Tuesday 6 January 2015

E-commerce: There is room for more players, says Amazon India

As rising mobile and Internet penetration pushes growth in the e-commerce segment, Amazon India is focusing on creating mobile-first experience for shopping online. Amit Agarwal, country manager and VP, Amazon India, talks to Shruti Srivastava, about the growth, the regulatory challenges the sector faces and the focus of the company in 2015. Excerpts:
After an exciting 2014, what is the outlook for e-commerce in 2015?
The Indian e-commerce space is still at a very nascent stage with significant potential for innovation to improve customer experience. We believe growth is at an inflection point and there is a tremendous opportunity. There is room for multiple formats, and players. Additionally, the repeat rate of customers is very healthy, indicating a good shopping experience. This is only expected to grow northwards in 2015.
What is the focus of Amazon in the new year?
We will continue to focus on three key aspects — selection of products; enjoyable, reliable and trustworthy online shopping experience; and building quick and convenient delivery mechanisms.
What was the most interesting segment for the sector?
Customers are ordering unique selection with the same enthusiasm as they are ordering popular products. For example instruments like Ektara, Gopichand, Harmonicas, and bamboo flutes feature in the bestsellers list on our musical instruments store along with guitars and keyboards. We have received orders for musical instruments from places like Rajahmundry, Bokaro, Hazaribag; food products for birds, turtles and guinea pigs from places like Nadiad, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, and Nagpur. Today, nearly 50 per cent of the orders come from non-metro cities.
What are the regulatory challenges?
We look forward to a scenario where the laws evolve to keep pace with the new-age online business models. It would be good to see how the inter-state movement of goods can be made less cumbersome. GST is a great example of something which could enable that.

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