Rehan HoodaOct 17, 2016 15:47:31 IST
Amazon India recently launched "Amazon Global Store" in India after China and Mexico. Amazon global store allows the users to buy products that are not available in India and are available on Amazon in other countries.
Global Store streamlines the process of purchasing goods through proper channels instead of relying on traditional methods as relatives or friends living in the country or passengers that are visiting the country to buy the goods and carry them on their way back.
Issues with workarounds
Even though such methods work without any issue and are considered most reliable for people to procure the goods, there are a lot of limitations that come with such workarounds. These restrictions included the limit on the number of products that you can ask your relatives or passengers to get with them without raising any red flags with the customs department. Global Store provides a legitimate way for users to frequently buy things available on Amazon store outside India, without relying on conventional methods.
Amazon Global Store also provides its robust logistics and transportation services to the consumers with accurate tracking estimates resulting in much faster processing and shorter delivery estimates. This is a far cry from the current system where foreign sellers ship your products using slow Airmail services. If you go for free shipping, it takes approximately a month or more for the product to reach your destination. This system does not hold anyone accountable for accurate tracking or careful, damage proof shipping of goods.
In addition to issues with timely and safe shipping of products, another area of concern is inaccurate products being shipped or in some rare cases, the products getting lost during the transportation. In such cases, most of the sellers refuse a refund, and it becomes an enormous task for people to prove that they received the incorrect or damaged product. Some of the sellers warn consumers on the product description that they will not refund or take the products back after the product reaches the buyer.
Amazon claims that it will use the best transportation practices to ensure fast and safe shipping of the products with full accountability and easy refund of money using Amazon fulfilled system. Amazon takes responsibility for customs clearance for each product ordered using the Global Amazon Store.
Limited catalogue is disappointing
Everything looks great while reading the details and descriptions of the Global Store, but these positives do not amount to anything after you check the current launch catalogue of products in the Global Store.
While going through the products launched on the Global Store, the catalogue does not have any great products. In fact, it seems that despite launching the Global Store, Amazon did not take care of launching sufficient products in the store. The entire thing seems like a rushed up job to align with the festive season in India. The lack of product variety and availability defeats the purpose of Global Store, which was supposed to have all the products from Amazon stores across the world.
Even though, Amazon mentioned that the product catalogue is limited to a mere fraction of goods from Amazon US Store, and the product inventory will grow over time, it defeats the entire purpose of having this Global Store. This geographical limitation of physical products seems similar to the geographically locked content on digital services like Netflix or absence of all the services altogether like Spotify.
Here are some of the products that we found on the Amazon Global Store on the day of its launch. The products do touch different product segments, but we did come across some strange price points. For instance, the Tamron 10-24mm lens is Rs 32,999 on the Indian store and at $499 (approx Rs 33,000) on the US store. But on the Amazon Global Store, it is priced at Rs 45,990.
One other important thing to note is that Amazon has not clarified if deals like Amazon Gold Box Deals or Amazon Cyber Monday deals where products are sold at heavy discounts on the Amazon US store will be a part of Amazon Global Store.
Even though the situation will gradually improve, it's not clear about how long it will take for the catalogue. There is no point pushing a half-baked product to consumers if you can't use it for the only reason, the product is made to solve.
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