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Amazon India launches live commerce feature

Online retailer Amazon India on Friday said it has launched ‘Amazon Live’ which allows content creators who launch products to interact with customers in real time, run polls and offer deals.

On Amazon Live, the company will run 15 live streams every day from 10 am to 1 am. More than 150 content creators are live streaming during the ongoing Amazon Great Indian Festival, the company said in a statement.

ET was the first to report Amazon’s new feature in its September 14 edition.

“With Amazon Live launch, we want to make the shopping experience exciting and meaningful for our customers, while allowing brands to have a deeper engagement that resonates with today’s savvy shoppers,” said Kishore Thota, director, customer experience and marketing, Amazon India. “The launch comes at an opportune time for customers seeking to shop during the ongoing Amazon Great Indian Festival.”

According to Thota, the company has already run live commerce sessions with celebrities like badminton player PV Sindhu and actor Parineeti Chopra.

“The engagement and conversions do not really depend on whether the presenter is a celebrity or a regular influencer; what really matters is the topic of discussion,” said Thota. “PV Sindhu talking about rackets, for example, was a big success.”

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Despite Amazon struggling to attract significant traction in the US, Amazon India is the latest marketplace to add the live commerce feature after Myntra, Flipkart and Nykaa. Flipkart and Myntra have already held multiple sessions of live commerce sale during the current festive season.

Myntra had told ET earlier that orders through its live commerce feature grew by 10 times over the past six months, without giving the exact sales number.

Live and video commerce are expected to attract new users to ecommerce websites as the facility is seen bridging the trust deficit that exists between new users and ecommerce companies. The feature has found mass adoption in China, but has struggled to find takers elsewhere.

While India has had live commerce-focussed platforms for some time, like Sequioa-backed Bulbul and Accel Partners-backed Simsim, the concept has not really taken off as these platforms did not have the capital to acquire users and provide a smooth ecommerce experience–like placing an order and making payments. Simsim was later acquired by YouTube and Good Glamm Group bought Bulbul.

This year, almost all major ecommerce marketplaces have decided to focus on live commerce since they have already addressed the challenges faced by the standalone live commerce companies.

Flipkart, Myntra, Nykaa, have all launched live commerce features on their mobile apps, while Meesho started its pilot in March this year.

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