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Amazon business looking to offer multiple licence options at signup, ET Retail

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Amazon Business is looking to provide its business customers with an extended array of licence options to choose from while signing up, in a bid to further expand its customer base among the small businesses in the country.

Currently, it allows customers to sign up if they have a Business PAN and GST certificate. However, it is currently working on allowing customers to join with other proofs.

“Customers have expressed interest to join with other licence types, like an Aadhaar for example,” Amazon India director Suchit Subhas told ET. “So, we are looking at adding more licence types so that more customers and businesses can enrol on Amazon. As we make it more accessible by adding new business types, our hope is that more customers or more businesses will be able to come on to Amazon Business and shop with us.”

Amazon Business is the B2B offering of Amazon India that provides its business customers with access to products with a GST invoice allowing them to take input tax credit. These customers also get business-exclusive deals and quantity discounts on products, as per its website.

There are different types of businesses of varying scales who may be operating with a range of licence types, Subhas said.

“If it’s a food establishment, they might be operating with an Fssai certificate,” he explained. “There are legal licence types which are allowed and our goal is to let customers come on to Amazon Business with their approved legal licences. There are five-six licence types (including Aadhaar and Fssai) that we are working to include.”

An Fssai licence is granted to manufacturers, traders or restaurants carrying out any food business which may involve manufacturing or processing.

“If an individual is doing business, say someone is a chaatwala and their turnover is Rs 10 lakh, they don’t need GST and neither do they need PAN if their income does not exceed Rs 3 lakh because they are working as an individual. In that case, as a food establishment they would still have an Fssai certificate and would still have an Aadhaar,” explained Ashish K Singh, managing partner at Capstone Legal.

Amazon is probably wanting to tap these customers, as a majority of very small businesses fall in this category in India, he said.

With Fssai, there is minimal compliance that needs to be done, while with GST, there are several requirements, including filing of periodic returns, he said.

Subhas said when Amazon Business started off, sales were heavily skewed towards electronics and laptops because it is a ubiquitous category but while this segment continues to see traction, he said that increasingly, customers are also looking at MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) and office products along with things like furniture.

“We see a lot of demand coming from the tier-II and tier-III cities,” he said. “More than 65% of our customers are coming from the smaller cities. There are 14 lakh sellers who are offering 19 crore GST-enabled products and over the last three years, we have seen a three-year a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 145% in our customer base and 150% increase in sales.”

He said the company is witnessing an increased adoption of mobile phones for transactions. A couple of years ago, this number stood at 60%, but now it is 70%, he said. The smaller towns have a higher mobile penetration which is 3-4 percentage points more than that in bigger cities, Subhas said. That is why the company launched the Amazon Business app both on iOS and Android, he added.

  • Published On Nov 20, 2023 at 08:35 AM IST

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