Our corner store connect: Going hyperlocal with reach
Amazon strives to explore new talent and new opportunities beyond India’s tier 1 cities. These opportunities have connected sellers, fulfilment partners, as well as customers to all that was previously considered the privilege of the “big city folks”! Mohammed Naved of Bijnor district in UP was happy with his sub 5k smartphone. His days looked the same - some WhatsApp forwards, a little Facebook browsing, the usual. “But I soon discovered that with a slightly more expensive phone, I could stream news, music, and movies and learn a whole lot more about the world on my smartphone,” he says. That’s how Naved met Amazon in his village, bought a brand new smartphone, and his worldview and his horizons expanded that much more. All thanks to the access and convenience of online shopping that he discovered in the lone village banking correspondent outlet – now also an Amazon Easy points.
On the other hand, Amazon’s ‘I Have Space’ (IHS) programme handles a significant chunk of its logistics solutions in India’s small towns as well as metro cities. It is instrumental in fulfilling customer promises as well as in transforming lives across the country. At the heart of Amazon’s successful delivery strategy lies its last-mile connectivity program — IHS. What began with 2,500 neighborhood stores, now has over 17,500 stores. Its programme partners are local entrepreneurs — general store owners, kiosk owners, mobile accessories, repair and recharge shopkeepers, grocery store owners, vegetable vendors, etc. — who are not only familiar with their neighbourhoods, but also enjoy the goodwill of their communities. This makes them excellent choices as local points-persons for the delivery and receipt of customer packages in small neighbourhoods. What attracts such partners to the program is the opportunity to earn an extra income that often almost equals their primary income.
What is Amazon Easy?
Amazon Easy, brings together several aspects of enabling digital commerce via assisted shopping beyond metro cities, including skill development, self-employment and in several cases, even Amazon Pickup, i.e. select offline stores where customers can choose to have their orders delivered. All of these go hand in hand in introducing online shopping to new consumers who have heard of Amazon but haven’t experienced the convenience of shopping on it first hand.
Partnering with the offline retail ecosystem to bridge the trust gap
Amazon works with small entrepreneurs in these towns – mom & pop stores retailing electronics, mobile phone recharge, banking etc or entrepreneurs looking to set up exclusive Udaan Points. We equip these offline stores and entrepreneurs with content and tools that train them in assisted online shopping. These training materials include skills like searching, browsing, and navigation on Amazon.in, helping customers set up Amazon accounts, check outs, payments, answering status and delivery queries, and refunds and returns if required.