In a move, which can prove to be a major blow to homegrown Flipkarts and Snapdeals, Amazon has today finally launched Amazon Prime, a premium subscription-based service in India.
Currently, Amazon is offering a 60 day free trial for the Amazon Prime Subscription. After the trial period, you can continue the service at just Rs. 499 per year, although, Amazon Prime’s normal cost is mentioned as Rs. 999 per year. It is not yet clear for how long the promotional price will be applicable.
While the company has introduced Amazon Prime in India, the disappointing news for those who were waiting for the service is that Prime Video hasn’t been launched yet. However, the company has said that the Prime Video service is ‘coming’ very soon.
As of now, Prime subscription in India only includes unlimited one-day and two-day delivery with no minimum order value and an early access to lightning deals on its website as well as some Prime-members only deals. Also, same day shipping will be available at a discounted rate. Normally, same day shipping costs Rs. 150 but it will cost only Rs. 50 for the Prime members.
In US, Prime users also have access to Amazon Video and Amazon Music – the video and music streaming services respectively. But, those services are not available in the country yet.
As per some reports, for Prime Video in India, Amazon is investing up to $300 million for original movies and television series from India from the $3 billion that Jeff Bezos announced to invest in India operations. For regional content on the Prime Video service, the company is said to be in talks with Balaji Telefilms and Yash Raj Productions, among others.
It must be noted that Prime members will not be eligible for free deliveries of every product. Free one-day or two-day delivery of products will be available only with the products that has Prime logo next to it.
Right now, the company is charging Rs. 40 for ‘standard delivery’ unless the order is ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ products worth Rs. 499 or more. Also, one-day and two-day delivery are charged Rs. 100 and Rs. 80 respectively.
Currently, the morning delivery is available for Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad, and Hyderabad. The same day delivery option is available in Ahmedabad, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Kanchipuram, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Navi Mumbai, Faridabad, Noida, Gandhi Nagar, Thane, Ghaziabad, and Tiruvallur.
In 2014, Flipkart also tried to offer a service similar to Prime, called Flipkart First. However, it just consists of free shipping on eligible orders and discounted same day delivery. Currently, the service costs Rs. 500 for 1 year.
The e-commerce battle in India is heating up and the American player seems to be on the way to become the market leader. With the launch of the Amazon Prime service and an additional $3 billion commitment from Jeff Bezos, Amazon seems to have everything it needs to woo this market.