It’s no secret that India is one of Amazon’s key markets globally, and its fastest-growing as well. In order to serve a nation of 1.3 billion Amazon has earmarked $5 billion of which it has already invested $2-3 billion in the last three or four years. But there’s more in store. Without going into specifics, Amazon India has said that the Seattle-based e-commerce giant would “double down” on its investments in the country primarily to push Amazon Prime (which has just completed a year), and Amazon Echo (which rolled out last month).
“I think our investments are still squarely in the same three areas —how do we add more selection, how do we make it easier for sellers to offer more competitive prices and how do we build for faster deliveries… A layer on top of that is that we keep investing in Prime—so video, music, Echo, etc are our key areas,” Amit Agarwal, Country Head, Amazon India told Mint. Prime, Amazon’s paid membership program, completed a year in India in July, while Prime Video, its video-streaming service, will turn a year in December. Amazon had earlier stated that it has tasted unprecedented success with Prime in India, which is one of its top markets already. ALSO READ: Doubling content that Indians like is Amazon Prime Video formula
Amazon has also contested rival Flipkart’s claims that it recorded the highest sales during the just-concluded festive season. While Flipkart held its annual Big Billion Day sale for four days, Amazon carried out the Great Indian Festival Sale in two rounds. Flipkart had claimed that it clocked a gross merchandise value of Rs 5,000 crore in the period and was well ahead of its competitors. Amazon, on the other hand, believes that it topped app downloads, desktop visits and mobile website visits — the metrics it “tracked”. The company said that it captured 44 percent of total shopping volume in the festive period, and dismissed all other claims as “wrong”. ALSO READ: Amazon steps up investments in India, pumps Rs 1,620 crore in marketplace unit: Report
“The pieces that we were tracking were the sheer number of customers that were transacting… and the sheer number of things purchased. In terms of GMV, I’ve always said I don’t understand the metric. I find that a vanity metric. And we don’t optimize our website to run a single day of sale — that’s not how we run our website. What I can tell you is that all the claims made out there were wrong, knowing my data…Those are completely wrong,” Agarwal explained.