Amazon India ramps up delivery network ahead of festive season sales

Amazon India ramps up delivery network ahead of festive season sales
Photo Credit: Reuters
29 Sep, 2020

Amazon India on Monday said that it has ramped up its delivery infrastructure in anticipation of the festive season leading up to the Diwali and Dussehra sales, which host a major chunk of the country’s B2C shopping in a year.

The Seattle headquartered ecommerce giant’s India unit has added tens of thousands of delivery partners to its network to meet the expected customer demand for the festive season surrounding October, as per a statement. It is, however, yet to announce specific dates for the sales.

The Flipkart rival has added about 200 delivery stations, including those operated by delivery service partners across the country, to expand its direct reach.

The new centres include those in remote northeastern towns such as Champhai, Kolasib, Lumding and Mokokchung, the statement said.

The company currently has a delivery network of about 250 Amazon-operated and over 1,500 partner delivery stations in India, run by more than 280 entrepreneurs.

Amazon’s Easy Ship programme, which enables sellers from different parts of the country to utilise the company’s delivery network, will help over 6.5 lakh sellers in 2,500 cities and towns across the country this festive season, the statement said.

It also announced the strengthening of its delivery programmes with its I Have Space (IHS) initiative, currently comprising over 28,000 neighborhood and kirana stores in about 350 cities in the country. Under IHS, Amazon India partners with local store owners to deliver products to customers in two-four kilometer radius of the stores.

Amazon India added that it has nearly doubled the reach of its Amazon Flex programme in the past four months, to now serve 65 cities in India. Amazon Flex allows individuals to help the company deliver packages to customers at income rates between Rs 120 and Rs 140 per hour.

The etailer also introduced ‘Society pickup points’ -- a delivery format that caters to high-density residential societies in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, to address contactless deliveries during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

In the 2019 festive season sales that commenced on September 26 and ended on October 4, Flipkart and Amazon had accounted for over 90% of $3 billion goods sold.

Flipkart’s B2C marketplace is yet to announce its Big Billion Days sale plans, a counterpart to Amazon's Great Indian Sale during the festive period.

On Monday, Flipkart Wholesale announced its first ever festive season sale for fashion retailers, scheduled from September 29 to October 31. Ahead of the festive sale, it expanded to 15 new cities, as per a statement.