Amazon-Future tie-up spans verticals, initiatives; joint marketing on cards

The tie-up between e-tailer Amazon and Kishore-Biyani-led Future Retail will play out at multiple levels, top sources have told Business Standard. This includes conducting cross-promotions of brands across the two companies, coming up with joint marketing and innovation programmes, and achieving a sales target of Rs 1,000 crore in the next two years.

First up, as part of the agreement, will be the upcoming five-day Republic Day sales festival called ‘Sabse Saste Din’ at Big Bazaar. All deals that are part of the festival, starting from January 22-26, will be available on Amazon too, said persons in the know. This will, they said, reflect the online-offline partnership that Biyani, managing director of Future Retail and founder of Future Group, has been indicating for some time now.

Learnings from here are expected to be taken to all sales festivals that Big Bazaar will organise in the coming months, said persons in the know. 

Additionally, all food and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products from Future Consumer will be available on Amazon Pantry, while Future’s fashion and lifestyle brands will be part of Amazon Fashion’s catalogue.

The partnership will also see brand launches in food, FMCG, fashion, and lifestyle happen within Future Retail stores as well as the Amazon platform to improve visibility and reach.

Amazon is also pushing its Amazon Now app aggressively to its Prime members, for which it has enlisted Big Bazaar as its delivery partner. Two-hour deliveries are currently happening from 18 Big Bazaar stores in three cities, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi. 

As Amazon Now slowly but steadily integrates into the larger Amazon India app, more Big Bazaar stores will be pressed into service as delivery outlets for Prime members, said persons privy to the development. “The model will work in such a way that the moment a (Prime) subscriber has an order, the nearest Big Bazaar in that city will be alerted to provide delivery within two hours,” said an executive. Biyani was not immediately for comment.

Big Bazaar has over 300 stores in multiple cities and is expected to get an additional source of revenue through this arrangement.

Future and Amazon are also considering a tie-up of their online payment platforms (Amazon Pay and Future Pay) to ensure greater integration of services. The move may come as rival e-wallets such as Google Pay, Paytm, and PhonePe get aggressive in India.

At Amazon’s Smbhav event last week, Biyani had said that physical stores had their own advantages and digital or online platforms had their own set of benefits. “In another few years, the two will come together to become ‘phygital’,” he said, adding online-offline partnerships would gather pace in the future.

A recent Deloitte report says that e-commerce in India, currently at 3 per cent, will more than double to 7 per cent in terms of size in the next few years. Traditional trade, currently at 88 per cent, will reduce to about 75 per cent in terms of size, while modern trade will touch 18 per cent, from 9 per cent now.

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