Online to Offline

Online start-ups are headed the omni-channel way, but integration remains key

In November 2015, Amazon surprised everyone by opening its first bookstore in Seattle. Imagine wading into the very arena that you had helped diminish, albeit 20 years later. Why was the e-commerce giant doing that? As analysts fished for answers, Amazon launched Project Udaan in India. The plan was to go offline by tying up with small traders and retail points such as mobile shops and medical outlets. “Over the past three years in India, we witnessed growing interest from people. But for many, who wanted to participate as active customers, lack of digital access, digital illiteracy, trust, language and payment processes acted as barriers. With the aim of addressing this,