Amazon plans to tap students, housewives to speed up deliveries


June 14, 2019

Written By Deepti Chaudhary

A retail consultant says Amazon Flex will help the company handle demand peaks and improve service performance (Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint)

Bengaluru: Amazon India is set to offer students, homemakers and retired professionals part-time jobs, thus killing two birds with one stone—ensuring faster deliveries during peak season and creating Uber-style flexible jobs.

Fast and reliable delivery is the most important part of the e-commerce business, along with the right product assortment. Over the years, Amazon India has introduced several ways of offering definitive and faster deliveries, including one-day, two-day and scheduled deliveries. Prime offers assured next-day delivery on certain products and Prime Now provides two-hour delivery for groceries.

Now, with Amazon Flex, as the initiative is called, Amazon India expects to create job opportunities for thousands, giving them the chance to make some extra money during their free time.

The person needs to work for four hours a day and can earn ₹120-140 an hour delivering packages. The “part time delivery partner” will be paid every Wednesday.

“While we continue to scale our existing delivery capabilities across the country, Amazon Flex will enable Amazon to continue growing our capacity to serve more customers and speed up deliveries,” said Akhil Saxena, vice-president (Asia Customer Fulfilment) at Amazon. The company ran a pilot for two weeks before launching it in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi, with more cities planned to be included later this year.

India is the seventh country where Amazon has launched Amazon Flex. It has been operational in North America, Germany, Spain, Japan, Singapore and the UK, where it grew delivery capacity and sped up deliveries for customers.

Amazon entered India in 2013 and delivers to over 99.9% PIN codes. Its catalogue offers nearly 170 million products from over 400,000 sellers. Last year, it boosted its infrastructure (fulfilment centres) by 1.5 times in storage volume to more than 20 million cubic feet over that of 2017.

“There is a stickiness that comes with faster, reliable deliveries. It’s not important that it comes in 1-2 hours (barring groceries and medicines),” said Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of retail consultancy Third Eyesight. “The competition here is (with) malls and shops that give instant gratification. Hence, the earlier the product comes, the better it is. It takes away the desire to check out alternatives.”

According to Dutta, Amazon Flex will help the company handle demand peaks and improve service performance. “In retail, particularly during peak seasons, brands hire part-time workers as there are more transactions and footfalls. Amazon India is doing the same, it’s not seasonal, though. There are days in a week when deliveries are high, which can stress the current network of an e-tailer.”

Since 2013, Amazon has invested nearly $5 billion in India, mostly on innovation, infrastructure and technology.

Source: livemint