When Amazon entered the Indian market in 2013, they had come to play a game of longer-haul, aiming to become the largest online player. But, there was no hurry. They decided to move inch-by-inch, aiming one target at a time.
Now, after four years, Amazon seemed to be not far from the target.
Amazon India has become the most preferred shopping destination and is taking a lead over rival Flipkart, according to a survey by research firm Forrester Research.
In the survey, conducted among 2,000 Indian consumers between February and March this year, showed 80 per cent shopped with Amazon, while nearly 65 per cent of these shoppers prefer to shop on Flipkart.
According to Forrester, both Flipkart and its fashion-arm Jabong witnessed a slight decline in customers who opted to shop on these platforms. The number of customers who shopped at Flipkart dipped from close to 70 per cent last year to 65 per cent, while those who shopped on Jabong fell from over 30 per cent last year to 25 per cent this year.
At the same time, customers who shopped on Amazon witnessed a 5 per cent increase as the percentage of customers grew from 75 to 80 per cent in one year.
Besides, this month Amazon India announced to have registered 88 per cent growth in gross sales volume for the June quarter. The company had witnessed an increase of about 60 per cent by value in the same quarter compared with a year earlier.
The recent growth observed in Indian-arm of the Seattle-headquartered company boils down to many factors — products, price, shipping and return policy, among others.
“Over a period of time, Amazon rated high in almost all the factors allowing customers to order more products and also increasing the number of categories they purchase,” said Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester talking to ET.
Besides, the addition of Prime Video and Amazon Prime for customers, who are spending more online, has helped Amazon capture customer preference.
This month, Amazon announced a worldwide exclusive content deal with Bollywood star Salman Khan Ventures.
The landmark deal with the Sultan of Bollywood makes Amazon Prime Video the exclusive streaming home of future titles of Salman Khan commencing with the recently released Tubelight.
Amazon has also committed to spend $5 billion in India. Recently, it has made investments into Amazon Seller Services, logistics and data service, taking the total investment to over $2 billion.
Recently, expanding its logistics footprint in India, Jeff Bezos’ company has decided to pour in Rs 400 crore more into its Indian logistics arm to expand its business operations.
Experts observe that online customers are looking beyond just discounts and are now also considering good experience and fast delivery. Product ratings have also become important.
Since last year, customers’ online retail spending has also increased. In the first half of 2017, online spending grew by 11 per cent, with the online spending per buyer growing to Rs 26,671 in terms of mean spending in 2017, from Rs 24,092 in 2016, according to the Forrester report.