Regulating Amazon, Flipkart Is A Shock Indian Economic system Cannot Afford Now

File photograph of packaging at an Amazon facility in Hyderabad | Bloomberg

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reiwali gross sales seem to have been higher than anticipated, indicating a development about 7 to 9 p.c. Media studies counsel that whereas giant retailers have carried out nicely, gross sales in small retail shops have been comparatively lukewarm. Nonetheless, studies from the ecommerce world counsel that large corporations like Amazon and Flipkart that supplied large reductions have been doing severe enterprise.

One of many responses from merchants was to blame e-commerce corporations for his or her low gross sales and the federal government’s demand to forestall them from providing large reductions.

E-commerce is a really quick rising sector of the Indian financial system, rising at over 30% per yr. Nonetheless, at current, its dimension of round $ 24 billion little piece out of a complete of $ 672 billion of retail commerce in India. By 2021, its share is anticipated to succeed in round 7% of the retail market.

Additionally learn: This is the reason the Modi authorities needs to punish Amazon and Flipkart for heavy low cost gross sales

Causes to keep away from disruptive regulation

Although there are components of e-commerce enterprise habits that ought to entice regulation, equivalent to predatory pricing and inner enterprise promotion, there are two explanation why disruptive regulation shouldn’t be put. in place for the instant future.

The primary is that the share of e-commerce corporations within the retail market in India is at the moment very low and they don’t seem to be in a monopoly place. The proceedings in opposition to them earlier than the Competitors Fee have been unsuccessful for these causes.

Right now, shoppers profit enormously from on-line gross sales. Whereas service provider organizations worry that the costs supplied by on-line companies are predatory, the very fact stays that with lower than 3.5% of the market share, on-line gross sales couldn’t have attracted extra. ‘a small portion of this Diwali’s complete retail gross sales. Gross sales are more likely to be down as a result of slowdown in total consumption.

This brings us to the second motive – as CSO nationwide accounts knowledge reveals, the financial system’s total consumption has slowed down in current quarters and we do not understand how a lot it picked up throughout Diwali. It isn’t identified to what extent the demonetization and TPS shocks have been liable for the slowdown. We don’t perceive to what extent the NBFC disaster and the ensuing shopper credit score crunch are liable for the slowdown in consumption. We now have not but been capable of perceive to what extent rural versus city tensions have resulted in slowing shopper demand. Now shouldn’t be the time to provide one other political shock to shopper demand.

If demand has began to get well, whether or not the expansion is in giant retail, Diwali on-line gross sales, trend clothes, or cell phones, the federal government must be very cautious earlier than planning any measures that would upset her.

Additionally learn: RSS affiliate and commerce physique need authorities to take motion in opposition to Amazon and Flipkart, fearing ‘black Diwali’

Advantages of e-commerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms are marketplaces, not sellers themselves. They principally join consumers and sellers in an environment friendly manner. Rebates or money again on these platforms improve the gross sales of the retailers who promote there.

For sellers, with tens of millions of shoppers shopping for merchandise, there’s rising a nationwide marketplace for merchandise that beforehand might solely be offered domestically. Small companies throughout the nation have taken benefit of on-line marketplaces by changing into sellers on them.

For shoppers, these platforms provide relative safety, as an alternative of getting to take care of unfamiliar web sites and presumably fraudulent in a single day theft operations with troublesome or no return insurance policies.

At the moment, this sector, with its sturdy development and even greater potential, attracts each international and home capital. It advantages the patron. Even with out reductions, the entry, comfort, and value reductions as a result of warehousing and scale could make buying on these platforms engaging.

In Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, the place large manufacturers might not be current in small retail shops, the platforms enable shoppers higher entry to merchandise.

Additionally learn: Why the federal government’s Amazon-style electronics market Modi is unable to draw consumers


A priority arises with the massive reductions tied to inner corporations – these held by the platform’s dad or mum corporations. AmazonBasics is one instance.

One other related concern pertains to partnerships with manufacturers. For instance, OnePlus has a partnership with Amazon, which prevents the producer from promoting telephones on different platforms and prevents others from promoting the identical product.

These considerations could also be actual, however at the moment e-commerce corporations are usually not dominant sufficient within the retail trade to anti-competitive legal guidelines to be utilized.

One other concern pertains to economies of scale and community results. Each result in market consolidation and monopolies. The marketplace for an e-commerce enterprise depends upon community results, and enterprise logistics depend on economies of scale. Each ought to be handled with care.

As soon as these corporations develop and consolidate the market, then it will probably turn into troublesome to make the market aggressive once more. These considerations are troublesome to handle and there are usually not too many examples on this planet. China e-commerce retail gross sales account for over 35%, and Alibaba controls over 50% of the market. Even so, new corporations are consistently showing in China.

Maybe these results are usually not sturdy sufficient to create monopolies. Additional analysis is required.

To conclude, at this level, the federal government ought to chorus from introducing additional restrictions on consumption, with the thought of ​​defending the financial system in the long term. The financial scenario is just too bleak for any shopper shock.

There are a number of factors within the draft e-commerce coverage that relate to the comfort of guidelines within the trade, such because the FDI in inventory-based e-commerce manufacturers. These factors may be thought of individually and maybe be launched.

Additionally learn: Amazon and Flipkart gross sales achieve rural India as e-commerce strikes past city areas

The writer is an economist and professor on the Nationwide Institute of Public Finance and Coverage. Opinions are private.

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