Amazon India on Monday said it has significantly augmented its delivery network ahead of the festive season by setting up additional delivery stations and scaling up its partnership with kirana stores.
The move, which will also help generate employment opportunities, will enable faster and more efficient delivery of packages during the festive season that sees a major spike in orders.
Speaking to PTI, Amazon India Director (Last Mile Operations) Prakash Rochlani said the company has added close to 200 delivery stations, including those operated by delivery service partners across the country, including in many remote northeastern towns such as Champhai, Kolasib, Lumding and Mokokchung.
Amazon India has close to 250 Amazon-operated and more than 1,500 partner delivery stations run by more than 280 entrepreneurs across the country to enable deliveries across the country.
“We have also strengthened our flagship ‘I Have Space’ (IHS) program, now comprising more than 28,000 neighbourhood kirana stores in close to 350 cities. Also, the reach of Amazon Flex program has nearly doubled in the last four months to now serve 65 cities,” he added.
Under the IHS initiative, Amazon India partners with local store owners to deliver products to customers within a 2-4 kilometre radius of their store, allowing them to supplement their regular income and generate more footfalls in their stores.
Amazon Flex allows delivery partners to work as per their own schedule and earn supplemental income by delivering Amazon packages.
Rochlani said Amazon India has also introduced ‘society pickup points’, a delivery format that caters to high-density residential societies in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
This program offers both virtual pickup points and physical locations within housing complexes, either of which can be selected by customers during checkout, and deliveries are consolidated on specific days of the week for convenience of customers.
“Our goal with all these efforts is to ensure customers across the country are able to get what they desire this festive season from the comfort of their home, while prioritising the safety of both our customers and delivery partners,” he said.
He added that Amazon India has implemented a series of preventive health measures for employees, associates and partners at its sites such as adherence to social distancing norms, use of face covering, and daily temperature screenings among others.
E-commerce companies see a large chunk of their business coming in during the festive sales and they make significant investments ahead of time to ramp up their capacity to be able to handle the spike in orders.
Electronics, fashion and home furnishing are some of the categories that see a huge demand during the festive season.
As per a report by RedSeer, festive sales are expected to almost double this year and touch USD 7 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) as compared to USD 3.8 billion in the same period last year.
GMV is a term used in online retailing to indicate the gross merchandise value of products sold through the marketplace over a certain period.