There was a time when the ghost of Indian ‘can’t touch, won’t buy’ mentality bugged online retailers. But things seem to be taking a roundabout now. India has finally arrived at the e-commerce scene and how! In 2013 the e-retail segment took a whooping leap of 80% in the overall revenue and it is expected to increase another sevenfold in the next five years. Presently country’s online market-space is worth $3.1 billion annually, which is likely to become $22 Billion by the end of 2020 owing to improvement in internet connectivity, logistics and other infrastructure related operations like delivery and payment systems. This will make it convenient for over 200 million online shoppers in India to shop on the go.
Over the years, consumer mentality and shopping trends have witnessed a dramatic change. Experts and investors alike are positive about online shopping becoming mainstream in the next five to six years. “Consumers are readily accepting online shopping over traditional means of purchasing. In the coming decade, we will see an overall penetration of e-commerce in Tier I, Tier II and Tier III cities alike”, says Kulpreet Kaur, Co- Founder– Shop Pirate which is a rapidly emerging online Coupons website.
And numbers confirm the same. India’s online retail (e-tail) has seen its share of action over the past few months. Start-ups such as Snapdeal, Myntra and Flipkart have been fuelled with hundreds of millions dollars, while big daddies like Walmart, Amazon and eBay are also contending to have their share in the success. Moreover, two of the biggest players are close to achieving the $1 billion gross merchandise value milestone, while Flipkart has already sealed the deal in this case.
When we talk about what people are buying online, electronics lead the pack with 34% users searching for this product category. Next in the line are apparels and accessories, accounting for 30% of the overall sales. Following up next are books (15%), Home and Furnishing (6%), Beauty and Personal Care (10%), Baby Products (2%) and Health Care (3%) in no particular order. This indicates people are turning to the internet for just every other need. But, what encourages them to ditch traditional shops and approach e-stores?
According to a survey, 74 % of the respondents believed that discount and convenience are two primary factors that encourage people to shop online.Though product variety was the second major reason, stated by 50% of the respondents, but online coupons and deals seem to attract a major traction. In another study 95% of all respondents said that they search for coupons and deals before making any online purchase.
Owing to the ever increasing number of e-shoppers, daily deal and coupon sites are fast gaining popularity across the globe. A study revealed that in 2011, 4.6 million internet users, 15 years and above, had accessed coupons category either from work PC or home computer. This number amounts for 10.5% of the entire population. And the first place they search for these alluring deals and coupons are, of course, the coupon sites.
Currently, Shop Pirate has over 5000 active offers from around 500 stores. It also has some exclusive deals in travel category.Users can submit coupons to the site and earn reward points and badges. These points can be redeemed on purchases made through the website. Shoppers can also collect rewards and become top pirates. Top pirates will get bumper prizes!
Shop Pirate comes with a friendly user-interface and easy navigation allowing users to search for a product of their choice. Features like category search make browsing simpler. Moreover, on signup users will get notifications once the latest deals and coupons for their favorite store are available.
“One of the main goal of Shop Pirate is to focus on user experience and to offer our users valid, working coupons and deals to help them save on online shopping in a major way” said Suresh Kumar, Co-Founder – Shop Pirate. “Users can also comment whether the coupon was useful or not. This helps in building a transparent system which helps the fellow shoppers.”
The boom in online purchasing has, in turn, helped in mushrooming of deals and coupons websites. Growing Indian ecommerce market is an indication to growing coupons market. 74% buyers visit such sites before making a purchase. These numbers are definitely an eye-opener. They tell us that today’s online shopper is savvy and suave. He understands his needs and is empowered with means to cater to those needs. In order to save time and money, he will no stone unturned to find the choicest of deals online; And couponing sites are definitely his gateway to these enticing deals.
“Deals and coupon sites save buyers a lot of time. They don’t have to search frantically for deals all over the internet. They get practically everything at one place. And as many sites have already launched their mobile apps, all shoppers have to do is to look at their phones, and they already know which stores are offering the best deals without having to waste time scouting for them. Save money, save-time – online coupon sites are a game-changer”, says Kulpreet.
As technology overtakes operations in the online space, online sales are undoubtedly going to sky-rocket in the next 5 years. And this, in turn, will mean more online deals sites coming up. As to how these sites flourish and perform, we will have to wait and watch. But one thing is guaranteed – with the ever-increasing competition in the e-commerce space, the consumer will always be in a win-win situation.