Amazon has set its eyes on India’s evolving and highly lucrative medicine delivery market, with the launch of ‘Amazon Pharmacy’ in Bengaluru. Using its strong supply chain and logistics network, Amazon will start providing over the counter medicines, health devices, among other items, through its online channel.
This will mark Amazon’s entry in a fairly competitive market that already has established players like NetMeds, 1mg, PharmEasy and Medlife. The company will also find a stiff competition in Reliance, a name which has already launched a heavyweight competitor in Amazon’s own backyard, e-commerce. Additionally, Reliance is reportedly in talks to acquire NetMeds, to get a headstart in the pharmacy delivery space.
Confirming the launch to The Tech Portal, an Amazon spokesperson said, “As a part of our commitment to fulfill the needs of customers, we are launching Amazon Pharmacy in Bangalore allowing customers to order prescription based medication in addition to over-the-counter medicines, basic health devices and Ayurveda medication from certified sellers. This is particularly relevant in present times as it will help customers meet their essential needs while staying safe at home,”.
Using the new platform, users will be able to get prescription medicine delivered right to their doorstop. An infographic from the company shows that you can upload your prescription directly through the phone, either by using the camera app or from your gallery. Moreover, the picture has another option under the headline ‘Saved,’ which means that the company will allow you to save a prescription directly on your account, in case you need to get a medicine delivered regularly.
That is not all, as users will be able to select items from various other segments. Health care devices is a very unique offering, that not a lot of competitors provide. Thus, the company will deliver instruments such as BP monitors, Glucometers, Weighing scales etc. to distinguish itself from the market and leverage its existing e-retail platform. Moreover, users will be able to get supplements like multivitamins, probiotics, and minerals from Amazon pharmacy, which is an addition to general medicine.
Also, since we are talking about the Indian market, the company decided to add a separate segment for “Ayurvedic medicine” which includes offerings from Himalaya, Kapiva, and India’s very own Chyawanprash.
All of these have been organised in different segments, as seen in the picture below.
A separate tab on the left allows users to apply filters to their searches, including brands, avg. customer review, price, discount and much more. Moreover, you can also limit your search criteria to medicines that can be paid for on delivery.
Thus, the platform will have almost the same offerings as the other online pharmacies in the country, which have seen tremendous business gains due to COVID-19 induced lockdowns. Not only has the need for medicines risen, but people are also relying on online channels more than they did ever before. Amazon is not one to see an opportunity and not grab it, and had also announced a food delivery service in Bengaluru a few months back.
The service is currently available in parts of Howrah, as well as some select cities of West Bengal. A nationwide rollout is definitely in the cards, but seeing how Amazon Food is still not available in a major part of the country, it might take some time.