jungleeAmazon-owned price comparison site Junglee.com has started enabling direct purchases via its website, which means that Amazon now has two marketplaces in operation in India: Amazon.in, and Junglee. The option to make payments is available for several items including books and electronics.  We found a page on Junglee’s website which says you can now buy products directly on Junglee using the ‘Pay with Amazon’ service.

It’s worth noting that items that are sold by Amazon.in can’t be purchased from Junglee; you still need to visit Amazon.in for that. The service is being using mostly by smaller retailers who have their wares listed on multiple marketplaces. Any existing seller can start using the service by contacting Amazon here.

Clicking on the buy button takes you to a 'Buy with Amazon' page

Clicking on the buy button takes you to a ‘Buy with Amazon’ page

Amazon had launched Junglee in 2012 with an objective of bringing customers to Junglee.com from Amazon.com and familiarizing them with the Amazon-backed marketplace. The e-commerce site finally launched the Indian version Amazon.in in June last year and it has been expanding at a rapid pace ever since.

Earlier this year, Amazon’s country manager and VP in India Amit Agarwal had said that they intend to make hundreds of millions of dollars through Junglee by adding value added services to shoppers and sellers. Till now, Junglee does not charge its sellers either for listings or for the traffic that referred to them. It wasn’t clear how Amazon would make money out of Junglee and seemed like a dead investment; until now.

Product Ads rebranded

Though Junglee.com was a price comparison site, it was positioned as an advertising service for online merchants in India. The service that was called Product Ads seems to have been rebranded to ‘Sell on Junglee’ ads now.

Any merchant who shifts to the new service, will not only have their products listed on the site, but can also use Amazon’s payment gateway. It is not clear if Amazon will take care of the logistics. Junglee is not charging subscription or closing fee on products sold via the service, but there is a flat rate of 5% as part of a promotional offer that lasts till May 31, 2015. After which rates vary from 5-15%. More details on the pricing here. Do note that these rates are exclusive of 12.3% service tax.

Why is Amazon doing this?

Amazon could be doing this because Junglee still receives a substantial amount of traffic. According to traffic information from SimilarWeb, Junglee had over 12 million visitors in April, while Amazon.in had over 27 million visitors. Even combined, these sites fall short of Flipkart which has over 62 million visitors in the month. With a purchase option on Junglee’s site, Amazon can probably convert some of its traffic into buyers.

Then there might be several merchants who have signed up for Junglee, but haven’t yet started selling via Amazon. Amazon seems to be trying to woo these merchants and give them a taste of what Amazon offers, with a hope of gradually on-boarding them to Amazon.in.

While there is no harm in gently easing merchants on to Amazon, it is not clear why the company isn’t redirecting traffic to Amazon.in already, or how long the company will wait before flipping the switch.

We have reached out to Amazon India seeking more information about this shift and will update the post as soon as we hear back from them.