[Comparative Study] Flipkart vs Amazon India – who’s really winning?
The fear of online theft and doubts over the quality of goods sold held people back from online shopping a few years back. Today however online shopping has blended in to our lifestyles.The number of online shoppers is expected cross 120 million in 2018. The variety, cost, and the ease with which you can buy, return or exchange products is so addictive.
In 1988 chennaibazaar.com sold groceries online. The following year witnessed the rise of the first online shopping site called indiaplaza.in. But people opted for online shopping over traditional shopping only after Amazon India and Flipkart took centre stage.
A zillion online shopping sites are encroaching the ecommerce space but the real battle is between the giants – Amazon India and Flipkart. Amazon India, the god child of Amazon.com (the U.S based bookstore turned online shopping giant) was born on June 2013. Flipkart was born to Indian parents, the Bansals, on October 2007.
- Amazon’s performance:-
- Global website ranking: 57
- India website ranking: 7
- Total visits: 534.13M
- Flipkart’s performance:
- Global website ranking: 99
- India website ranking: 8
- Total visits: 334.97M
Great Indian Sale Vs Big Billion Days:-
The annual sales are when the two take on each other face to face.
I still remember how people went WOW over Flipkart’s first Big Billion Days Sale, which was launched on October 2014(mixed emotions, as there were lots of backlashes too). If Big Billion Days is Flipkart’s signature move, then Amazon India has its Great Indian Sale. They are the Black Friday Sale of India.
People will never outgrow discounts, offers and freebies. Personally, from the days when GI-Joe action figures were given along with Complan drink to present day crazy online offers, I’m a fan. To win the market, both the giants must rain offers every year and that’s the way to pamper your customers. This year, some sources believe Flipkart emerged as the Sale winner.
Flipkart Big Billion Sale October 2018: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro had a discount of Rs. 2000. Starting price- Rs 12,999.
Amazon’s Great India Sale October 2018:- Xiaomi Redmi Y2’s two variants were sold at discounted rates – Rs 8,999 and Rs 10,999.
Amazon US Vs Walmart:-
Amazon India’s battle for the Indian market is rooted in its parent company, Amazon.com. The temperature shot past the limit, when Amazon’s rival Walmart entered the Indian market by acquiring Flipkart on May 2018. Now, it looks like a match between The Rock and HHH, during the attitude era. Not a WWE fan? Forget it.
Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart is slightly tilted the market in favor of Flipkart. Will Walmart’s strategies help Flipkart runway past Amazon India? Let’s buckle up and watch.
The secret to customer retention:-
There are couple of things in the ecommerce world that make customers to keep coming back to you.
- Customer service is the master key- Instant chat and call, email support.
- A FAQ section can spare a lot of pain.
- Never compromise on the quality of your products.
- Fast delivery, good packing.
- Special discounts for your loyal ones.
- Periodic Super Sales.
- Loyalty programs
Let’s jump right into the world of Amazon India and Flipkart
Customer service – Amazon inches ahead of Flipkart :-
What do you do when delayed deliveries or low quality products irritate you? Reach out to customer service! Bad customer service turns off people more than bad products or service do. According to Forrester’s survey, Amazon beat Flipkart in customer service. (Source: – https://www.techinasia.com/amazon-beat-flipkart-in-customer-service)
Even though the battle is tough here, Amazon has catered consistent and credible customer service throughout the years. It could be attributed to the fact that Amazon handles logistics globally and has probably familiarised itself with how it should be done.
Delivery Service – Its a tie here! :-
As they focus on penetrating the Indian market now, both Amazon India and Flipkart focus on offering a seamless delivery service. A smooth buying experience makes your customers stay and buy more. Amazon India and Flipkart have done a good job in providing fast deliveries, good packaging and have built their own delivery services.
It’s a tie here.
As the focus is on capturing the Indian market now, both Amazon India and Flipkart don’t ship internationally. You can get products from the international market shipped to India but you can’t get products shipped outside India. I found something cool. There is an online delivery service called Shoppre, which can play as the middle man for buying products in the Indian online market and shipping them to a location outside India. Heard of Shoppre before? Check out their ad:-
YouTube link: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf77ljCx9Ik
Daily discounts- Flipkart nudges ahead :-
“There’s nothing Online shoppers are loyal to than discounts” says reporter Ananya Bhattacharya. Both Amazon India and Flipkart provide daily deals to engage with their daily visitors. There have been accusations against Amazon India for posting prices higher than MRP and slicing them for offers. Minus Marks for Amazon India.
Flipkart’s App keeps nudging it’s customers into purchase with push notifications – reminding them of carted items, everyday discounts etc. So Flipkart gets the trump card here. My friend’s phone keeps beeping with notifications from Jabong. Why am I talking about Jabong here? Because Jabong sits inside Flipkart’s house now.
Loyalty programs – Amazon wins this battle :-
Amazon India’s prime membership with fast-free delivery and other benefits was a smart move to gain customer loyalty. Unlike other membership programs, they have a video service like Netflix which served as a huge attraction (especially, with the launch of Jio internet data services in India, people watching videos just whooped).
Here are the benefits of Amazon’s prime:-
Flipkart plus, the opponent’s ball to compete with Amazon India is like a brownie point setup and comes with no annual fees. But Flipkart plays the coupon card – offers coupons to first-timers, passive buyers etc. Customer loyalty will play a vital role in their future in India. Repeat-customer base will make all the difference.
Who is WINNING?
Amazon India started the year off with 50% market share and Flipkart started with 33%. By the middle of the year Amazon India was at 44% and Flipkart was at 40%. Is Flipkart gaining ground against Amazon? Maybe or Maybe not. But for Amazon, e commerce is just one front, and India is just one of the many countries.
E Commerce is a growing market in India and poses a zillion opportunities to both of them. The game is still on. They need a little more time in the ring before we see an emerging winner.