By Ashok Reddy, Founder & CEO, GrabOn
Headquartered in Hyderabad, GrabOn is the leading couponing space in India. Aiming to provide more value to the customers through technological innovation, the entity provides exciting offers & deals.
Indians take pride in their negotiation and bargaining skills and quite rightly so! Naturally, online shopping isn’t an exception to this rule. Boasting the second biggest internet user base, the e-commerce scene in India is witnessing a fast overhaul to become the biggest market in entire Asia Pacific region. With new merchants in different categories setting up shops every day, there exists the scope for coupons, for ways to help the average online shopper save money. As such the couponing industry in India is more than just living up to its expectations.
Few years back the concept of an industry solely dependent on coupon sales would be scoffed at. We have indeed come a long way from then. The coupon industry in the west is a well-established money churning machine. Needless to say billion dollar companies are a plenty in the sector. However, the market is getting saturated, evident from the expected 3.6 percent increase in U.S. couponing space in the year 2016, while the couponing industry in India was expected to rise by a massive 500 percent. This can be attributed to the ever expanding e-commerce market, wider internet user base and the audience still coming to grips with online shopping, deals and offers.
India coupon sector is ripe for the taking but underestimate the competition at your own risk. During the last fiscal year, the number of coupon and deals website in India was recorded at 150 and growing. Overcrowding is an issue that needs to be dealt with. You need to be innovative, come up with new ideas and offer better couponing service if you want to survive and make it big. Going by the Forrester report, 2012-2016 is set to be the period of maximum growth with the industry expected to scale up by an annual 57 percent. This indicates that the scope is very much out there but in an extremely competitive set up. This is where innovation and technological advancement is so very crucial.
To sum it all up, when it comes to technological innovation and incorporating it to your strategy, there are only two choices: adapt or fall behind. As we are entering the final quarter of this fiscal year, there are some noticeable trends and others that are worth looking out for, in couponing and deals sector. Focus on proliferation of the sector into the tier 2 and tier 3 cities are one such trend. More and more areas being serviceable by the e-commerce portals provide fresh market to push in the coupons. Targeting these cities, creating awareness and supplying appropriate deals and offers should be the tentative goal.
Local offline business has suffered as the consumers have moved on to the online retailers offering lucrative discounts and better services. This situation has created a void for hyper local services and deals. Couponing industry offering the same deals and discounts on the offline retailers could act as a bridge between the disconnected online shopper and traditional offline retailer.