Flipkart First, an annual subscription service for frequent shoppers that was announced last month, has finally gone live starting Wednesday. Users who are interested in the service can pay a subscription fee of Rs. 500 per year. However, the 75,000 customers from the lucky draw announced in May get the subscription free of cost till September 10.
According to the e-commerce giant, the Flipkart First annual subscription service will offer customers unlimited access to In-a-Day Guarantee delivery; free standard delivery with no minimum purchase price; Same-day Guarantee delivery at a discounted price, and a bonus 60-day replacement guarantee, instead of the usual 30-day period. In addition, the Flipkart First annual subscription service will also offer customers access to priority customer service with minimal waiting period.
The email sent to the 75,000 lucky draw winners reads, "As you already know, you are one of the 75,000 winners of a 3-month free subscription to Flipkart First. We are happy to inform that you can begin using the Flipkart First service immediately, valid for a three-month period between June 11, 2014 and Sept 10, 2014."
Notably, the Flipkart First service is similar to the Amazon Prime premium subscription service in the US, and it will be interesting to see if this forces Amazon to bring Prime to India.
The Amazon Prime service offers customers in the US a free two-day shipping on orders with no minimum order size. It even gives access to unlimited instant streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video (available in US) and also offers free books every month via Kindle First and the Kindle owners' lending library. Amazon Prime annual subscription service is available at $99 (Rs. 6,000 approximately) for one year.
It's worth mentioning that Amazon.in, Amazon's Indian online store, had launched the 'guaranteed one-day delivery' offer first for few select Indian cities, at an extra charge last year. However, Amazon India is yet to announce an annual subscription service for the Indian market.
Snapdeal, following the lead of Amazon India and Flipkart, introduced its version of guaranteed same-day shipping, called 'Express Delivery' in January this year.