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Exclusive: Amazon, facing ‘unfavorable’ regulatory environment, struggles to expand in India – TalkOfNews.com

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Amazon, facing ‘unfavorable’ regulatory environment, struggles to expand in India

#Amazon #facing #unfavorable #regulatory #environment #struggles #expand #India

Amazon is lagging its chief rival Flipkart in India on several key metrics and struggling to make inroads in smaller Indian cities and towns, according to a scathing report by investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein.

The American e-commerce giant’s 2021 gross merchandise value in the country, where it has deployed over $6.5 billion, stood between $18 billion to $20 billion, lagging Flipkart’s $23 billion, the analysts said in a report to clients Tuesday that was obtained by TechCrunch.

India is a key overseas market for Amazon, where it competes with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail, which launched grocery shopping on WhatsApp this week, Walmart-owned Flipkart and social commerce startups SoftBank-backed Meesho and Tiger Global-backed DealShare. Amazon has so far offered “a weaker proposition in ‘new’ commerce” in the country, the report added.

At stake is one of the world’s last great growth markets. The e-commerce spending in India, the world’s second largest internet market, is expected to double in size to over $130 billion by 2025. Amazon has been attempting to increase its presence in India through stakes in local firms and has also aggressively explored partnerships with neighbourhood stores.

The company attempted to acquire Future Retail, India’s second largest retail chain, but was outwitted by Ambani’s firm. (Amazon accused the estranged Indian partner and Reliance of fraud in newspaper ads.)

Amazon’s recent spendings for growth in India has also made its local division’s prospects of turning a profit “elusive,” Bernstein report added.

The e-commerce group didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening.

“Amazon has struggled to scale volumes in higher-margin categories such as fashion and BPC (beauty and personal care), while the inability to operate a 1P model (inventory led) has limited the availability of private labels vs. competition which further pressures margins. Amazon’s management attrition has also increased recently, potentially signaling difficulties achieving desired scale,” said Bernstein, whose reports are highly influential and widely cited.

Amazon, like Walmart’s Flipkart, operates a marketplace business in India due to local regulatory requirements. It’s facing a wide range of other regulatory pushback in the South Asian market. Marketplaces cannot have a controlling stake in sellers on their platform. Amazon and Flipkart have reduced their stakes in their largest sellers. Amazon had a controlling stake in Cloudtail and Appario but has reduced it to 24%.

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A single seller cannot have more than a 25% share on a foreign-owned online marketplace. No e-commerce marketplace platform can mandate a seller/brand to sell exclusively on the platform. “It has also clamped down on deep discounts,” the report adds. Additionally, a new guideline proposed by India’s central bank, if enforced, will impact Amazon’s buy now, pay later offering, the report added.

Image Credits: Sanford C. Bernstein

Other takeaways from the report:

  • Amazon is less competitive in grocery and beauty and personal care categories.
  • Amazon’s India Prime membership offering is much the same as in the U.S. in terms of entertainment availability, but its logistics network size pales in comparison (13 m sq. ft. vs. 375 m sq. ft.) limiting SKUs available for half-day delivery.
  • Amazon missing out in terms of engagement metrics and download share. Flipkart was the leader during the festival season last year, capturing a share of 62% while Amazon had a share of 27%.
    Image Credits: Sanford C. Bernstein
  • Image Credits: Sanford C. Bernstein

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Exclusive: The iPhone 14 Pro’s camera cutout might look a lot like a notch after all – TalkOfNews.com

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Exclusive: Now you can watch Paramount Plus and Showtime in a single app – TalkOfNews.com

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Now you can watch Paramount Plus and Showtime in a single app

#watch #Paramount #Showtime #single #app

You can now access the content packed into Paramount Plus and Showtime from a single app. First bundled as a subscription last September, Paramount and Showtime’s catalogs have been separated between two apps for viewers in the US, but viewers can now access the full roster of TV shows and films from the Paramount Plus app.

For new subscribers, the Paramount Plus and Showtime bundle is available at a discounted rate until October 2nd, at $7.99 per month for the Essential plan (which includes ad breaks) with Showtime and $12.99 per month for the Premium plan with Showtime that adds more sports, live broadcasts of your local CBS station, and downloads for offline viewing on mobile, and mostly removes ads, except on live TV and certain shows. After October 2nd, the regular pricing resumes with the combined Essential tier at $11.99 per month and the Premium plan for $14.99 monthly.

Paramount Plus as a standalone service will continue to be available on two subscription tiers without Showtime: the ad-supported Essential plan ($4.99 per month) and the ad-free Premium tier ($9.99 per month).

“This singular user experience streamlines sign-up and enhances discovery, and this lower price will allow more households to enjoy with exceptional entertainment offering,” Paramount Global Streaming president Tom Ryan said in a press release announcing the new service.

iPhone screen showing the paramount plus app highlighting the showtime series your honor

Paramount Plus and Showtime were previously bundled in two apps under one price.
Image: Paramount
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In case you haven’t been streaming Star Trek and Halo TV shows for the past few years, here’s the rundown on what these apps are. Paramount Plus is the rebranded version of CBS All Access. Its parent company, ViacomCBS, rebranded to Paramount earlier this year to further focus its attention on streaming. In May, Paramount Plus reported that its subscriber count grew to almost 40 million during its first quarter, and in June, Paramount Plus said it planned “to commission” 150 international original series, adding more to its current roster.

Laptop screen with Paramount Plus on the screen highlighting the Showtime series Billions

The service will be available at a lower price until October 2nd.
Image: Paramount

In mid-August, the streaming service partnered with Walmart to bundle its service with Walmart Plus, and it has been included in other packages like this one with T-Mobile’s wireless service. These bundles don’t cost quite as much as cable once did, but pulling the offerings closer together is similar to Disney’s approach with the combination of Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus, while HBO Max will be absorbed into a new combo app with Discovery Plus in 2023. Netflix, meanwhile, is going it alone but has plans to roll out an ad-supported streaming package, and has started to offer games as an added feature for your subscription fee.

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Exclusive: Who Should Be the Next James Bond? io9 Picks – TalkOfNews.com

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Who Should Be the Next James Bond? io9 Picks

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