Operated by Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd and an affiliate of Amazon.com, Amazon India seems to be on an aggressive expansion spree. Launching a global store and setting up three fulfilment centres by the year-end clearly demonstrates its resolution to give tough competition to domestic rival Flipkart. Amazon currently has 24 centres across 10 states in India.
Amazon India last month claimed that the addition of fulfilment centres is one of their largest investments in India, taking their storage capacity to 7.5 million cubic feet. In June this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the investment of an additional $3 billion in its India operations to take its total investment in the country to over $5 billion.
Here is a list of Amazon India’s key developments this year:
Amazon Now app for customers in Bengaluru
The Amazon Now app allows customers to shop for over 6,000 everyday essentials from their local kirana stores and big retail stores like Big Bazaar, Reliance Fresh, Bharat Petroleum In & Out, Godrej Nature’s Basket, and Food World and get them delivered to their doorstep within two hours or at a pre-scheduled time. Amazon Now is available on Google Playstore.
Lending programme for SMEs
Amazon Seller Services launched the seller lending programme in India to enable SMEs on Amazon.in to get easy access to working capital. As a part of the programme, Amazon India has partnered with Mumbai-based NBFC Capital First Limited to provide loans in the range of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 2 crore to SMEs.
Make in India store
The Make in India store on Amazon.in showcases a wide range of India-made products across hundreds of categories including fashion, beauty, sports and fitness, electronics, food products, luggage, furniture, and health. These products are being offered by over 6,000 Indian manufacturers and sellers.
Amazon Tatkal aims at enabling SMBs to get online and sell on Amazon.in in less than 60 minutes. It is a studio-on-wheels which offers services like registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms. The studio-on-wheels will travel across the country engaging with entrepreneurs, artisans, manufacturers, and sellers.
Crafted in India store
Amazon India has partnered with the Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the Union Ministry of Textiles to educate, train, and enable cooperatives and weavers to directly sell their products on Amazon.in. These products will carry government certifications ‘India Handloom Brand’ and ‘Handloom Mark’ and will be available through the Crafted in India store on Amazon.in.
The Amazon Prime membership programme allows Indian customers in over 100 cities to enjoy unlimited free one-day and two-day delivery. Amazon.in also offers a free trial period of 60 days. Amazon Prime is available at an introductory annual subscription fee of Rs 499, a discount of Rs 500 over the list price of Rs 999. Prime members in 20 cities can also choose same-day, morning, or scheduled delivery at a discounted fee of Rs 50 per order on over 10,000 products.
Amazon Pantry in Hyderabad
Using Amazon Pantry, customers in Hyderabad can now shop for over 4,000 everyday essentials and fill a virtual box of items. The store offers food, beverages, household supplies, groceries, and health and beauty products. The delivery charge per box is Rs 49 as launch offer and Amazon India is running a promotion of a delivery charge of only Rs 20 per box and free delivery for Prime customers.
Other Amazon India-related developments include fulfilment centres being launched in Delhi, Jaipur, and Chennai, and an online book store launch encompassing Malayalam, Telugu, and used books. Amazon India last month also announced the opening of 24 ‘seller cafes’ in cities and towns to offer on-ground support to its 1.2 lakh sellers.