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Amazon City-Specific Platform Allows Home-Based Business to Go Online

Amazon comes up with another new concept in the Indian market. Amazon city-specific platform helps small sellers to go online. Considering the push towards digitization in the Indian economy, Amazon is focusing more on startups in India. The new city-specific platform is now live in Bengaluru provides a marketplace to small entrepreneurs.

Amazon city-specific platform allows the small scale ethnic apparel and fashion jewelry makers to display their products within the city. A similar program namely ‘Etsy and Handmade’ is available at Amazon in the US. Sellers can register them self to register through a smartphone. The city-specific platform also includes the sale of pre-owned products with the sell as an individual’ option.

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“We have opened up the program for individual sellers as well as home entrepreneurs in the fashion accessories and ethnic apparel categories. We have seen 600 sellers and home entrepreneurs registered with us over the period of one-and-half months,” says Mahendra Nerurkar, director of new initiatives, Amazon India.

He also mentioned that Amazon city-specific platform would also include home décor and other categories soon. The new service works on a city-based model where only a buyer registered with a Bengaluru address has visibility to the products. Amazon India’s logistics network fulfills the orders which pick and packages the product.

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The city-based service influences small entrepreneurs’ discoverability on the Amazon. The fee structure is fixed and charges Rs 10 as a commission for transaction below Rs 1,000.

Snapdeal’s Shopo is also a kind of small sellers platform. Amazon city-specific platform is building a business model to increase repeat transactions and push its Prime membership service. Reports say Amazon Seller Services received an infusion of Rs 2,010 crore in in December to take on domestic competitors like Flipkart.

Microsoft Announced A Free Version Skype Meeting Tool For Small Businesses

Microsoft announced a new tool which is similar to its own Skype app. This free browser version of Skype is released for small business. The tool is named as Skype Meetings which now makes video calling common even in small businesses. This tool offers a real time audio and HD video conferencing which lets you join with up to 10 people for first two months and then it is limited to 3 people later.

Skype Meetings allows you to share screen shots and also allows Power point collaboration which include screen sharing, laser pointer etc. Unlike Skype for Business which requires Office 365 subscription, you can join Skype meetings with a personalized URL. Skype meeting organizers have some basic controls like ability to mute the audience in order to make it clear.

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The calls on new tool are powered by the same technology used in traditional Skype calls. The tool is currently accessible to any US user with a business email address.

Microsoft with this new smart business tool challenges Hangouts which Google has built into its office tools. The tool also competes with this year launched Sean Parker’s Airtime and Houseparty from Meerkat. These two new apps are more focused on social video chat but not on business users. To get started with the Skype Meetings, all you need is an internet browser, a microphone, speaker and camera.

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If we look back at the Microsoft’s Skype Business, it was announced in the year 2011 for $8.5 billion. With Skype for business you can organize a large group meeting for up to 250 people and initiate an IM, audio or video conversation from built in apps like Outlook, Word and PowerPoint.

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