In its effort to rebuild its own ecommerce ecosystem, India’s ecommerce behemoth Flipkart is reportedly considering to relaunch its loyalty programme ‘Flipkart First’ to take on Amazon Prime. The online retailer has held talks with online travel and event-booking portals MakeMyTrip and BookMyShow and cab aggregator Ola to provide its consumers more value-added services through Flipkart First, according to a Livemint news.
In June 2014, Flipkart had launched its loyalty programme Flipkart First, a premium subscription-based services to provide free fast delivery, discounted same day delivery and priority customer services. However, unlike Amazon Prime, it failed to deliver consumers, an access to a multitude of solutions through a single subscription-based window. It must be noted that Amazon Prime has gone beyond free-fast delivery services; the Prime portal Primevideo, as part of Prime offer is now taking on online entertainment giant Netflix by offering thousands of videos, recorded concerts and exclusive shows exclusively for the Indian audience.
Unlike in 2014, this time, Flipkart having raised over $3 Bn from Microsoft and SoftBank, the company has a better chance to leverage its loyalty programme through unique offerings. Inc42 has earlier reported on Flipkart talks with Ola, BookMyShow, MMT and Future Lifestyle. While the online retail giant is looking to forge a strategic partnership with BookMyShow to boost its entertainment offerings against rivals like Amazon and Paytm, with Ola and MMT the company is considering to provide consumers with an access to online travel-booking services along with last mile connectivity. The customers might avail Flipkart services on the go too.
Also, with Microsoft onboard, the company aims to bolster AI programmes to make its consumers avail more personalised choice with a simpler view. In February, this year, MS Chief Satya Nadela had announced a partnership with Flipkart to enhance the latter’s AI and cloud capabilities based on Microsoft’s Azure platform. Microsoft has also invested $1.4 Bn in the ecommerce company, recently.
Flipkart’s cofounder Sachin Bansal has also joined hands with MMT, Ola to set-up a desi lobby group Indiatech.org to encourage Indian startups and lobby on policy matters pertaining to Indian startups.
An initiative to join hands with other online platforms to enhance consumers’ experience on its platform will definitely enhance the Flipkart ecosystem against Amazon. Strengthening its fundamentals, Flipkart has recently invested $460 Mn in its logistics firm Ekart and has also acquired an IT and mobile repair services company F1 Info Solutions to improve upon the services part.