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A shipment moves on a conveyor belt at an Amazon Fulfillment Centre (BLR7) on the outskirts of Bengaluru
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Indians are shopping more on Amazon, but Flipkart earns more revenue

The world’s largest e-commerce firm, Amazon, is selling more products in India than local rival Flipkart. Yet, it is pocketing less money.

In the financial year ending March 31, 2018, Bengaluru-based Flipkart had a revenue of $3.8 billion (Rs26,925 crore) (excluding subsidiaries Myntra and Jabong), around 19% higher than Amazon’s $3.2 billion, according to a recent report by British investment bank Barclays.

This is despite the fact that Amazon India had a much higher gross merchandise value (GMV, or the total value of goods sold on a marketplace) than Flipkart.

Amazon India’s GMV stood at $7.5 billion for the financial year 2018, 20% higher than Flipkart’s $6.2 billion, Barclays said.

“Amazon’s growth was driven by its B2C (business-to-consumer) unit, which continues to grow its lead over Flipkart’s B2C business,” Barclays said.

“We do not offer comment on industry reports,” an Amazon India spokesperson said. “We are focused on serving customers and are humbled by the response so far.” Flipkart did not respond to an email from Quartz.

B2B battle

While their revenues are neck-and-neck, there’s one online retail segment where Amazon India’s earnings are behind Flipkart’s by a mile: business-to-business (B2B).

Last fiscal, Amazon India’s revenue from the B2B business stood at just $1.9 billion, 74% lesser than Flipkart’s $3.3 billion, Barclays said.

However, Amazon has made some headway, Barclays said. Until the financial year 2016, its presence in the space was nearly negligible while Flipkart’s B2B unit was already at $2 billion

Amazon India has ramped up its B2B business using Amazon Wholesale as a distribution channel, Barclays said. Amazon Wholesale acts as a buyer and distributor for its sellers, sourcing products directly from manufacturers. The sellers then resell these products on Amazon.in.

This unit posted a 73% jump in revenue in the financial year 2018, while the wholesale arm of Walmart-owned Flipkart registered only a 40% increase in revenue in the same period.

India’s B2B e-commerce market is currently estimated at $53 billion and is expected to double to $100 billion by 2020.

Amazon’s recent push for the B2B segment is in line with its global strategy. Over the past two to three years, the company has increased its focus on this business across the US and the UK, generating revenues of $1 billion annually from the segment.

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