Sellers in India are more familiar with Seattle-headquartered Amazon than their own home-grown e-commerce giants.
Amazon has the highest brand equity among Indian sellers, followed by rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal, according to a June 13 study by New York-headquartered market research firm Nielsen. All three brands have invested heavily in attracting and retaining sellers—the more sellers an e-commerce platform has, the greater variety of products it has to attract buyers.
“A high level of familiarity along with in-depth knowledge of an e-commerce website is the most important factor that drives brand equity,” Nielsen said about its study. ”Other key factors that impact brand equity are a certain perception of the e-tailers—they help sellers stay relevant and ahead of competition, provide new market opportunity and help minimize costs to reach out to more customers.”
The study includes 1,100 sellers across 16 big and small Indian cities. It was conducted from January to March 2016, and included sellers who already use e-commerce portals as well as those who intend to do so in the next few months.
Amazon has the highest brand recall among Indian sellers, Nielsen said. The US company was also ahead of its Indian competitors in terms of overall awareness about local e-commerce brands.
But Flipkart did marginally beat Amazon in one of three parameters included in this survey: intention to use. Fifty-eight percent of sellers said they intended to sell through Flipkart, in comparison to 55% for Amazon.
Amazon launched its India arm, Amazon.in, in 2013—several years after the launch of Flipkart, which started as an online books retailer in 2008. Amazon has since managed to catch up in the market, which is projected to see revenues of $120 billion by 2020 from $30 billion at the end of fiscal 2016.
In terms of the number of items offered, Amazon.in is close on the heels of leader Flipkart and about equal to Snapdeal.
With a recent announcement to invest $3 billion in India, Amazon may only strengthen its position further.