With the recent spurt of activities, Snapdeal has been aggressive and taking every step possible to be in the competition. This includes its launch of Snapdeal Gold which takes on Amazon Prime and Flipkart Assured with facilities like free shipping, upgrade to next-day delivery and extended purchase protection. Customers will also be entitled to 14-day return policy, which was earlier discontinued by the company.
The launch comes within 10 days of Flipkart bringing Flipkart Assured and almost a month after Amazon India introducing its premium service Amazon Prime. Interestingly, it doesn’t require any subscription or payment of fees rather it can be availed any time a user pays for the purchase through Net Banking, Credit/Debit card, EMI or wallet at the time of booking the order. It covers nearly 5 million products available through SD+ (Snapdeal's fulfilment centers).
On the other hand, under Flipkart Assured, products are put through six levels of quality checks and are from highly-ranked sellers. These are filtered to include packaging, product specifications, product ratings, return ratio of the item, the seller’s ability to fulfil the order and committed timelines. These products will be delivered to the customers across India within two days. Also there is free shipping for orders above Rs 500.
In the case of Amazon Prime whose annual subscription rate is priced at an introductory rate of Rs 499, it ships all the orders eligible under the 'Prime' service for free, with a one- or two-day delivery assurance. It has the added advantage of 30-minutes early sneak peak into its lightning deals and sales. It needs to be kept in mind that the subscription amount will be increased to Rs. 999 a year, which is steep considering Prime does not offer anything close to what it offers in the US and European countries.
Compared to the above, Snadeal Gold only requires one to be a Snapdeal customer to avail the special services without any additional cost. It will also emphasize on quality of its packaging and delivery to counter the service provided by Flipkart and Amazon India.
Commenting on Snapdeal Gold’s launch, its co-founder Rohit Bansal said, “Our team met 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 or membership fee – anytime you use your credit/debit card, netbanking, EMI or wallet for payment, we automatically upgrade your order to Snapdeal Gold. It’s the gold standard in customer service, and we want more and more customers to experience this distinctive service. We are confident that Snapdeal Gold will raise the bar for digital commerce experience in India. This unique offering is yet another milestone towards our mission of building India’s most reliable and frictionless digital commerce ecosystem.”
It claims to have already found takers among online shoppers with 103,762 customers upgrading their orders to Snapdeal Gold within the first 24 hours of launch.