Ahead of the New Year, e-commerce giant Amazon reduced the price of its Prime Lite membership, intensifying the competition in India's e-commerce market space dominated by Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart. These two giants own about 60 per cent of India's e-commerce space.
With new entrants like Jiomart, and Tata group trying to get deeper into India’s e-commerce space the competition will intensify in 2024. But as of now, these players have not launched their premium service. Here, we are analysing the pricing and the benefits of four subscription and loyalty programs offered by two e-commerce giants- Amazon Prime, Prime Lite, Flipkart VIP, and Flipkart Plus and Premium Plus.
Amazon's Prime Lite membership, now priced at Rs 799 was reduced from Rs 999 on December 21, 2023. This membership is a cost-effective alternative to the full Prime membership. Despite a lower price tag, it provides almost all the services of Amazon Prime.
The revised plan also increased the services including one-day, two-day, scheduled, and same-day deliveries free of delivery cost. Members enjoy free deliveries without a minimum order value and can earn Rs 25 cashback if they opt for a no-rush delivery. Morning delivery will continue to bear an additional fee of Rs 175 per item. Further members get early access to lightning deals on the platform and also "exclusive lightning deals and deals of the day."
Prime Lite membership also allows customers to stream unlimited videos, movies and TV shows available on the platform but only up to HD quality. Subscribers will also have to bear advertisements and can only stream on two devices.
Amazon maintained its full Prime membership pricing at Rs 299 for a month, Rs 599 for three months, and Rs 1,499 annually. The full subscription encompasses all Prime Lite features and benefits. For morning delivery customers have to pay a fee of Rs 50 compared to 175 per item on Prime Lite. Another comparative advantage for Amazon Prime subscribers when compared to Prime Lite is that they get unlimited Prime Video device support to stream content on any number of devices. Further Prime Video will support 4K resolution for Prime Video, an ad-free viewing experience and also access to Prime Music.
Flipkart's VIP subscription at Rs 499 annually is a subscription-based loyalty program offering customers additional privileges and deals when shopping. The fee-based program gives customers supercoins on purchases which can be redeemed across the Flipkart Group - Shopsy, Myntra, Flipkart HealthPlus, Cleartrip and other platforms.
Members can earn 5 SuperCoins on every Rs 100 spent up to 100 SuperCoins per order. It also gives a bonus of 200 SuperCoins for orders over Rs 10,000. VIP members in select areas of Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Kolkata can benefit from fast shipping, free shipping on products with a flipkart assured tag, and also faster returns on select items, except for large electrical appliances or furniture.
Flipkart Plus & Plus Premium is a cost-effective version of Flipkart VIP. Flipkart Plus is available without any membership fee. Customers with over four transactions in 12 months are eligible for the Plus membership which grants users early access to sales and 2 can get 2 SuperCoins per Rs 100 transaction. For Plus Premium customers have to make over eight transactions annually and offer enhanced benefits like up to 4 supercoins per Rs 100 transacted, daily and hourly offers, Flipkart says.