Amazon launches Smart Commerce in India to help offline stores launch digital storefronts –

Amazon said it will help convenience stores across India launch their own digital storefronts to better serve their customers, the latest effort by the e-commerce giant trying to leverage its dense network of offline stores in key stores. overseas market.

Amazon launched Smart Commerce on Wednesday, a new offering that allows stores to create their own online storefronts and also provide their walk-in customers with an in-store shopping experience.

The new offering is built on top of Smart Stores, another program the American giant launched two years ago to help convenience stores serve their walk-in customers. Two years ago, it also launched Local Shops, a program that allows offline stores to sell directly on Amazon. Amazon said stores of all sizes can sign up for Smart Commerce and the company will help them with logistics and digital payments.

“We are honored by the way convenience stores from across India are taking advantage of our Local Shops on Amazon program to go online and grow their business, with more than 1.5 lakh stores opening up within two years of its launch.,” said Amit Agarwal, SVP of India and Emerging Markets at Amazon, during a virtual event.

“Today we are excited to launch Smart Commerce that will enable any store to truly become a digital ducan, bringing the best of Amazon to customers wherever they are.”

Smart Commerce will provide stores with a range of features, including the ability to digitize invoicing, manage inventory and a voice and chat-based shopping experience, the company said. It will begin rolling out some of these features in the coming weeks.

Amazon, which has invested more than $6.5 billion in its operations in India, said more than 125,000 convenience stores already sell online through its marketplace.

Amazon and its main rival in India, Flipkart, have spent the past few years trying to find ways to partner with convenience stores across the country. These mom-and-pop stores offer all kinds of items, are family-run, and pay low wages and little to no rent. Because they are ubiquitous – according to industry estimates there are more than 30 million convenience stores in India – no retail giant can offer faster delivery. Plus, their economy is often better than most of their digital counterparts.

Meta also keeps an eye on this segment. It has partnered with Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, which is bringing some of its retail offerings to WhatsApp. Google has also invested in a startup that helps stores across the country serve customers online.