Amazon.com Inc. has announced its entry into India through launch of Junglee.com, in a bid to tap the growing electronic commerce market in India. The service is currently in its beta stage. Junglee.com was acquired by Amazon in 2000 from bunch of entrepreneurs Ashish Gupta, Anand Rajaraman, Venky Harinarayan, Rakesh Mathur and Dallan Quass.
Iamwire navigated through the junglee.com and found that it has the search and recommendation options similar to that of Amazon’s parent website. Earlier, Amazon tried acquiring through rounds of talk with Indian retailers like Flipkart and other but the deal didn’t go through. Junglee.com products price varies from other sites as it has some hidden charges.
What’s unique about Junglee.com
Jungle.com offers 1.2 crore products and would also provide buying options from various local retailers including Homeshop 18, Hidesign, Bata, FabIndia, Dabur among others and various global brands including Microsoft and Reebok. As Amazon.com is famed for selling books online, the category will form the bedrock of the company’s merchadise in India as well with more than 90 lakh books available and the remaining 30 lakh items will cover about 14,000 local and global brands in more than 25 categories including electronic products, toys, apparels, jewelery among others.
Amazon India version, which doesn’t do any shipping, doesn’t allow any transactions on the site. It places consumers in touch with sellers by directing them to the sellers’ websites like bitfang.com and grabmore.com, displaying their customer service phone numbers and providing their physical store locations to help customers buy the products directly from sellers. One of the unique point about the site is that it allows consumer reviews to be flagged on the site while buying products.
E-commerce has a huge potential in India, a country of more than 1.2 billion people where electronic commerce market is expected to grow by at least 30 to 40 percent for the next five years. The country has only 52 million active Internet users, of which only 40 percent have shopped online. Junglee.com is a move by Amazon to cash in the opportunity and build a slow-and-steady approach instead of launching a big product without understanding the market.
At the present, Junglee is a marketplace enabling sellers to upload their catalog, which is then promoted by Amazon and the final sale happens on seller website. Therefore with the Junglee.com model, Amazon will function as an interface platform between customers and sellers.
However, Junglee might not the final product of Amazon. It might be the first step towards the launch of Amazon’s ecommerce service in India. There is possibility of Amazon creating its own brand offering and launch when the logistics part with 100 percent allowance in FDI would be in place.