It’s simply raining offers and discounts for consumers these days. After availing huge discounts and free delivery services from Amazon Prime, now it’s time to make use of Flipkart Plus. Yes, to take on its arch rival Amazon’s Prime service, Flipkart is gearing up to launch a loyalty program called ‘Flipkart Plus’ on this Independence Day, i.e., August 15. Seems like it’s time for consumers to get ready for another shopping bonanza!
What is Flipkart Plus
As mentioned already, ‘Flipkart Plus’ is a loyalty program through which this e-commerce platform is going to challenge Amazon Prime in India. It is a no-cost membership model, through which customers can earn reward points for every purchase they make whether mobiles, home appliances, or books.
The reward points are called ‘Plus coins’ and one needs 50 such coins or reward points to get membership of Flipkart Plus. You can win 1 Plus coin on the purchase of every Rs. 250 on Flipkart, subject to a maximum of 10 coins per order. Apart from that, you do not need to pay any extra subscription fee.
With Flipkart Plus, consumers can access benefits like free delivery and early access to Flipkart’s sale events like Big Billion Days and Big shopping Days. Members can also avail priority customer service and exchange offers besides getting rewards across different brands as per the number of transactions they make.
The membership program will officially start on August 15. At present, it is available as a part of new app update on the Flipkart app for a limited number of users. It is basically done to test the service on the Flipkart app before the final rollout takes place on August 15.
Flipkart Plus Vs Amazon Prime
Right after its announcement, Flipkart Plus is being compared with the Amazon Prime, although there are some fundamental differences between the two programs. The basic difference between the two is that Flipkart Plus is free, i.e., you do not have to pay any membership fee, while to avail the Amazon Prime service, you need to pay a subscription fee, either annually or monthly. The annual fee for Amazon Prime is Rs. 999 and the monthly fee is Rs.129.
Moreover, Amazon also offers some exclusive deals on mobiles, smartphones, home appliances, electronics, and Amazon devices like Amazon Echo for prime members. Flipkart Plus, on the other hand, is a points-based program that allows customers to earn Plus coins with each order they place, just like credit points. These coins can be used for availing benefits not only in shopping but also in travel and other categories.
So, the benefits one gets will basically depend on the Plus coins or loyalty points he or she earns. Further details of the program, as well as the value of the Plus coins, will come to the light only after the program is launched.
Will Flipkart Plus Outplay Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime has become a defining factor for Amazon in India in the last few years. In fact, it comprises 35% of all orders on Amazon India. Despite the fact that one needs to pay an annual or monthly subscription fee for Amazon Prime, It has become extremely popular for its streaming services like Prime Video and Prime Music.
But, Flipkart does not provide such services. So, in order to compete with Amazon Prime, it is going to rely on a no-cost membership program. The free strategy is going to be the biggest strength of Flipkart Plus, as the Indian market usually responds to such strategies positively.
So, to counter the popularity of Prime Video and Prime Music, it will have to partner with some popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hotstar. Flipkart has reportedly partnered with a number of Internet companies like Hotstar, Zomato, MakeMyTrip, and Café Coffee Day to offer more benefits to consumers.
If we consider the nature of Amazon Prime and Flipkart Plus services, the former appeals to the connected shoppers, who not only shop online but also stream music and videos. On the other hand, Flipkart Plus is likely to attract the regular shoppers who do online shopping but do not use the Internet for music or video streaming or do not want to pay for it.
So, while free membership and the ability to earn Plus coins will give Flipkart Plus an edge, the Prime Video and Prime Music are going to be the strengths of Amazon Prime in this battle.
As of now, it is hard to tell whether Flipkart Plus will outsmart Amazon Prime or will fizzle out like its predecessor, ‘Flipkart First’. The ‘Flipkart First’ was the first loyalty program launched by this e-commerce platform, which failed to make much of an impact.
However, things might take a different turn this time, as the retail giant Walmart’s entry as the controlling shareholder is likely to give a boost to Flipkart financially and enable it to compete with Amazon.
But the details of the Plus program, especially how much the Plus coins will be valued at are yet to be revealed by Flipkart. So, it is hard to predict whether Indian consumers will respond overwhelmingly to this free service, just the way it did for Jio. Right now, all we can do is to wait till August 15 to get a clear picture of Flipkart Plus.
Image Credit: Stories.flipkart.com