Amazon bullish on Diwali sales, doubling its delivery network amid economic slowdown and e-commerce restrictions

Akhil Saxena, the Vice President of Customer Fulfillment at Amazon India BCCL

  • Amazon India has doubled its network and capacity to make deliveries during the Diwali sale.
  • The e-commerce giant is bullish on sales for the upcoming festive sales season despite the economic slowdown and e-commerce restrictions.
  • Amazon has also opened up three large delivery stations this year in Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad.
Amazon India is busy preparing for the upcoming festive season in India— Diwali — which is a traditional bonanza season for all retailers.

Despite the economic slowdown plaguing the Indian economy and the restrictions on e-commerce — like limitations on deep discounting — Amazon remains bullish on its outlook for the season.

"We have always been excited by Diwali. Every year we have expanded our network. Every year we have been bullish and this year, again, we have been bullish about how customers are going to come and shop with us," Akhil Saxena, the Vice President of Customer Fulfillment at Amazon India told Business Insider.

Why Diwali’s a big deal for Amazon

The Diwali season is a big deal for Amazon because it’s the biggest festive season of the year.

It’s not only a prime time for Amazon sales but also an optimal period for sellers and brands to launch new products, according to the company.

"This is a time when a lot of sellers and brands bring in unique selections for customers. This is a time we also have new exclusive launches happen," explained Saxena.

Amazon’s ready to take on more orders

"We believe that this is going to be the biggest shopping period for Amazon in India," stated Saxena.

In anticipation, Amazon India doubled its capacity and network to get products from one end of the country to the other.

From 700 delivery stations across 350 cities last year, Amazon’s seller network has now expanded to 1,400 delivery stations across 700 cities.

A lot of this expansion has been focused on getting last mile connectivity to some of the more "remote" and "deeper parts" of India — Tier 4 and 5 locations like Anand, Cuddapah, Azamgarh, Kodagu, and Solan.

Even fleet trucks that will haul the deliveries from the seller’s city to the customer’s city has been doubled to 10,000 trucks on the road on a daily basis, connecting over 1000 cities, according to the company.

For longer distances, Amazon has also increased its air capacity 1.6 times.

"We have done this with three objectives in mind. The first one is to widen our reach. Secondly, to provide faster deliver promises. And thirdly, to improve the delivery experience for our customers and sellers," explained Saxena.

Amazon’s creating its own footprint

Amazon’s delivery network operates through third-party couriers. Only 200 out of the 1,400 delivery stations are owned by Amazon exclusively. But, this year, Amazon has expanded to three large delivery stations — a switch from the company’s usual strategy of investing in smaller delivery stations that are normally between 2,000 to 7,000 square feet.

Now it has delivery stations as large as 20,000 square feet in Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.

Amazon India however has many dangers lurking around the corner — not just a dull economy. Flipkart has its Big Billion Days Sale coming up soon. In the long run, Jio is foraying into the e-commerce sector, and has also promised to disrupt it.
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