E-commerce just got more competitive: Amazon comes to India with an online marketplace

Wednesday, 5 June 2013 - 12:16pm IST Updated: Wednesday, 5 June 2013 - 12:40pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
The site starts with stores for physical books, movies & TV shows with additional categories including mobile phones and cameras coming soon.

The world's largest online retailer, Amazon launched its online marketplace in India today making an entry into the increasingly expanding e-commerce Indian market.

The site is designed as a market place that facilitates transaction between buyers and sellers.

The Amazon media center announced the site going live on June 5 stating that currently it will only sell physical books, movies & TV shows.

However  additional categories including mobile phones and cameras will be coming soon.

Restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) have thus far prevented Amazon from selling direct to consumers in the country, but, by hosting a site where third parties do the selling, the issue is sidestepped.

The model helps Amazon overcome Indian regulatory hurdles that prevent foreign online retailers from having a fully owned Indian arm selling directly in India. Country manager Amit Agarwal said the model adopted by Amazon is fully compliant with all relevant Indian laws.

The site claims to provide a safe and secure online ordering experience, electronic payments, cash on delivery, returns, Amazon’s customer service with 24x7 support, and a globally recognized Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee.

The site is also accessible on mobile devices allowing customers to shop anywhere.

The site currently has a book store that features over 7 million print books across 200 plus categories including fiction, management, children’s books and academic publications.

There is also a preview feature that allows customers to read selected texts from many books.

“India is one of the fastest growing markets in the global publishing industry. But publishers and authors need to find new readers to sustain the growth momentum. Amazon has set benchmarks for innovation and efficiency in sales internationally and I look forward to seeing their work in India as well,” said Amit Tripathi, celebrated author of the bestseller Shiva Trilogy.

Movies & TV shows store features a collection of over 12,000 titles in English and Hindi across DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and Video CD formats.

“Our vision, at Amazon, is to be Earth's most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online. With Amazon.in, we endeavor to build that same destination in India by giving customers more of what they want – vast selection, low prices, fast and reliable delivery, and a trusted and convenient experience,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President of International Expansion at Amazon.com. “We're excited to get started in India and we will relentlessly focus on raising the bar for customer experience in India.”

With respect to retailers, Amazon allows access to all sizes of business.

“Our vision is to become a trusted and meaningful sales channel for retailers of all sizes across India, enabling them to succeed and efficiently grow their business online,” said Amit Agarwal, Vice President and Country Manager, Amazon India. “With Fulfillment by Amazon, we will do the heavy lifting for the sellers so that they can focus on core business functions like sourcing and pricing their products.”

With Amazon now encroaching India, it will be interesting to see how major retail online e-commerce markets like Flipkart and Ebay will react to this new development.

Flipkart currently dominates the e-commerce Indian market


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