– Everything you wanted to know about Amazon’s Indian Marketplace!


Something that has been talked about a lot for past couple years has finally happened. Amazon has finally launched its dedicated Indian e-commerce marketplace – Currently, the site has only 2 categories on offer – Books and Movies – while, under “coming soon” section they have “Mobiles & Cameras”.

Being a marketplace, has two new seller programs – ‘Selling on Amazon’ and ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ that will allow third party sellers and retailers to sell their products online and utilize Amazon’s pay-as-you-go fulfillment services.

While Amazon’s storefront is just the first step towards creating a dedicated presence in India, it is likely that they will initially concentrate on ramping up seller programs and getting as many sellers on-board as possible.

What currently offers?

As mentioned previously there are only 2 categories on offer at this point of time – Books and Movies. It looks like the next category they will be launching in near future will be the electronics section which will offer Mobiles, cameras and more.

We spoke to Amazon’s India representative and she mentioned to us that as of now they do not have a roadmap of categories to be launched in future except the 3 listed on the site.

[box type=”shadow” ]In our view, the expansion of categories on Amazon Marketplace will largely depend on the kind of sellers they are able to attract with their seller programs. Also, given the name and brand weight that Amazon carries, I am sure they should have loads of sellers queuing up to be part of their network.[/box]

Prices, Payments & Shipping on Products

We did a couple of searches to find out what kind of prices are on offer on – and as far as I can say they are quite competitive and sometimes cheaper than other Indian e-commerce sites.

For example, Dan Brown’s recent paperback “Inferno” was priced Rs. 479 on, while the same was priced Rs. 500 on Flipkart and Rs. 563 on Infibeam.


In another example, the popular Indian book from Amish Tripathi Trilogy – “The Secret of Nagas” was priced at Rs. 151 on, Rs. 150 on Flipkart and Rs. 154 on Infibeam. While the book is priced marginally higher on Amazon, it still works out much cheaper than others because currently Amazon is running free shipping, while on Flipkart and Infibeam, shipping charges are levied.

As far as payment methods go, we were pleasantly surprised to see that Amazon also has COD (Cash on delivery) available from day one. It also includes, Debit & Credit card payments as well as netbanking.

Payment Methods and – Any integrations?

Another important aspect that we noticed was if a user already has an US account, they can directly login to account as well.

[box type=”info” ]All the user accounts are integrated, so all your saved shipping information as well as saved credit cards are available to you without the need to key-in any extra information. Check out the screenshot given above and you will see that my stored details on are applicable here as well.[/box]

However, the integration between and stops at user accounts.

If you thought that you may be able to buy products that are available on through, that is not be possible, and probably will not be possible in future as well. India’s FDI policy will need to change if that has to become a possibility. However, if our FDI policy changes in near future, I am sure will be the first to take the advantage., what happens to it?, Amazon’s Indian aggregator will always remain. We confirmed this with Amazon representatives.

For Junglee, Amazon will be just one of the aggregated ecommerce sites for which they will show up price comparison, like with everybody else.

Amazon does not have any plans to merge or close Junglee anytime soon!

Impact on Indian Ecommerce Market

Should already hyper competitive Indian Ecommerce Market players be concerned?

In short term “Maybe”, but in long term “Definitely”.

As I have mentioned above, pricing are quite competitive, sometimes even lower than other players. Pricing plays a very important role in a country like India. Indian consumers are hungry for deals and lower pricing.

If Amazon is able to keep their prices competitive on their products and are able to even offer on-par fulfillment services, I am sure they will be one of the front-runners in Indian E-Commerce market.

A lot will also depend on the kind of product catalogue they are able to build. I would not really be surprised if they look at acquiring one of the leading Indian e-commerce players to get a head-start (Infibeam? :D)


On a personal level I am really glad to see Amazon’s Indian marketplace. Every Indian player needs to keep a close eye on them. From Consumer’s perspective, it is all win-win. More players, better pricing, more choices etc..etc…

Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

  1. Parth says

    I purchased two books today on my astonishment, Amex card is not acceptable.
    Hope this would be amended soon given the fact that Amex Ezeeclick payment option is easiest possible payment mode on web.

  2. Ankesh Kothari says

    This is a really low value beta launch. Amazon’s India strategy is as bad as Apple’s India strategy.

    What does Amazon have that other Indian ecommerce websites don’t?
    1. Kindle. 2. Massive collection of digital products.
    None of these 2 things are on

    Instead all they have done is priced their products Rs3 cheaper.

    I had expected amazon to make a big kindle move when they finally became serious about India. Apparently not. also has a feature where in if you select India shipping, they automatically calculate custom fees for the product. While they or other sellers on amazon can’t ship all products to India – I thought amazon would list at least those products that could be shipped to India after paying custom fees. Apparently thats not done either.

    This seems more like the beta launch before the beta launch. Unfortunately people won’t change their habits for saving Rs3. Amazon will see low traction in India, and won’t put in more of their resources behind India. Pretty poor short sighted launch.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Ankesh – Yes, I missed touching on Kindle Content ( I will update the post with it), because I felt the same… Kindle content should definitely have been part of their strategy, which the missed…

      About shipping US products – I did speak to Amazon guys…and it is not that they dont want to list those US products, but it is the FDI policy that does not allow them to do it. being a US entity can list products that ship to India…but you cannot list products on Indian Amazon site, as it is will not adhere to Indian FDI policy because the seller will be from US selling in India…

      I know ebay does it, but I really do not know the modalities of the whole thing. Bottom line is, Amazon gave me reason of FDI for not listing US products here…

      And about Amazon seeing low traction in India, I disagree.

      Though I cannot say anything at this point of time, it will all depend on expansion of their product categories. As I mentioned in the article, currently they are putting all their energies in ramping up the seller platform..
      We will have to wait and watch how shapes up 6 – 9 months down the line…

      1. Gautam says

        Amazon believes in organic growth… and expands slowly and gradually….
        Regarding Digital content: Who knows… you will find it soon…. so stay tuned…

      2. Ankesh Kothari says

        The FDI thing does not seem correct. Amazon cannot itself sell products in India being a foreign company. But I see no restriction in Amazon “facilitating” other people to sell their products in India. Amazon is simply acting as a money transmitter – FDI has no restrictions for that as far as I know.

        And if there is a restriction, Amazon can simply do what Flipkart has done. Flipkart is a Singaporean company legally speaking. However all they do is facilitate trade between the buyer and “WS-Retail”. WS-Retail – a wholly Indian company ships the products. Flipkart takes their cut (which is most of the profit) for facilitating the trade. Amazon could have easily done this – get an Indian executive to open an Indian company who can “process the products” and who gets paid just equal to the cost of the products and the shipping costs – nothing more.

        They can’t expect traction based on their brand name. Flipkart has a much higher brand value in India because of their advertising campaigns. With how things are currently, I doubt Amazon even beats Indiaplaza in the next 6-9 months.

        1. Arun Prabhudesai says

          @Ankesh even “facilitating” is not allowed by FDI. Otherwise, every other online company would have done… Anyways…that may not be the point of debate. One thing is clear that you are not such a big fan of Amazon… Here is another interesting comparative study that we posted… – As mentioned in the article, amazon prices are actually quite competitive..

        2. Ankesh Kothari says

          Oh – I am a big big fan of Jeff Bezos and Amazon. That is why I am more disappointed. I don’t see the Bezos mark on Amazon India at all, do you?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online