Tuesday 20 December 2016

Amazon debuts online beauty service & e-wallet ‘Amazon Pay Balance’

Online marketplace Amazon India is branching out into new territories within the ecommerce industry to strengthen its presence in the Indian market. The etailer launched two new services last week – an in-home beauty service and a digital wallet.

Online beauty service launched in Bangalore

The US-based ecommerce biggie recently launched its in-home beauty service in Bangalore. This women-only service is currently available in 15 areas across the silicon valley of India. Women can book pedicure, manicure, waxing and threading services between 9 am to 6 pm.
The on-demand service industry such as home-cleaning, grocery, appliances repair-work, laundry, beauty, and plumbing has picked up in the last few years. Beauty service in particular (besides grocery) is a lucrative segment because of frequent transactions, high profit margins and repeat business.
Housejoy is the current leader of this ecommerce vertical. What’s interesting is that Amazon had invested in Housejoy back in December 2015. How would the online marketplace manage the conflict of interest, now that it has independently ventured in the online beauty service segment?

Amazon’s digital wallet is here!

After Amazon acquired Emvantage, a Noida-based payment gateway company in February, buzz was that an India-specific payment solutions service would soon make an entry. In March, it was announced that the ecommerce biggie is going to launch a digital wallet and has applied for its license.
9 months later, the digital wallet is finally here! The ecommerce giant launched ‘Amazon Pay Balance’ to encourage cashless payments. The timing couldn’t have been better as the Indian economy is going through the demonetization phase at present.
The company said in its statement,
“With no additional authentications required, customers get the benefit of fast and smooth checkout (from Amazon Pay). Amazon Pay Balance helps customers store balances for essential items and solves the pain point of tendering exact amount of cash at the time of delivery.”
Amazon is also offering upto 10% cashback on all spends (until 15th January 2017), 15% cashback for Prime customers, instant checkout, faster refunds and easy balance tracking with Amazon Pay Balance.
Snapdeal has FreeCharge under its wing, Flipkart launched its own wallet PhonePe in August 2016 and Paytm leads the digital wallet industry. Let’s see how Amazon Pay Balance will fare against the other e-wallets.

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