Flipkart is often called the Amazon of India. Set up by two ex-Amazon employees as a startup in 2007, it brings Indians the best of the online shopping world knocking at their doors.
I’ve been a regular buyer of stuff from Flipkart, and my experience with them has been simply amazing. So here’s my review on Flipkart, and what I believe has been helping them to be highly successful.
1) They provide an estimated delivery time - and keep their promises
Flipkart does not think short term by providing overly optimistic delivery times. Online stores will ensure returning customers only if they keep their promises, and Flipkart seems to keep that in mind with their fairly accurate delivery time estimates.
The promised time of delivery varies between a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the availability of the goods. Generally, items arrive well within the time frames.
Only once out of a dozen-odd orders I experienced a delay of ten days. I'd overlook that as an exception.
2) Dead low prices
The prices are among the lowest I could find in shops around, and Flipkart doesn’t charge for delivery. If you consider the traveling cost for going to the cheapest shops around, Flipkart will probably end up being cheaper. What attracts buyers more than the best deal in terms of money?
UPDATE (Feb 26, 2012): This no longer seems to be true. Prices have been rising, and they even delete reviews that talk about the rising prices. Flipkart explicitly warns that they may remove any pricing related comments.
3) They have their own courier services
This was a pleasant surprise to me when I first ordered from them. Flipkart uses their own courier system, to do away with the problems rampant with the infamous courier services in India.
4) Insured protection for electronic items
There have been many stories about courier delivery guys opening up packages to steal goods. Flipkart has taken the initiative to guide you upfront on this - they have insured shipping for electronic goods, so check your package when you receive it, and ask for a replacement if it’s tampered with. Hopefully, such instances won’t happen with Flipkart’s delivery service.
5) Varied options for payment - including cash on delivery
For a smoother buying experience, there are many options for payment - Credit/Debit cards, Net Banking, and Cash on Delivery in select cities. The last option is interesting - many Indian buyers are skeptical of buying items online because of the prevalence of fraud. Delivering the product home before it's paid for is a great way to build customer confidence.
As a bookstore and a general shopping site, Flipkart seems to have a great future ahead and is already gaining a good name among the masses.
Have you ordered goods from Flipkart? Are you skeptical about online shopping in India? Feel free to comment below!