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Amazon India Unveils 'Kirana Now' Service With Same Day DeliverybyNDTV Correspondent,26 March 2015
Amazon India is launching a platform that leverages neighbourhood orkiranastores with the aim of quickly delivering everyday-need consumer products. Called Kirana Now, the service was launched on Wednesday in Bengaluru.In an emailed statement, an Amazon India spokesperson said, "We are continually innovating to transform the way India shops and the way India sells. Our vision is to enable our customers in India to buy anything and everything they want online, any-time and anywhere at low prices and a convenient, fast and reliable delivery experience. Equally we are committed to empowering the growth of millions of small and medium businesses in India. Kirana Now is a step towards realising both."The statement adds, "With this service we want to provide to our customers an instant and convenient access to their ecosystem of stores for their everyday needs right from their mobile phone. And likewise empower the Kirana stores with tools and technology to transform their growth in the digital economy."The service, which Amazon India is calling a pilot, will be available only via mobile. With Kirana Now, Amazon aims to deliver the goods "within 2-4 hours" using its own logistics, the neighbourhood store's staff, or one of its logistics partners. These stores will be listed just like other sellers on Amazon, which operates as a pure marketplace in India.In the US, Amazon has been offering a grocery delivery service called Amazon Fresh. The same-day and early-morning delivery service wasstartedin 2007 in Seattle, and onlyexpandedto other cities in 2013. It wasavailablein about 10 US cities by the end of 2014.In late 2014, Amazon alsolaunchedits own private label brand for consumer goods, Amazon Elements, starting with diapers and baby wipes. As industry analystsnotedat the time, the move underscored the firm's maturity as a grocery retailer and the increasingly common trend of grocery shopping online.In India, online grocery delivery services have beenmakingsome headway, but only in a small way. Services such as BigBasket, AaramShop, LocalBanya, Grofers, and Ekstop are startups, and the majority of these are operational in a handful of cities, with some companies having a presence in only one location.However, both Tradus and HomeShop18 also sell food and groceries, and are active across India. Both have very different models; Tradus uses the marketplace model, and HomeShop18 prefers the direct route, in a bit to ensure it can deliver all the products it advertises across the country. Only Tradus is offering same-day delivery on select products. Top of Form Bottom of Top of FormBottom of FormSame-day Delivery by Ecommerce SMBs Viable?OCTOBER 27, 2014 ARMANDO ROGGIOSame-day delivery has the potential to become a significant retail differentiator, potentially raising the ecommerce industrys barrier for entry, making it harder for new, relatively small ecommerce businesses to start selling.To clear this possible hurdle, small and mid-size ecommerce businesses will need to encourage the demand for same-day delivery, the development of same-day delivery infrastructure, and cooperation with other sellers and distributors.The Promise and the ProblemSame-day delivery could remove one of the most significant differences between making a purchase online and buying from a physical store: the customers ability to have and use the product purchased immediately or almost immediately.Same-day delivery could remove one of the most significant differences between making a purchase online and buying from a physical store: the customers ability to have and use the product purchased immediately or almost immediately.Imagine a shopper who visits the mall on her lunch hour. She purchases lunch at food court, and then goes to Pottery Barn to pick up some new plates and glasses for a dinner party at 8 p.m. She hauls the dinnerware to her car, loads it in the trunk, goes back to work, and eventually when she gets home at about 5:30 p.m. has the new items to use.Now imagine the same shopper. But this time, instead of having lunch at the malls food court, she gets to eat at her favorite Indian restaurant with a couple of friends. As they are eating curry, she has her lunch mates help her select some new plates and glasses for the aforementioned dinner party. She places the order online, and when she arrives home at 5:30 p.m. the new dinnerware has already been delivered and is ready to use.In this scenario, one of brick-and-mortar retailings greatest competitive advantages is at best nonexistent.We launched same-day delivery in 2009, wrote Amazon spokeswoman, Julie Law, in an email to Practical Ecommerce. Since that time, we have continued to evolve and improve the shopping experience, adding immense selection, lowering the price for Prime members, expanding the number of cities, and the number of zip