Flipkart starts same-day deliveries in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata

Not to be outdone by Amazon India's multiple services that could shake up the Indian e-commerce sector, rival Flipkart has announced its latest offering - same day delivery - hoping to remain the top e-tailer in the country. Amazon announced a similar service in December 2013.


Starting today customers in 10 cities - Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Manesar, Navi Mumbai, Thane - can avail of the service across all categories, according to a Flipkart press release. The company CEO Sachin Bansal told the Economic Times, "Delivery is the moment of truth and we take that very seriously."


Orders placed before noon will reach customers by the end of the same day, provided an additional Rs 200 is paid. As an introductory offer, from 28-30 April, customers will receive products up to Rs 5,000 free if not delivered on the same day.


The service is just the latest in Flipkart's arsenal of delivery logistics, adding to same-day, in-a-day and Sunday-in-a-day deliveries.


And it isn't just the delivery end that Flipkart is focusing on. In an attempt to provide complete customer satisfaction, the e-tailer is also making it mandatory for executives to spend a day a month answering customer calls, according to another report in The Economic Times.


One of Flipkart's co-founders and COO, Binny Bansal, has already taken calls and even made deliveries.


Mekin Maheshwari, the company's chief people officer, told ET, "The leadership team has expanded rapidly in the last one year. They need to understand customer issues and drive the 'customer first' message, which is why it is starting with the senior management."


These developments come against the backdrop of aggressive product and service innovations coming out of Amazon India's stables. As reported earlier, a slew of new measures adopted by the e-commerce site in an attempt to dethrone Flipkart as king of the sector. Some of the developments, that cater to both merchants and customers, are quicker seller sign-up and registrations, convenient pick-up locations and large product inventory.


Amazon US is investing heavily in new markets abroad, particularly China, where it faces tough competition with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. Given the nearly weekly services roll-outs, one wouldn't be faulted in suggesting that India is also on Amazon's radar.


Last week, the American parent company's revenue grew more than expected for the first quarter, largely offset by a sharp increase in spending on technology, content and new warehouses as the e-commerce company branches into new businesses. First-quarter sales rose 24 percent to $17.1 billion, helped by a 31 percent rise in North America.


Amazon's international unit, which accounts for 40 percent of sales, continued to be a drag as sales growth slowed to 18 percent during the quarter. Global unit sales, a closely watched measure of how many items Amazon has sold, also decelerated, rising only 23 percent.


"A lot of the things that we've done - making sure that we have the right pricing in place on behalf of the customers, making sure that our service levels are where we need them to be - those are the things we continue to work on in China," Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said during a conference call. "Is it a large investment? Yes, it is. And that investment has increased over the past several years."


With inputs from Reuters


First appeared on Firstbiz.

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