Amazon India plans to woo small businesses onto its platform with 'a cup of chai'

"How about we talk about this over a cup of chai?" said every Indian at least once in is lifetime. Amazon is trying to cash in on this ubiquitous Indian habit of drinking chai, and lure small busine

Amazon CHai Cart

“How about we talk about this over a cup of chai?” said every Indian at least once in is lifetime. Amazon is trying to cash in on this ubiquitous Indian habit of drinking chai, and lure small business owners onto its platform. The company has deployed ‘Amazon Chai Carts’ all across the Panchkula district of Haryana in a bid to get locals more aware about e-commerce and begin conversations about getting these small business owners online.

Amazon has been lobbying hard to get kirana owners online, and has even launched Kirana Now to get the ball rolling. With Amazon ChaiCart, it wants to get small and medium businesses to its platform. “The initiative aims to spread awareness among local SMEs and sellers on the benefits of selling online and introduce them to the specialized seller services that help them sell more and earn more on the Amazon India marketplace,” the company said in a statement.

Amazon has deployed several four wheeler ‘Amazon Chai Carts’ in Panchkula that will serve tea, cold water and lemon juice to business owners, sellers, retailers and SMEs in that area. Each Amazon Chai Cart will have a trained staff, who will have discussions and conversations with interested sellers on the process of selling online, introduce them to the seller specific and also introduce them to Amazon’s seller education programs.

The initiative is being tested in Panchkula and will be spread across the country depending on its success. The Amazon Chai Cart will roam the streets of Panchkula only for a week for now. Facilities for on-the-spot registration to Amazon India are also available on the cart.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, on his recent visit to India, had stressed upon the need to get small businesses online. He also publicly supported Narendra Modi’s Digital India plans, and announced a $2 billion investment in India’s e-commerce industry. “At current scale and growth rates, India is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales. What is stunning about India is the speed at which it is growing and that is one of the tailwinds for the growth of e-commerce. India is unbelievably energizing; the people are focused on learning and are extremely inventive,” he said.

Amazon India is doing everything it can to tap the local market and bring them online. The company provides services to sellers like Easy Ship (an assisted shipping service that makes it easy for sellers to ship products across India), FBA (a pay-as-you-go service wherein Amazon  packs, ships and delivers products to customers, manages returns and does customer service on behalf of the sellers) and  setting up of fulfillment centers in various locations. It recently even launched the Amazon Seller app on Android and iOS to make it easy for sellers to quickly update inventory and pricing, list new items on Amazon, respond faster to customer queries and reach out to Amazon for help as well.

  • Published Date: April 16, 2015 4:11 PM IST