Racing against Amazon, Flipkart starts next-day delivery service

Racing against Amazon, Flipkart starts next-day delivery service

(Image credit: Forbes India)

In what could looks to be a new trend in India’s e-commerce industry, Flipkart has come up with a speedy delivery service that guarantees to deliver orders the very next day. It comes just a week after Amazon started a similar offer.

Flipkart’s new ‘In-a-Day Guarantee’ is available to customers in select locations (mostly major cities), for an additional fee of Rs. 90 (less than $2) per item. To get it the next day from Flipkart, the customer has to place the order before 6 pm.

Most e-commerce sites in India take anywhere between three to seven working days to deliver the goods.

With the start of Flipkart’s new next-day delivery, it would be no surprise if other homegrown e-stores follow suit. However, this could put a lot of pressure on these e-commerce marketplaces to make arrangements and invest in warehouses, their supply chain, logistics, and delivery channels. Flipkart is India’s largest homegrown e-store company, securing $360 million in funding a couple of months ago, so it’s the e-commerce company that can most afford to implement a riskier delivery option.

Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderabad are among the cities where Flipkart’s speedy new service is available at present, and more cities are expected to be added soon.

One of the main reasons for Flipkart’s move is to accommodate urgent deliveries for special occasions. Ravi Vora, senior VP of marketing at Flipkart explains:

We have had a lot of customers requesting urgent deliveries, for reasons ranging from occasion-led gifts to pre-travel shopping. But given the large volumes that we handle it wasn’t feasible to address them on a case-to-case basis.

Given the volume of online sales and deliveries that Flipkart makes in India, the additional delivery charges could add to the company’s growing revenues. Like the ‘cash on delivery’ model that helps people without credit cards shop online, the next day delivery model is a neat addition to top-end offerings and could become the next big thing in India’s e-commerce segment.

(Editing by Steven Millward)

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