Amazon.in, the Indian e-commerce marketplace owned by Amazon, has launched its global selling program to enable Indian sellers and manufacturers to sell internationally on its platform. To start with, sellers will be able to export products in apparel, jewelry, books, collectibles, handicrafts, handbags, sports goods, shoes and heath and beauty categories, to sell on the UK and US Amazon websites. Note that eBay.in also lets users sell goods internationally, however sellers themselves are responsible for the packaging, shipping and delivery of the item. India has other global seller marketplaces, which are largely business to business, such as Indiamart.com and TradeIndia.com.
Amazon will provide sellers with Selling on Amazon (SOA) and Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) services, which will let manufacturers and sellers to store their products in Amazon’s warehouse. The company will take the responsibility of packing and delivering the order to customers, as well as handling customer service and returns. It mentions that sellers will not be charged for product listings or any upfront cost to setup the store.
Additionally, Amazon claims to have a global selling team that will help sellers familiarize themselves with local preferences and demand patterns of the country they want to sell in and help with discoverability of their products. The company will also tie up with various third party service providers like tax consultants, compliance experts and logistics partners, to help sellers comply with export norms and export duties etc.
According to Amazon, there is a demand for Indian products from NRIs for its ‘made in India’ value while other global customers benefit from cheaper prices. As of now, Hidesign, one of the fashion-brand sellers on its platform, is already using its global selling service to sell in the US and UK. However, the company does not mention by when sellers will be able to sell in other large international markets like China, Brazil or Australia.
Amazon is in a uniquely privileged position to offer such a program, as the company currently has an ecommerce marketplace in quite a few countries including Japan, Germany, Canada, China and France. The platform also ships products to 75 countries around the world, and already has experience dealing with cross-border sales and the logistics, compliance and tax issues it brings along. Offering these services in India was simply a matter of extending what it already provided sellers with in international markets.
However, from a seller perspective, this move is very interesting as it will enable them to sell in higher value markets without having to worry about shipping, duties, deliveries and returns etc. This might a good value proposition for sellers depending on Amazon’s charges for the services.
Amazon in India:
– Last week, Amazon India launched advertising solutions for its website, allowing third party sellers to promote their products to consumers. The same week, Amazon’s CFO & senior VP Tom Szkutak had said that the major part of the India challenge was to ensure that Amazon can help sellers from across India succeed and grow their business online.
– In March this year, Amazon launched its seller app in India, which allows sellers to update their inventories, confirm orders, check current prices, sales rank and customer reviews of items on Amazon, estimate the profitability of items before they are listed for sale and list new items to sell.
– The same month, the company launched an express delivery platform called KiranaNow to make everyday consumer products available to its users in Bangalore. Amazon partnered with local kirana (grocery) stores to offer this service, which is in the pilot stage in Bangalore and is likely to be launched it in other cities in the future. Amazon had claimed that through this service, delivery will take only 2-4 hours.
– Again in March, Amazon India tied-up with IRCTC to sell various products to IRCTC customers. However, the products are not sold on IRCTC’s website, instead users are redirected to Amazon’s site. What’s surprising is that there are no special offers or discounts on offer for customers coming from IRCTC.
– In April, the company launched a business supplies e-commerce platform called AmazonBusiness in India for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) to procure supplies. This is similar to the AmazonSupply platform the company operates in US. The service is currently in its pilot stage in Bangalore.