While Amazon has been aggressively expanding its offerings in India, the results aren’t at par with expectations. In fact, the same was hinted at last week, when Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said, that while Indian investments were starting to show results, they had hit margins, contributing to lower-than-expected results in the third quarter.
However,, to make sure that there’s no negative sentiment build up around that statement, Amit Agarwal, head of India operations, has clarified that the company will continue to invest heavily in India. He has further mentioned, that Amazon is not at all slowing down investment in India. Agarwal added that investments as usual, are on track, and the company is “excited about the momentum that we see in India”.
India is very early in its e-commerce trajectory. Amazon is very early in its e-commerce trajectory in India. To transform how India buys is going to take a long time; it will take a lot of investment and… for many years. This is just the beginning.
Notably, Jeff Bezos had announced to invest $2 billion in the Indian operations. Later on, an additional $3 billion was announced for the Indian arm, making it a whopping $5 billion worth of total investment. The same created ripples in the nascent Indian e-commerce market, wherein it was still startups and not established corporations leading the domain.
Among it’s newest initiatives in India, Amazon had recently launched its premium subscription service — Amazon Prime, banking on the festive season sale. Now, the company is betting big on this loyalty program and is expecting the service to dominate sales in the coming weeks.
Commenting about the Prime membership sales in India, Amit said:
Prime continued to be the top seller in all of October, not just for wave one (The Great Indian Festival). Prime membership continues to be a top seller and it is going to be so going forward every month. My belief is that Prime membership will be the top seller every month based on the trends that we are seeing
During almost one month long Diwali festival sale of Amazon, the company said that it has witnessed around 2.7 times jump in its sales from last year. While Flipkart claimed to outsell Amazon India during the first leg of the sale season, Amazon claims it dominated the second sale season. Amit added:
October this year for us was 2.7 times of last year’s October—which is incredible because last year was 4 times the October before.
In order to increase its margins in one of the leading online retail category — Fashion & Lifestyle, the company has launched its own private label named “Symbol“. Amazon is further planning to launch at least six new private labels by the end of this year.
And while all of that is going on, Amazon is all geared up to launch its Prime Videos service in India. The commerce behemoth has in fact started looking for screening rights for multiple movies and shows, including the IPL.