Good News From Amazon India. Elephants Walk To Mars In Sarees And Stilettos.

Go Global In 2014

With Amazon still reeling from investor reaction to the Q3 Financial Report we thought we would break with tradition and run a positive story on Amazon for a change.

Or at least, one that looks positive if you don’t scrutinize the numbers too closely.

Amazon, it seems, has just had its best month ever in India. Unprecedented sales and traffic, in fact!

While we western indies all gear up for our online festive season next month, a big festive season is just winding down in India. A reminder that if we want to promote and sell globally we need a global calendar to keep up.

Amazon of course don’t do real figures, but they can always be relied upon to let us know when things are going well. And it seems things are going well in India, despite the behind the scenes tax and government issues still unresolved. No link to those this time round. Let’s keep things positive.

Let’s rejoice in the fact that Amazon are claiming the Amazon India online store had, between September 21 and October 21, fifteen times more visitors than the Taj Mahal gets in a year.

Given the Taj Mahal gets upwards of 7 million visitors annually that means Amazon are claiming to have had over 100 million visitors to the Amazon India store between Sept 21 – Oct. 21.

Hmmm…

India is a big country with a ginormous population, but only a fraction of them are on the internet at all, and it’s generally accepted that rival Store Flipkart has 80% of the Indian e-commerce market.

One hundred million hits in a month? Who’s to say. One thing’s for sure: they weren’t buying our ebooks!

But Amazon claims they were buying real books. In fact they claim that if all the books bought on Amazon India last month were stacked up they would be higher than Mt.Everest. By our calculation, assuming an average of 2cm width per title, that means Amazon sold around 440,000 books on Amazon India last month.

Amazon also claims its total shipments last month by weight equalled 800 adult elephants. They didn’t specify male (average 3,500kg) or female (average 2,500kg) elephants but whatever gender, that’s a lot of weight to haul around.

But was it ten million earrings at a massive profit for each pair, or was it one stranded battleship (two previous careful owners) that was sold at a loss? The numbers sound good, but tell us nothing.

Amazon also sold shoes. Lots of shoes. Enough, apparently, to walk to Mars and back without running out. Hmmm. It doesn’t get much more meaningless than that.

At its closest Mars is 55 million kilometres away. At its furthest Mars is 400 million kilometres away. Mean average is 225 million kilometres. That’s about 140 million miles in real money.

Given there’s no friction in space one could theoretically walk to Mars in bare feet and not even sustain a blister, so we’re not sure what Amazon’s numbers tell us other than they had a good month selling shoes.

But Amazon brought us back down to Earth with saree sales numbers. Apparently Amazon India sold enough sarees last month to “engulf the cricket pitches of all ODI (one-day international) grounds across the globe 20 times over”.

Did Amazon actually make any profit with all this activity? Curiously they didn’t mention that.

But let’s keep things positive. If these figures are even remotely accurate then Amazon is making its mark on the subcontinent and is grabbing a growing share of the burgeoning Indian e-commerce market.

Every visitor to the Amazon store will be doing so on a device that could have your ebooks on from the Kindle India store.

And of course there are lots of other ebook retailers serving India alongside the Amazon.

Ignore the India market at your peril.

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