Amazon vs Flipkart can rightly be termed as the clash of the titans of Indian e-commerce. Flipkart and Amazon, the two giants of e-Commerce have its own merits and demerits.
As an Indian customer of both Amazon and Flipkart, I can share you my views regarding the same.
Regarding customer experience, here are the things that really matter to the Indian consumers:
Pricing: Price has to be the most critical thing that shapes an Indian’s thought while buying an item. In this battle for pricing, I think Amazon edges out on Flipkart. While Flipkart does have high prices particularly on their exclusives, on most common products, Amazon wins big time. I am a JEE aspirant and here’s what I found.
While this is an issue for a small range of products. I have found popular products with this careless pricing on Flipkart. If this carelessness is going to continue, Flipkart will be losing much of its market share.
Mobile Apps: With more than 70% of Indian traffic originating from the mobile platform. It becomes essential for their mobile apps to be efficient in RAM usage and fast with any kind of internet. I recorded the opening time of both apps to open the home page. The documented results were:
- Amazon-Average time of 7-8 seconds
- Flipkart-Average time of 16-17 seconds
Clearly, Amazon’s app is plain better and efficient, and this is a big turn on for any consumer. An efficient app enables faster browsing and shopping.
Honesty: I have had many instances where Flipkart increased the actual M.R.P of a product and putting a discount on it. I had never encountered such a thing from Amazon.
Courier and Logistics: In this regard, I would give Flipkart a point extra. I am not saying that Amazon doesn’t have good COD service or about the behaviour of their delivery boys. But according to my experience Flipkart has a more comprehensive logistics network than Amazon, and with more people on India opting for COD than internet banking, Flipkart has the edge over Amazon in this area. However, Amazon is growing fast and should be keeping up soon.
Customer Service: Flipkart, as well as Amazon both, have excellent customer service. This is the area where they both should keep up their consistency since buyers in India expect quality customer service after buying a product to deal with their problems. However, I heard instances where Amazon paid for some inconvenience caused to customers. This is a great way of apologising.
Daily Deals: In India, people look for everything cheap. Giving great deals every day is something that drives traffic. So naturally, people will tend to prefer the one having cheapest deals on products every day.
Annual Mega sales: Annual sales have a significant impact on the company’s reputation, and so it is essential to conduct an annual sale where there are maximum discounts on products and also keeping customers satisfied. Flipkart was the one who started this but last year the big billion days did not turn out well.
Exclusives: Exclusives have a massive impact on the audience. An excellent exclusive smartphone or product can drive massive traffic. Currently Amazon’s Redmi Note 3 is the most sought-after exclusive while a few days back Flipkart was enjoying the exclusive market with the Le 1s. So the exclusives if offered up to specifications can be a decisive factor.
Post Purchase Customer Service: Amazon is way ahead of Flipkart in this regard. Having shopped on Amazon in different countries, I think Amazon India particularly tries to gain the loyalty of customers by keeping them happy. Read this answer to understand the unusual and unexpected things Amazon does – Is Flipkart better than Amazon in India?. If the price of the product is the same on both Amazon and Flipkart, Amazon will definitely be the preferred choice. In India consumer is the king.
Public Relation: Indian market is also susceptible to negative publicity. Any cases of fraud, cheating or even a technical glitch can ruin a company’s image. Flipkart spent a massive amount of money on organising the popular Big Billion Day. The sale ended up as a big failure because of technical issues, and this attracted a lot of negative publicity and made customers angry. Incidents like delivery boy molesting a customer were also reported. Flipkart lost a lot of customers as a result. Trust issues are directly related to Cash on Delivery in India.
Exclusive Products: Initially Flipkart was the one to popularise the concept of having a monopoly over a particular product but these days Amazon also has a lot of exclusive Amazon-only product. Exclusive sale of a highly anticipated mobile handset can drive traffic. Be it Motorola’s exclusive sale on Flipkart or Redmi Note 3 on Amazon Exclusive – both have attracted huge traffic. Amazon’s exclusive products like Kindle devices have also attracted a lot of customers.
Social Media and Advertisement: Both Flipkart and Amazon are active on Facebook and Twitter, and they both use it to interact directly with customers and tap the potential of social media. Customers often post their complaints on their Facebook pages and resolving those issues is key to gaining customer trust. Moreover, Amazon is known to roll out witty advertisements with an Indian flavour that makes it easier for people to trust it. Social media campaign attracts a lot of youth to the e-commerce websites.
Special Festive Sale: Customer Excitement is key to the sale of products during festivals. Indians visit Amazon / Flipkart on special sale day just to browse through products without anything specific product in mind. Offering a good deal during such sale can influence the customer’s mindset. During festive sale in October last year, Amazon became the most visited e-commerce website in India.
E-commerce websites like PayTM have attracted customers by offering them cash back and thus reducing the effective price of the product. This influences customer’s decision however as the time of writing this Flipkart and Amazon both do not offer any cash backs.
Here are the things that I think do not influence a customer’s choice:
Working Condition for employees: Customers in India hardly care if Flipkart or Amazon is a good company to work for. The number of employees is much lesser than the number of customers.
Product Reviews: Product reviews might influence the decision of buying the product itself but it hardly influences the choice between Amazon or Flipkart. If I see bad reviews for a phone on Amazon, I won’t buy it from Flipkart.
Seller: Most consumers do not even bother looking at the name of the seller. “Flipkart Advantage” and “Fulfilled by Amazon” is preferred choice but if those options are not available then consumers do not bother about seller location and other details.