Seattle headquartered ecommerce firm Amazon has earmarked Rs 10 crore to onboard more local kirana stores on its platform.
The programme, called Local Shops, has added over 5,000 local retailers and shopkeepers to the platform in the past six months, the company said in a blog post.
Through the programme, Amazon enables more footfall for shopkeepers as it combines the digital and physical aspects to expand their customer base, according to the company. Shopkeepers can receive additional income if their stores can be used as delivery and pickup points for Amazon’s operations, it added.
“They can also jumpstart their own livelihood post the unprecedented disruption & open up a long-term opportunity for themselves,” Gopal Pillai, vice president for seller services at Amazon India, said on Twitter. He is in charge of the seller ecosystem, including marketing, onboarding, enablement services, education, fulfillment channels, experience and exports, in India.
(1/2) Happy to announce “Local Shops on Amazon”, a program enabling local retailers & shopkeepers of all sizes to leverage Amazon’s technology & grow their footprint digitally. After a successful pilot with 5000+ stores, we are pledging Rs10 Crores to scale the program.— Gopal Pillai (@GopalPillai) April 23, 2020
The announcement comes on the heels of Facebook buying 9.99% stake in telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm for $5.7 billion. The Facebook-Jio deal will combine WhatsApp’s reach with JioMart’s retail offerings, “ensuring that consumers are able to access the nearest kiranas”.
In February, Amazon infused $310 million through an equity issue in Amazon Seller Services, which acts as a marketplace for sellers onboarded on its ecommerce platform. In the same month, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos announced a $1 billion investment outlay to increase the number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on its platform to one crore from the current 5.5 lakh sellers, and create employment for around one crore Indians.
Separately, Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart are facing a probe by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for allegedly flouting antitrust laws.