Amazon’s full-force entry to the Indian e-Commerce market has quietly gone live. This follows the launch of Junglee.com back in February 2012, which is still operative at the time of writing. It is not clear how Amazon plans to differentiate Amazon.in from Junglee.com which follows a similar storefront model as well. Update: Junglee.com is just a product aggregator which directs users to seller’s website.
This is what the press release has to say:
On June 5, 2013, Amazon launched its newest online market in India. The marketplace provides Indian customer with a shopping destination to purchase products from third party sellers. India represents Amazon’s 10th marketplace launch.
Entry of Amazon to India is surely a big win for the growing eCommerce market in the country. Amazon will be taking it head-on with the likes of Flipkart, Homeshop 18, Snapdeal, Infibeam and others, and also the good old eBay.in which is also a marketplace for third party sellers.
Soft launch for Amazon.in
Amazon has opted for a relatively quiet and soft launch for its Indian operations. It’s true that the company was testing waters for over an year with Junglee, and should have garnered enough analysis about the Indian market, but is opting for a slow roll-out for operations. Currently, amazon.in has just two product categories – Books and Movies & TV, but the company promises additional categories like Mobiles & Cameras in coming days. Update: There are over 7 million books and over 12,000 movies and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray.
Amazon is also introducing two new programs, ‘Sell on Amazon‘ and ‘Fulfilment by Amazon‘, for Indian sellers. What’s interesting to note is that amazon.in is operated by Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd, an affiliate of Amazon, Inc. The infographic at the end of the post explains how it all works out.
For now, Amazon is offering Free delivery to all purchases of products with “fulfilled by Amazon” label. But intends to charge Rs.49 for delivery for purchases less than Rs.499. Sellers relying on their own shipping,are free to decide the delivery charges.
As one would expect, if you have had an account with amazon.com or amazon.uk, you can use the same login credentials to sign in to Amazon.in as well. Currently, Amazon.in offers cash on delivery (COD) option, which is hugely popular and a bare essential for any online marketplace in India. Sadly, this is available only when goods are fulfilled by Amazon. In addition, the usual suspects like credit card, debit card and net banking are available. Also, it looks like Amazon India has entrusted Billdesk as the payment gateway.
Amazon has been busy setting up its operations in India for over 2 years, with offices in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. Early last year, it was successful in getting the FDI clearance from the Indian government for setting up a logistics business in the country. As Medianama notes, since multi-brand retail is not allowed for FDI in India, Amazon had to take the 100% marketplace route for its Indian operations. According to the below infographic, marketplace model constitutes 40% of Amazon’s business in the US. It remains to be seen if Amazon brings something like eBay’s Global Easy Buy (GEB) model till the time Indian government gets FDI/e-Commerce act together.