Amazon India is helping local shops sell groceries online

Amazon had piloted the Local Shops on Amazon program for the last six months

Highlights
  • Amazon has announced ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ program
  • Local stores can now sell their products online via Amazon.in
  • The aim is to transform small brick and mortar ships into digital stores

Amazon has announced the ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ program in India wherein small brick-and-mortar stores will be allowed to sell goods through the e-commerce platform. This will not only help local shops increase their footfalls by tapping into the online consumer market, but will also help Amazon improve its relationship with local sellers. The company sees this as a “win-win” situation. Amazon had piloted the program for the last six months with more than 5,000 stores and retailers in major cities across the country on board.

“The program helps customers discover products from local shops in their city from the convenience of their homes and helps shopkeepers supplement their footfalls with a digital presence and expand beyond their normal catchment.” Amazon India’s VP of seller services, Gopal Pillai said in a statement.

Amazon is investing Rs 10 crores ($1.3 million) as part of the ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ program launch in India. Local shops and retailers of any size from any part of the country can join the program and choose areas where they can deliver products using their existing delivery mechanisms to deliver to customers faster. The shopkeepers can also expand their services within city or nationally and use product demonstration, installation support, easy customizations, and device data transfer, among others to build trust on the customers.

“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 has not had a great relationship with local sellers in India. Earlier this year, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a union of small traders held a protest against Amazon, alleging that the company was using predatory pricing that affected brick-and-mortar stores. That same month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company would invest $1 billion to digitise small businesses in India.

Amazon’s latest announcement also comes a day after Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio to help the latter expand its e-commerce platform JioMart in the country.