Almost a month after announcing its plans for its second foray into customer loyalty programmes, Flipkart has finally set the August 15 for the launch of its customer benefits plan Flipkart Plus — a no-fee membership programme.
Flipkart Plus is an India-first benefits programme, which, according to the company, is the result of years of rigorous data analysis of customer preferences.
It will enable all Flipkart customers to earn ‘Plus Coins’ with each order, which can later be redeemed to avail of benefits across shopping, travel, and content on the platform
Further, all major internet companies will participate in this initiative, offering a number of benefits to the Indian consumers under one roof. Also, it will offer other privileges across its group companies, including Phone-Pe and Myntra.
The ‘Festive Pass’, which was launched during the company’s annual flagship sale in September 2017 was a testing phase of this loyalty programme to understand the market before full-fledged launch of the service.
Flipkart had tied up with MakeMyTrip, Gaana, Uber, and Hotstar for ‘festive pass’ and these tie-ups are expected to be a part of the loyalty programme too.
“While the prevalent norm for customer rewards programs is to provide benefits in the core business of a company, Flipkart Plus strives to extend benefits to an ecosystem of partners from which customers can choose from,” said the company in a media statement.
The key highlights of the Flipkart Plus programme include:
- Free and fast delivery
- Early access to major sale events such as big festive season sales
- Enhanced customer support experience
“At Flipkart, we deeply understand the Indian customer and solve for them meaningfully. This means that everything we do is not just limited to a particular section of the society but appeals to a wider audience. With that in mind, we have crafted Flipkart Plus as India’s most inclusive customer benefits program and we’re extremely thrilled to launch it this Independence Day,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart.
Earlier, in 2014, Flipkart had launched and then rolled back its loyalty programme due to lukewarm response, while its arch-rival Amazon continued to increase the customer base of its subscription-based Prime service, which offers fast and one-day delivery, among other benefits.
With Flipkart Plus, the Walmart backed company is again attempting to ace its rival Amazon’s Prime programme in the country. At present Amazon Prime is offering benefits like fast and free delivery and other rewards for INR 499/ year. Most recently, Amazon India also announced its plans to leverage its hyperlocal app — Prime Now — in the top four Indian cities to offer ultra-fast two-hour deliveries to customers across categories, including smartphones and consumer electronics.
Most of the customer loyalty programmes tend to fail in India as they require a long wait to avail the benefits of the programme. however, with the advent of online retail and digital payments, the scenario has changed a lot. In fact, Amazon Prime is considered more of a privileged programme thereby offering instant gratification to the users. Thus, Flipkart Plus must be read to face off with Amazon Prime considering the popularity it has already gained.