After rolling out ‘scheduled delivery’ service earlier this year, e-commerce portal Flipkart now plans to introduce new service ‘scheduled installation’. According to sources, the e-commerce portal is planning to launch the service before the festive season kicks off this year.
The new feature will allow customers to choose a specific date and time for installation of consumer durables such as air conditioners and televisions bought from Flipkart.
In an email response to FE, Flipkart’s supply chain engineering vice-president Rahul Chari said, “We currently offer scheduled delivery for large appliances. While scheduled installation is not yet offered as a formal feature on our website, we are working with brands and sellers to incorporate the same in the future.”
Small steps have already been taken by the e-commerce portal as currently a customer gets a call from one of the service managers of Flipkart, after the purchase of a large appliance. The manager takes a note of a preferred day for installation, which is sent to the manufacturer. “When customers order large appliances, our customer service team asks them for preferred dates for installation of the same,” added Chari.
This is not the first time Flipkart has introduced a new after-sales service. In May, the e-commerce site announced a subscription-based service for customers called Flipkart First. Under the service, it offers a host of exclusive benefits to loyal customers. Next, it launched the scheduled delivery service in four cities including Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata in June this year.
Analysts feel with e-commerce portals now focusing on after-sales service, the e-tailing business in India is finally moving out of the shadow of deals and discounts. According to a recent study by Technopak, a management consulting firm, the Indian e-commerce market, which is currently pegged at $2.3 billion, is expected to touch $32 billion by 2020. “The game of e-tailing is no more about offering products and services at cheap rates as pricing no longer allows one to be different from its competitors. E-tailing sites have realised this and so are offering various after-sales services that will help in creating as well as maintaining differentiation,” said Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president, retail, Technopak Advisors.