Are You a Hopper or a Smart Shopper?

Author: Sumit Gupta, Co-Founder, Dealsnprice

As shopping sites are booming in the web domain, now buyers are empowered with almost countless options to buy a product online. In 2012, the number of online shopping sites in India was around 600 and it was poised to increase by folds over time. The eCommerce segment of the country is increasing at a fast pace. The eCommerce market of the country was estimated to be 19, 688 Cr. in 2009. Internet user base in the country in January 2014 was 243.2 million, being the third largest user base in the world. The growth rate of Indian internet users is much higher compared to other nations adding around 6 million new entrants every month. Indian e-tailing market is achieving new heights in the backdrop of a rising demand curve and penetration of technology within masses. By the first quarter of 2015, Six Indian giants in eCommerce segment namely, Flipkart, Snapdeal, InMobi, Quickr, OlaCabs and Paytm managed to achieve a billion-dollar valuation.

The e-market setting of the country is become a highly competitive one. On one hand, a number of industry leaders in the sector are emphasizing to catch up with the growing demands of Indian buyers and on the other, the market is growing complicated with a number of factors such as technology and tech savvy buyers. To harness the real potential of the market, e-marketplace giants have to be keen enough to know the minutest aspect of the industry. Keeping up with real time demands of products is crucial for these companies. Additionally, diversity of products is among the major USPs of any shopping site in present time as customers are naturally attracted to online portals offering products that are qualitatively unique in the market. E-retailers are leveraging every possible avenues to sale their products. It is up to customers to act best while buying and make the smart decision.

Finding the best deal in the market has always been the primary objective of buyers. However, even in online shopping, finding the best deals could be frustrating if one chooses to check over every individual site. Instead, shoppers should log into price comparison sites and compare the price of any particular product. Online comparison sites find the best price across shopping sites and save buyer’s time. Comparing for product prices on such websites is the best way to save money while buying online. Additionally, shoppers can also try out searching a product in search engines and check out for options. However, search engines are not efficient enough to showcase product details comprehensively and the results in search pages only redirects to individual shopping websites.

Buying online offers a number of advantages. Cash back offers are one of the best features of online shopping. Buyers can earn while spending or can get additional products along with the product they are paying for. Comparison websites also offer cash back on most of online purchases. Cash back is a share of the commission the provider site gets from a retailer. Many cashback sites offers up to 20% of the product price to customer. These sites commoditize Data and their ability to access databases of products information offers the best to both buyers as well as the sellers.

Coupon sites bring traffic to online sites and on the other hand, they offer back a part of money customers spend in any purchase. Affiliate marketing sites are expert planners and can offer customized set of product information to users. Along with online shopping, Affiliate Marketing in India is on a rise. The industry is poised to grow by 500% over the next couple of years. Surveys have suggested that close to 85% of Indian buyers use vouchers before online shopping. The Indian market for online coupons is accounting for more than $2 Billion in 2013 and the same is projected to grow by 30% by 2017.

Web aggregators, offering more amenities to buyers, are coming up with innovative methods. Cash backs are offered from online shopping sites as well as from payment gateways. Hence, customers get a two-fold discount in any purchase. Discounts are offered also across industry verticals offering a comprehensive window to customers for most of transactions in daily life. For instance, buyers have the opportunity to get discounts while buying electronics, while booking an airline ticket or while hiring a taxi all at the same portal.

Additional to onsite discounts and cashback offers, these sites are also setting up a strong brand loyalty by offering referral programs to users. For instance, downloading or sharing a web aggregator app provide extra discount on purchases via the app. The feature of wallets and points is an elemental advantage to earn discounts. Points or “Coins” are added to user’s individual wallet that can be used to avail cash back on any purchase.

In the run to gain customers, shopping sites and Web aggregators such as cash back websites, online discount coupon sites and Affiliate marketing sites are offering an array of amenities to online buyers. While customers are becoming more tech-savvy, an innate need to understand and utilize the set of features is transforming as an imperative for online buyers.

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