Amazon have launched in India with a new country site Amazon.in. Currently Amazon are not selling on their own site but are offering a sales platform and fulfilment services to Indian retailers.
With the launch of the “Selling on Amazon” and “Fulfillment by Amazon” in India, Indian sellers can currently only list media products on the site – books and DVDs. However the site already announces that they’ll be adding “Mobiles, Cameras and more” in the near future.
The reason that Amazon isn’t selling direct is that online retailing (sales to consumers) is banned in India for companies backed with foreign investment. That means that whilst Amazon can offer a marketplace for Indian Retailers they’re not permitted to sell direct.
Amazon is offering free delivery on FBA orders for a limited period to Indian customers, as well as cash on delivery for orders fulfilled by Amazon.
Amazon had already launched Junglee.com, a price comparison site, for Indian retailers to drive traffic to their online stores as their first step into the Indian market. It’s likely that many Junglee retailers may now start to sell on Amazon.in.
Amazon did launch India Kindle Store on Amazon.com in August 2012, so can already supply Indian customers with e-books. They said at the time “We are proud to launch this new Kindle store for Indian customers – offering Kindle book purchases in rupees and the ability to buy and read the work of many great Indian authors”.
It remains to be seen whether Amazon will find a way to sell direct to Indian consumer customers or if Amazon.in will ever be opened up to overseas retailers, but at the moment it would appear unlikely. Having said that if Amazon start to build a large consumer customer base in India it’s likely that those customers may choose to purchase from overseas Amazon sites in the future.