Amazon.in – 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 – amazon.in. Currently, the site has only 2 categories on offer – Books and Movies – while, under “coming soon” section they have “Mobiles & Cameras”.
Being a marketplace, Amazon.in 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 Amazon.in 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 Amazon.in – and as far as I can say they are quite competitive and sometimes cheaper than other Indian e-commerce sites.
In another example, the popular Indian book from Amish Tripathi Trilogy – “The Secret of Nagas” was priced at Rs. 151 on Amazon.in, 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.
Amazon.com and Amazon.in – Any integrations?
Another important aspect that we noticed was if a user already has an Amazon.com US account, they can directly login to Amazon.in 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 Amazon.com are applicable here as well.[/box]
However, the integration between Amazon.com and Amazon.in stops at user accounts.
If you thought that you may be able to buy products that are available on Amazon.com through Amazon.in, 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 amazon.in will be the first to take the advantage.
Junglee.com, what happens to it?
Junglee.com, 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, amazon.in 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!