Amazon is partnering with local grocery stores in India to let them sell goods through the company’s ecommerce platform. Under the “Local Shops on Amazon” program, the firm aims to bring small brick and mortar stores online.
The company said the project was in a pilot phase for the last six months with more than 5,000 stores onboard. Now, with the increasing demand for delivered groceries during the coronavirus pandemic, it has decided to formally launch the program. As a part of the launch, the Amazon is pumping ₹10 crores ($1.3 million) into this initiative.
In a statement, Amazon India‘s VP of seller services, Gopal Pillai said this program will supplement footfalls in local shops with a digital presence:
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.
This partnership will also hopefully help the ecommerce giant in improving relationships with local sellers in the country. In January, during Jeff Bezos’s visit, members of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a union of small traders, held protests against the company for its alleged predatory pricing strategy.
Yesterday, Facebook invested $5.7 billion in India‘s biggest carrier Reliance Jio. As a part of the deal, WhatsApp will help local sellers registered on the carrier’s ecommerce platform, JioMart, to connect with customers in their area.