Amazon tries free, on-time delivery to lure India online

Nov 02 2013, 16:39 IST
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Amazon's initial entry into India was through the 2012 launch of Junglee.com, a price comparison site that gave it insight on what consumers want to buy and are willing to pay. (AP) Amazon's initial entry into India was through the 2012 launch of Junglee.com, a price comparison site that gave it insight on what consumers want to buy and are willing to pay. (AP)
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by 2015.

Agarwal would not give any forecasts or figures, but said Amazon's investments in India have a 7- to 10-year horizon.

He said Amazon was building its own logistics network, which it can leverage when the rules change and it can sell directly to consumers. Indian regulations now prevent international e-tailers from making direct sales.

MADE FOR INDIA

Amazon's initial entry into India was through the 2012 launch of Junglee.com, a price comparison site that gave it insight on what consumers want to buy and are willing to pay.

Amazon's India website, set up in June, is currently a market place for other vendors, in line with regulations.

Amazon is working with these local vendors to ensure goods are packaged properly to speed up delivery, Agarwal said. It is also training local couriers to make good on its promised delivery times in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

"We receive items from sellers in all kinds of situations. Most of them are not packed properly, stickered properly and that increases the delivery time," Agarwal said.

"Even if you go to really large sellers they don't know how to describe their item because they have never had to have a digital catalogue."

An unstable Internet banking system means online payments often fail, frustrating buyers and leading to abandoned purchases. Agarwal said Amazon uses a made-for-India system that keeps orders active and allows the customer to try again. The option of cash on delivery is also offered.

To avoid shipments getting stuck at toll booths or held up by police demanding bribes, Amazon gets all the permissions and documents required, as well as extra permits, just in case.

"We are not cutting corners. It is taking a longer time to build things but compliance is important and that takes care of blockages on the road to a large extent," Agarwal added.

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