Indian e-commerce market is of more than US$10 billion and growing rapidly. After seeing the success of services like Flipkart and Letsbuy, one can say that now Indians are also showing faith towards making purchases using their PC or tablet devices. Yesterday, Amazon, the world leader in e-commerce business entered Indian Market with the name Junglee.com.
I am sure you must be thinking that why they picked Junglee as their brand name in India. Actually the history of Junglee.com goes back to 1998 when Amazon purchased the startup Junglee.com which was a XML based data mining startup based in Sunnyvale. It was based on a virtual database technology to boost the item search in listed database.
Amazon can not sale products by having an inventory in India because of FDI restrictions. So what are they trying to achieve with Junglee? Another great question, don’t you think so.
Junglee – A price comparison search engine
Junglee is not a full fledged e-commerce site like Flipkart or a marketplace like Ebay but it is more or less a product price comparison site for products like books, cameras, mobile phones, clothes, kitchen and home items, videos games etc. Once you will open a product say a DSLR “Canon 600D”, you will see list of third-party e-commerce sites from India who are offering the product on different prices. The list also includes Amazon itself (if they are shipping the product to India). If you purchase the product using third-party e-commerce site, the policies and service quality would be applicable of that service provider only and you can’t blame Junglee for that.
Am I excited about Junglee launch? Of course NOT.
There are plenty of product price comparison sites in India. For example, you can try price checkindia, shopmania, compareindia etc. to find out the list of sellers (online and offline) with their price offering for the product. On Junglee, you won’t find big and established players like Flipkart, Letsbuy, Myntra, Infibeam.com (reason is obvious that e-com competition in India is well known to Amazon) in the list, and that’s why I don’t think Junglee is going to work as a perfect price comparison site for India consumers. Flipkart gained trust of online buyers in India and that’s why they succeeded here, if Junglee is trying to showcase new players rather than established ones then they would have to create trust and loyalty for those players first in Indian consumer’s mind. I don’t think Amazon will invest time and resources to build trust for third-party e-com players as they are also showing “Amazon Export Sales” in the list which is nothing but Amazon.com. Even before the Junglee launch, Indian buyers were capable of buying selected products from Amazon.com with shipping charges and custom duties. The only difference is that now you can see Amazon pricing (shipping and custom duties excluded) on Junglee in Indian currency. Now Junglee will boost the Amazon.com sales in India for products which are either not available here or can be imported for less price than other e-commerce sites (thanks to super saver free shipping program by Amazon).
Junglee is capable of giving start to Amazon’s full fledged inventory launch in India (after changes in FDI policy). Till then this service would help them reach to more than 100 million Internet users in India.This Amazon’s service will play a big role for new e-commerce sites who were waiting for a big platform to showcase their inventory. We will have to wait for more time to see the full fledged operation of Amazon in India; till then Flipkart rocks.