Amazon is expanding its Easy Ship service in India, and has started a pilot programme for product returns in 10 cities across seven product categories.
Amit Deshpande, Director Seller Service, Amazon India, told NDTV Gadgets in an email interview that the move would help make Easy Ship a “complete end-to-end logistics service for sellers” using the firm’s platform.
The Amazon Easy Ship service was launched in India this April alongside Self Service Registration (SSR), and both services were aimed at simplifying the selling experience. With Easy Ship, after order confirmation, sellers have to pack the shipment and confirm to Amazon they are ready to ship. Amazon Logistics then collects the shipment and ensures that the product is delivered to customers in 2-4 days.
Deshpande described the Easy Ship serve as a win-win for both sellers and customers, saying, “Sellers benefit from low shipping rates, COD and pre-paid orders, scheduled pickups, faster delivery and automated shipment tracking. Customers get trackable shipments, COD and prepaid orders and faster and predictable delivery time.”
At time of rollout in April however, product returns facility was not made available under the Easy Ship service.
With the addition of the product returns facility to Easy Ship, Deshpande said both customers and sellers will continue to benefit, “While customers would benefit as they no longer have to figure out how to return a package and which carrier to choose, sellers too will benefit from a better customer experience and do not have to worry about arranging returns.”
The product returns facility for the Easy Ship service is being piloted in Goa, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Vellore and Madurai across seven product categories – books, precious jewellery, luggage and bags, music, sports and fitness, movies and DVD, and video games. Amazon notably offers the Easy Ship service across 18 categories.
Deshpande said the Easy Ship service has seen strong uptake in India since its introduction in April, and that currently 50 percent of Amazon India’s seller base use the same. He added that on an average, sellers have witnessed 50 percent sales uplift using Easy Ship.
In case you are wondering, Easy Ship is different from another service the e-commerce major offers, called Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). With FBA, sellers store their products in Amazon’s warehouse whereas in Easy Ship sellers store their own inventory and Amazon ships them to the customers. With FBA, Amazon also packs and delivers orders to customers, provides customer service and handles returns. Both services support cash on delivery.
The Easy Ship service also allows sellers to manage their own inventory, and not worry about shipping their products to the limited number of Amazon warehouses in India. However, Deshpande adds the company is planning to expand its FBA service with the addition of more warehouses in the country, making it a more attractive option that give sellers the flexibility to choose between Easy Ship and FBA depending on their convenience.