Amazon India has started working with kirana stores in Bangalore for in-store pick up for products ordered from its website, reports Times of India. With this move, the company seems to be expanding a trial programme it had launched in Mumbai and Delhi with BPCL last month.
“We are running a pilot for in-store pick-up service in Bangalore. We have identified and trained staff at small kiosks and stores, run by individual entrepreneurs, to be our shipment pick-up points,” Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal had told the publication. Amazon will pay a fee to these retailers, but it has not revealed the actual amount or percentage that would be paid.
The service is available only for products that are ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ as of now, but it’s not clear if it will be opened up to other retailers down the line.
The option to deliver a product to such stores is shown during the checkout process and you can search for the closest stores using address, pin code or by using a landmark. It also lets you select the desired store from a map interface, not very different from the one used by real-estate websites. You can then click on ‘Dispatch to this address’ on the closet store from the list.
Amazon had received government approval to set up its logistics service in India in February 2012 and it had launched its third-party logistics service in November starting with a pilot in Delhi-NCR region. The company had then reportedly launched a pilot project in December 2013 to test India Post’s cash on delivery and started one-day deliveries the same month.
Assisted shipping: Amazon has also launched assisted shipping in India, that will let sellers ship products from their own warehouses using Amazon’s logistics service. It has also started self-registration feature that lets vendors register on the site and start selling within a day without intervention from any third-party.
Competition: Amazon’s biggest competitor Flipkart recently opened up its logistics arm eKart Logistics to other operators, while Snapdeal had launched a fulfillment platform for sellers listing their products on Snapdeal.com, known as SafeShip in June 2013.
Kartrocket had opened up its stand alone delivery service Shiprocket to all operators. Courier company DTDC Couriers & Cargo had also launched a new specialized e-commerce logistics initiative called DotZot in March this year.
In December 2012, Rocket Internet-backed Jabong had launched third-party logistics service called JaVAS (Jabong Value Added Services). It later on sold it to Gurgaon-based QuickDel Logistics. Other competitors in this space would include Delhivery (SSL Logistics) which had acquired offline cash collection network of Gharpay and had recently raised a round of funding, Holisol and Mudita, among others. Logistics companies like Bluedart and Aramex also have dedicated e-commerce divisions. JustDial, the mobile and online business listings business, had also announced that it will offer its merchants the ability to deliver products purchased from its marketplace.