With the launch of Amazon Prime — the e-commerce major’s popular global membership programme — users in India get an opportunity to enjoy a slice of online shopping...
With the launch of Amazon Prime — the e-commerce major’s popular global membership programme — users in India get an opportunity to enjoy a slice of online shopping which promises to be “lightning fast”. The exciting news is that Amazon Prime Video, with its movies and music, is also scheduled to make its way into India soon. Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal and Greg Greeley, vice-president of Amazon Worldwide Prime, tells FE’s Darlington Jose Hector why it is the right time for Amazon Prime to make its mark in India.
What, according to you, are some of the key factors that are likely to propel Amazon Prime in India?
Agarwal: India, like most international markets, loves a wide variety of items and convenience. In our case, Prime members will enjoy lightning deals, 30 minutes early, every day. There will be exclusive deals from brands and sellers, especially picked for Prime members. We have provided for Amazon pick-up points to help round the clock delivery. Last-mile delivery is so crucial, and that is where we want to be innovative.
How crucial a service will Prime be for Amazon, as far as India is concerned?
Agarwal: We have been working extremely hard to bring Prime into India. Prime products are delivered through the Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) channel. The channel helps sellers increase online sales by giving them access to the company’s fulfilment resources. After the sellers send their products to an Amazon fulfilment centre, we not only store the inventory, but also pick, pack and ship these orders across India. Most sellers report a substantial sales increase after they start using FBA. The FBA products are eligible for premium deliveries such as One Day Delivery and Morning Delivery. We believe that Prime is unique and are confident that the customers will like it.
Indian consumers are value conscious. Keeping this in mind, how important will be the pricing of these services?
Greeley: Our customers stick with us due to the quality of our service. Amazon is offering Prime at an introductory annual subscription fee of R499. We are going to provide this service in 100 cities.
Over time, what kind of tweaks have been introduced into the service?
Greeley: Since its inception in every country, Prime continues to evolve, as we add millions of additional items that can be delivered in an incredibly fast manner. Globally, we have introduced benefits like Prime Video featuring movies etc and you will hear more about this in the coming months.
Can you tell us the number of subscribers that you have globally?
Greeley: It may not be possible for us to reveal the exact number but we would like to put it down as tens of millions.
Have you seen a change in consumer behaviour in India since Amazon launched here in 2013?
Agarwal: Indians are no different. The same principles that we use internationally, we employ here too. But we never forget the local nuances.