Amazon Easy Stores Get an Upgrade in India With Touch-and-Feel Product Experience, Last-Mile Delivery

Amazon has upgraded the ‘Amazon Easy’ store format in India to offer a touch and feel product experience through physical showcasing of products listed on the e-commerce site. The company has also enabled store owners with its last-mile delivery programme called “I Have Space” to let them deliver packages to customers in their areas alongside facilitating pickups. With Amazon Easy stores, Amazon aims to ease online shopping for new customers in the country by allowing them to place orders on its online marketplace using guided assistance from the store staff. These stores will also allow the customers to pick up the order directly from the store or get it delivered at their doorstep.

The first upgraded Amazon Easy store has been launched in Mahalakshmi layout in Bengaluru by partnering with Velocity. However, Amazon has plans to expand the upgraded format stores to other partners of the country with existing and new network partners.

Amazon Easy stores will include various established brands as well as regional and local brands to help customers choose from a variety of products. The stores are also touted to have social distancing norms in place.

“We see Amazon Easy playing an important role in enabling the next 200-300 million customers to enjoy shopping on as well as creating local jobs and self-employment opportunities,” said Kishore Thota, Director, Customer Experience & Marketing, Amazon India, in a statement.

Internally codenamed “Project Udaan,” Amazon Easy was launched as a pilot in 2015. The store format up until now provided assistance for online shopping and helped new customers browse from the selection of products listed on the site and create their Amazon accounts. It, however, received an expansion to every state and union territory in the recent past.

Amazon has network partners including Vakrangee, Indiabuys, and Velocity on board to enable the physical store experience through the Amazon Easy store format. It is also working with several entrepreneurs and businesses including kirana stores, medical shops, and stationery stores to widen its Easy store format and bring new customers closer to its online marketplace.

In June, Amazon brought its ‘Smart Stores’ initiative to offer online payments and contactless discovery of products at offline retailers in the country. The company also recently launched its ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ programme to start listing local shops as sellers on its online marketplace. All those developments — alongside Amazon Easy store format upgrade — are amongst the moves by the Seattle-headquartered e-commerce giant to expand its footprint in the country that has a large base of Internet users but so far majorly resisted from shopping online.

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