different modes of gameplay, genres, channels, and player formats, the categories of online gaming are diversified.

However, among the most popular categories are freemium games and online real money games.

Freemium games

The word freemium is a fusion of free and premium. Freemium games are free to play, but compel the gamer to unlock features and customisations by paying the company. These types of games have mostly been sought after in recent times.

Online real money games

Online games that gamers play to win real money, which can be transferred to their digital wallets or bank accounts are called online real money games. These games are in high demand and are increasingly getting noticed by gamers.  payment solutions for online gaming companies neobanking razorpay

Online gaming and digital payments

Online games offer a ton of advanced features to be unlocked by gamers. And, Razorpay has already powered digital payments to several online gaming companies. 

Freemium games with in-app purchases are usually powered by Razorpay Payment Gateway, and the games that require month on month payments to unlock special features, typically use Razorpay Subscriptions. 

Let’s see how Razorpay powers online real money gaming companies.

There are two segments of online real money games. 

  1. Pay to play – where the gamer pays the company before playing
  2. Play to win – where the gamer wins money after playing

Play to win games are all the rage right now. Backed by well known VCs like Sequoia, RummyCulture, Dream11, MPL, Howzat, and more are very famous for their play to win games. 

In both these segments, instant gratification carries a lot of weight for these games to be as successful as they are. And that is simply because of the nature of these games. 

A gamer can collect their winnings after completing a game against an opponent. This means, it is not a continuous, cumulative victory, but a timed one. The gamer does not have to accumulate a certain number of points to collect their winnings. This means they might as well collect their winnings after the conclusion of each and every game. 

So, let’s talk about how these online real money gaming companies pay their winners. 

Essentially, rewarding the winner is considered a payout, a customer payout in particular. And, most of the time, there are many problems associated with making payouts traditionally.

  • Gaming companies need to make sure that the payouts are processed within banking hours so that the gamers get their money as early as possible
  • They have to wait out the cooling period after adding each one of the bank account details
  • UPI and IMPS based payouts have a cap on the total number

This is exactly why online gaming companies need a better solution so they can make timely payouts and ensure that the gamers get their winnings instantly. RazorpayX, a neobanking platform, helps with exactly that.

RazorpayX Payouts

Payouts helps automate the process of making payments to the winners, getting rid of manual intervention. 

  • The winners can be paid instantly via IMPS, UPI, without having to worry about bank hours
  • There is no cooling period, companies can make payouts to accounts immediately after adding them
  • No cap on the number of transactions

[ Read more: How to Simplify and Automate Payouts ]

Most online gaming companies do not require the gamer’s bank account details while setting up a gamer profile. So, how can they make sure the winners are awarded?

Again, RazorpayX has a solution.

RazorpayX Payout Links

Payout Links is the easiest and fastest way online gaming companies can disburse funds into the winner’s preferred bank account via IMPS or UPI. 

A Payout Link can be created on the RazorpayX dashboard. If there is a need for multiple Payout Links, APIs can be used. 

Upon sending the Payout Link to the winner, all they have to do is verify themselves via OTP and enter their preferred bank account or UPI ID. On successful entry of their account details, they receive their refund almost immediately. They will also be notified if there is an error with the account details they have provided, so they can re-enter the details or try with a different account.

The verdict – RazorpayX for online gaming

With RazorpayX, gaming companies need not make the winners wait for 5 to 7 business days to collect their winnings.  payment solutions for online gaming companies neobanking razorpay

2020 – The Year for Neobanking in India

RazorpayX - neobanking platform

Banks have been around forever. In India, the history of banking dates way back to 1750 BC. We have traditionally been dependent on banks for all of our financial needs, as individuals as well as businesses. 

Banks have offered us everything that we have required – from current or savings accounts to credit cards, various types of loans and also, insurance and investment plans. But with fintech startups, the dependency on traditional banks for these services is gradually decreasing, especially for businesses.

These new-age banking services providers are commonly known as neobanks. They are using technology to unbundle traditional banks. And how!

Lately, “neobank” has become somewhat of a buzzword in the fintech space. Quite a few neobanking platforms have emerged in the last few years, creating a storm at a global level. The term itself has gained so much momentum because of the media that it has become a hot topic.

Banking has moved forward in leaps in bounds in the past few years. The way businesses and individuals consume financial services has changed significantly ever since neobanking, API banking, and open banking became prominent in 2016. 

It’s no secret that traditional banks are on the front of increased competition from many arcs of the digital world. Neobanks are expanding rapidly, using state-of-the-art tech to win over customers, who demand simpler, faster, and more efficient financial services. In recent years, neobanks have become the next big thing in fintech. 

So, we wanted to bring you a snapshot of how neobanks are on the way to transform financial services globally. RazorpayX neobanking platform - RazorpayX - what is a neobankrazorpayx - neobanking platform

The expansion of neobanking platforms

Fintech startups all over the world, especially in banking and financial services have over 15 million consumers, out of which, over 50% of the consumers are acquired by neobanks. 

The incredible growth opportunity for neobanking platforms is sprouted by their low-cost business model, which has resulted in high adoption by small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as businesses with variable incomes and earnings, and businesses that embrace innovative tech. 

The speed of neobank adoption has intrigued investors, corporates, as well as venture capitalists all over the world. 

