After 7 years in India, Amazon has finally learnt that there is more money offline

Amazon is bring their digital wallet, Amazon Pay, to offline stores like Shoppers Stop and MoreWikimedia

  • Amazon India is pushing for an offline presence in India where only one-third of the population has access to the internet.
  • The company is reportedly making its payments services available in brick-and-mortar stores like Shoppers Stop.
  • It’s also looking to open up more Amazon Kiosks in locations around the country.

Amazon in no stranger to Indian market, in fact it’s the largest e-commerce platform in India. But, after seven years of pulling people online, the e-tailer is reaching out them by going offline.

Amazon India is expanding by marking an entry in brick-and-mortar stores as well making its payments service, Amazon Pay, available in neighbourhood outlets.

Amazon Pay — based on India’s unified payments interface (UPI) — is already operational at Shoppers Stop, a department store chain with 83 stores across the country. And, according to sources the company also has plans to make the same service available in one of India’s supermarket chains, More, later this year according to a report by LiveMint.

It’s not that these stores are the largest in India, but because Amazon has stake in both establishments. In fact, five Shoppers Stop outlets were shut down in 2018 and more were ‘re-sized’ to recuperate from losses.

“We have begun introducing Amazon smile code, a new way for our customers to shop and pay at physical stores like Shoppers Stop, among others."

Amazon spokesperson

Amazon kiosks, on the other hand, have been around since 2017 with four operational outlets so far — two in Karnataka, one in Mumbai and one in Ahmedabad. But in 2019, the Jeff Bezos enterprise has aggressive plans to expand by opening more than 100 more counters by the end of the year.

Why offline matters

Digital wallets like Paytm have become a popular way to make transactions at India’s brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Even though internet penetration in India finally crossed the half a billion mark in 2018 that’s only about one-third of the total population. In fact, online transactions only account for 10% of overall transactions in the country.

Paytm, a homegrown payments platform that’s been expanding its offline presence through QR codes at merchant outlets, claims that more than 40% of its recorded transactions are offline.

In fact, the volume of unified payments interface (UPI) — the payment tools that allows for digital payment transactions — transactions have grown to account for 9% of all retail payments within two years of inception, according to a report by BCG.

The Amazon Pay UPI was only launched a little over a month ago. Not only does it give Amazon the opportunity to expand online, but also keeps users under its umbrella should they choose to shop on external merchant websites.

See also:
Amazon plans to open over 100 kiosks across malls in India: Report

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