Amazon Prime has arrived in India.
Amazon today launched its membership program to customers across more than 100 cities in India, offering free one- and two-day shipping. Introductory prices start at about $7.50 per year after a 60-day trial and will rise to about $15.
For now, the program includes the speedy shipping service — including same-day shipping in larger cities like Delhi and Mumbai — and exclusive discounts, but does not come with other benefits like streaming video and music offered to Prime members in the U.S. who pay $99 per year.
India is arguably Amazon’s most important overseas opportunity. Earlier this year, Forbes ran a cover story reporting that Amazon “predicts that India will be its biggest market after the U.S. within a decade and that the Indian e-commerce market as a whole will ultimately be gigantic.”
Last month, Reuters reported that Amazon will invest an additional $3 billion in its India operations, which is on top of $2 billion already invested. That means the company is putting $5 billion toward its India business.
Indian customers seem to like Amazon, too. A survey in March revealed that consumers in the world’s second-most popular country trust Amazon’s brand more than any other web retailer. Amazon competes with India-based e-commerce companies like Snapdeal and Flipkart, whose subsidiary Myntra just acquired competitor Rocket Internet.
Amazon’s Prime program has reached 63 million members in the U.S. — an increase of 43 percent over the past year — surpassing 50 percent of the company’s U.S. customer base for the first time, according to a new estimate released earlier this month.