In an aim to capitalise upon market share this festive season, online shopping platform Amazon India has reportedly increased its last mile delivery network. It now includes 12,500 local stores and retail outlets in 50 cities.
This move on the ecommerce giant’s part is to increase the efficiency of its express and regular deliveries, within a radius of less than five kms.
Launched as a pilot programme in May 2015 as ‘I Have Space’, Amazon India’s delivery network initially had 2,500 stores. It has now been pushed further to Tier II and Tier III cities. A few stores under the Amazon Kirana Now programme have also been included in the network for faster grocery delivery services.
Talking about the development, Akhil Saxena, Vice President, Customer Fulfilment, Amazon India said, “We have added 10,000 stores this year, which cut across stationery stores, corner stores, modern trade outlets, telecom shops, beauty stores and others. These will double up as pick-up points and some of them are also enabled to handle returns. Being a part of the programme will also drive footfalls to these stores.”
The stores under the last-mile delivery programme are expected to deliver an average of 20-30 orders a day. Users will also be able to pick up their orders at some of these outlets.
The deliveries are carried out by the partner stores during non-peak hours, and the stores under the network are managed by channel managers. “The network stores get paid per package delivered, and we have also enabled cash-on-delivery in the programme. The payment to the store partners happens on a monthly basis,” Saxena added.
Earlier this year, Amazon India also launched a pilot programme for delivering orders via cycles. The orders under the radius of three-five kms were to be delivered through this mode. In 2015, Flipkart too had partnered with the unions of Mumbai Dabbawalas for last mile delivery of products ordered through the portal.
In June 2016, Amazon announced that it would infuse $3 Bn in India in the next few years to take on its rivals. In July it launched its biggest Fulfillment Centre in Sonipat near New Delhi. Post the acquisition of Myntra and Jabong by Flipkart – the competition has grown fiercer between Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart on all fronts.
Inc42 reported last week, that Flipkart has plans to hire 10,000 temporary employees in order to boost its delivery and logistics services; to meet the demands of the current festive season. Snapdeal has also launched its new brand identity “Unbox Zindagi” earlier this week. It also unveiled a new logo. It has reportedly invested about $30 Mn (INR 200 Cr) for the brand overhaul.
This development was first reported in ET.