Amazon launches ‘Global Store’ in India
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Bengaluru: E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. on Thursday launched a Global Store for Indian shoppers, offering fashion brands, books and other products from its US online store that aren’t available in India.
Amazon India (Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd) country manager Amit Agarwal said the Global Store on Amazon India’s platform has 4 million products across 12 categories, including apparels, shoes, watches, sports gear, home appliances and accessories, PCs and books.
“We are starting with the US —we will launch more categories, more products over the next few months. The three customer experience pillars that I’ve talked about before — we believe that customers care about massive selection, competitive prices and faster, reliable delivery. What Global Store allows us to do is to make all those three things available for international products,” Agarwal said.
The Global Store will help Amazon boost its popularity with the few millions of rich Indian online shoppers who typically splurge on premium brands and other products when travelling abroad.
Amazon has devised a platform to allow customers to pay in the local currency via digital payment methods, such as credit cards, net debit cards and net banking. For now, the company won’t offer cash on delivery, the preferred mode of payment for a majority of Indian online shoppers, for purchases made on the Global Store.
“(We) make sure that the prices on the website are full prices. You pay in Indian rupees; no hidden charges and include all custom duties, all import duties shown to you there,” said Agarwal.
“We’re offering three delivery options to customers — we offer Priority, which gets here in 2-4 days, that is faster than (the speed at which) local products come to you. There is Expedited, which is 5-10 days and there is Standard which is 10-plus days. Obviously, there are different charges for each,” he added.
On Amazon India’s online marketplace, Global Store products will appear to consumers under a specially labelled badge, Agarwal said.
Apart from India, US-based Amazon offers the Global Store programme in two other countries, Mexico and China. The company has a separate programme for sellers called Global Selling in which sellers from a particular country offer their products to customers in international markets.
The latest offering from Amazon’s vast stable of services further underscores the importance of the Indian market for CEO Jeff Bezos’s global strategy. Amazon has already pumped in $2 billion of investments into India and earlier this year, pledged to invest a further $3 billion as part of its attempt to outgun local rivals such as Flipkart and Snapdeal.
In recent weeks, however, Flipkart has shown signs of resurgence with a stellar performance during its flagship Diwali sales event, Big Billion Days — signalling that the battle for supremacy in India’s e-commerce business is far from over.
Amazon is planning to launch “waves” (as is known in internal Amazon lingo) of sale events over the next few weeks. “We are starting on our “second wave” on Monday,” Agarwal said.
The online retailer is hoping its Global Store will give it an additional boost during the remainder of the festive season