India’s largest ecommerce firm Flipkart is all set to launch a loyalty programme for customers by early August. This attempt has been madeto challenge Amazon’s subscription service Prime that has become popular with customers.The battle to acquire customers is intensified within Indian ecommerce space, and the rumours of the launch of Flipkart Plus on August 15 which is quite true. Flipkart Plus has been introduced to take on Amazon Prime scheme, with a no-fee points based programme for regular customers of Flipkart (customers will earn points or coins with every purchase).
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This is India’s first programme that is the result of years of Flipkart’s deep understanding of customer preferences and rigorous data analysis. Under Flipkart Plus, in addition to benefits on its own platform, it promises a superior experience for customers across all touch points .The firm will offer more discounts, free and faster product deliveries to the customers and other rewards to Flipkart Plus subscribers on platforms like Hotstar, Zomato, Makemytrip and Café Coffee Day. Also it provides a facility to unlock a world of benefits across shopping, travel, content and a yearly subscription to Hotstar when customers have earned enough coins. Moreover, Flipkart has planned in the coming few months, it will keep adding more internet and consumer brand partners to the programme.
The programme also provides an early access to major sale events such as big festive season sales, and an enhanced customer support experience. When a customer completes a purchase on Flipkart, he earns a certain amount of Plus points. The more he shops, the more Plus points he will earn. With more Plus points, he can unlock key rewards and benefits.
This loyalty programme to take on Amazon Prime will be Flipkart’s second effort at a loyalty service after its Flipkart First programme fizzled out because the firm didn’t push it aggressively. In an interview,it has been reported that this programme will be different from the earlier initiative (Flipkart First). Even when rival Amazon’s subscription service ‘Prime’ has seen fast adoption in the country since its launch in 2016, Flipkart has strived hard to bring back its loyalty programme. According to the sources, to spend on services under the programme for the next three years, this Bengaluru-headquartered company has set aside about Rs 1,178 crore. Along with the other benefits, it also offers early access to deals and other privileges across its group companies including Phone-Pe and Myntra once a customer hits a certain threshold of purchases.
Flipkart Plus will compete with Amazon Prime which is offering membership scheme at an annual price of Rs 999 that comes bundled with faster & free delivery, early access to major sales, dedicated Prime Day sale and also provides a free subscription to Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime Music services in the country. Plus, whereas is a no-fee, point based programme.
The main aim of Flipkart’s programme is to reduce Amazon’s increasing dominance in urban areas.Flipkart has also agreed to sell majority stake to Walmart, if Plus becomes popular in near future as Walmart is expected to give Flipkart long-term funds to compete with Amazon and allow it to put all its energies toward expanding sales.Popularity of Prime has increased well in India and has become an important differentiator for Amazon in its battle against Flipkart, comprising 30% of all orders on Amazon India.
The main aim to launch Plus is to deeply understand the Indian customer and solve for them meaningfully not only to a particular section of the society but appeals to a wider audience. The CEO of Flipkart, Kalyan Krishnamurthy said “We have crafted Flipkart Plus as India’s most inclusive customer benefits program and we’re extremely thrilled to launch it this Independence Day,”
This initiative have been taken by Flipkart to improve customer loyalty and increase spending on its platform from existing customers. There are variety of changes made, other than just providing the benefits, like shaving off the membership fee and design choices such as keeping currency at the centre and making it accessible to wider audience.This programme will act as a catalyst in the evolution of e-commerce in India