Google is the latest technology giant in India looking to bring offline shops to the internet. But unlike Amazon and Reliance Jio, the company is going to use its widely popular search platform to be their source of shopping. According to ET report, Google will partner with a slew of offline Kirana stores and help them list their products which will be available via a simple search. For instance, if you Google for rice or cooking oil, the shops listing the items will be displayed as a result.
The program is running on a pilot in few cities right now, and the report states Google will launch it for all regions in the coming months. By signing up with offline retailers, Google is enabling them to digitise the business, something which is part of the online to offline (O2O) model adopted by Amazon and JioMart this year.
The report points out retailers like Sangeetha Mobiles and Lenskart in Bengaluru have used the program to test its effectiveness. Through this feature, users can view the products available at the particular store, make pre-orders for them without having to download a separate app and head over to the store or get them home delivered as per your convenience.
Google was quoted saying it doesn’t have a formal launch timeframe for this service in the country. But considering this is a pilot program, we expect the company to be signing up retailers as we speak.
This program to similar to Amazon’s Local Shops and JioMart from Reliance. With JioMart, it is easier for small merchants to do business without setting up a separate online site or platform. The platform allows customers to order products from the nearby local stores. However, the customers still need to go and collect the items they have ordered through the platform.
Amazon has been pilot testing the Local Shops over the past six months and it has signed up over 5,000 retailers during the time. The programme is said to help the offline retailers to reach the customers without worrying about the social distancing standards. The programme will help customers to discover products from local shops in their area.