31 July 2017 08:06:58 IST

Amazon looks N-E for sales growth

Currently, Amazon has 2 lakh sellers, a 160 per cent growth year-on-year.

E-commerce major Amazon is planning to ramp up operations in the North-East (NE) this year as part of its growth strategy.

According Akhil Saxena, Vice-President, India Customer Fulfilment, Amazon India, good demand has been noticed from the region and categories such as fashion (apparel and so on), consumer durables, personal care and consumables are seen as the demand drivers.

“The focus is on expanding our delivery logisitics and ramping up operations. We have seen demand go up there (in the N-E),” Saxena told BusinessLine .

He, however, did not disclose how much of Amazon’s total traffic comes from the N-E, or the investment numbers.

A Google Trends study for the last 12 months shows that six of the seven North-East States – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur – along with Sikkim, feature among the top 10 States that search for the term “online shopping”. Assam features relatively lower on the list.

The other five related search terms include ‘india online shopping’, ‘amazon online’, ‘amazon shopping’, and ‘flipkart shopping online’.

Currently, Amazon has 2 lakh sellers, a 160 per cent growth year-on-year.

Logistics

Incidentally, the e-tailer is also exploring the possibility of setting up a fulfilment centre (loosely, a warehouse) in one of the North-East States. Presently, it has 37 such warehouses. Plans are afoot to add four more over the next four weeks. With these 41 fulfilment centres, the total available space is expected to stand at 13 million cubic feet.

“Wait and watch,” Saxena said, on being asked if any of the upcoming fulfilment centres were in the North East.

Amazon operates under the marketplace model, ie it acts as an aggregator between buyers and sellers without actually owning the goods. It earns a fee-based income from the warehouse services.

Own delivery arm

The e-commerce major is also looking to increase the ambit of its own delivery arm, Amazon Logistics. The delivery provider currently services 400-odd pincodes between Meghalaya and Assam in the North East, and is exploring entry into Tripura.

“We will expand the number of pincodes to be serviced through Amazon Logisitics,” Saxena added.

Other than the North-East, it services Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Nationally, Amazon services 19,000 pin codes either by itself, or through third-party partners, including India Post.