Online shopping platform Amazon has been making the lives of users easier with deliveries on almost all kinds of products available from its own sellers. But these services seem to have been halted since last night and users have taken to social media platforms like Twitter to complain about the same. Amazon has been replying back to the disgruntled users from its Amazon Help Twitter handle with a standard reply which says, “Apologies for the inconvenience. The pantry products are temporarily unavailable. Alternatively, groceries can be purchased from other sellers on the Amazon platform. Customers have to select Groceries from the Shop by Category filter, next to the product search before they key-in the product name.”
Amazon products like those from the Pantry, Amazon Basics and Amazon’s own devices like the Echo speakers, Fire Stick and Kindle products have now been listed on the website from third-party sellers. The primary seller for these products used to be Amazon’s own Cloudtail. Most of these products listings on the website don’t even have the option to select the seller.
One of the possible reasons for this could be the revised foreign direct investment (FDI) policy which was announced in December by the Commerce and Industry Ministry of India for the e-commerce sector, which would end discounts and cashback offers that online platforms with foreign investment were offering. The policy was all set to come into effect on February 1 and it seems removing its products for the moment is the approach Amazon has taken presently.
The FDI stated that the e-commerce platforms will not be able to sell products on its own platform that come from brands that are directly or indirectly owned by them. The policy also states that platforms can’t have more than 25 percent of its sales from private labels, which is to make sure the platforms can’t exercise any ownership or control over its own inventory. The logic behind the introduction of such strict FDI policy is to make sure that the e-commerce platforms can’t undercut the smaller vendors by offering discounted prices. We have written to Amazon for inputs on the same and will update when they reply back to our queries.