Online retail giant Amazon is partnering with India’s second largest operator Vodafone to sell handsets at the operator’s retail outlets in a move to boost its offline presence in the country.
The two firms starting selling handsets available on Amazon at 40 Vodafone shops in Bengaluru, the Economic Times said. The idea is to attract buyers, who are reluctant to shop online, to brick-and-mortar stores.
According to the Times, each Vodafone shop will sell smartphones exclusively available on Amazon India at a dedicated display counter and will have specialist training by Amazon.
The companies reportedly plan to expand the initiative to all of Vodafone’s 10,000 odd shops across India.
Amazon aims to leverage the cooperation to boost online sales of smartphones to compete with rival e-tailer Flipkart, which has lined up a number of exclusive handset distribution deals with Xiaomi, Lenovo, Coolpad and OnePlus, the Times reported. Smartphones account for the largest share of the online retailer’s gross merchandise value in India.
Amazon announced earlier in the month it plans to invest an additional $3 billion to expand its business in India, where it already employs 45,000 people.