Baggout operates one of the largest product aggregation portals in India with a daily traffic of over 25,000 visitors. We have been receiving frequent requests from our users for providing offers/coupons in addition to product selection and cashback features. So, we decided to launch Coupons side of our portal but conducted a survey amongst our users to understand the customer requirements. The survey questionnaire was sent to over 1 lakh of our users and was responded to by around 2000 of them. The results of the survey were truly enlightening so we have decided to share the same with rest of the community.
The main insights which can be derived from the survey are –
- A large percentage of avid online shoppers are aware of the existence of online coupons; majority of them, however, are not satisfied with their experience on coupon sites.
- Online retailers have been able to create a strong brand in the market and a large percentage of online shoppers are directly visiting these sites bypassing Google Search.
- Coupon sites are mainly used for two use cases – Finding best deals running online and to find appropriate coupons after adding product to the cart at their favorite retailer.
- Online retailers, however, are squeezing both of these use cases by 1) Sending deal mailers to their users directly which has good level of acceptance amongst online shoppers 2) Showcasing coupons alongside products or by not using coupon codes at all.
- Shoppers see value in mails from coupon sites if these sites send personalized mailers containing relevant offers.
- Non-working coupons/deals is the biggest problem faced on coupon sites so investment towards solving this issue would reap high rewards.
Total Respondents – 1922
Online Shopping Behavior – Shop a lot (40%), Shop once a Month (27%), Once a Quarter (12%), Rarely/Never (21%)
Gender – Male (68%) and Female (32%)
Age – Less than 18 (3%), 18-25 yrs (38%), 25-35 yrs (44%), 35-45 yrs (11%) and 45+ yrs (4%)
Since, the respondents are avid online shoppers, it was not surprising that 40% of them use coupons often. However, what was surprising was that over 50% are aware of the coupons but don’t use coupon sites because they are not satisfied with the experience. It means that there is ample space for growth of couponing in India if the existing/new sites can take care of the current problems faced by online shoppers. Obviously, this potential growth is in addition to the growth due to the rapidly expanding base of online shoppers in India.
Majority of the e-commerce sites are currently playing on discounts to acquire new customers so we asked the respondents to list their favorite portal for deals. The results are not surprising at all with Flipkart stealing the show, Snapdeal and Amazon tied at second spot and Jabong coming in at number three spot.
Next, we asked the users “where do they go for online shopping” and we expected majority of them to say Google. However, this was a big surprise for us. 45% of the users go directly to their favorite retailer which means that these big ecommerce companies have been able to create a strong brand and some sort of loyalty amongst the avid online shoppers at least. This means that the Millions of dollars being spent by these players are not going down the drain.
Google came at second place with 30% of the respondents starting their online shopping experience from Google Search. Coupon and cashback sites came at a respectable third with 24% of the users starting their online journey from these sites looking for deals and cashback.
The next three questions focused on the way people use Coupon sites and the goods and bads of current coupon sites.
Respondents use coupon sites primarily for two reasons either for finding great deals running online or for finding the coupons after adding products to their online shopping cart. Both of these are great use cases for coupon/deal websites; however, there are problems with both of them. On the first use case, Retailers are catching up with the deal sites by sending deal mailers to their subscribers directly and therefore limiting the impact of coupon sites’ mailers (23% of the respondents are already being wooed by the retailer mails containing deals). On the second front, the sale is of little use for the retailer as the user is already converted so it is just a waste of affiliate commission for the merchant. Thus, etailers including Jabong and Myntra have already started showing coupon codes along with the products and the biggies including Flipkart and Snapdeal have stopped using coupon codes completely.
Thus, the coupon websites would need to add some real value to the ecosystem for their long term survival rather than just earning money from the retailers by domination SERPs (Search Engine Result Page) for coupon keywords.
The next question inquired the users regarding the most important features of a coupon site. Working coupons/deals was the number one choice with over 50% choosing the same. However, the second choice was really surprising as 32% users wanted to get relevant deal mails in their inbox. This is really a big deal as it means that users don’t see these mails as spam to the point that coupon sites take some effort and send out tailor made mails based on user personas. Are you listening Coupon sites? This also means that a large number of avid online shoppers are doing impulse shopping which is a huge leap in Indian online shopping ecosystem.
Finally, we asked the respondents on the pain points faced while using coupon sites –
The biggest problem faced is regarding non-working coupons/deals with over 50% respondents reporting the same. It actually is a problem faced worldwide as retailers keep on changing offers on a daily basis; there is a lot of manual intervention between the retailer starting/ending the deal, communicating it to affiliate networks/communicating it through the website and then the coupon website reflecting the changes on their portal. However, herein lies the opportunity so the company which solves this pain point effectively stands to gain a lot of ground and market share.
The other main pain point is related to the ability to search relevant offers which can be solved through keeping meta information such as category, discount percentage and other parameters for each deal/coupon.
All in all, the survey was highly informative and helped us gain a lot of insights on the use of coupons by online shoppers in India. Hope this helps other coupon sites/online shopping sites in serving their users better, the way it has guided us in our design of the couponing side of our product.
P.S. Feel free to use the infographic on your website. Just don’t forget to give us the credit 🙂