Amazon was the most visited e-commerce site in India during the month of October, according to ComScore, beating native Indian e-commerce players such as Flipkart and Snapdeal. For the month, Amazon attracted 30 million visitors, up 38% from the previous month.
Part of the surge can be attributed to the Diwali season. Diwali, which takes place on November 11 this year, is sort of India's version of Christmas in terms of the spike in shopping.
But what's significant in this spike is that Amazon took the lead in visitors during this busy period.
Flipkart, which led the industry in traffic for the remainder of the year, fell just below Amazon for the first time, with about 27 million visitors in October.
"This is a huge milestone, and we're all raising a glass to toast our colleagues in India," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. "Customers and sellers can count on us to continue innovating and investing heavily in India -- it's very much still Day One at Amazon.in."
The ComScore milestone was a "great achievement" for Amazon, according to Needham & Co analyst Kerry Rice. "It's a competitive market and it's huge. So while I think the revenue impact today is probably modest, if the company can maintain that position, the future looks bright for Amazon in India."
October was also a big month for Amazon's app presence in India. Amazon.in app downloads grew by more than 200% year-over-year in October, according to App Annie, an app analytics firm.
To celebrate these milestones, Amazon's U.S. site is offering a 50% discount for select Bollywood digital videos for a limited time.
India is a major priority for Amazon's international strategy. Bezos signaled its importance when he sent Amit Agarwal to spearhead the company's entry into India two years ago. Agarwal was once one of Bezos' "shadows," an esteemed position held by Bezos' closest employees who tend to end up in some of the most important roles in the company. Sending Agrawal to India showed how committed Bezos was to India, and that commitment has since only increased.
In July 2014, a year after Amazon first launched in India, Bezos announced that the company would invest $2 billion more into the country. Since then, Amazon has launched a Global Selling Program in India to help Indian businesses sell to customers around the world, offering them access to Fulfillment by Amazon to help them ship their products.
According to Amazon, Amazon.in is India's largest store with more than 30 million products. The site added tens of thousands of new products every day in 2015, and grew its seller base by more than 250% in the past year.
At the same time, Amazon has nearly tripled its fulfillment capacity in India over 2014 to help facilitate these additional sellers and products.
It's no surprise that Amazon is ramping up its efforts in India, with the region being one of the ripest growth spots for e-commerce.
The online-shopping market in India is expected to grow to $8.5 billion in 2016 from $2 billion in 2013, according to Accel Partners. That number could grow to as much as $33 billion by 2020, according to the Boston Consulting Group and the Retailers Association of India.
And if Amazon plays its cards right, it could grab a significant chunk of that market.
By 2018, Amazon's India business could already start to see profits of $200 million to $600 million on revenue of $300 to $700 million, the Royal Bank of Canada estimates.
"It's not big yet, but it's another critical component to their multi-national strategy," said Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos. "For investors, I would just point to it being another data point that Amazon is nowhere near reaching retail saturation, and that there are several large economies that they've only begun to penetrate meaningfully."