Ecommerce giant Amazon India is investing Rs 10 crore to strengthen its pilot ‘Local Shop on Amazon’ programme that has added over 5,000 local shops and retailers into its platform from more than 100 cities. “In a first for Amazon anywhere in the world, we will use our technology, training and enablement capabilities to power local shops across India to sell online,” the e-commerce giant said.

According to the online retailer, its pilot programme–Local Shop on Amazon–will give customers access to a greater selection and faster deliveries from local shops. Besides, it would also help shopkeepers expand beyond their usual area.

“We expect this to be a win-win, as customers benefit from access to greater selection, faster deliveries, and additional value-added services, and local shops can transform themselves into digital stores. Additionally, shops can sign up for our existing programs that help them earn additional income-‘I Have Space’ to act as delivery and pickup points, and ‘Amazon Easy’ to offer expanded selection to their walk-in customers,” Gopal Pillai, Vice President, Seller Services, Amazon India said.

Local shops and offline retailers of any size from any part of India will be allowed to join the programme. The programme will also allow a shopkeeper to choose the areas where they can deliver a product (with pin-code level granularity).

Additionally, local shops will have to use the Amazon Delivery App to provide accurate delivery updates to the customers. All shipments will be tracked on a daily basis to ensure customers get what they were promised, Amazon India said.

“Local stores can also build on the trust with customers in their city by providing additional value-added services like product demonstration, installation support, easy customisations, and device data transfer among others,” Pillai added in a blogpost.

Amazon had piloted this program for 6 months with over 5,000 local shops and retailers from 100 plus cities across India. These retailers came from top metros as well as tier 1 and tier 2 cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Surat, Indore Lucknow, Saharanpur, Faridabad, Kota, Varanasi amongst others. The program pilot included sellers from different categories like kitchen, furniture, apparel, automotive, beauty, electronics, sports, grocery, garden, books, toys and others.

The move also comes at a time several retailers are asking the government to allow sales of non-essential goods and to include electronics appliances during the lockdown.

Also read: Max hospital group to study use of HCQ among healthcare workers