In a competitive marketplace, companies are constantly working to outshine one another. With Amazon.in introducing Amazon Prime in July, it took Flipkart just a month to get back to them with Flipkart Assured.
The two e-retail stores offer a great choice to their customers, but with Amazon Prime and Flipkart Assured in place, to what extent is the customer experience going to differ, and is it really worth the hype? Let’s find out-
Through Amazon Prime, the company intends to offer FREE delivery (one-day, two-day or standard) on products that are labelled as Prime items.
Flipkart through its Assured label wishes to guarantee a better quality of service – delivery, return, and replacement. It claims that items that are labelled as Flipkart Assured will undergo stringent quality checks and customers will experience a ‘hassle-free’ delivery system.
Any Strings Attached?
The FREE delivery option offered by Amazon.in can be availed only if a customer becomes a Prime member. The service is available for a free 60-day trial, after which it will be Rs.499 (introductory offer) a year, while the actual cost is said to be Rs. 999.
Flipkart Assured is open to all its customers (making it its USP against Amazon.in), and the option of FREE delivery will be possible only if the product price is above Rs.500. Flipkart Assured does not guarantee one-day free delivery option, but plainly offers ‘Quality and Speed Assurance’.
Apart from promising FREE delivery, Amazon also promises 30-minute early access to its top ‘Lightning’ deals to all its Prime customers. Along with this, Prime customers also get access to unlimited streaming of Amazon Originals, blockbuster movies, and TV shows, though no mention has been made about access to e-books.
Being a service open to all customers, the Flipkart Assured label will guarantee customers that their selected products go through a 6-stage quality check, and are from Flipkart’s credible and reliable sellers. Flipkart guarantees a better return policy, fast and safe delivery of Assured products.
For any avid INDIAN shopper, quality and price take an upper hand than lavish services that could be obtained elsewhere. Amazon’s service seems to target a particular audience and not the mass in general, while Flipkart does the otherwise.
Though both promise better services, Flipkart Assured seems like a rectifying tool for the company’s past blunders, while Amazon Prime appears to open new forums for the Indian customer, to venture into.
It is also important to note that Flipkart’s service is more like an experiment, while Amazon’s Prime facility has been tested and approved all over the world. Then again, the Indian market is nothing like the other markets, and evaluating the success of the two services at this stage is a little too early.
The services offered will definitely help calm the skeptical Indian brain when it comes to shopping online, but there a lot more that the two companies can do to improve and add meaning to their Prime and Assured labels.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.