Amazon Smart Stores launches in India.

Just like Google’s Spot Platform, US giant Amazon has come up with their idea of digitization of payments. The initiative is launched in India and is named Smart Stores. This will enable retailers to display their products in a contactless manner and also to take online payments through digital means. Like Google’s Spot, Amazon is also offering QR codes in front of shops which the customers will scan to get more details about the store. Smart Stores are powered by Amazon pay.

Amazon Pay CEO Mahendra Nerurkar told ET Tech, “The basic QR code payment method is accepted at 4 million stores across India. But Smart Store is a more evolved experience where customers can pay using any payment instrument, including EMI and bank offers.”

Other payment aggregators such as Paytm and PhonePe also provide QR codes to physical shops and retailers which only support UPI payments but through Amazon’s solution, customers can pay through cards, net banking, Amazon Pay balance, and EMIs. After the transaction, the shopkeepers will be able to send a digital bill directly to the customer.

There are also reports that later Amazon will integrate their own credit facility “Buy Now, Pay Later” through Amazon Pay Later service. Amazon will also offer exclusive bank/brand offers to the stores as a part of this program which will be pretty interesting to see.

So, it seems like the QR provided will not be any ordinary QR code and only used for payments. It will also be used to access a digital storefront, help customers to learn more about the products of the store, ability to compare features, check offers, and directly pay for an item purchased.

Also, local shops will get the option to give Amazon Pay reward coupons and various exclusive bank and brand offer to customers. Through this, customers will get purchase vouchers that can be redeemed at the same store and this would result in customer retention. In addition to all these, the service will promote store offers to nearby customers based on location and searches.

“What we’re trying to do is bring the convenience of shopping online — the way you can be informed, the various payment instruments that you get, and making it available to every customer in any store,” Nerurkar added.

As of now, there aren’t any specific eligibility criteria for enrolling in the new programme. However, Amazon is targeting medium-sized stores and local shops initially across multiple brand partners including Oppo, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Samsung, Asus, and Big Bazaar.

Source: ET tech

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