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Amazon Prime comes to India

SAN FRANCISCO – India got Primed on Tuesday. Customers in over 100 cities in the nation of 1.3 billion people gained access to Amazon Prime membership, giving them unlimited free two-day delivery. In 20 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, free one-day delivery will also be available. In addition, Prime customers will get early access to selected deals. Unlike in the United States, Prime members in India won’t initially have access to Prime video, though the website hints that it might be coming, saying “stay tuned for more.”

To encourage Indians to try the service, is offering a free 60 day trial period."With Prime, guaranteed one-day delivery becomes an everyday experience instead of an occasional indulgence, and with no minimum purchases, it provides unlimited convenience all year long," said Amit Agarwal, vice-president  and country head of Amazon India.

The service is much cheaper than in the United States, where it costs $99 a year to become a member. In India, the regular price will be 999 Indian rupees, the equivalent of $14.85. A special introductory discount rate of of 499 rupees, the equivalent of $7.40, will be offered initially.
Prime is a key driver of sales and customer loyalty for Amazon. In the United States, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners in Chicago estimated the service has 63 million. Prime members spend on average $1,200 per year, compared with $500 per year for non-members.

India is widely considered to be Amazon's best bet for gaining major market share in Asia. In China, with a population of 1.35 billion, it competes against home-grown Alibaba.

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