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Amazon arrives in India

10 June 2013 - 11:21 by Mike Price

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Amazon may be the biggest name in safe shopping online in the UK and the US, but it is still working to establish itself in other major markets across the world.

BBC News reports that Amazon has just launched its first own brand e-commerce site in India this month, with customers able to purchase books and movies at first and plans to sell mobile phones and digital cameras in the near future.

Amazon has already tested the waters of Indian e-commerce with a site called Junglee.com, which was launched back in February of last year and effectively allowed users to compare product prices across multiple online outlets.

Fifty million people in India have access to the internet and almost half of this number have previously bought something via safe shopping online, so there is already a decent sized market for Amazon to harness.

However, as internet connectivity spreads across this country of over 1.2 billion, the potential for growth in e-commerce sales is huge.

Confusingly, India's retail laws still prevent Amazon from operating as directly as it does in the UK and elsewhere, so it is merely a third party channel for sales at the moment, rather than a fully fledged online department store.

Of course these rules could change, at which point it would have a real chance of cutting off a slice of India's increasingly lucrative e-commerce market.

Amazon is reported to be thinking about moving into bricks and mortar retail in the US, apparently with the intention of launching a series of grocery stores.

AmazonFresh has already had five years to gestate in LA and Seattle, but it could be rolled out more broadly over the next 12 months.

This might include a UK launch of its high street offering, which would present an interesting choice for British consumers.