Tuesday March 20, 2018
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Giving huge discounts gets difficult for E-retailers

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New Delhi: E-retailers, like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal may now find it difficult to provide lucrative discounts to attract customers as the new guidelines on online marketplaces prohibit such players to influence the prices of goods and services.

While the government permitted 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in marketplace e-commerce retailing, the guidelines stated that such entities will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods and services and shall maintain level playing field.

“Discounts can only be given by the owner of the goods or provider of services,” an official said.

“E-commerce guideline allows owner of inventory i.e sellers registered on marketplace to determine price including by giving discount,” Joint Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Atul Chaturvedi said in a series of tweets.

He said the guidelines strike balance between virtual and physical stores.

“It will also end predatory pricing and will provide level playing,” he said adding the norms will empower SMEs as they can now sell their products without any physical stores and create jobs.

Industry experts too said that the guidelines on pricing may impact big e-retailers.

“Going by the current guidelines, marketplace retailers will not be able to extend lucrative discounts to attract customers.

“However, it appears that with the consent and association of the owner of the inventory, the e-retailers may yet be able to provide additional promotional discounts,” Aamir Jariwala, Secretary, E-commerce Coalition said.

Government had yesterday allowed 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in most of e-commerce retailing, a development that will boost domestic as well as foreign players like Flipkart and Amazon.

While the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in market place e-tail — where the company only provides platform for buyer and seller to connect — will help domestic players like Flipkart and Snapdeal to attract more foreign investment, it will also open the doors for the foreign retailers like Alibaba to set shop easily.

Although the decision was widely welcomed by e-retailers, traders body CAIT strongly opposed the decision, while IT industry body Nasscom said the 25 per cent cap may prove to be “restrictive”.

Credits: PTI

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Amazon India, HackerEarth partner for Alexa hackathon

Amazon India on Wednesday announced a partnership with Bengaluru-based talent management start-up HackerEarth

The show will feature on Amazon Prime.
Amazon collaborated with HackerEarth to launch hackathon.
  • Amazon announced a partnership with talent management start-up HackerEarth

  • It is for its first virtual Artificial Intelligence (AI) hackathon for Alexa in the country

    Amazon India on Wednesday announced a partnership with Bengaluru-based talent management start-up HackerEarth for its first virtual Artificial Intelligence (AI) hackathon for Alexa in the country.

This unique hackathon is aimed at building more engaging skills for Alexa, which is the Cloud-based voice assistant, including Amazon Echo.

This initiative will improve skills in youth. VOA

“The AI Hackathon with HackerEarth will showcase the potential of the developer community in India to build voice skills for Alexa,” Dilip RS, Country Manager for Alexa Skills Kit, Amazon, said in a statement.

The contest will encourage developers to think outside of the traditional application development approach and embrace a voice-first design approach.

Also Read: Microsoft, Apollo Hospitals to use AI for cardiac diseases

The participants will be given access to the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) — a set of free, self-service, public APIs that developers can utilise to easily create new experiences for Alexa. The ASK is a useful tool for independent developers, designers and brands to create new ways to engage Alexa.

“It is a great honour to collaborate with Amazon India for the AI Hackathon. This hackathon will provide a platform for eager participants to create amazing new skills for Indian users,” said Sachin Gupta, CEO and Cofounder, HackerEarth.The registration process for hackathon will conclude on April 1. IANS

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