Amazon India will soon add small local shops as sellers on its platform. This move comes in the backdrop of a nationwide lockdown which will help people practice social distancing by offering more options online.
The online-retailer has said that it will invest Rs 10 crore in launching the program which was in pilot phase for the last 6 months. Amazon reached out to 5000 local stores.
These stores sell products like electronics, apparel, toys, furniture, grocery, home furnishings, to list on its platform.
The program is called "Local Shops on Amazon" and was piloted for more than 6 months.
Gopal Pillai, Amazon India vice-president for seller services in an interview said, "Code-named 'Local Shops on Amazon', this program helps customers discover products from local shops in their city (many they already trust and love!) from the convenience of their homes, while helping shopkeepers supplement their footfalls with a digital presence and expand beyond their normal catchment. We expect this to be a win-win, as customers benefit from access to greater selection, faster deliveries, and additional value-added services, and local shops can transform themselves into digital stores."
Amazon was already in touch with online retailers, merchants, manufacturers, and retailers. With the local shops project Amazon will enable offline retailers, some with no prior experience of selling online, to list on its website.
With this expansion, Amazon will also encourage and train retailers and shopkeepers who have no prior experience. India will become one of the first markets where Amazon will try the program.
Pillai said that this project would continue to work even after the lockdown is relaxed. This is because people would still want to practice social distancing and avoid crowds.
Earlier in January, Amazon announced a $1 billion investment for small Indian businesses online by 2025.
The move by Amazon also comes just days after Facebook invested a nearly 10 percent stake in Reliance Jio.
Reliance and Facebook on Wednesday announced that WhatsApp is set to power Reliance Retail's e-commerce venture JioMart.
As a result of the partnership between Jio platforms, Reliance and WhatsApp, customers will be able to access their "nearest kiranas who can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp", Reliance Industries said in a statement.
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