BANGALORE: In a flurry of activity, e-commerce giant Amazon is attracting both sellers and buyers onto its Indian platform as it seeks to take the top online retailer spot in the country.
This week it has begun a pilot project in Bangalore which brings kiranas – neighbourhood convenience stores – on board as collection points for online buyers. The Economic Times described the move as "an indigenous improvisation on Amazon Lockers".
The head of Amazon India, Amit Agarawal said that the company had identified and trained staff at small kiosks and stores to act as shipment pick-up points. "Depending on the results, we will take a call on how and what we want to roll out nationally at an appropriate time," he said.
"We are continually innovating to find solutions that enhance convenience and experience for our customers," he added.
The move addresses the problem of failed deliveries, one faced by online retailers everywhere, not just India. Amazon has also introduced a scheduled delivery programme for high-value items and is expanding the range of products available for same-day delivery.
As well as offering greater convenience for buyers, Amazon is attempting to make life simpler for sellers by cutting bureaucracy and making it possible for them to market their products on the same day they register on the Amazon portal. On rival platforms this process can take two weeks.
Merchants can also avail themselves of Amazon's 'easy-ship' delivery service, asking it to pick up and ship the products they sell.
These steps are expected to attract more small retailers, with "a few thousand sellers" reported to have already registered for the new services.
Amazon has backed these developments with an advertising campaign that has included TV spots during the current India Premier League cricket tournament. "Amazon is moving from first gear to fourth," said Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail advisory Technopak. "They have the basics in place."
Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff