Why the #flipkart battle with #Amazon is less about money and more about customer delight

Over the last week the amount of press on Flipkart’s $1 Billion raise and Amazon’s $2 Billion investments in India have been significant.

I have been a big personal fan of Flipkart, but I notice that they dont have the sense of customer joy and delight that Amazon does. Even though that’s a stated goal and they religiously preach it, they rarely follow it.

I have had personal experiences as well shopping with both companies, and Flipkart is the “reliable grocer” and Amazon is the “delightful marketplace”.

That means the game is not about the amount of money raised or invested by either company, but more the extent they go to make customers happy.

I had an extremely poor experience with Flipkart last week, and it was clearly their mistake. An apparent policy of not allowing a customer id to order 2 phones, was to blame, but nowhere was that policy apparent until after they nearly shipped the product home.

And when asked why they messed the order up, they claimed policy was to blame as opposed to their internal issues. Largely, the experience makes me not want to shop again at Flipkart. Not that it matters to them, since there’s enough demand. But in the 10+ years of shopping at Amazon, I have never had a poor experience, even when it was my fault.

When Amazon messed up my order, last week, I got a full refund and a thank you gift as well for the inconvenience.

With Flipkart all I got was lousy emails explaining their policies.

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10 thoughts on “Why the #flipkart battle with #Amazon is less about money and more about customer delight”

  1. I think one key aspect here is that new market expansion (and hence the battle for food) is probably not going to happen in the existing customer base (which is already kind of saturated with multiple options available to well-informed shoppers, and in most cases, well-opinionated too), but from currently underserved Tier B, Tier C and dusty towns (and villages) where a large population is going to be ‘new to etail’ (if not totally ‘new to net’). Those who eventually take the pole position won’t be decided by funding, but by how well the players are able to read shopper’s minds, and build products and deliver services that match (and eventually exceed) their expectations, convenience, price point and other existing shopping patterns.

  2. Have to Admit, my Experience has been on the Contrary hundred times better with Flipkart. They are just so Awesome, Compared to Amazon india who have no control over their vendors.

    Amazon vendors send their Product in a lens cart ka Dabba, or Ebay ka Lifafa and day before days back we got some thing in aJute ka Dabba. And ofcourse we didn’t order Shoes, It was Some thing to EAT!!

    Whenever There was a Complaint with Flipkart, It was attended to immediately.

    We recvd a broken Griller and next day a person was on our door with a Replacement!!

    And Amazon vendors would write Bullshit to their consumers before finally accepting the product back!!!

    Yes Money cannot win this Game, Customer Experience will And Flipkart is well ahead as far as India is Concerned!!

    1. Hey Gurpreet, aren’t you the one who said

      “#Mera Dil abhi bhi Flipkart ke saath hai…… Not that they are better, but because they are Indian! Desh ka Paisa Desh mein!!?

      Pata hai na Flipkart ke baba investor log foren se hain?

      1. Yes yes Joshua Bhai…… You have a Good memory, but that was many many moons ago.

        Today Flipkart service is even better, much much better. Amazon se 10 times better.
        But rehne do, tum nahi samjhoge 🙂

        And enough of this FDI and other things.

        I am talking about some thing else, and you want to focus on some thing else. So better leave it.

  3. Agree with you Mukund. Money is not the differentiator here and the key is the customer experience and their delight. Lets see who get the piece of pie from the Indian Market.

  4. My personal story. I had cancelled my order at Flipkart and ordered same at Amazon.
    Why? Flipkart said it will take five to seven days to ship my books until I become their premium subscriber then it will be a day of two. I used to get my orders delivered in two to three days.
    Amazon shipped me the next day evening. Feel delighted.
    Thanks for this post.

  5. Totally agreed. The same things apply on other e-commerce ventures too. Whoever masters the art of providing a delighted experience to our customers, will be the sure winner.

  6. Mukund , We obviously take such feedback very seriously . Will reach out to you offline to find out where the issue was .

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