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BW Businessworld

It’s Day 1 For Ecomm In India

Amazon embarked on a slew of campaigns, celebrating its sellers, pushing its various properties such as Amazon Pantry, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime.

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Given the sheer dependence on ecommerce in 2020, it was no surprise that the year was an extremely active one for Amazon India. Ecommerce could be benefit- ting in the overall land- scape, but the platform did not leave anything to chance.

The director for brand marketing at Amazon in India & APAC, Ravi Desai, was constantly on the look- out for different ways to connect with the Indian consumer and keep pushing the ecommerce wave. It is this relent- less pursuit that places him among BW Top 50 Marketers 2021.

“It is very early for us in India,” remarks Desai, even though Amazon is among one of the more mature platforms in the country and as per several reports, the sector has grown exponentially in 2020.

Explaining his point, which also alludes to Amazon’s ambition in India, Desai says, “We don’t have the exact numbers to indicate how much ecommerce grew in India in 2020, but just reflecting the customer obsession that we work around, we see India as 1.4 billion customers.”

The Billion People Dream

Desai argues that as only 500 million of this number are connected to the Internet, there is headroom for growth.

“May be just a fraction of these 500 million are ecommerce active, and that too for a fraction of their requirement,” he explains, adding, “What keeps us going is the vision that we would like to serve every single Indian who has access to the internet, and may be even beyond, over a period of time. We are a long way away from that.”

Amazon embarked on a slew of campaigns, celebrating its sellers, pushing its various properties such as Amazon Pantry, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime. With brand calls like ‘Together for India’, ‘Aapki Apni Dukaan’ and ‘Har Pal Fashionable’, it also found more reasons for consumers locked up at home to shop with peace of mind.

From campaigns around festivals, celebrating women sellers, to shopping festivals, the Amazon marketing calendar was full.

In 2020, as per Desai, the platform saw ecommerce adoption accelerate, and even drop, depending on categories and segments.

The Growth Equation

“We are a horizontal marketplace model, where people can buy anything from our platform that has seven lakh plus sellers. On one side of the equation, it is about the sellers, and hence about getting small and medium entrepreneur sellers on the marketplace. This allows for the selection to keep growing and keep a check on prices. On the other side of the equation is to get the internet connected customers. When this is considered, it is still day one, or even dawn of day one, for ecommerce in India,” notes Desai.

Speaking on the BW Top 50 Marketer award, Desai states, “At Amazon, we believe that eight out of 10 points of a successful marketing intervention is all about the product. Given the difficulty that last year threw at us, it would not be possible to even operate without the frontline delivery agents that kept our business going. I accept this on their behalf.”