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Amazon launches new programme to help local shops reach customers online

Amazon on Thursday announced the launch of “Local Shops on Amazon” programme. Amazon says the programme will help local shops “supplement” footfalls with a digital presence. The programme comes at a time when the e-commerce companies have limited their supplies to essential items due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amazon revealed that it had conducted a pilot of the programme for six months with more than 5,000 local shops and retails across over 100 cities across the country.

“These retailers came from top metros as well as tier 1 and tier 2 cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Surat, Indore Lucknow, Saharanpur, Faridabad, Kota, Varanasi amongst others. The program pilot included sellers from different categories like Kitchen, Home, Furniture, Apparel, Automotive Beauty, Electronics, Sports, Grocery, Lawn & Garden, Books, Toys, Jewellery Appliances etc,” said Amazon in a release.

The company also announced it’s pledging Rs 10 crore to expand the pilot to onboard and train retailers and shopkeepers.

For retailers

Retailers can join the “Local Shops on Amazon” programme using their existing delivery mechanism. Retailers have the option to select the areas where they can deliver same or next day. Retailers are also allowed to provide value added services such as installation support and product demo among others, the company said. Local shopkeepers can use the “Amazon Delivery App” to provide delivery updates to customers and Amazon.

Essential services

As said earlier, e-commerce companies have limited their supplies to the essential items due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The restrictions were briefly eased before the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reimposed the restrictions to prohibit the supply of non-essential items until the lockdown. Platforms such as Zomato have also included essential supplies as part of their offerings, for now.

Amazon’s India focus

India has continued to be one of the priority markets for Amazon. Earlier this year, CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to invest $1 billion in India to help small and medium businesses. Bezos had also said that his company will help local SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

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