Here’s How The Flipkart Plus Scheme Compares With Amazon Prime

The free Flipkart Plus loyalty scheme goes up against the paid Amazon Prime membership programme. But will it work?

Tech News
3 min read
Here’s How The Flipkart Plus Scheme Compares With Amazon Prime

Flipkart played the waiting game, while Amazon set about its business in the Indian online shopping segment with aplomb. It has managed that by offering free quick delivery, and backed it up with solid entertainment content on Prime Video and then Prime Music.

Although it doesn’t have a content offering, Flipkart is calling its loyalty program Flipkart Plus, which is likely to be launched on 15 August.

Flipkart, which was recently bought by Walmart has been quiet for a while in the market, but with Plus it will be hoping to grab the attention of consumers, who have slowly been gravitating towards Amazon in recent times. How is Flipkart Plus different from Amazon’s Prime membership scheme? Here are the details.


Flipkart Plus vs Amazon Prime

Flipkart Plus is a free-of-cost loyalty programme, unlike Amazon Prime, which costs Rs 999 annually. It isn’t surprising that Flipkart is playing a different game in the membership business.

After all, Flipkart doesn’t have movies or a music catalogue to boast of. The smart money for Flipkart is to have partnerships with existing players like Hotstar and even Netflix if possible.

Flipkart plans to re-launch a loyalty programme to compete with Amazon Prime.
Flipkart plans to re-launch a loyalty programme to compete with Amazon Prime.
(Photo: Reuters)

Flipkart wants to retain regular customers, as well as convert casual buyers into regulars. Every time a buyer buys products from Flipkart, they will get coins called Plus Coins that gets added to their Loyalty wallet.

The more one shops on Flipkart, the more coins get added to the wallet (like credit points). If one accumulates these coins, they can be used for deals with Flipkart’s partners, with brands like Zomato for food delivery and joints like Cafe Coffee Day or even Pizza Hut.

Besides these benefits, one also gets regular stuff like fast delivery options, early access to some exclusive products and discounts on products as well.

There’s still no guarantee that consumers will find Flipkart Plus appealing, even though it doesn’t cost a penny. We still don’t know the fine details of Flipkart Plus and how much the Plus Coins are valued at, for each purchase made by the consumer.

Second Time Lucky?

Flipkart Plus is not the first time Flipkart is trying its luck in the loyalty programme space. It had rolled out a programme called Flipkart First, and industry experts believe it failed because of Flipkart’s half-baked approach towards it.

Will things be different this time? Well, Walmart will be hoping that its strategy for Flipkart to battle it out with Amazon gets fresh impetus.

Amazon Prime Video rivals Netflix and Hotstar in India.
Amazon Prime Video rivals Netflix and Hotstar in India.
(Photo: iStock altered by The Quint)

Amazon has thrived with Prime in the Indian market, with the company claiming that since its launch in 2016, Amazon Prime accounts for 35 percent of all orders on the Amazon India website. Flipkart will be hoping for similar returns with Flipkart Plus, but with no subscription money to bank on, the business model may get revised every now and then, as it isn’t really a revenue spinner.

All in all, it’s hard to justify the Amazon Prime vs Flipkart Plus comparison, as they are different business models, especially when the latter comes free of cost. It’ll be interesting to see if the lure of free which often works in the Indian market, benefits Flipkart.

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