Amazon has launched a new initiative Named Smart Stores in India to Allow offline retailers to enable contactless discovery of products and online payments.
The new move by the US e-commerce giant is a response to Google’s Spot Platform under which merchants in the nation are offered with Spot Codes which can be scanned to make payments and participate with clients with no app or site.
Local stores signing up beneath the Smart Stores program get the ability to offer a digital storefront of their institution whereby customers can find products, read testimonials, and discover offers through the Amazon app. This means that they no longer need to see their local shop every time to learn what products they have, or to check prices.
Alongside offering the electronic storefront, the Smart Stores programme allows merchants to provide contactless payment options such as UPI, debit and credit cards, and EMI in addition to bank transactions. Customers will even get the option to pay directly by using their Amazon Pay balance. Moreover, the onboard shopkeepers are going to have the ability to send an electronic invoice once the transaction accomplishes.
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Local stores participating in the initiative will probably even get the option to provide Amazon Pay reward vouchers and assorted exclusive bank and manufacturer offers to customers.
An Amazon spokesperson told Gadgets 360 that it started a pilot to its Smart Stores programme two weeks ago, and it has over 10,000 local shops across India. A dedicated microsite on the Amazon India site highlights that apart from local shops, brand stores and hypermakets such as Future Group-owned Big Bazaar, and Amazon-backed More, are on board. A type is also available on the microsite to let shopkeepers and merchants register.
There is not any specific eligibility criteria for participating in the new programme. But, Amazon is targeting to tap medium-sized stores initially.
“Amazon Pay is currently approved at millions of neighborhood stores, we are trying to create customers’ buying experience at local shops even more suitable and secure through Smart Stores,” said Mahendra Nerurkar, CEO, Amazon Pay, in a prepared statement.
Interest towards Indian retailers growing
Amazon has recently started showing its interest towards Indian shopkeepers to overcome criticisms over affecting their companies and further scale its own platform. In April, the company launched its local Shops on Amazon’ program to begin allowing local stores to record their goods online. Last month Amazon India also announced COVID-19 medical insurance for sellers on its own platform.
The most recent advancement in the form of Smart Stores seems like Amazon’s answer to Google’s Spot Platform which was launched in September last year to start supplying Spot Codes to retailers for the discovery of their products and payments through Google Pay. Companies including Paytm and PhonePe also allow local shops in the nation to create QR codes for electronic transactions.