[ Read more: Everything You Should Know About Neobanks ]

Neobanking in India 

Globally, neobanks are entirely digitised. But, in India, regulations don’t permit 100% digitised banks. Fintech companies showcasing themselves as neobanks offer services that are built on top of traditional banking services. 

Regulatory framework for neobanks in India

Neobanks in India emerged as a comprehensive aid for banking and financial services, as well as for small and medium-sized businesses. But, RBI’s regulatory policies neither agree nor disagree with the factuality of fully digitised online banks – meaning, in India, neobanks aren’t 100% digital. 

Back in 2018, RBI kicked all forms of cryptocurrency to the curb, with an explanation that crypto transactions would be a threat to security. Also, other tech innovations like online currency and associated banking services appear to have come to a halt. This has put a damper on the tenacity of new business models since regulatory guidelines are muddled. 

However, in August 2019, RBI ushered in a new regulation for the testing of new fintech innovations in a restricted ecosystem, which is motivating for emerging fintech companies. 

Business banking with neobanking platforms

Neobanks have taken business banking to the next level on the grounds of their enormous range of offerings to businesses. 

Usually, businesses have to deal with dreary and dull processes involving payouts and disbursals. These processes take up many hours of manual effort owing to buggy software and complex infra systems. 

Neobanks are supported by the traditional banking infrastructure, and in return, neobanks help sell current accounts. With the partnership, neobanks provide all the benefits of traditional business banking, along with customised reports, flexibility for bulk upload, easier failure identification, scheduling of payouts, and so much more. And, RazorpayX is at the forefront of the banking revolution in India.

With RazorpayX, businesses can

  • Manage their contacts and end-to-end payout operations via powerful APIs
  • Get notified about their payout status and tracking codes through webhooks
  • Make 24*7 payouts, disbursals, and refunds through UPI, NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS
  • Recharge, store or transfer funds to their RazorpayX account for payouts
  • Offer 24*7 instant refunds and payouts to their customers and vendors etc., without any manual intervention
  • View financial summaries of all their transactions and drill down views of transactions at a contact level
  • Instantly access and download financial reports and summaries of their contacts
  • Get complete control and visibility of their finances with real-time summaries, without any help from financial analysts
  • Automate and execute payroll, compliance, and contractor payments with a dual tax regime compliant payroll software

The RazorpayX story

Traditional business banking is not the most efficient way to manage finances. And, several Razorpay merchants told us how suboptimal their business banking experience is. Since we were already spearheading payments, we thought about giving business banking a shot.

We conducted a survey among 1500+ CxOs and spoke to 400+ merchants to understand their business banking experience.

  • 64% of companies believe their payment service providers are best equipped to solve their payment challenges as opposed to banks
  • 10x as many companies polled believe payment service providers innovate better than banks
  • 36% of businesses believe manual dependency and reconciliation are the biggest challenges in their current money management

And so, we started our neobanking journey by creating a whole new platform on which we could build products and integrations. We created an entire API and dashboard payouts platform over a virtual account setup that merchants could use during the early access in 2018. As we scaled, we realised current accounts are the heart of the product to support higher volumes of transactions.  razorpayX dashboard - neobanking platform During our event FTX 2.019, we announced RazorpayX’s expansion into current accounts, payroll, and corporate credit cards. 

We built RazorpayX with Current Accounts in partnership with RBL Bank and included all standard banking services like cheque book, debit card, and accounting statements. For payroll, we acquired Opfin, a payroll and HR management software company, that also manages tax filing and compliance via a unified platform, without having to hire any external vendors.

We wanted to take this platform just a little bit further with Corporate Credit Cards.

We’re partnering with banks and networks to build corporate credit cards from the ground up that offer immense flexibility with limited-time credit period and auto-repayment for businesses. These cards powered by our credit intelligence engine can be used to make payments towards Google Ads, Facebook Ads, AWS, Business Travel, and so much more.

[ Read more: RazorpayX – How We Built a Startup in a Startup ]

The future of banking with RazorpayX

Online real money gaming is a forthcoming industry in India. The key aspect of making a great game that attracts a huge customer base is to ensure the game winners are rewarded, and really fast. The business model is all about providing its customers with instant gratification.

But, relying on netbanking and other manual payment modes are not the best way to go about disbursing the prize money to the winners. RazorpayX has helped companies like Mobile Premier League, RummyCulture, Pokersaints, and many more to transfer winnings immediately, and with ease.

The year for neobanking

There are over 42.5 million small and medium-sized businesses throughout India, constituting nearly 95% of the total industrial units in the country. But, only 47% of these businesses have been able to access tools for payments, disbursals, and other vital processes.

Furthermore, about 23% of SMEs use ERP software and CRMs. This means, there’s a huge market opportunity for neobanks, especially since they have a lot to offer. 

The gig economy of India has over 15 million contract workers and freelancers, who actively boost the growth of startups. And just like SMEs, only about 67% of the gig economy has access to innovative tech that helps with money management. Neobanks can help the gig economy by enabling independent workers with customer management and banking services.

Over the last 3 years, India has seen the rise of neobanks with 811 by Kotak, Yono by SBI, RazorpayX, Open, NiYo, and more. And, these neobanks have been successfully helping SMEs, large enterprises, and the gig economy with billing, cashflow management, disbursals, vendor management, and so much more.