According to Statista, India, the world’s second-most populous country, has swiftly emerged as the world’s fastest-growing mobile internet market, with more than a billion mobile users as of 2021.
As a result of this unprecedented degree of internet connectivity, the Indian online retail market is expected to reach $73 billion by 2022, attracting the attention of many of the world’s largest eCommerce companies.
In light of these trends, it’s no real surprise to see Amazon leading the charge over on the Asian subcontinent, swiftly establishing itself as the most used online shop in India, beating out many of the long-standing behemoths of the Indian retail sector, such as Flipkart and Snapdeal.
Amazon’s dominance of the Indian market
Across both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, Amazon India is firmly rooted to the number one spot on the list of most popular online shopping apps in India. However, it was no walk in the park for the US-headquartered company to reach the top of the mountain.
With the digital revolution spreading thick and fast, competition for consumer spending has been at an all-time high, as companies have scrambled to meet their new digital customers’ shifting demands and expectations. With that said, Amazon has always held a trick up their sleeve compared to many of their competitors, since they are already well versed in breaking into new markets and seizing a large proportion of the market share in a short time.
Thanks to an extremely customer-centric approach, Amazon is famous for creating stellar customer service and prioritizing the wants and needs of its users. Wherever you look on the Amazon platform, there is plenty of customer value to be found.
Whether it is rapid delivery times, a diverse product catalog, or low prices, it’s hard to argue with the profound number of benefits that users get to enjoy when shopping on their platform, never mind the sleek and intuitive app design and website user interface.
On that note, let’s take a look at some of the four reasons why Amazon has been able to find such impressive levels of success in India and what other stores need to replicate if they want to stand any chance at securing some of their market shares for themselves.
Developing a deeper understanding of the consumer market
Right from the get-go, Amazon realized the importance of developing a deeper understanding of the consumer market.
Not every market is the same, and just because one tactic proved successful in western countries such as the USA, UK, and Germany does not mean they could be replicated with the same level of success in the east. After all, each country presents its own list of challenges, complexities, and nuances that must be considered.
One example is that, after conducting research in 2013, Amazon discovered that Indian consumers were either hesitant to buy online or lacked the expertise necessary to read online product reviews and gather sufficient information before making a purchase.
To address this, Amazon set up over 100 kiosks in small local retail locations, such as malls, to provide customers with “assisted buying” services. This helped to familiarize consumers who were reluctant to use the online service and helped many to feel more comfortable with digital purchasing.
Overcoming bandwidth challenges
Despite its size, the Indian mobile market presents unique challenges in terms of bandwidth issues. According to Ookla, India ranks at 129th position in a list of 138 countries in terms of data speed, and back when Amazon first came to India, this was even more of a bottleneck.
Realizing this limitation, Amazon wanted to make sure its application was still available to as many people as possible, so it developed a slimmed-down version of the app to cater to slower network speeds.
The smaller, more modest app still has all of the same core functionality, yet it opens up its service to a much wider demographic of users.
Removing fake reviews and low-quality products
Trust is crucial for brand loyalty, which is why Amazon has made concerted efforts to keep the integrity of their online store high while still operating on a massive scale.
Of course, this is not an easy task, especially since the Indian marketplace became plagued by a plethora of fake reviews, which has made buyers wary.
Mindful of this matter, Amazon continually aims to combat fraud and fake reviews for third-party products on its site while promoting trusted products to their consumers.
Logistics and fulfillment
Let’s face it – logistics and fulfillment are two things that Amazon has absolutely nailed down to a tee. By keeping a fully transparent supply chain and running a network of its own fulfillment centers, Amazon is able to offer vastly superior shipping times and returns services over its competitors, enabling thousands of small and medium-sized companies to fulfill orders more efficiently.
Furthermore, through expanding its infrastructure and delivery network, Amazon is continually improving the customer experience across all touchpoints and areas of engagement.
To put some context to this statement, Amazon India boosted its storage capacity by over 43 million cubic feet across 11 additional fulfillment facilities in July 2021, allowing them to better serve the growing demand from their customers while providing a better experience with a larger range of products and faster delivery.
By continually raising the customer experience bar through rapid delivery times, excellent customer service, brick-and-mortar kiosks, and a deeper understanding of their consumers, Amazon has been able to crack the Indian market and firmly establish itself as the leading eCommerce company in India.
While the battle is far from over, it’s safe to assume Amazon will continue to innovate and adapt to Indian consumer needs, especially as we drive forward into a more digital world.