Flipkart, the e-retail market leader,has launched same-day delivery across all categories, in 10 cities, today. The importance of customer service, especially in the last-mile delivery, is apparent as the Bangalore-based online marketplace has launched three new services in April.
The service will be available in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Manesar, Navi Mumbai, Thane and will be scaled up to other cities soon, according to a company statement.
The service will cost you ₹ 140 at the moment but after this Introductory offer is over, the charges will be raised to ₹ 200. According to the statement, if the product does not reach the customer within
a day the promised time, he/she will get the product free, up to a value of Rs 5,000, within 24 hours. Once the inaugural offer is over, if the company fails to deliver on time, the shipping charges will be refunded. Also, an amount of Rs 400 will be credited in the customer’s Flipkart wallet.
The seven-year-old firm, which reached the milestone of annual sales of US$1 billion (over Rs 6,000 crore) in March, has introduced deliveries on Sundays in 10 cities when a customer places an order on Saturday. Most other online sites do not deliver on Sundays. It is also piloting a “try and buy” for a few fashion categories like men’s and women’s jeans in Bangalore.
“We have been working on this service (same-day delivery) for quite some time and we felt this is the right time to launch,” said Sachin Bansal, co-founder and chief executive of Flipkart. “Customers want quick service and we are able to offer this to them at scale.”
These delivery features come at a time when there is a growing feeling among experts that Flipkart has been slipping up on customer service innovation and losing out to Amazon India.
Amazon.in, which entered the Indian market just 10 months ago, has scaled up its product selection rapidly and has about 23 categories offering over 15 million products. It launched women’s ethnic apparel less than a week ago. Earlier this month, Flipkart said it had millions of products across 21 categories and 40 sub-categories. At peaktimes, the Bangalore-based company ships 1.3 lakh products a day. Amazon India has been testing out a number of new features on the service side too. In March, it launched same-day delivery as a pilot, though only in Mumbai.
“Flipkart should know the Indian customer better and provide innovative solutions faster,” said Ashish Jhalani, head of advisory firm eTailing India. “They should figure out something that Amazon is just not able to do in India.” Flipkart’s Bansal said that that being the leader in innovation is important for the company. “But we do not believe in thinking small. We want to expand services to as many categories and geographies as possible.” In fact, the competition to provide better customer service in last-mile delivery is evident in the way Flipkart and Amazon have been playing catch up. You can check out the actual Offer page below.
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