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Published on June 16th, 2013 | by Saurabh Pandey

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4 trends for online coupon sites in 2013

A recent Comscore- Pulse of the Online Shopper study (June 2013), shows that “consumers want more choices when shopping online.” Of course more choices lead to comparison. The mobile and social channels seem to play a vital role in the way consumers shop, and the study also offers interesting insights: ” 47% respondents (of the 3000 surveyed in a study earlier this year by Comscore) say that they want a retailer to send a coupon to their phones when they are in-store or nearby.

There is little left to fathom that consumers are shifting their shopping and shopping-research online. Couple this with a 2011 study by Comscore where it said that about 10% of Indian online users accessed online coupon sites that year. Even if we were to juxtapose this 10% with expected 2013-2014 online population of about 173m (Mary Meekers 2012-2013, extrapolated with 26% YoY growth) , we should have around 17-20m users accessing coupon sites in India this year!

But the above growth (which I am sure is much larger than what we have recorded here), has also brought-in a lot of players. I can estimate at least 10 large sized coupon players and perhaps hundreds of smaller ones (includes comparison sites)

Given that most of them are just aggregating coupons, there are a few clear indications of future trends:

1. Given that we are already looking at consolidation in online shopping (ecommerce) platforms- the coupon sites will have no choice but to also integrate offline stores in future and offer a larger portfolio. This also implies that we may see a consolidation soon in coupon space as well (maybe in the next 1-2 years)

2. We may also see an uprising of vertical focused coupon sites

3. We can also hope to see, a few intelligent players focusing on technology (UI, logistics, building trust elements, search & comparison, content discovery, responsiveness, mobile, distribution and aggregation APIs)) marketing (more organic traffic, more social and referral traffic, distribution of coupons, repeat traffic, conversion rates, redemption rates) and content (categorization, hyperlocalization, quality check, products matching consumer trends)

4. Coupon players need to build long-term and robust revenue models (can they just survive on a 20% commission and 2-4% download and roughly 25% redemption rate?) and need to create value for retail/ecommerce and consumers.

I wind this write-up here, because we are bringing an interesting interview of Sahil Shah (Co-Founder, CupoNation.in) on Monday. CupoNation is one of the new entrants with a promise to differentiate and add value to online shoppers in India. How? Wait for the interview to be published tomorrow!

 

 


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