eBay-Backed Snapdeal Introduces Same-Day Delivery In India

On Monday morning, the Indian online marketplace Snapdeal introduced its same-day delivery service, putting pressure on rivals Flipkart and Amazon who launched their next-day delivery service a few weeks ago.

To start out, Snapdeal is rolling out the service in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) without charging any additional fee. If an eligible item is ordered before 1 p.m. Snapdeal will have it delivered on the same day, Rohit Bansal, co-founder of the company told TechCrunch. This is what Bansal said when asked if this service has any takers among Snapdeal’s current user base of over 20 million.

More than 90% of the orders placed on Snapdeal.com are shipped
within 24 hours. However, we do understand that sometimes customers want the
products urgently. The Same Day Express Delivery Service has been launched
to meet such customers’’ wish

India’s e-commerce market (excluding online travel industry) is worth nearly $3.1 billion, and it’s expected to grow by over seven times to $22 billion in five years, according to a CLSA report published in November 2013.

The service also means putting more pressure on existing supply chains of e-commerce companies, but with customers looking for newer choices and an intense battle for positioning differently among the startups playing on, there are not many other innovations left on the delivery side.

It’s still very early to judge whether same-day delivery makes any financial sense for e-commerce companies in India, but the latest move from Snapdeal clearly underscores an intense battle between Amazon, Flipkart and others in the country. Last year in April, eBay outbid Amazon and several others to lead a $50 million funding round in Snapdeal, as it pushed aggressively to gain share in the country’s growing e-commerce market.

Since the beginning of 2010, venture capital worth $1.3 billion has been invested in Indian e-commerce startups.

Bansal of Snapdeal said ‘thousands of products’ will be covered under the new service.

“Thousands of product SKUs (stock keeping units) from across categories including electronics, general merchandise and fashion are being covered under this,” he said.

The Indian e-commerce market is beginning to witness increased rivalry among domestic startups such as Flipkart and new entrants including Amazon. The real question is whether these e-commerce companies will be able to back newer features such as same-day delivery with increased investments in their back-end delivery infrastructure, an area of concern for many online shoppers in the country.