E-commerce giant Amazon has plans to set up 100 kiosks in India by the end of the year.
The Seattle-based company will sell devices including Kindle ebook reader, Echo speaker and Fire TV through the kiosks, Economic Times reported citing sources.
The company piloted the idea in Bengaluru in 2017. Amazon now runs two kiosks in Bengaluru and one each in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Noida.
A top mall executive said Amazon kiosks will be run by third-party franchisees although India allows 100% foreign direct investment in single-brand retail.
India boasts of a retail industry worth USD 750 billion growing at 10-12% year on year, according to research firm Technopak. Of the total retail market, online channel contributes about 3%.
Of the recorded 566 million internet users in 2018, 97% access net from mobile phones, a recent Kantar IMRB ICUBE report said.
However, only 19% of the internet users end up buying products online. India had around 113 million online shoppers in 2018, and the number is projected to grow to 175-180 million by 2022, as per the data collated by Forrester.
Many e-commerce companies are tapping offline channels as they look to go beyond metros and tier 1 cities.
The development comes at a time when Amazon is shutting down all of its 87 pop-up stores in the US. Located inside malls as small kiosks to sell devices like Echos, Kindles, and tablets, Amazon has been operating them since 2014.
“After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program, and are instead expanding Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star, where we provide a more comprehensive customer experience and broader selection,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Verge. At present, Amazon runs Amazon Go, a chain of automated convenience stores, in the US.
Amazon isn’t the only one experimenting with kiosks in India. Media reports citing industry sources said Indian conglomerate Reliance might set up e-commerce kiosks at Jio point stores to allow buyers to place orders online, and deliver the product using its existing network by April 2019.
Online grocer Big Basket- backed by Alibaba - has installed digitally-activated kiosks in apartments and office spaces stocking groceries and packaged foods. Chinese premium smartphone company OnePlus has been operating kiosks in metros as part of its offline strategy.