Amazon, which recently announced the expansion of its infrastructure footprint opening its largest fulfillment center in India, is looking to recruit Indian merchants to help drop prices.
During the holiday season, many shoppers on Amazon.com may find the best deals are coming from Indian merchants.
The company has been aggressively recruiting Indian vendors to sell their goods directly on the e-commerce giant’s American site, according to a New York Times report. At least 27,000 Indian sellers have signed up since Amazon began the outreach two years ago, the report said.
They range from giants like the Tata Group, a conglomerate that hawks its Titan watch line on the site, to smaller firms like The Boho Street, a peddler of vegan tapestries, incense and handcrafted copper mugs, according to the publication.
The result is lower prices for consumers because selling foreign goods through the e-commerce giant cuts out some of the usual costs of a traditional importer. But it is also beneficial to Amazon, which gets to add to its enormous product lineup and charge sellers hefty fees, the Times reported.
The Times noted that the Indian merchants are provided turnkey access to the U.S. market, citing The Boho Street and its founder Abhishek Middha.
“Amazon handles everything in the U.S., from shipping to customer handling, so we can focus on making the best quality products and adding more products to our catalog,” Middha said in the report.
The growth of Amazon’s Indian global seller program shows how sophisticated the Seattle retailer’s strategy has become. The company operates India’s second-largest e-commerce site, Amazon.in, which caters to the country’s growing base of online consumers, the report said. But Amazon also sees India as a source of cheap and high-quality products that can be sold on its American site, especially in crucial categories like apparel, to help it take market share from competitors like Walmart, it added.
The company in September announced it opened a 400,000 square foot center, located in Shamshabad, has roughly 2.1 million cubic feet of storage space. It is the fifth fulfillment center in Telangana and the largest in the country, Amazon said in a news release.
In total, Amazon has upped its storage capacity to 3.2 million cubic feet in Telangana to enable faster deliveries to customers in the region, the company said.
“Amazon India’s latest investment … evidently signifies the growing interest of large global enterprises in the state,” K.T. Rama Rao of the government of Telangana said in a statement. “The (center) will enable thousands of small and medium businesses selling locally created products such as apparels, handlooms and handicraft to service customers seamlessly across the country and the globe,” he said.
“It will also fuel the growth of ancillary businesses such as packaging, transportation, logistics and hospitality across the state,” Rao added. “We are committed to enabling the ease of doing business and enabling companies like Amazon.in to expand their presence in Telangana.”
Added Amazon India vice president of India customer fulfillment Akhil Saxena, “Our vision is to transform the way India buys and sells. At Amazon, we have been consistently investing in our infrastructure and delivery network, so we can increase our speed of delivery and provide a superior experience to both – customers and sellers.
“With the launch of our largest fulfillment center here in Telangana, we strongly believe that we will be able to better serve our customers with one-day and two-day delivery,” Saxena added. “The (fulfillment center) will enable sellers to use local infrastructure, save capital and help them grow their businesses.”
Saxena noted that the center will work with the local communities to create many employment opportunities for the youth. Amazon continues to work with sellers in Telangana providing them with a marketplace to sell their products to millions of customers and scale their business to greater heights, he said.