Is Amazon Number One in India?

Just two and a half years after launching, Amazon has staked claim to ecommerce supremacy in India. According to a press release Amazon issued Dec. 14, Amazon.in became the most visited ecommerce site in India in October 2015, which includes the busy Diwali shopping season, according to the global analytics firm comScore.

ComScore’s numbers do show that Amazon.in had 30.1 million visitors in October, and surpassed Flipkart.com (just under 27 million visitors) in monthly visitors for the second time in 2015 (In May, Amazon.in topped Flipkart.com by about 100,000 visitors).

amazon-vs-flipkart

“This is a huge milestone, and we’re all raising a glass to toast our colleagues in India,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Customer response like this is so energizing for us, and we’re grateful. Customers and sellers can count on us to continue innovating and investing heavily in India – it’s very much still Day One at Amazon.in.”

But is Amazon telling the whole truth about being Number 1 in India, or is it just using comScore’s numbers as an excuse to run a celebration sale in the U.S. with 50% off a selection of Bollywood digital videos at Amazon.com, as it says in a press release?

Adam Lella, Senior Analyst, Marketing Insights for comScore, Inc., told Multichannel Merchant via email that its figures are based on desktop visits, which includes desktops and laptops, but does not include smartphone and tablet visits.

And as Multichannel Merchant has documented, India’s ecommerce customers are largely mobile-first.

In April, Flipkart co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal told Ystats.com that they expect to be largely a mobile-based ecommerce company in a couple of years. The Times of India also reported that Flipkart will be shutting down its ecommerce site within a year and move to an app-only format.

“Last year, we had more on the app, but still did our web and desktop.  In the next year or so, we’re going to be only mobile,”Michael Adnani, vice president for retail and head of brand alliances at Flipkart told The Times of India. “A year ago, 6% of our traffic was coming from mobile. In less than 18 months, that traffic is tenfold. That shows the significance of what a mobile phone is doing for the consumers and consequently doing for us.”

On top of the comScore report, Amazon’s press releae claims that the app analytics firm App Annie reported that Amazon.in app downloads grew by over 200% year-over-year in October.

According to the App Annie database, as of Dec. 17, Amazon is the 5th most-popular iPhone free shopping app in India, while Flipkart is ranked number-two. Wish is the most-popular free shopping app for the iPhone in India, according to the App Annie database.

Ecommerce marketplaces are on the rise in India, and sales there are growing faster than those in China.

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