Amazon Launches Online Marketplace in India, Selling Books and DVDs to Start
Amazon just took a big leap overseas, launching an e-commerce marketplace in India, the company announced Tuesday evening. At launch, the site, Amazon.in, is selling print books as well as movies and TV shows on DVDs and Blu-ray. The site will begin offering mobile phones and cameras in the coming weeks.
“Our vision is to become a trusted and meaningful sales channel for retailers of all sizes across India, enabling them to succeed and efficiently grow their business online,” Amit Agarwal, Amazon India’s vice president and country manager, said in a statement.
Amazon India is strictly a marketplace where third parties can list their products to sell; Amazon isn’t selling any of its own inventory. But Amazon is offering fulfillment services to its marketplace merchants, giving sellers the option to have Amazon handle packing, delivery, returns and customer service from its fulfillment center located “on the outskirts of Mumbai.” At launch, the homepage was featuring a mix of Indian and American titles, including, for example, Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In.”
While Amazon didn’t previously run a marketplace in India, it has had a more indirect presence in the billion-person country. In 2012, Amazon relaunched Junglee.com — a shopping comparison site that aggregates products in India available for sale both offline and online. Visitors can use it to read reviews and compare prices, but not to actually complete purchases. Amazon initially bought the company behind the original version of Junglee back in 1998.
The launch of Amazon India, the 10th country-specific Amazon marketplace, comes amid growing interest from American companies in the country’s e-commerce market. Just recently, eBay led an investment round in Indian online marketplace Snapdeal.