India has become the biggest country for Amazon’s new investments even as the Seattle-based tech giant has accelerated its push for Prime benefits for subscribers, according to company chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky.
The development comes at a time when the e-commerce major has swung into quarterly profits of $345 million for the first time in its international business (which includes India) in the last five years, led by a pickup in demand. A year ago during the quarter ending in June, Amazon’s overseas business saw a loss of $601 million. Its net sales grew by 38 per cent to over $22 billion for the same period.
The local arm of the Seattle-based e-tailer has invested $7 billion and committed another $1 billion earlier this year to digitise small businesses. In India, it has now more than doubled the number of local or kirana stores on its platform to 11,000 since the launch in April.
To capitalize on the momentum, the company now aims to clock four times the daily sales volume in India in the upcoming Prime Day event, according to Amazon’s brief to merchants. While it has postponed Prime Day globally, it will hold the sale event next month as order volumes are on the rise. Globally, Amazon saw record sales of $89 billion during the quarter along with a record quarterly profit of over $5 billion as the pandemic accelerated e-commerce sales.