India only just gave Apple the green light hours ago to set up stores inside its borders, but Amazon has been operating there for quite some time. And while the eCommerce giant is known for a hundred things (good and bad), waiting for the dust to settle has never been its modus operandi.
The Economic Times is reporting that Amazon and Vodafone India have entered into a partnership that the former hopes will help Indian consumers become more familiar with the Amazon brand in offline formats. As part of the deal, Amazon will set up kiosks containing Amazon-sold smartphones in 40 store fronts owned and operated by Vodafone, as well as Amazon-trained customer service associates that will show off the devices and let consumers physically hold devices and build up confidence in the brand before buying online.
Arun Srinivasan, category leader of consumer electronics at Amazon India, told The Economic Times that the partnership with Vodafone is almost exclusively aimed at educating Indian consumers about the convenience and choice that comes with switching to online shopping.
"With an aim to acquire incremental set of customers who are not yet shopping online, we are focusing on providing them with opportunities to experience the benefits of shopping on Amazon.in and build trust in the brand," Srinivasan said in an emailed statement.
If Amazon sees some traction with its in-store online outreach program, it might come back to Vodafone with an even more aggressive plan. The telecom provider currently runs about 10,000 store fronts of various sizes within India, and if the 40-store pilot goes off without a hitch, it would be a classic Amazon move to expand across the country as rapidly as possible.