Flipkart has called Flipkart Plus an ‘India-first program’ that is ‘designed to delight.’ The aim is to take on Amazon Prime, the very successful membership programme by Amazon.
The battle of the biggies has just taken another huge turn. In the race to dominate India’s e-commerce space, Flipkart, the country’s leading e-tailer has launched Flipkart Plus today, to take on global behemoth, Amazon. What is Flipkart Plus? What are the benefits of getting it? How is it different from Amazon Prime, and indeed, Flipkart’s own one-time venture Flipkart First... These will be among the questions we will be answering today in our Story of the Day. My name is Rakesh, and this is Moneycontrol.
Flipkart has launched its customer loyalty programme today – it’s called Flipkart Plus. Flipkart has called it an ‘India-first program’ that is ‘designed to delight.’ The aim is obviously to take on Amazon Prime, the very successful membership programme by Amazon. Flipkart Plus offers among other things free delivery on select products, early and exclusive access to sale events and priority customer service. The déjà vu is strong with this one because it’s Flipkart’s second round on the carousel with a loyalty programme. Flipkart First, launched in 2014 for a membership fee of Rs 500, had its quiet demise a few years after its launch. Plus differs from First in one key element – it’s free.
How do I sign up?
Our very own Binu Panicker sums up the hows and whats for us on a piece for Moneycontrol.
Flipkart Plus membership is free and Flipkart's logged-in users can join by clicking on the Join for Free button for an annual membership. However, there is a catch - a user would still need 50 'coins' in order to join.
Some members have been gifted the 50 coins by the company basis their purchase history -- so they can sign up immediately -- others would have to make purchases in order to get the 50 coins.
The coin math is this: A user earns 1 coin on every Rs 250 spent, limited to maximum of 10 coins per transaction. This means the ceiling is Rs 2,500 per transaction. Five such purchases would earn the user 50 coins. So well, you need to shop for Rs 12,500 worth of stuff in five separate instalments to get you up to 50 coins post which you become a Plus member. Something like Farmville for shoppers.
What benefits do I get?
Members will get Free Plus Fast delivery on purchase of any Flipkart Assured products.
- Early access to products during sales on Flipkart including its biggest annual sale, the Big Billion Days.
- Enhanced Plus Priority customer support which ensures Plus members get a priority helpline.
- Other than these benefits, Plus members earn coins every time they make purchase on Flipkart. These coins can be exchanged for rewards such as free vouchers on BookMyShow, free MakeMyTrip gift card, free annual subscription of Zomato Gold, free annual subscription of Hotstar Premium, etc.- As a welcome offer, Flipkart also offers its Plus users free vouchers from its partners such as BookMyShow, Chai Point and Ixigo. A recap in bullet points please, you ask? Here you go:
- A ₹1,000 voucher on Flipkart
- A ₹1,200 voucher on BookMyShow
- An annual subscription to Hotstar Premium
- An annual subscription to Zomato Gold
- A ₹1,100 gift card for MakeMyTrip
- There are other perks of being Plus as well. Flipkart Plus members would be privy to offers like getting Rs 100 off on movie tickets via BookMyShow, Rs 550 off on flight bookings via ixigo and a free beverage at Cafe Coffee Day and ChaiPoint. To check what other offers you might have at your disposal, you need to log into your account, click on My Accounts, go to the Plus Zone, and check the Offers section. Click on a button that handily says ‘Claim Offer,’ and the coupon code will appear in the Claimed Offers section if you want to use it in future. Just to make sure you have double confirmation, you will also get these details in the inbox of the registered email address.
Compare and contrast: Flipkart plus Vs Amazon Prime
Well, the main difference is of course money. Flipkart Plus is free to join – albeit with the 50 Coin requirement I spoke of – while Amazon Prime costs money. Specifically, Rs 129 a month or Rs 999 a year. Both the services offer free deliveries and early access to their landmark sales.
With Prime membership you get access to Prime Video, and to counter that, Plus gives you access to Hotstar Premium for a year. For all those HBO shows you missed out on TV. Because you know, it’s not TV, it’s HBO.
With Prime, it’s not just video, you also get access to Prime Music. Plus does not yet have an audio aspect to it, but it hopes to sound music in your ear by offering a free Zomato Gold membership – 1+1. 2+2, and after that you lose count, because ethanol &tcc.
You can also earn more coins as you go along and more offers will open up depending on the accumulation of your coin wealth. Capitalism and all that.
Meanwhile in more Flipkart news...
Flipkart is set to revise its fee structure on Friday, a move that could make products sold on its platform cheaper in the run-up to Diwali. The holiday season is a lucrative period for etailers, as consumers shop more, cashing in on the discounts on offer. Both Flipkart and rival Amazon had offered steep discounts as a part of its sale commemorating Independence Day.
Flipkart is mulling a change to its seller policy by dropping a ‘fixed fee’ across categories on its platform. This would eliminate a fee on pre-orders made on products. It will also cut back on commissions on categories like fashion and wearables.
The changes come into effect on goods across all price points. In April, the e-tailer had reduced the fixed fee and also its commission exclusively on low-priced goods. Flipkart will forego commission in the range of Rs 5 to Rs 12 on goods belonging to different price points and categories.
For goods priced between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, the fixed fee is being reduced to Rs 15 from Rs 20 previously. The difference may be small, but the impact on profits could be significant as a large chunk of orders fall within this price bracket. The fixed fee on goods priced at Rs 1,000 and above will be slashed from Rs 40 to Rs 30 under the new regime.
A spokesperson for Flipkart told the Times of India that new policy was being adopted to incentivize sellers on its platform. With the e-commerce space becoming ever more competitive, a wider bouquet of goods becomes all the more important.
Sellers have gravitated to Amazon, and Flipkart will be looking to reverse this trend. Bengaluru-headquartered Flipkart claims to have 1 lakh sellers, almost a fourth of Amazon’s 3.8 lakh sellers.In a battle with two viable competitors, the winner is usually a third. In this case, you and I. Brace yourself for prime advantages in this plus-sized instalment of consumerism.