Amazon India has announce the launch of a new initiative to help digitise day-to-day operations of local stores in India and enable them to create their own online storefronts. This Call as “Smart Commerce,” the programme will bring a set of solutions to help mom-and-pop stores in India to have digital experiences, from listing their inventory and billing to ultimately getting their storefronts on the Web.
The stores participating in the initiative will also have the option to sell their products via the Amazon.in website.
This is Amazon’s latest move to work with offline stores, and appears to also have the effect of silently expanding its presence in India.
At its annual small and medium businesses-focussed summit Amazon Smbhav, the Seattle-headquarter company launch Smart Commerce as a new move to work with offline stores in India.
Amazon will initially introduce solutions to help local stores digitise their billing and inventory management that will be available to integrate starting as early as June.
This programme will allow local stores to create their online storefronts and even serve their customers through a voice and chat-based shopping experience.
Exact details on Amazon’s go-to market strategy with Smart Commerce are yet to be reveale.
This means that it is currently unclear how the programme will eventually work for the e-commerce company.
It is obvious that the latest development will give Amazon another chance to work closely with offline stores in the country, the ones that often oppose the company for its growing online presence that is directly impacting their customer base to some extent.
In April 2020, Amazon introduce ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ programme in India to assist local shopkeepers to start selling through its online marketplace.
It was one of the initial moves by Amazon to work directly with small-scale stores in India.
Amit Agarwal, SVP, India and Emerging Markets, Amazon, Said :
Amazon in June 2020 also launch an initiative call as ‘Smart Stores’ that was same as Google’s Spot Platform and was aim to enable offline retailers to offer digital storefront of their establishment and allow their customers to discover products, read reviews, and find offers at their stores through the Amazon app.
Smart Commerce is a step-ahead of that launch.
But instead of restricting local shops to serve customers only via Amazon’s own online marketplace, stores participating in the new programme will have the option to create their own storefronts that could be their websites or apps for selling products online.
The new initiative is also plan to not only bring stores online but also to digitise their operations, including their billing and inventory management.
Amit Agarwal Said :
Amazon has promised to invest over $6.5 billion (approx. Rs. 50,435 crore) in India to digitise small and medium businesses.
It also projects to digitise one crore small businesses in India by 2025.
Manish Tiwary, Country Manager, India Consumer Business, Amazon India, Said :
Walmart-own Flipkart is currently exploring ways to work with offline stores in India to grow its business.
Meta is also working towards getting into the India retail sector with Reliance Retail that also has JioMart to take on the likes of Amazon and Flipkart.