codes, where the service is offered and making it even easier to search and find items that are eligible for same-day delivery.Customers in the current 12 metro areas where we offer same-day delivery can choose Get It Today when searching or browsing and choose from more than a million items available for same-day delivery. This year, we also extended the order cut-off time to noon, and extended same-day delivery to seven days a week even Sunday.Unfortunately, simply because Amazon, which had more than $20 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter, can do something does not necessarily mean that it is something that a small or mid-sized merchant can accomplish.There has been a lot of activity and press about same-day delivery in the past 18 months, [but] despite all the attention, same-day delivery is really only feasible for the biggest of the big ecommerce players. It requires massive demand AND [sic] supply in each area where its planned. Very few ecommerce players have that. And even with both those, its a serious logistical challenge given the speed at which everything has to happen. explainedEasyPostFounder and CEO Jarrett Streebin, whose company provides an application programming interface to help small businesses manage logistics.Even eBay, with its many resources ,has had to shut down its Now same-day delivery service, almost certainly because of the problems Streebin describes.Thus, that is the promise or potential of same-day delivery and the problem of actually executing it. If the debate over same-day delivery ended here, it could be very bad news for future ecommerce entrepreneurs.A Higher Barrier to Ecommerce EntryIf the biggest of the big ecommerce businesses, like Amazon, continue to improve and expand same-day delivery, and if brick-and-click retailers like Walmart expand click-and-collect (the act of ordering online and picking up in store) offerings, it may be difficult for small retail ecommerce startups to compete or for new business to get started when the best they can do is delivery tomorrow, or in a couple of days, or worse yet next week.It may become the case that in order to start an ecommerce business, sellers will need a much more sophisticated logistics infrastructure and significantly more capital.However, there may be at least five strategies or ways that small and mid-sized ecommerce businesses can, in fact, successfully offer same-day delivery in at least some form.Strategy 1: Charge for ItSame-day delivery is expensive. To execute same-day delivery, a delivery person must collect a package at a warehouse or distribution center, travel to the customers address, drop off the package, and return to the warehouse. Even if somehow the cost of transportation was zero, a delivery that took an hour to complete, could cost anywhere from $10 to $20 in labor.So why not just charge that much?
Fancy offers same-day delivery in several markets.Fancy, an online retailer of mainly home decor items, started offering same-day delivery services in 2013, and charged, in some cases, a $30 per order fee. Now the company is offering same-day delivery for selected products in more than 60 cities.Strategy 2: Limit Delivery AreasAmazon, which has nearly six percent of all U.S. online sales and about one percent of total, annual U.S. retail sales, is offering same-day delivery in about 12 markets. Whats more, it is estimated that about 40 percent of people in the U.S. live in just 40 cities.The point here is that same-day delivery need not be ubiquitous in the beginning, rather it can focus on geographies that a particular merchant can actually service. A small ecommerce seller warehousing products in his garage in Helena, Montana would probably be able to deliver the occasional package to the greater-Helena area, especially, if as Strategy 1 suggests, that delivery includes a $30 service fee.Strategy 3: Use Couriers, Express Delivery Services, and CarriersStrictly speaking, same-day delivery is nothing new. Department stores did it. Courier and messenger services did it and do it. In fact, even some of the major package carriers offer some form of same-day delivery right now such asUPS Same DayandFedEx Same Day.
FedEx and UPS both offer same-day delivery services.A third way that small and mid-sized ecommerce businesses could get same-day delivery to work is to simply work with some of these services. This is, in fact, what Fancy is doing.Whats more, services likeGoogle Expresswill pick up from a retailers store or warehouse to deliver directly to customers who order using the Google service.Anyplace that a merchant has a warehouse, there is an opportunity to find and contract a service to deliver packages in hours not days.Strategy 4: Use Fulfillment Services and WarehousesFulfillment services may also play an important role in helping small and mid-sized ecommerce businesses offer same-day delivery.When online sellers employ fulfillment service providers like Shipwire, Fulfillment by Amazon, eFulfil