Snapdeal launches premium service in bid to take on Amazon, Flipkart

Snapdeal Gold has been launched to take on rivals Amazon and Flipkart, which have rolled out Amazon Prime and Flipkart Assured as their premium services


Under the premium services, Snapdeal will offer its customers free shipping, free upgrade to next-day-delivery and extended 14-days return period on their orders. Photo: Bloomberg
Under the premium services, Snapdeal will offer its customers free shipping, free upgrade to next-day-delivery and extended 14-days return period on their orders. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operated e-commerce platform Snapdeal, on Monday announced the launch of its premium service, Snapdeal Gold.

This is Snapdeal’s answer to larger rivals Amazon and Flipkart that launched Amazon Prime and Flipkart Assured as their premium services recently.

However, at a time when Amazon Prime, the membership programme of Amazon, has been launched for an initial price of Rs.499, Snapdeal Gold’s services are free of cost for its customers.

Under the services, Snapdeal will offer its customers free shipping, free upgrade to next-day-delivery and extended 14-days return period on their orders.

However, the customers will be able to avail the services if they pay for the purchase through net banking, credit/debit card, equal monthly instalments or wallet at the time of booking the order. It is not applicable for cash on delivery payments.

The free upgrade is automatically applied whenever a user places an order for a product that has a “gold badge” displayed next to it.

The move comes at a time when Snapdeal, a distant number three after Amazon and Flipkart, is trying to focus on service levels and revenue.

In an interview to Mint in July, co-founder and chief executive officer Kunal Bahl, had said that the company’s new focus was on net revenue instead of gross merchandise value (GMV), an e-commerce metric that refers to the value of goods sold on a site but does not account for discounts or even sales returns.

Earlier this month, Snapdeal also said it would spend more than Rs.200 crore on a campaign that will run for 60 days in the run-up to the Diwali festival.

It is not just advertising, but the company is also focusing heavily its logistics. Snapdeal is planning to scale up its in-house fulfilment unit Vulcan Express and has started last-mile deliveries—delivering to customers—using Vulcan’s logistics fleet. On 2 August, Snapdeal also announced the start of six new logistics hubs across the National Capital Region, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Kolkata, owned by Vulcan.

“Our team met with over 10,000 customers across the country to identify the key services they desire from e-commerce companies. Snapdeal Gold has been designed to fulfil those needs. The most important thing is that there is no catch and no membership fee—anytime you use your credit/debit card, netbanking, equal monthly installments or wallet for payment, we automatically upgrade your order to Snapdeal Gold,” said Rohit Bansal, co-founder, Snapdeal.

Founded in 2010 by Bahl and Bansal as a deals site, Snapdeal has more than 300,000 sellers and over 50 million products across 1,000 categories. It currently delivers goods to more than 6,000 cities and towns in India.

The company has also initiated a branding overhaul as it seeks to create a clear niche for itself in a market that is now dominated by Flipkart and Amazon India, Mint reported on Monday

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