Amazon has announced it is rolling out a new service, called Smart Stores, enabling customers to discover products at local stores in India, make payments, and earn rewards using Amazon Pay.
With the launch of Smart Stores, customers in India can scan a QR code at participating stores using the Amazon app. These QR codes enable shoppers to access a digital storefront to learn more about the products the store has, explore offers, and compare features. Customers can then select items they wish to purchase and pay using Amazon Pay.
Amazon said thousands of local stores across India have signed up as Amazon Pay Smart Stores, including local stores and brand outlets such as Big Bazaar, MedPlus, as well as More Supermarkets, which Amazon has owned a stake in since 2018.
Mahendra Nerurkar, CEO of Amazon Pay, commented: “Amazon Pay is already accepted at millions of local shops, we are trying to make customers’ buying experience at local shops even more convenient and safe through Smart Stores. Further, through EMIs, bank offers and rewards, we seek to make these purchases more affordable and rewarding for customers, and help increase sales for merchants.”
With Smart Stores, customers do not need to stay inside the store and can pay digitally, allowing them to maintain social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is likely to lead to the acceleration of digital initiatives that support traditional trade and the supply of goods to these outlets, which are the core of the grocery industry in India.
Amazon's roll out in India
Amazon is investing heavily in India to ensure it is at the forefront of the country’s growing ecommerce market.
In April, it launched Local Shops. It’s partnering with mom-and-pop stores, known as Kirana stores, to get their ranges online and develop its grocery business. In May, it also launched its own food delivery service called Amazon Food. Amazon has also partnered with Future Retail in India, to expand the reach of Future Retail’s stores through Amazon’s marketplace.
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Retail Analysis subscribers can learn more about Amazon’s international expansion and development of Marketplace in our Strategic outlook for Amazon report here.