After several speculations and rumors, Amazon.com has indeed started off with its Indian operations under the brand Junglee.com. The portal which is currently in beta, features more than 12 million products across 14,000 brands in 25 categories including mobile phones, cameras, toys & games, baby products, books, music, movies & TV, clothing, jewellery, kitchen & home products.
An aggregator & price comparison portal
Before anyone gets all excited, it must be noted that Junglee is simply a marketplace portal “which enables customers to find and discover products from online and offline retailers in India and from Amazon.com.” This means users cannot buy anything directly from Junglee as they’ll be redirected to the respective retailer websites. Some of the major retailers include HomeShop18, UniverCell, Snapdeal, Microsoft Store India, Reebok, FabIndia, Bata, Next and Amazon.com. For now, Junglee is an aggregator of online retailers in India and a price comparison website.
As you might know, we have seen quite a lot of startups from India specializing in price comparison of products like MySmartPrice.com, PriceBaba and others come up in the past few months. It remains to be seen how big of an impact does Junglee makes to small players like these.
Key players go missing
Anyone who has been following Indian e-commerce surge would know that online retailers like Flipkart.com, Infibeam.com & Letsbuy.com have managed to take a big pie in the Indian online shopping market. You wouldn’t find any of these key players in the Junglee marketplace. Clearly, these players are looking to build traffic to their portals without any help from Amazon.
Small players will surely get a helping hand, specially since Amazon India is not charging any listing fee to start with. Medianama notes that this might change in the future with fee ranging from 2%-20% depending upon the type of the product.
Expect Amazon to start its own operations soon
We already see Amazon.com being listed amongst retailers for some products like books. But from what I see, the cost is abnormally high for most of the items (except Kindle) considering that Amazon has to ship the products from US (or UK). But it is clear that Amazon is keen to build its own operations soon in India and the buzz is they are currently building their operational workforce & logistics to compete against biggies like Flipkart & Infibeam.
India is too big a market for a major e-commerce player like Amazon to ignore. The Indian online market is just behind US & China with spending more than $10 billion in 2011. Expect some swift moves from Jeff Bezos & Amazon in India through Junglee.com.