Alongside giving attractive deals and offers during the ongoing Great Indian Festival sale, Amazon India on Wednesday launched a "faster than same day delivery" model for smartphones. The new model, which is initially live in select locations of Delhi-NCR, is designed to deliver doorstep delivery of orders within three to five hours. It is applicable to a wide selection of smartphones and is available free for Amazon Prime members. Non-Prime members can also get the faster than same delivery as the delivery option for their orders with a delivery fee of Rs. 150. Alternatively, they can opt for the monthly Prime membership at a charge of Rs. 129 to avail the new delivery option for free, Amazon says.
Amazon says that customers in eligible locations will prominently see the delivery option on the product detail pages with a banner that reads "Get this phone even faster. Delivery within 5 hours." Among other smartphone models, the Honor 8X that went on sale earlier today also comes with the new delivery option. The "faster than same day delivery" will be available all seven days a week, Amazon said, citing an example of how a customer can order a smartphone as late as 7pm and receive delivery by 9pm the same day.
"With today's launch, our customers in Delhi-NCR can order smartphones as late as 7pm and receive deliveries the same day, without changing the way they shop," says Nishant Sardana, Category Leader - Smartphones, Amazon India, in a press statement.
In a telephonic conversation with Gadgets 360, Sardana said that Amazon India did a lot of work to enable the new delivery model. "We had to do a lot of backend work, various configuration changes into our system, we have to develop new capabilities of keeping stocks very close to our customers within the cities," he said, adding, "A lot of technical and backend changes also took place in our entire delivery system configuration and a huge amount of manpower hired because you need people to deliver orders in three hours instead of three days, for example."
To enable the new experience, Sardana told Gadgets 360 that Amazon India had already hired a few hundred delivery associates. The company also moved the stocks from its traditional fulfilment centres to the locations closer to its customers to offer faster delivery.
On why Amazon India chose Delhi-NCR over other regions in the country, Sardana said that there were a couple of reasons. The company firstly sees Delhi as India's single largest smartphone market. Secondly, the executive told Gadgets 360 that Delhi came as "one of those markets where there are lots and lots of Prime members."
The new delivery model is already to certain pin codes in the Delhi-NCR region, and Sardana said that hundreds of orders since today morning had already been delivered within a few hours. "We're slowly dialling it up. Over the next week or 10 days, we expect to bring the new model to 80 percent of the pin codes in Delhi-NCR region, including Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, and Faridabad," he added.
After Delhi, Amazon India is looking to expand the pilot to other metro cities in the country. It is yet to be decided that which will be the next city for the new model, though. "Over the next couple of months, we'll scale it up to other cities," Sardana told Gadgets 360. "We are very hopeful that customers will like this service and appreciate Amazon's reliable and fast delivery service. We are also hoping that this pilot will be a success for us to extend it to other markets sequentially over the next few months."
Amazon India already successfully concluded its first round of Great Indian Festival sale earlier this month and is currently hosting its second round. Sardana asserted that the company had almost doubled its smartphone business this Diwali versus the last Diwali.
It is worth mentioning while the new delivery model appears pleasing for Indian customers during this festive season, Amazon India already offers two-hour delivery in the country through its Prime Now service. But unlike the regular Amazon.in that ships a large number of pin codes across the country, the two-hour delivery model of Prime Now is limited to few areas. The company notably launched its one-day delivery model back in 2013 that was expanded with the arrival of Prime membership in July 2016.