Amazon has launched an express delivery platform called KiranaNow to make everyday consumer products available to its users in Bangalore, reports TOI. Amazon will partner with local kirana (grocery) stores to offer this service. The service is in a pilot stage in Bangalore and Amazon is likely to launch it in other cities in the future.
Amazon claims that through this service, delivery will take only 2-4 hours. The service is available only at some pincodes in Bangalore between 9am to 6pm. The kirana stores will upload their catalogues on Amazon’s platform and the e-commerce giant will take care of the backend and technology.
Technology inclusion for local kirana stores?
Available only on the mobile platform as of now, Amazon will deliver orders via its own logistics unit Amazon Transportation Service Private Limited, delivery boys from kirana stores and third party vendors. The company added that other than instant and convenient delivery through stores for its users, this was also an opportunity for kirana stores to “transform their growth in the digital economy” through technology.
Pilot results in 500 outlets across 20 cities
In April last year, Amazon India had started working with kirana stores in Bangalore to offer in-store pickup for products ordered from its website. That was an expansion from Mumbai and Delhi where Amazon had tied with BPCL to test in-store pick up service. The company had identified and trained staff at kiosks, owned by individual entrepreneurs, which would work as pick up points. They had not, however, mentioned the fees that it would pay those retailers. Now, Amazon said that since the pilot last year, the company has scaled to over 500 outlets across over 20 cities. Outside India, Amazon acts as the prime seller along with its vendors, operating as an inventory based venture.
In 2012, Amazon received a government approval to set up its logistics service in India. It had launched its third-party logistics service in November 2013 starting with a pilot in the 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.
Free delivery for orders above Rs 499
KiranaNow will be visible to users under the “Shop by Department” tab on the Amazon mobile browser as well as the tab. The company offers free delivery for orders above Rs 499 but the charge for orders below that could not be accessible. Orderable items include groceries like oil, flour, sugar, tea, juices, snacks, candies, sauces, jams, pickles, noodles along with household supplies and personal care items like shampoos, deos, detergents, diapers etc. Possibly, since we were checking from outside Bangalore, most of the products were listed as “currently unavailable”.
Amazon already has a similar service in the US called AmazonFresh, where it was first launched in 2007, where pick up options were provided to its users through Amazon lockers available in public zones. There, it offered same day home delivery as well as next day delivery. While initially available only in Seattle, Washington, the service spread to other cities in 2013.