Flipkart has launched an annual subscription service called Flipkart First that is similar to Amazon Prime, and offers same day delivery, free shipping, 60-day replacement guarantee, apart from priority customer service. It is now offering the service to 75,000 people on a three-months free trial basis. The company has not revealed how much it will charge for the service as yet. (hat tip: Ram)
Amazon offers movie streaming as a part of the service in western countries for Prime customers, but it does not offer any such service in India. Flipkart does not have any content subscription service as of now. It had shut down its music service last year and does not have a movie streaming service either. However, it does sell e-books so that leaves us with a possibility of a book subscription service down the line.
Flipkart had launched same day delivery service last month for an introductory price of Rs 140 for goods sold by WS-Retail. It is not clear if Flipkart’s subscription service also applies to products sold by other retailers on the service. The service will help Flipkart one-up other e-commerce companies in India. Amazon and Snapdeal offers one-day delivery in India and Amazon recently started working with kirana stores for in-store pick-up service.
With same day delivery and now a subscription service, Flipkart has also increased the chances of people buying the services from its service. Amazon managed to create a sort of lock-in with Prime in western markets and Flipkart is trying to do the same in India. That said, fast delivery alone won’t be enough, it needs to offer content as well, before Amazon makes the move. Otherwise the first mover advantage will be lost.
Update: Here’s the statement from Flipkart spokesperson on the service launch
“We are looking at various options that we can include as part of this service – but won’t be able to disclose any details at present. The fee will also be revealed soon.”