Flipkart’s premium subscription service Flipkart First that offers same day delivery, free shipping, apart from priority customer service, has gone live today. The company had announced its plans to launch such a service last month.
It will charge Rs 500 annually for the service, but it is being offered for free till September 2014 to the first 75,000 customers who signed up for it. Do note that this service is only valid for products sold by WS-Retail and not for all products sold on Flipkart marketplace. This is similar to Amazon Prime available in western markets. However, Amazon offers movie streaming as a part of the service for Prime customers, that is priced at $99 a year.
Update: Flipkart has clarified that the service will be extended to products sold by other partners on Flipkart over time.
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 in April for an introductory price of Rs 140 for goods sold by WS-Retail. 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 products 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. It needs to be seen how much Amazon will charge for such a service when they bring Prime to India.
Corrigendum: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that Flipkart was offering 60-day replacement guarantee as part of the subscription service.