We argue, we bargain, we walk from shop to shop to get that little extra discount. Banking on this tendency of offering unique discount (unlike sales which are for masses) coupon code websites made their way in the e-commerce industry.
Indian coupon code website CouponDunia entered the domain in 2011 and offers discounts on products offered on other e-commerce websites. The website offers coupons that would get them extra discount on purchasing products from e-tailing websites such as Jabong, Myntra or Yebhi.
“Indian offline coupon market is not as large and thus it made India the most viable market for us,” says Sameer Parwani, CEO, CouponDunia.
CouponDunia initially had tied up with multiple merchants for extra discounts but didn’t have codes that were exclusive to the website. In December 2010, the website adopted an exclusive coupon code model to offer extra value to merchants and consumers.
“For our services, merchants pay only when the consumer has successfully finished the transaction thus justifying the RoI,” adds Parwani.
In services, such as Adwords or SEO, there is no guarantee on whether the consumer will complete the transaction after receiving the marketing push.
CouponDunia claims to have helped generate about INR 250 million (US$ 403,000 approximately) in the last quarter for its merchants. Also, the website claims to have over one million online shoppers visit the website each month.
Parwani adds that the website is adding more merchants to its list soon. He however, declined to reveal any names. As women shoppers are high in the online segment, the fairer-sex would be an important target audience from a marketing stand-point. CouponDunia recently expanded its operations internationally to Brazil, Poland and Turkey.
Coupon culture entered India a few years ago, however did not pick up as quick as it did internationally. Mainly because Indians had a major trust barrier and also, there was dearth of vendors leading to similar kind of deals everywhere.
Even internet giants such as Groupon had a hard time and rebranded twice before it became a household name. Not to mention Facebook coupons that did not even receive the right kind of attention so as to decide its success or failure.
To survive in this cluttered scenario where every e-tailing and coupon website is searching for its niche, e27 offers a few tips to impress and retain the Indian masses:
Make the consumer feel special: Be it a discount, sale or a coupon, package it in a manner that it is different for every consumer. Offer loyal consumers exclusive coupons through emails and texts, thus giving them the uniqueness.
Gamify: Loyalty programmes – banal and boring. Go beyond the traditional points system. Give consumers additional rewards and quirky surprises. For instance, an extra coupon or the best coupon of the day who suggests the website to five new friends. Playing games is the best engagement.
Build trust: It will take time for your website to become a brand. Meanwhile, create active consumer support units to build trust. Also, you can create verification stamps for deals and products on other websites, as it will increase footfalls when consumers visit your page for verification purposes.
Once the initial barriers have been crossed, coupon websites have great scope in India, as this space is still far from cluttered.