Smart Commerce takes Amazon’s Local Shops programme one step further
Amazon claims to have more than 1.5 lakh local offline stores on Local Shops
Smart Commerce will release its first set of solutions to help local stores digitise billing and inventory management in the coming weeks
Ecommerce giant Amazon has launched ‘Smart Commerce’ initiative in India to increase its footprint in the retail ecosystem. With the new initiative, the ecommerce platform aims to transform local stores to ‘digital dukaans’.
Announced during the third edition of Amazon Smbhav, the launch of Smart Commerce is aimed at accelerating the ecommerce company’s plans to digitise 1 Cr small businesses by 2025. As part of this initiative, Amazon aims to enable local stores to digitise their store operations, provide an enhanced in-store experience to customers, and create their own online storefronts.
It must be noted that Amazon already has a programme called ‘Local Shops’ that lets physical stores register on the platform and sell to customers in their local area. Amazon claims to have more than 1.5 lakh local offline stores as a part of the programme.
“With Smart Commerce, local stores can now go a notch higher and digitise their offline operations,” the company said in a statement. Stores of any size will be able to utilise Amazon’s shopping innovations, logistics, and digital payments.
“We are humbled by how neighbourhood stores from across India are taking advantage of our Local Shops on Amazon program to go online and grow their business, with over 1.5 lakh stores already selling on Amazon.in within two years of launch,” Amit Agarwal, SVP, India and Emerging Markets, Amazon, said.
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He added that the company is committed to its pledge of digitising 1 Cr small businesses by 2025.
Smart Commerce will release its first set of solutions to help local stores digitise billing and inventory management in the coming weeks, Amazon said. This will be followed by the launch of capabilities that will enable local stores to create their own online storefront within minutes and serve their customers through a simple voice and chat-based shopping experience.
“Over the last two years, we have invested significantly towards the pledges we announced at the inaugural Smbhav Summit in 2020. We are humbled to share that we have already digitised over 4 million small businesses and local stores, are on track to enable $5 billion in cumulative exports and have created over 1.16 million direct and indirect jobs in India including 135K new jobs added in the last one year,” Manish Tiwary, country manager, India Consumer Business, Amazon India, said.
Amazon is trying to bolster its omnichannel strategy at a time when India’s ecommerce market is seeing entry of deep-pocket Indian corporates such as Reliance, Tata. Moreover, the Indian government is also building Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to create a level playing field for small players.
According to a 2021 report by Bain & Company, India is home to the world’s fourth largest retail market in the world, pegged at around $810 Bn. In addition, the addressable ecommerce market in the country is estimated to reach $200 Bn by 2026, as per an Inc42 report.