Amazon launches shopping portal in India

Site likely to change shopping experience of Indians.

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By R. Chandrasekaran

CHENNAI: The U.S.-based Amazon.com has launched an e-commerce marketplace in India, which will likely change the online shopping experience of shoppers in the country. The company, which even has its own brands, such as Kindle Fire tablet, a rival to Apple’s iPad, is known to be innovative in presenting itself among the shoppers in the United States.

The site Amazon.in, which was launched Wednesday, has a slightly different business model than its parent company in the United States. The India subsidiary, its 10th worldwide, lets local retailers to list their books and movies on Amazon India’s site. The products will be shipped using the company’s delivery service.

As a foreign retailer, Amazon cannot sell directly to consumers in India from within the country, and the current model allows the company to get around that restriction.

As of 7:15 am EDT, Thursday, there were more than 14.7 million books, including hardcover, paperbacks and audiobooks, listed on the site.

Currently, the company’s focus seems to be limited to start with. Amazon disclosed that it offers businesses of all sizes a compelling sales channel through a nationwide reach. Sellers, in turn, could list any number of products and benefit from Amazon’s innovation and technology, with a secure payment infrastructure backed by its complete A-to-Z guarantee.

While sellers can list their products free of cost, they have the option of launching a promotional referral fee and free monthly subscription charges for the first year as part of the Amazon India launch.

Commenting on the launch, Amazon’s Vice President of International Expansion Greg Greeley said, “We’re excited to get started in India and we will relentlessly focus on raising the bar for customer experience in India.” He added, “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.”

Amazon, the number one online retailer in the United States, is keen to expand its presence globally. Given the market size in India and the growing penetration of internet and the increase in online shopping, the country offers tremendous opportunities for it. The company is coming up with readymade tools that are already in use globally.

In February 2012, the company launched junglee.com, which offers consumers tools to compare prices of various products. The idea behind that launch was to understand the mindset of the Indian consumers and the market.

To contact the author, email to: rchandrasekaran@americanbazaaronline.com

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