In order to gain a foothold in the fast-growing e-commerce market, Amazon has recruited hundreds of small companies locally to help them deliver packages to remote users, including using airplanes to transport parcels to Leh at an altitude of 3,524 meters (Leh) ).
Leh is located at the western end of the Himalayas. This is a small town that seems to have been forgotten by modern technology. The Internet and mobile phone services are relatively rare. The two roads leading to the outside world are covered by snow and ice in winter.
However, every morning, the convenience brought by the digital age will also come to this town, because a plane will carry 15 to 20 Amazon parcels from the sky. With an altitude of 3,524 meters, Leh is the highest location for the Amazon Express service.
When the plane flew to New York from New Delhi, Amazon’s local partner, Incredible Himalaya’s staff, took over the parcels and then used vans to transport them to an inconspicuous warehouse nearby. Eshai ·, 26, is the nephew of the owner of the warehouse, who supervises the classification of the parcels and then delivers some parcels in person.
The courier must strictly abide by the standards set by Amazon, such as wearing non-open toe shoes, presenting your ID card to the customer, carrying a fully charged mobile phone with you, and so on.
In order to better serve the remote areas, Amazon began to provide home delivery services in Leh last fall. Since Incredible Himalaya received delivery services from local postal services, Leh's local merchandise sales have increased 12 times. Previously, the local postal service was slower, and customers were required to pick up the parcel in person at the post office.
Local delivery partners like Incredible Himalaya are critical to Amazon's global strategy. Last week, Amazon also announced a similar plan in the United States to attract more small companies to join Amazon's delivery network to resolve the "last mile" problem of delivery.
Randall and other couriers mainly use motorcycles to deliver goods to consumers. They occasionally use cars when it is snowing in winter. However, in the narrow and rugged Leh, the two-wheeled vehicle is more practical than the four wheels.
Skalzing Dolma is a frequent visitor to Amazon and the first stop for Randall to deliver the parcel today. She received sheets and eyeshadows.
Doma buys a variety of goods through Amazon, including clothing and kitchen utensils, and her spending on Amazon.com is estimated at 100,000 rupees (about $1,500). Due to the limited variety of products in local stores in Leh, cosmetics and clothing on Amazon's website are very popular with local consumers.
From order to door-to-door delivery, it usually takes 5-7 days, slightly slower than Amazon's “two-day” service in some big cities, but it is much faster than the 30-day time required by the local post office.
Rigzin Dolker used to work in a call center in Delhi, and in July this year she will welcome her child's birth. Dork found that shopping through Amazon is far more convenient than a long journey into the city, she began to buy baby clothes and cosmetics in Amazon.
In fact, Leh seems to be not a market that can attract global e-commerce giants like Amazon. Internet services there are often dropped, and it may take weeks or even months to break in the winter. After the snowfall, the road to the outside world will be severely blocked.
But Amazon is looking at the future. Today, e-commerce is growing rapidly around the world, and developing countries are undoubtedly a major battleground. Many local consumers have just learned to shop online, and user loyalty has not yet been established.
By shipping the parcels by air to the city, Amazon may never make money from local users. But Amazon believes that profits from big cities will be subsidized to people in remote areas.
Tim Collid, vice president of global logistics operations at Amazon, said: “We want to provide logistics convenience to all our customers. Over time, the economic laws will solve the problems themselves. ”
Amazon’s strategy has already affected local businesses in Leh, Tsering Electronics owner Nawang · Nawang Shispa said sales of mobile phones and accessories in its stores have fallen since Amazon accelerated the delivery rate in Leh. 10%.
Even so, Tsering Electronics' salespersons have their own countermeasures. For example, one of the salespeople sold a new OPPO smartphone to the 16-year-old Jigmat Amo at a price slightly lower than Amazon.
Amo said she had doubts about Amazon since she found that the handbags and ballet shoes he bought did not match the photos.
Liaqat Ali, the owner of the grocery store Singay General Store, believes that traditional retail stores and Amazon have enough market space. Ali's business is booming, and some of the goods that people urgently need, such as groceries and diapers, are selling well.
He said: "For the Leh consumer, Amazon is still a new thing, the Internet here is not very stable. If you buy diapers, you have to wait a week to 10 days. ”
Randall said that in addition to delivering packages and managing delivery warehouses, he also taught people how to shop on Amazon. He said: "Before I joined Amazon, my friend called me & lsquo;Eshay& rsquo;. And now, they call me & ldquo;Amazon & rsquo;. ”