While the price war continues among other e-commerce portals, Flipkart is slowly taking the other route. Flipkart has recently increased the free shipping limit from Rs. 300 to Rs. 500. So going forward if your total order amount on Flipkart amounts to less than Rs. 500, you will be charged shipping charges.
Flipkart’s shipping page has been recently updated to show the following:
So, the free shipping limit as well as the shipping charges both have been increased. Earlier, Flipkart had a limit of Rs. 300 above which the shipping was free and the if the order value was below Rs. 300, the shipping charges were Rs. 30. Now, Flipkart will have a limit of Rs. 500, below which the shipping charges will be Rs. 50.
In July last year, Flipkart had raised the same limit from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300.
When Flipkart started, it banked on price competitiveness – however, now they believe that they have established themselves enough to justify the rise in shipping charges.
The segment that will be affected most will obviously be low priced products, especially books. So, lets say a user wants to buy a book worth Rs. 250, he will actually end up paying Rs. 300 for the same book. For eg: the book given below priced at Rs. 236 will actually cost Rs. 286 to the user.
For Flipkart, book sales will definitely be affected with this raise. However, Flipkart seems to have taken a calculated risk as many users may now be moving towards e-readers and electronic books. Looks like Flipkart wants to stay competitively priced for e-books on their Flyte store, while they want to bring down their reliance on physical book sales.
In my opinion, this increase is not a small change, and it may end up affecting Flipkart sales negatively, especially considering the fact that other Indian online stores offer either free or much lower free shipping limit (like in case of Infibeam, which offers Rs. 250 limit and Rs. 30 shipping charges below that).
Other noticeable aspect is Flipkart prices – in most cases, Flipkart prices are now atleast 10 to 20 percent higher than competing online shops. For example the “Mockingjay 1st edition” book costs Rs. 236 on Flipkart, Rs.221 on Infibeam and Rs. 204 on Homeshop18.com.
The point I am trying to make is – Flipkart is neither low on prices nor have lower shipping rates and their famed service keeps coming in news due to negative incidents like these.
Do you think these recent developments will make customers move away from Indian E-Commerce poster boy?