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Amazon bets on local innovation from India, working on integrated app

Under this strategy of tweaking the app, customers will be offered a choice of preferred pick-up points

Avishek Rakshit  |  Kolkata 

Amazon, Akhil Saxena
Amazon is likely to expand the 'I Have Space' initiative which it introduced in 2015

India is betting big on local innovation from India which it plans to introduce globally. The e-commerce giant is currently modifying its app to an integrated platform for turning it into a single interface for its consumers, sellers and delivery partners. Previously, it had a different app for every segment.

"There is a lot of local innovation going on. We are using the core technology which is available for worldwide but we have made significant changes which are an India-first feature," said Akhil Saxena, vice-president at India.

Under this strategy of tweaking the app, customers will be offered a choice of preferred pick-up points. The sellers are also offered the same facility and in turn, the delivery partner, while delivering a set of orders can collect dispatches from the same point.

"A delivery associate, using the same app can go to deliver customer orders and can also pick up from the sellers," he added.

To make the pick-up model a success, is likely to expand the 'I Have Space (IHS)' initiative which it introduced in the country in 2015 with 400 partners. IHS is a model under which local kirana stores or people with storage facilities can partner Amazon to become a delivery partner within a 2-4 km radius of the delivery area. The e-commerce giant has expanded this network to cover 17,500 partners across 225 cities and towns. It is growing at a 40 per cent rate annually.

On an average, these IHS partners deliver 20 to 30 packages a day, earning a fixed amount per delivery.

Its current base of 350 service partners across 320 locations are poised to play a crucial role in this endeavour.

"We will continuously review where the demand is coming from, what kind of cities the demand is coming from based on which we will build it up further. Currently, we are working on discovereability of the pick-up point," said Saxena.

Buyers wishing to collect their package beyond the standard delivery hours ranging from 7 am to 9 pm, or those dwelling in upcountry areas are likely to be this facility's primary users.

Amazon will be testing this feature in India and may later introduce it globally.

Cash-on-delivery and the exchange and buyback facility were the major innovations from India which were introduced globally.

With 26 sortation hubs, in India, Amazon currently has 62 fulfilment centres covering 16 million cubic feet of area of which 15 each are for large appliances and daily essentials each.

First Published: Fri, April 06 2018. 23:34 IST