Online marketplace Amazon India is opening ‘seller cafes’ across 24 cities and towns to offer on-ground help to merchants on its platform ahead of the festival season. “We are opening 24 ‘seller cafes’ in cities and towns to offer on-ground support to sellers to help them getting ready for the festive season,” Gopal Pillai, Director and GM, Seller Services, Amazon India said.
“Sellers can use this to set up a new account for imaging or cataloguing help, or any other issues that they face,” he added. Amazon has added 20,000 new sellers in the last six weeks through its new seller initiatives, he said. “This is a good sign for small and medium businesses, enabling more to join our seller platforms,” Pillai added. Amazon has a network of 1.2 lakh sellers ahead of the festive season, he said. The marketplace has expanded its delivery network by 5 times and tied-up with over 12,500 stores in more than 50 cities with a majority of them in tier II and III towns. Pillai indicated the ‘seller cafe’ programme is a pilot ahead of the festive season and they could continue the initiative based on demand going forward. For this, Amazon has repurposed some of its sellers sales offices to set up the cafes, he said. “We have over 1,400 e-commerce specialist freelancers across 16 cities that we have trained and certified to provide help to sellers,” he added.
The seller cafes are part of a slew of initiatives the marketplace has introduced to improve the sellers’ experience like Amazon Tatkal, which was a mobile programme to help sign up small businesses on their platform. The US-based e-tailer has been expanding its operations in India at an aggressive pace. Betting big on the burgeoning e-commerce market here, its chief Jeff Bezos had said the company will invest $3 billion in India, taking its total investment committed here to over $5 billion. India operations have witnessed a 250 per cent year- on-year growth in bringing new sellers on board. It has 24 fulfilment centres and expects to add 3 more by the end of the year, Pillai said. According to a recent report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, India will account for over a fifth of the Amazon’s total international sales by 2025, hitting $81 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) and $2.2 billion in operating profits.