Indian Online retailer, FlipKart, launches a members programme -- but at a price

Bangalore, May 8 2014: Airlines have their frequent flyer programmes, hotel have their loyalty schemes -- so why not likewise for online retailers? One  of India's leading  web retailers, Flipkart has launched Flipkart First,  a service that provides its members a host of exclusive benefits along with priority service features.
For starters customers who sign up for Flipkart First will be entitled to: Free shipping for all their orders; free In-a-day guarantee delivery; same day guarantee delivery at a discounted price;  60 days replacement policy; priority service from Customer Support

 However unlike most loyalty programmes Flipkart First  is not free. The company  is also inviting customers to submit their email IDs for this service. The online marketplace will randomly select 75,000 customers who will be able to avail of the Flipkart First service free of cost for three months. How much will they be asked to be afterwards? There is no clue at this time
Says Binny Bansal, Co-founder and COO: “As pioneers in the supply-chain space, we have always looked at launching innovative services and features to enhance customer experience in online shopping in India. We have a pulse on the Indian market and consumer trends. Today, the Indian customer is maturing, looking at value over cost - and services like these will push the ecosystem to another level.”

IndiaTechOnline comment: This is  good as far as it goes -- clearly FlipKart's pulse of the Indian consumer  leads it to believe  that  repeat customers don't need to be wooed with  any freebies; that they will queue up and pay for the privilege.  With our limited knowledge of the Indian customer and his/her   sharp eye for 'paisa vasool' , we   think consumers will see only a  limited value proposition if  FlipKart puts a price on efficient delivery and also demands an annual subscription to get the benefits.

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