Amazon targets next 100 mn Indians in online push
E-commerce giant Amazon today said its efforts in the Indian market are focussed on bringing 100 million new users to shop online and helping small and medium businesses scale up and even go global.
E-commerce giant Amazon today said its efforts in the Indian market are focussed on bringing 100 million new users to shop online and helping small and medium businesses scale up and even go global. Amazon, which is completing five years of operations in India, competes aggressively with home-grown player Flipkart in the burgeoning Indian e-commerce market. It has over three lakh sellers on its marketplace platform in India. "Our vision remains that we want to transform how India buys. Customers care about access to selection at great value and convenience. Going ahead, I feel very confident that we will be able to do three things -- we will enable the next 100 million Indians to essentially find, discover and aspire with us..." Amazon India head Amit Agarwal told PTI.
He added that the company's efforts are also directed towards strengthening its 'Prime' offering and helping Indian SMEs become global brands.
Agarwal said the company has been investing in areas like skilling SMEs to expand the selection of products on its platform, building infrastructure through warehouses and enhancing the customer experience.
The company has over 170 million products listed across hundreds of categories, which is double the selection from last year. Of these, 40 million are eligible as 'Prime' products.
Amazon Prime membership -- the company's paid programme that offers customers access to faster order delivery as well as content like movies and music -- has doubled since July 2017. India accounted for the highest number of Prime members in a debut year, growing the fastest among the 13 countries where Amazon Prime is available.
Agarwal said the company is expanding products covered under Prime as well as enhancing the content available through it.
He also cited the example of its Global Selling Programme that allows sellers to ship to international locations. "We had started with a few hundred sellers and now, we have more than 32,000 Indian sellers on our Global Selling Program," he said.
The fledgling e-commerce sector in the country has been growing at a phenomenal pace on the back of discounts, convenience of doorstep delivery, easy returns and availability of payment options. Reports forecast that the segment is poised to touch USD 200 billion within a decade.
Earlier this month, the segment witnessed a mega deal -- which incidentally is also the biggest M&A deal in India this year -- with US retail giant Walmart announcing acquisition of 77 per cent stake in Flipkart for about USD 16 billion (Rs 1.05 lakh crore).
Asked how Flipkart's deal would impact the sector and Amazon.In, Agarwal said "our approach remains the same".
"Irrespective of competition, we will continue to focus on our business. We have been doing that for the last five years and have seen phenomenal growth and we will continue to do that. It's Day 1 for us," he said.
Interestingly, there were reports that suggested that Amazon had made a bid for Flipkart as well even though neither companies had confirmed the development.
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Agarwal said Amazon in India will continue to invest in building technology and infrastructure to make its services more accessible for customers, apart from ensuring that its platform is accessible to all.
Amazon has been aggressively investing in expanding infrastructure and adding solutions to enhance consumer and seller experience. The US-based company has been pumping funds into its various entities in India, including Amazon Pay, marketplace and wholesale business.
These investments have been directed towards building warehouses, strengthening logistics and increasing product assortment.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has committed investments to the tune of USD 5 billion for the Indian market.
During a recent investor call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky had said the company would continue to invest in India as it sees great progress with both sellers and customers here, even though as the US e-tailing giant had registered a loss of USD 622 million from international operations in the first quarter of 2018.
Amazon is also investing significant money in marketing and promotions as the company looks to bring more consumers to its online shopping platform.