E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its market place in India, marking its entry to the $400 billion retail market. The company, which has been biding its time to enter the fledgling e-commerce market, has launched Amazon.in with books, movies and television shows on sale.
“The marketplace provides Indian customers with a shopping destination to purchase products from third-party sellers. India represents Amazon’s tenth marketplace launch,” the company said.
Amazon operates marketplaces in 10 countries including United States, Canada, France, Japan and the UK. There are more than 2 million third party amazon sellers worldwide.
“With the introduction of the Amazon.in marketplace and launch of two new programmes – ‘Sell on Amazon’ and ‘Fulfilment by Amazon‘ – sellers across India now have access to unlimited and free ‘virtual shelf space’ and a scalable, pay-as-you-go fulfillment and customer service offerings,” said Amazon.
Three months ago, a top Amazon executive met India’s trade minister Anand Sharma and discussed the creation of a favorable policy environment for Amazon to do business in India, which is otherwise not allowed in the country.
After intense debates in September, the Indian government had paved way for foreign investor’s to own more than 51% in multi brand retail companies in India. However, the government later said that the new policy does not allow e-commerce ventures with foreign direct investment to operate multi-brand retailing websites in the country.
The government seems to have given its approval to Amazon to set shop in the country. The largely unorganized retail market in India is estimated to be $400-450 billion in size. However, the total market size of e-tailing in India, with about 10 million online buyers is only around $10 billion.
In the coming soon section, the company lists mobiles, cameras and more. Amazon has over 7 million books to choose from. The company is also offering free home delivery for a limited time when fulfilled by Amazon and cash on delivery. When the offer expires, orders above Rs 500 will be home delivered.
Amazon veteran Amit Agarwal, who headed Amazon’s expansion efforts in Italy and Spain will head Amazon’s consumer and seller businesses in India, according to the site.
The company has not killed its price comparison shopping website Junglee.com yet.
Last month, as part of the global expansion of its app store, Amazon launched its Android app store in India.
Earlier last year, Amazon launched the Kindle Store in India and began retailing Kindle e-readers through electronics retailer Croma. The company began testing the waters in India with the launch of Junglee.com, its comparison shopping site.
Competition from Flipkart & Snapdeal
Meanwhile, eBay has bought into Snapdeal, an Indian e-commerce marketplace with a $50 million investment. Snapdeal and eBay will cross sell products on each others platform. Homegrown online retailer Flipkart has grown significantly in the country and is likely to give tough competition to Amazon. However, it will see revenues go down in the short run as book are an important category for Flipkart.
The company has published an infographic on its site. Take a look.