BENGALURU: Amazon’s foray into the world’s second most populous country produced valuable lessons that are now informing how the e-commerce giant operates in the mature markets of the US and Europe, according to a company executive.
Speaking to the Times of India (via the Economic Times), Terry Hanold, vice president of international consumer technology, told the paper that some of the innovations that were created in India for India are changing how worldwide buyers and sellers use mobile, and sell used items.
A hugely successful innovation, called Seller Flex, is a programme where the company replicates its warehouse practices at facilities owned by third-party sellers, rather than using an Amazon warehouse as a middle man, these sellers now enjoy an additional revenue stream.
"We saw customers benefit and that idea has been scaled out to other Amazon marketplaces, allowing us to expand our footprint without having to invest a lot in physical infrastructure," explained Dale Vaz, Amazon India’s director of software development.
"Indian customers are holding us to what this team has accomplished in such a short time. I want the rest of Amazon to be modelled on this. I cannot imagine that we will look back in time when we would think we had invested too much in India," said Hanold.
He emphasised the advances in the seller app in India, specific tools, he added, “built for sellers to help manage the business more effectively. Now we are rolling this out to other markets including the US.”
Vaz expanded on the shift in focus from Apple to Android mobile devices in order to enter the Indian market. The team looked at how they could support customers on devices with less computing power.
“We looked backwards, we went into the app and stripped down large portions of it that we believed weren't useful to the customers. We removed voice search and image search. From 17MB, it came down to 2MB," Vaz said.
In Q1 2017, India was largely responsible for the company’s impressive international growth. “It's still Day one for e-commerce in India,” Bezos said, adding, “I assure you that we'll keep investing in technology and infrastructure while working hard to invent on behalf of our customers and small and medium businesses in India."
Hanold concluded that the energy of the market and of the teams in India was incredibly exciting, adding that the experience has been “incredibly inspired, reminding us of the Silicon Valley of 20-30 years ago.”
Data sourced from the Economic Times, CNBC; additional content by WARC staff