Flipkart launches paid membership programme Flipkart First

Under the scheme, Flipkart is offering services such as free shipping, free one-day delivery and other benefits


Flipkart will select 75,000 customers who will get the Flipkart First service free of cost for three months. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Flipkart will select 75,000 customers who will get the Flipkart First service free of cost for three months. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Bangalore: Flipkart.com, India’s largest e-commerce firm, said it has launched a fee-based membership programme called Flipkart First, as the company steps up efforts to retain customers.

Under the scheme, Flipkart is offering services such as free shipping, free one-day delivery and other benefits, the company said in a statement.

Flipkart, which began shifting to a marketplace model last February, will select 75,000 customers who will get the Flipkart First service free of cost for three months.

“Today, the Indian customer is maturing, looking at value over cost—and services like these will push the ecosystem to another level,” chief operating officer Binny Bansal said in a statement.

Flipkart, which claims to have 18 million registered users, has invested significantly in improving its supply chain and logistics network and has been speeding up deliveries to customers, launching services such as next-day delivery and same-day delivery.

India’s e-commerce market, valued at $3.1 billion by brokerage CLSA, is getting increasingly competitive. After two years of consolidation that involved many e-commerce sites shutting shop, the top four—Flipkart, Snapdeal.com, Myntra.com and Jabong.com—have raced away from the rest of the pack and have been joined by Amazon.

Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd launched its India marketplace in June last year and has already built one of the largest online product assortments in the country.

Partly to keep Amazon at bay, Flipkart is trying to increase its size, and the company is in advanced discussions to buy a majority stake in online fashion retailer Myntra, ‘Mint’ reported earlier this week.

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