Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Amid India’s e-commerce market turning hyper-competitive with JioMart’s arrival and the impending launch of Bharat eMarket — e-commerce portal by traders’ body CAIT and another one to be reportedly launched by Tata to boost choices for consumers, incumbent players like Amazon and Flipkart are further strengthening their positions. This assumed significance ahead of the annual sale events of the companies that are likely to be bigger than previous years. To cater to the expected growth in consumer demand this festive season, Amazon on Monday said that its flagship delivery programme I have Space, for kirana stores with extra space for storage of Amazon packages and sufficient manpower to deliver them in two-three km radius of their stores, now has over 28,000 such stores in nearly 350 cities. The programme launched in 2015 with 2,500 stores grew to over 20,000 stores as in June 2018, as per Amazon Blog, and further added more than 8,000 stores so far in an effort towards boosting their income and footfalls.
Amazon claimed that it has added “tens of thousands” of delivery partners to its network and nearly 200 delivery stations, including those operated by Delivery Service Partners. The company claimed that it has close to doubled the reach of its Amazon Flex programme in the last four months to serve 65 cities now. The programme allows individual delivery partners to work as per their own schedules to earn additional income between Rs 120-140 per hour delivering Amazon orders. Amazon also introduced ‘Society pickup points’ – for contactless deliveries in high-density residential societies in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The programme offers virtual pickup points and physical locations within housing complexes.
“The recent expansion of our delivery programs has collectively furthered Amazon India’s goal to improve reach and provide a fast, safe and more seamless ecommerce experience ahead of the festive season,” said Prakash Rochlani, Director, Last Mile Operations, Amazon India in a statement.
Both Amazon and Flipkart are yet to announce dates for their sale events. Flipkart, on the other hand, had recently launched its B2B marketplace for kiranas and MSMEs, Flipkart Wholesale while it acquired the India wholesale business of its parent Walmart to help sellers source products from the B2B vertical and likely sell them on its B2C e-commerce marketplace in order to boost products and choices for customers. The company had earlier this month said that it has added over 50,000 kiranas to make deliveries in over 850 cities this festive season while Big Billion Days would create 70,000 direct and indirect jobs.