Amazon.in, Transforming the Way India
Buys and Sells
Amazon began its marketplace in India four years back and since then, expanded presence across the country. The philosophy behind the marketplace is simple – to Transform the way India Buys & Sells. The impact of Amazon’s business is intrinsically beneficial for the country as it touches a vast swathe of the nation – merchants, traders & retailers on one side who are looking to modernize their operations, expand their presence and reach newer markets and consumers on the other, who are looking to access a large range of products, buy them conveniently and in a transparent manner. Apart from the two direct stakeholders, Amazon has positively impacted the lives of millions of Indians, such as transporters, logistics providers, kirana stores and so on, who are indirectly connected to the e-commerce engine. Amazon’s reach has increased to 97% of pincodes, including the most remote corner of the country.
Engagement with Merchants, Traders and Small Businesses
Amazon has successfully on boarded 1.67 lakh sellers from the SME sector to sell online. The sellers are assisted by specialized account managers, who help them grow their business online. Amazon puts great emphasis on educating sellers on the know-hows of the marketplace, so that they can derive benefits from the online marketplace. Amazon’s web training portal called ‘Seller University’ has highly curated training content that has been put in place by expert industry trainers. Hundreds of training modules covering the very basics of writing an accurate product description, cataloguing, understanding dynamic pricing as well as advanced concepts of an e-commerce marketplace are accessible to the sellers anytime, and absolutely free of cost. In addition, Amazon runs a program called ATES (Amazon trained e-commerce specialists) under which 2500 people have been trained to provide on ground training to sellers. Amazon Tatkal is another scaled initiative launched in 2016 to help thousands of small & medium businesses in the country. A one-stop-shop on the go, Amazon Tatkal enables SMBs to get online and sell on Amazon.in, in less than 60 minutes. Tatkal is a studio-on-wheels that offers a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms. TatkaI has enabled thousands of interested sellers to start selling on Amazon.in in real time and experience the benefits of launching an online business.
In a flagship partnership in December last year, Amazon’s Launchpad program collaborated with the Startup India initiative. After launching in major markets such as the US and the UK, Amazon unveiled its Launchpad program in India in order to help Indian startups sell not just in India but also in global markets. For a nominal fee of INR 5,000 a month, startups can access Amazon’s seller support services such as account management, marketing and warehouse management among others. Amazon believes that India has great minds who invent amazing products and we will support their growth by helping customers discover their innovative products. Today there are 100+ startups (chosen out of almost 500 applications received so far) selling products, such as eco-friendly yogamats, ergonomic baby carriers made by handloom co-operatives, electric wheelchairs and so on, online through Amazon’s Launchpad program. Amazon plans to continue to display value in this collaboration by consistently showcasing startups that have enrolled in the program and provide them with the guidance and expertise needed to scale their business model.
Another great example of innovation is the localization of content on Amazon’s widely used e-reader, Kindle. Amazon has launched thousands of e-books in 5 Indian languages, namely Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Marathi and Malayalam. With this launch, Amazon has made more than 4200 e-books available in 5 different languages on Kindle. With increase in readership, this is one way in which Amazon is innovating to provide content that its readers are looking for, in a language that they can culturally connect with. There are several titles that readers are unable to find in libraries or book stores because they are dated, or there aren’t enough copies available in the market for distribution. Amazon is collaborating with state culture departments to ensure that such titles and many more are digitized, and a great portfolio is built over a period of time that attracts readers to access readily available content in their regional languages.
To ensure outreach in Tier II and III cities and address the challenges of lack of access to ecommerce and weak logistics networks, Amazon launched Project Udaan. Project Udaan is playing a key role in our effort to make Amazon.in accessible within a few minutes to all our customers, and bring the joy of online shopping to everyone. We believe that the initiative has the potential to be transformational for all neighborhoods and communities. Under Project Udaan, Amazon.in appoints offline associates across retail points like kirana stores, medical stores and mobile shopping outlets and provides them a PC-based website. The store owners are trained to help customers find and buy products of their choice, while earning a commission in the process. Amazon.in then delivers the products to the customer’s doorsteps or to the CICs and they pay in cash while receiving the packages. Udaan integrates skill development and self-employment with assisted shopping and Amazon Pickup, thus enabling the ‘digitally underserved’ to benefit from the emerging digital commerce opportunity. Amazon started piloting Udaan in June 2015 in Erode Tamil Nadu and today it operates with 2429 stores across 267 cities, spanning a total of 20 states and 858 pin codes. With constant efforts such as these to increase outreach, today over 50% of our sellers are from Tier II and Tier III cities and Amazon is helping these sellers in generating livelihood and encouraging entrepreneurship.
Amazon entered into a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Textiles in Feb, 2016. As part of this partnership, we are training and working with weavers in four clusters across the country to register them onto the marketplace. Through one to many workshops in collaboration with the govt. under Amazon’s partnership with Office of Development Commissioner (DC) Handloom and innovations like 3D imaging (to facilitate model shoots in clusters eliminating the need to ship products to imaging studios), the team has successfully on boarded 195 aggregators across 4 states and has till date impacted the lives of more than 18000 weavers by enabling them to sell online. Today, close to 5000 products are being sold under an exclusive ‘Craft in India’ label on Amazon.
Foreign Direct Investment
Amazon has committed to invest $5.5 billion into India to transform the way India buys and sells. Close to 40% of the invested amount has gone into building infrastructure and logistics in the country. This has allowed Amazon to expand to the far corners of the country and provide exemplary service everywhere.