E-commerce firms offer offline assistance to shoppers to lure them online

Offering offline assistance to shoppers may be a way for e-tailers to lure customers online.

Times of India reports that Amazon India is expanding its offline presence in the country as it looks to further localise its offering and bring on board customers who are still reluctant to shop online. The e-tailer has tied up with Vodafone India, the country's second-largest telecom operator by customers, to provide a touch-and-feel experience of smartphones like One-Plus 3, which sell exclusively on the platform.

Amazon India and Vodafone have started pilots of this service in Bengaluru, across 40 stores owned by the telecom major. The tie up with Vodafone follows the expansion of Amazon's assisted shopping programme, called Udaan, to over 1,000 outlets in tier-II and tier-III cities across the country.

While Vodafone declined to comment to an emailed query, an Amazon India spokesperson confirmed the development. As part of the tie-up, each Vodafone store now has a display case with mobile phones listed on Amazon and a product specialist trained by the e-tailer. Customers can try out phones, especially as several smartphones are now exclusively launched and sold on Amazon India without any offline presence. Customers can order the product online from the store, and also come back to it for any post-purchase help.

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