Amazon is a big hit among Indian citizens and has become the go-to platform for anything and everything – from a needle to an electric bike.
Amazon has witnessed a surge in its growth in India. As more tailored “Glocal” solutions are being implemented, their marketplace is becoming a melting pot for various business possibilities and a launchpad of global trends.
Amazon’s 2021 Success Story
Amazon has recorded 1.9 million active sellers on the platform worldwide. While the pandemic hit businesses across the globe, Amazon revived quickly and gained tremendous results in 2021.
More specific to India, Amazon Seller Services, which runs the Amazon India marketplace, reported a 49% rise in revenue from operations to Rs 16,200 crore for FY21, up from Rs 10,847.6 crore in FY20.
Amazon Prime Video, which prime members automatically get signed up to with a Prime membership, has 18 million subscribers in India as of June 2021, according to Media Partners Asia (MPA).
Amazon’s Great Indian Festival Sale 2021, a month-long biggest shopping festival that coincides with festivities, saw participation from 99.7 percent of pin codes in India. Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) on Amazon clocked a 2x spike and sold over ten products every minute.
Amazon witnessed the biggest ever response from the Indian market for its flagship event – Prime Day in 2021. In a major breakthrough, especially for the SMBs, Amazon Prime members shopped from more than 126,000 SMBs from across the country.
The global senior vice president of Amazon India, Amit Agarwal, confirmed that the rate at which sellers have come online has shot up by 50% post-Covid.
Amazon India: Growth Trajectory for 2022
2022 looks promising for the Indian landscape. Amazon has many initiatives for all three parties: the regulatory bodies, sellers, and buyers. While it is difficult to highlight a single initiative that will drive the success wagon for Amazon India, here are critical ongoing commitments from 2021:
- Amazon signed an MoU with the Government of Karnataka to drive e-commerce Exports MSMEs in the state to export to over 200 countries and territories worldwide.
- Amazon partnered with Startup India to boost e-commerce exports from India.
- Amazon Launched a Startup Accelerator to help emerging brands access global markets, where the participating startups stand to win rewards worth $50,000 and a chance to pitch to partner VC firms.
- As an extension of the plan, Amazon provides a 1:1 mentorship and shares knowledge on working in global markets.
Let’s dive deeper into some of Amazon’s plans that would accelerate the growth as a whole and prove beneficial for the brands:
Launching STEP to Empower Businesses
Amazon is revolutionizing the business space with the launch of Amazon STEP.
What is STEP? It is a performance-based benefits program designed to boost brands across the nation. The sole motive of the program is to accelerate business growth and empower businesses.
Through STEP, sellers can measure their performance based on the set metrics. They provide customized recommendations to the sellers to boost their standing in the long run. The main focus is to polish the user experience and increase customer retention.
After enhancing performance, sellers can attain some of the benefits based on their level, up to 3 levels per se. The benefit scheme includes fee waivers, faster disbursement cycles, priority seller support, and free account management. The features are crafted to offer small brands to grow and learn through Amazon.
One of the main reasons why this program was launched was to revive small businesses post covid by giving them the much-needed push. More than 7 lakh sellers have enrolled on the platform, and it is growing consistently – offering better experiences and products.
Amazon Global Selling – A Window to Connect With the World.
Amazon’s flagship program, ‘Amazon Global Selling,’ is a profitable space for Indian entrepreneurs. The program has already onboarded 70,000 exporters and is quickly garnering support from governments, civil organizations, and business bodies.
The program was launched in 2015 and has clocked sales worth $3 billion already. Amazon Global Selling enables Indian entrepreneurs to their products international seamlessly with the help of advanced technology.
A few of the issues homegrown brands faced were not having enough marketing intelligence, the right resources for cross-border logistics, and lesser awareness of cross-border payments and remittances. Amazon positioned itself as the bridge for these small businesses and the global marketplace to address these issues.
For Indian brands, it has widened the spectrum altogether. Small businesses now can sell their products to a larger audience and leave the operational and logistical challenges to Amazon for a fee.
In tune with the Atma Nirbhar Bharat program by the government of India, Jeff Bezos said that ‘We are going to use Amazon’s global footprint to export $10 billion of Make In India goods by the year 2025.’
Amazon’s Customized Business Model for India
The Indian landscape is fairly different from the US. In the early days, the online giant had committed USD 5.5 billion investment and another $1 Billion investment in digitizing the small businesses in India.
Amazon faced many regulatory roadblocks and operational challenges in shipping, warehousing, and payments. However, the biggest challenge was convincing the sellers to sell on the platform.
The first thing that Amazon did was develop a sense of trust among the sellers through multiple campaigns such as Amazon Chai Cart and Amazon Tatkal.
Amazon Chai Cart: Three-wheeled mobile carts were deployed in business districts of India to serve tea, water, and lemon juice to small business owners, and Amazon representatives would teach them about selling online and explain the benefits of selling through Amazon’s marketplace.
The mission statement: “Chai to hai Bahana, Maksad hai apka vyapar badhana,” roughly translates to “The tea is just an excuse. Our aim is to help grow your business.” In a period of four months, the team traveled 15,280 km across 31 cities, served 37,200 cups of tea, and engaged with over 10,000 sellers.
Amazon Tatkal: Amazon Tatkal was invented to enable small businesses to get online in less than 60 minutes. Amazon Tatkal team traveled across cities with an aim to engage with sellers. It offered a suite of services, including registration and cataloging, to enable them to register on Amazon on-the-spot and launch their products on Amazon to start selling immediately.
Currently, Amazon has 10 lakh sellers on its platform, with more than 4.5 lakh new merchants joining it in the past two years.
Amazon brought in a revolution as it introduced the online shopping experience. Indian brands have turned online and are selling through Amazon. Everyone has witnessed a shift in how we sell and buy as Amazon expanded its reach.
Operating in India had its set of challenges, but Amazon fought the battle with its smart tactics. Amazon is a behemoth on every scale, but the key to Amazon’s success in India is its ability to use that global strength to act locally.
Amazon’s strategy in India holds lessons for any e-commerce company. Whether you are an e-commerce giant or a small online seller – understanding your audience and market on a granular level will empower you with the right tools to tailor solutions and systematically solve problems. These multicultural and inclusive campaigns come together to form a force to be reckoned with.