Amazon Prime is arguably the most compelling service that Amazon has to offer. The service has been available in many countries around the world, but now, finally, after 3 years in the country, Amazon has brought Amazon Prime to India.
Users can sign up for Amazon Prime via the Amazon website, starting with a 60-day free trial. If you sign up now, Amazon Prime will cost ₹ 499 for a year after the 60 day trial, though the usual price for Amazon Prime in India will be ₹ 999 per year. It’s unclear at this point how long this inaugural price will be valid.
If you are wondering what Amazon Prime includes in India, you may be in for disappointment. As of now, here’s what your money will get you in India:
- Guaranteed, free, 1-day or 2-day delivery.
- Discounted same-day, scheduled and morning delivery in select cities.
- 30-minute early access to Lightning deals and member-only exclusives
Amazon.in vs Amazon.com
The Amazon Prime offering on Amazon India is much less than the same service abroad, but then again, so is the cost. on Amazon.com, you get all of the above as well as access to unlimited video and music streaming, unlimited ebooks and unlimited photo storage. This will set you back $10.99 (around ₹ 740) a month or $99 (around ₹ 6,700), however.
If you’re a regular shopper on Amazon.in, the guaranteed, free two-day shipping alone is worth the asking price. Normally, 1-day or 2-day shipping will set you back by ₹ 100 or so per item. Order 10 items and you’ve already recouped your yearly subscription cost.
Amazon also says that Amazon Video is coming to India “soon,” further sweetening the deal. “Since its inception in every country, Prime continues to evolve as we add millions of additional items that can be delivered incredibly fast and free,” said Greg Greeley, Vice-President Worldwide Prime, Amazon. “We have also introduced unique digital benefits like Prime Video featuring Amazon Original Series and Movies – you’ll be hearing more about that in the coming months.”
Right now, Amazon charges Rs. 40 for ‘standard delivery’ (between 2-10 days, depending upon the product) unless the order contains ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ products worth Rs. 499 or more. One-day and two-day delivery are charged Rs. 100 and Rs. 80 respectively. Amazon Prime members can avail these delivery options for free without any minimum order and will need to pay just Rs. 50 for same-day, morning, and scheduled deliveries, against a charge of Rs. 150 for non-Prime members.
Amazon Prime delivery benefits will be available to customers in 20 cities across India. For deliveries to cities not yet eligible for one-day or two-day delivery, members will receive free delivery with no minimum purchase.
“We are very excited to bring Prime to our customers in India. With Prime, guaranteed one-day delivery becomes an everyday experience instead of an occasional indulgence, and with no minimum purchases, it provides unlimited convenience all year long,” said Amit Agarwal, Vice-President & Country Head, Amazon India.
One caveat, but an expected one, is that Amazon Prime benefits only apply to Amazon fulfilled products. Other eligible products will be marked with an Amazon Prime logo.
It will be interesting to see if the 30-minute early access will affect flash sales on Amazon.in. Do note that Lightning deals aren’t the same as flash sales.
No matter how you look at it however, Amazon Prime is a steal at its current price. A two-month trial is also very generous and should be more than enough to give you a taste of things to come.