Amazon ‘Local Shops’ programme to double participant roster

50,000 local kiranas and entities in 450 different locations are to be on boarded onto Amazon’s ‘Local Shops’ initiative

March 8, 2021

The entities hail from Tier-II and Tier-III cities including Osmanabad, Jamnagar, Bikaner, and Sangli.

Once onboarded, the entities will have provisions to facilitate same-day or next-day delivery.

Stores continue to stock inventory so as to meet the requirements of day-to-day hyperlocal delivery.

Technological intervention through inventory management and visibility as well as last-mile connectivity are pivotal.

‘Local Shops’: Amazon India’s initiative to promote digitisation among offline sellers has been expanded to include double its initial roster as of April 2020. Yesterday’s announcement detailed that the 50,000 participants would be enabled to sell products on the Amazon platform and access a consumer base wider than usual. Manish Tiwary, Vice President at Amazon India observed “What started as a pilot, has now become a pan-India phenomenon enabling local businesses to come online and benefit from technology adoption and e-commerce. The encouraging response to the Local Shops on Amazon program reflects in the rapid scale-up of the program to 50,000+ sellers in less than one year of launch. It underlines how digital enablement and digital inclusion can help them scale and contribute to a digital economy” The e-commerce platform has currently on boarded sellers from Tier-II and Tier-III cities including Osmanabad, Jamnagar,  Bikaner, and Sangli with provisions for same-day or next-day delivery as per requirement. 

The hyperlocal model has been gaining traction during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic with Tier-II and Tier-III localities being harbingers of growth. As a result, kirana stores have made significant attempts to keep the inventories stocked to meet the requirements of the neighbourhood and beyond. Media sources document that logistics, food and grocery, local professional services, and logistics are among the leading goods and services demanded. The phygital model combined with the availability of loyalty programmes continues to ensure the growth of hyperlocal deliveries in cities and metros. However, the sector will be required to further the scope of digitisation in order to facilitate seamless operations. Technology to make kirana inventories visible to customers will be crucial to the success of this model. Measures to strengthen cybersecurity are to be put in place so as to protect the customers from identity theft and other issues that could arise. This could help promote confidence among the demographic of consumers that are reluctant to make use of digital technologies.  Furthermore, profit-making is contingent on several factors including the levying of reasonable delivery charges on order. It is also imperative that the challenge of last-mile connectivity is overcome so as to reach out to customers in remote locations.