Online Couponing Sites: The Next Big Thing in the E-tail Arena

E-commerce is picking up all across the globe, but there is one place where this change is considerably prominent – India. The online shopping industry in India is growing at an annual compound growth rate of 33 %. The market which currently amounts to $12 Billion is expected to touch $38 Billion in another 3 years and reach a whopping $78 Billion by 2020. And the recent eminent developments in the e-tailing space approve of this enormous growth.

Recently India’s largest e-commerce site Flipkart raised a funding of $1 Billion, the biggest amount any internet firm has ever bagged. Following this, Amazon also extended an investment worth $2 Billion towardsits Indiaoperations, But it’s not only the biggies who are attracting millions and billions of dollars. Start-ups are becoming equally popular amongst investors, Indian and overseas alike. In July itself, online furniture store Urban Ladder and car rental firm OLA Cabs received funding of $41 Million and $20 Million respectively. But these firms aren’t hogging all the limelight by themselves.


Another segment of the industry which is all geared up to taste its share of success is that of couponing websites. Indian buyers have a set psychology which attracts them towards hefty discounts and everything and anything ‘free’. And thanks to this frenzy, online coupons sites are already making it big in the subcontinent. Today, online shoppers are using coupons for almost everything. A recent survey conducted by revealed that discounts are the foremost reason which attracts Indians to shop online. 95% of buyers search for online deals before buying anything. And 74% of these shoppers look at couponing sites for best deals and working coupons. Why? It saves them both time and money. They can enjoy special discounts on the products of their choice without even leaving the comfort of their homes.

Amongst the various reasons fuellingthe growth of coupon sites in India, steep growth of e-commerce, augmented use of smartphones and increased penetration of Internet in the country top the list. “Today more than 200 Million people in India have access to internet and as per a recent news this is likely to go up to 500 Million by 2018. This will definitely have a huge impact on the business graphs of couponing sites. The more people shop online, the more deals will they look for” said Kulpreet Marwaha, Co-founder Shop Pirate.

Currently operating in bootstrapped mode, Shop Pirate already features more than 5000 active offers from around 500 online merchants. With people frantically scouting for deals, the site is likely to have more than 1lac user subscriptions by the end of this year. Owing to the promising growth delivered by the venture already, it bagged a funding of Rs. 5 Million last month from a Hyderabad-based investor. Kulpreet said that the start-up is largely relying on mobile users for expansion and have already launched apps for iOS and Windows phone users.

There aren’t much details about this nascent industry, but experts say deals and coupon sites can drive revenues worth $2 Billion to firms in India. Moreover, we can expect several coupon sites to mushroom in the next 2 to 3 years. And this foreseen growth has tempted giants like Amazon and Flipkart to show interest in big names in the couponing arena. The growth is now for online couponing industry. With consumers already accessing these sites at a large scale, it seems there is no looking back.

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