Online retail giant Amazon on Wednesday launched a new Internet shopping site in India-Amazon.in-that will sell books, movies and TV shows, a move that will likely stir up India's fast-expanding e-commerce industry where companies are increasingly hawking products through online market places.
Amazon made its first foray into India early last year with Junglee.com, which enables customers to search for different products and compare prices, but does not allow them buy goods.
"E-commerce is at a very nascent stage in India and is expanding very rapidly. India offers an exciting opportunity for us. There's lot of opportunity for innovation and to provide value to our customers," said Greg Greeley, vice president of International Expansion at Amazon.com
Net commerce-of which etailing is the second fastest emerging component after the online travel industry-- in India has evolved over the past decade in terms of magnitude.
Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the industry body of online and mobile value added services, has pegged the size of net commerce in India at about 40,000 crore in 2012.
Direct sales by consumer-brand manufacturers are one of the fastest-growing areas of net commerce.
While consumers can cash in on great bargains, for sellers e-tailing model offers lower overhead and variable costs.
Companies save heavily on real estate rentals, staff salaries, stores' maintenance expenses and also on time to set up stores.
Starting with books, movies and TV shows, Amazon.in will introduce additional categories including mobile phones and cameras in the coming weeks, said Amit Agarwal, Amazon India Vice President and country manager.
Amazon will compete directly with Flipkart.com, reportedly India's largest online retailer that was founded by two ex-Amazon employees in Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007.
"We are entering now because we are ready. We have long-term view on this," said Agarwal.
Last year the government eased rules allowing foreign retailers to set up mega stores in India with an equity participation of 51%, but foreign investment is banned in setting up online retail stories. Amazon.in, is an online marketplace, Agarwal said, and will only facilitate transaction between buyers and sellers.