We all know for a fact that the main USP for a long time from the likes of Amazon and some others was the fact that they were able to deliver the products into the hands of their customers much faster than other which also led to them capturing as much of the e-commerce market as possible early on. However, there came a time after that when platforms started competing on price of the products as it is typically the mindset that people don’t care about delivery if they are getting the product much cheaper on the other platforms compared to where they usually buy even with faster delivery.
That is why other e-commerce platforms started flourishing in the market and the main ones are Chinese platforms like JD.com, AliExpress and others. Now, we have seen that the price war in e-commerce has also become stagnant as almost everyone is selling the products at same price or almost in the same range which means that it has once again come down to logistics and delivery. We are now seeing the rollback of what used to be the differentiating factor in e-commerce coming back to life.
Since delivery is starting to become the main factor again, people are starting to realize that they need their products delivered faster and they are switching to platforms that offer quicker delivery times. For this reason, JD.com “lowered its free-shipping minimum order to 59 yuan (US$8.2) from 99 yuan. It marked the first time in eight years that the company has updated its free-shipping policy after a hike in the minimum qualifying amount in 2016”. It is worth noting that Amazon India also has a restriction of minimum order of Rs. 500 for free shipping. However, this does not apply to those who have Amazon Prime.
Similarly, “Subscribers to the firm’s JD Plus service are now entitled to unlimited free delivery, compared with five free deliveries a month previously”, as per a report. Analysts say that “Free shipping is a very effective means to compete in a crowded market and draw users from lower-tier markets” including China’s e-commerce market.