Om Prakash Yadav has been running Delhi-based furniture business Omex designs for about 11 years, with offerings such as bags, swings, sofas, tables, and outdoor furniture. When sales from regular clientele dried up during the pandemic, his friends suggested that he sell online on Amazon. The results have been extremely promising. Om Prakash saw his business go from about Rs.60-70 thousand per month to Rupees three lakhs per week. Listing on Local Shops on Amazon enabled Om Prakash to achieve a 60% growth in sales in just a few months. His team of eight has now grown to over 20 people.
I cannot even begin to describe just how much support the seller team has given me while venturing into this completely unknown space.
While there is still a learning curve with respect to understanding the process and getting insights into customer demand, the transition from offline to online with Amazon has been fairly smooth. “I cannot even begin to describe just how much support the seller team has given me while venturing into this completely unknown space. They helped me save so much capital by explaining the process of taxes and commission well and keeping me completely updated and informed about the finance aspect of our partnership,” says Om Prakash.
Opportunities to scale
The Local Shops on Amazon program offers offline retailers and neighbourhood stores a tremendous opportunity to scale their business. This is enabled by allowing sellers to list their products on Amazon.in and helping them supplement their footfalls with a digital presence for their physical store.
Take the case of Sarvanan, owner of Saira Fashion, who operates an offline store with the name “Shirdi Sai Fashions” in Tirunelveli. The business mainly deals with printed and custom T-shirts has a collection of over three lakh designs. An erstwhile game developer, Sarvanan started this business in 2016 and started selling online on Amazon.in soon after. With an initial investment of about Rs. 30,000, his income has now touched over Rs. 20 lakhs per month. Today, Sarvanan provides employment to over 80 people.
While Sarvanan’s business was impacted by the pandemic for a couple of months initially, their presence on Amazon.in played a big role in helping them recover from the disruption. “Without Amazon, it would have been very difficult for us. It would have taken months or even a year to get back on track,” says Sarvanan.
Offering customers confidence
Local shops on Amazon has also helped small stores such as Sarvanan’s increase sales by taking their first step towards ecommerce. This allows them to scale beyond immediate neighbourhoods and sell across the city and the country. The program allows sellers to ship and manage their own products when an order is placed on Amazon. This means sellers are responsible for stocking and storing their own inventory, fulfilling their own orders, managing returns, and working directly with the customer.
With Local Shops on Amazon, sellers can also ensure faster delivery speeds and showcase the ‘Prime Badge’ (on eligibility) that helps customers in the vicinity discover them faster on Amazon.in.
Launched in April 2020, ‘Local Shops on Amazon brings the benefits of e-commerce to offline retailers and neighbourhood stores. It helps them supplement existing footfalls at their stores with a digital presence on Amazon.in and expand their reach beyond their normal catchment. For customers, this program brings together the safety and convenience of online shopping with the familiarity and trust of their favourite local stores. The program has witnessed accelerated adoption across the country, growing over 20 times since launch with the total number of sellers on the program doubling in just the last eight months. The program has already been expanded to 450 cities across India including top metros as well as tier 2 and tier 3 cities like Sangli, Osmanabad, Jamnagar, Gorakhpur, Jabalpur, Ratlam, Bikaner, Guwahati, Howrah, Tumkur, Jalpaiguri, Ernakulam, Kanchipuram, Patna, Rajkot, Agra and Dehradun. Amazon has pledged to onboard 10 lakh local stores on Amazon.in by 2025.