Seattle based online retail company Amazon.Inc is going all out to thrive in the competition within the e-commerce industry in India, the major competitors being Flipkart and Paytm. The e-tail giant is striving to retain its Prime subscribers with a bouquet of services. Amazon already launched the ‘Prime Day’ sale services in the country the previous year, almost three years after introducing it in other locations globally. According to founder-CEO Jeff Bezos, “Prime Services turned out to be the biggest asset for the company, drawing more than 100 million subscribers around the world.”
In India, Amazon is relying mostly on “Prime Services” once more to achieve their targets. Bezos has already established that by investing at least $5 million in the business. Since the inception of “Amazon Prime Services” two years back, the ratio of a regular purchase and a prime subscriber purchase has been approximately 3:1. More records regarding the collections received from prime services is yet to be publicised by the company.
The e-commerce platform has been dedicating its resources to upgrade prime services continuously, by adding new benefits, services and Amazon offers for its subscribers, while major competitor Flipkart has been concentrating on mobile phones and various related offers to retain its current top position. Amazon has introduced services like prime video and prime music along with the usual benefits of free delivery of eligible products at a fee of INR 999 per year.
Amazon’s offering for its subscribers has been in abundance since setting up the biggest warehouse in the country last year before Diwali. It introduced Alexa AI voice assistant or Amazon Echo device, to its subscribers, closely followed by the free Prime Music Services earlier this year, which again provides the advantages of Alexa search. Apart from all that, subscribers can enjoy prime video content in Hindi and other local languages and popular international TV shows in English. Some original contents also have been launched in “prime video services” and more such content are also being planned by the company.
The prime day sales last year also saw the demand for Amazon Fire TV Stick, a hardware introduced by the company to stream Prime Video contents directly into the television and comes with a voice-activated remote. The more this device sells, the more Amazon can keep tabs on customer choices and view patterns to regulate its content and services accordingly.
On the other hand, in spite of claiming the top position in market share, Flipkart is not in a very favourable position currently, facing challenges not only from Amazon but also from the Alibaba backed Paytm. Paytm Mall is slowly making its way into the industry with the help of electronic appliances like laptops. Apart from that, Paytm has also collaborated with its offline partners to set up QR codes to connect them to the online platform and targets to bring aboard at least 10 million retailers by March 2019. So the competition will only get tougher as the sale of other categories like groceries and other daily essentials will come into play.
However, Bengaluru based online retailer Big Basket, which is again backed by the Alibaba Group is currently leading the market in grocery sales, otherwise, grocery is not a very popular choice for the online shoppers right now. Amazon has also ventured in groceries and household items category, although could not make much progress until now. Meanwhile, Walmart acquired Flipkart has a long way to go in this category, which may turn out to be an important one sometime in the future.