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Amazon India initiates creative pitch

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 28, 2013
The process is underway in Bengaluru.

Amazon, the global e-commerce giant that forayed into India earlier this year as Amazon India, has initiated a creative pitch.

Amazon India

The process is still in its nascent stages and is underway in Bengaluru, Amazon's hub in India. The brand has initiated discussions with a few creative agencies.

Highly placed industry sources have confirmed the news to afaqs!.

Launched by Jeff Bezos in 1995, Amazon is an American company headquartered at Seattle, Washington. In India, Amazon's website is www.amazon.in and the brand follows an online marketplace model, one that facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers. Amazon.in is operated by Amazon Seller Services, an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc.

While Amazon launched its India operations this year, the brand was already present in this market since February 2012, through Junglee.com, an online shopping service that helps customers find products from online and offline retailers and compare prices.

In India, Amazon faces competition from existing e-commerce players including eBay India (launched as www.eBay.in after the acquisition of Baazee.com in 2005), Flipkart.com (founded in 2007 by two ex-Amazon employees), Myntra.com, Jabong.com, HomeShop18.com, SnapDeal.com and YeBhi.com, among several more.

While the communication plan and media mix of the upcoming advertising campaign for Amazon India are not known at the moment, most of its aforementioned competing brands have explored pretty much every media platform out there, including the most expensive one - television. In fact, as reported in an afaqs! cover story a couple of years ago, "of the Rs 300-odd crore that's spent by online companies on television, 50 per cent comes from the online e-commerce players." In all probability, this figure is even larger today. It remains to be seen how Amazon India will make its presence felt on Indian mass media platforms in 2014.

Besides www.amazon.com for the USA and www.amazon.in for India, Amazon has separate retail websites for several other countries including Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Canada, China, Japan and France, among a few others.

Globally, Amazon is known for its advanced and timely fulfilment network ('Fulfillment by Amazon' or FBA) wherein sellers can store their products in Amazon's fulfilment centres and Amazon takes the responsibility of picking it up, packing it and delivering it to the buyer. In India, Amazon recently launched a fulfilment centre (warehouse) on the outskirts of Mumbai.

While initially Amazon India started out with just two product categories (books and movies), products currently available on Amazon.in include books, movies and TV shows, the Kindle family of e-readers, tablets, e-books, computers, mobiles, cameras, toys, baby products, watches, personal care products, health products, jewellery, home and kitchen appliances, and beauty products.

It is Amazon's vision to be 'Earth's most customer-centric company'. As far as its packaging goes, Amazon introduced a concept called Frustration Free Packaging (FFP), in 2008, which is an ongoing initiative designed to make it easier for customers to liberate products from their packages. The objective is to alleviate 'wrap rage', a term that refers to the frustration people feel while trying to free a product from its packaging.

Currently, India's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy restricts e-commerce companies from offering services directly to retail consumers. At present, 100 per cent FDI is allowed in business -to-business (B2B) e-commerce but not in retail trading. Amazon India is in talks with the Indian government to relax foreign investment norms in the e-commerce space, so that it can better serve its consumers.

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