Amazon launches online marketplace in India

Summary:The e-commerce giant has set up a distribution center in Mumbai, that will tap third-party sellers across India, allowing it to get around laws prohibiting the sale of its own inventory.

Amazon's newly-launched Indian Web site will provide retailers access to the company's fulfilment services, which allow shoppers to pay for items after they've been delivered.

In a statement on Wednesday, the company announced the launch of Amazon.in, featuring over 7 million print books spanning over 200 categories, and over 12,000 English and Hindi movies and TV shows. 

Unlike Amazon sites in other countries, the site is strictly for third-party sellers, according to a CNET report. The Indian site will not be selling Amazon own inventory due to the country's regulations restricting multibrand retailers from selling their own products online, it noted.

Instead, Amazon will act as a fulfillment agent for hundreds of sellers across India. Sellers can send their products across India from the company's fulfilment center located on the outskirts of Mumbai, from where they are packaged and shipped out by Amazon.

amazon india
Screenshot of Amazon.in

Amazon India vice president Amit Agarwal aims to develop the site into a trusted sales channel for retailers, via scalable, pay-as-you-go fulfilment services, and unlimited virtual shelf space.

"With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), we will do the heavy lifting for the sellers so that they can focus on core business functions like sourcing and pricing their products," Agarwal said.
 
Amazon fully manages the delivery and customer service, including free delivery promotions, cash on delivery options, and returns management.
 
Greg Greeley, Amazon vice president for international expansion, said it wanted to raise the bar for customer service in India.
 
According to M.S. Jaya Prakash, owner of Education Supplies, Amazon's service removes the hassle from selling online. "Prior to this, I did not sell online and was apprehensive about how to fulfill online orders in a timely manner, handle customer service and manage returns. That's exactly why FBA appealed to me. With FBA, Amazon takes care of the burden related to fulfillment and all I need to worry about is what I know best."
 
Last year, Amazon broke into India with a site called Junglee.com, which acted as a shopping catalog aggregator. It connects buyers with online and offline retailers but does not conduct the sales transactions.

Topics: Amazon, E-Commerce, India

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Mahesh Sharma earned his pen licence in his homeland, where he covered the technology industry for ZDNet, SMH, Sky Business News, and The Australian--first as an FTE, and later as a freelancer. The latter fueled his passion for startups and empowered a unique perspective on entrepreneurs' passion to solve problems using technology. Armed... Full Bio

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