Hoping to tap into India’s rapidly growing e-commerce market, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) is launching Junglee.com in the country today.
Junglee.com is not another “international Amazon” like Amazon.fr or Amazon.de. Rather, it is a marketplace that aims to connect buyers with online and offline retailers. The site offers 12 million products from 14,000 brands.
Amazon is also building a fulfillment center in Mumbai and has development centers in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.
Users cannot buy goods directly from Junglee, although most product pages do link back to Amazon.com in addition to local sellers’ sites. The Kindle appears on Junglee.com but it is available only through Amazon.com, not from any local seller.
Some features of the site, however, are familiar. In November, Indian digital media site MediaNama reported, “Retailers have to provide XML based feeds of their products to Amazon, customized to Amazon’s categorization, and on completion of the sale, they will be responsible for delivery. Each retailer will be reviewed and rated by customers.
Junglee.com is not India’s only e-commerce site. The most well-known is Flipkart.com, founded by two former Amazon employees in 2007. It sells books — over 11.5 million titles — and other products and ships about 30,000 items per day.
Many Indian customers already use Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.co.uk offers free super saver shipping to India. “From the metrics we see, Amazon currently gets more traffic from India than Flipkart does,” Indian venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy recently told Reuters.