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“The coupon business is 13.5% of the total e-commerce audience in India”

“The coupon business is 13.5% of the total e-commerce audience in India”

Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Groupon India

May 02, 2014 12:15 PM

The online deals market in India has seen unprecedented growth over the past couple of years. The segment has not only attracted first generation entrepreneurs to take a plunge but also attracted global companies like Groupon into the Indian market. Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Groupon India shares his views on the industry and the future plans for Groupon in India in an exclusive interview with IBEF.

The current market size of online deals market and the growth potential?

The daily deal websites comprise India’s fastest growing web vertical. The coupon business is 13.5 per cent of the total e-commerce audience in India, growing at the rate of 62.9 per cent with 7.6 million unique users a month (Source: Comscore Report December 2013). This clearly shows that Indian consumers who were earlier apprehensive about shopping online are now browsing more often to make high value purchases and avail experiential offers.

We entered the market in 2011 and have been the fastest growing country amongst 48 countries, ever since our inception. Additionally, we were recognized as the best destination for high quality deals, by our consumers, which is a fantastic achievement.

Journey of Groupon in India and future plans?

We entered the Indian market in 2011 and have grown tremendously to reach the #1 rank in the daily deals category (as per ComScore data). We have seen a lot of traction from customers and our repeat purchase rate of 48 per cent. Additionally, our consumers recognized us as the best destination for high quality deals within just a year of our presence in the country. We were able to attain this mark within one year of our existence in India because of our strong focus on providing quality deals to our consumers.

Some of our key milestones in the Indian market have been:

  • Featured more than 15,000 deals in 12 months
  • Average transaction value highest in the category
  • More than 2 million vouchers sold
  • Worked with more than 14000 merchants across the country
  • Sold a voucher once every 23 seconds

It is our heritage, the global domain knowledge and an endeavor to provide the best to our consumers and merchants that has given us our success in India. Our focus really is to gain consumer mindshare and become ‘’A Lifestyle Discovery Engine” of sorts – when they wake up in the morning, we want consumers to find their answers to that one question – what do I do today?

2013 was a BIG year for Groupon India as we became the leader in the Daily deals segment with a 54 per cent Traffic Share (Source: Comscore India report – category coupons). Our success was driven by three factors:

Focus on high quality merchants: With the likes of Taj, Hilton & Radisson to name a few, we worked with top brands across the industry to offer great deals to our customers while ensuring that the merchants also benefit from the promotions by gaining valuable new customers.

Epic Deals and Experiential Marketing: We stuck to our core by offering stuff that the world loves Groupon for - Epic Deals. ‘Onions deal’ is one such example, where we sold more than 22 Thousand Kilos of Onions in 279 minutes across 5 days & 78 cities in India. The onions deal is a great example of how we constantly think creatively to surprise our consumers and offer them irresistible deals and experiences. While it was not a simple deal as there were many challenges attached to the idea, we nailed it with a strong strategy and impeccable execution.

Another deal, ‘The mystery deal’ where consumers would get a surprise worth way more than the price by buying a surprise package from us & many more including helicopter rides, New year Parties etc.

Obsessive customer focus: Ensuring that the Groupon promise is always delivered, we went out of our way in ensuring that customers get a great experience each time they buy a Groupon. Here we even used the entire India management team including myself to ensure that no customer queries go unanswered.

The future to us looks very bright. We have a strong focus and hold on local commerce. Globally, this is a US$ 3 trillion opportunity. We believe that mobile is the next big thing and in the US 40 per cent of our transactions are already happening on the mobile platform.

For us this is how we think “People buy a mobile phone once in six months, a book may be once a month but eat out at least twice a week. If we can get people to buy their meals online we would have done a good job.”

Views on Brand India and its importance for the world today?

From the land of snake charmers to the land of only-known-for-taj-mahal; Brand India has come a long way in becoming a land of opportunities, technology and brilliant people. The evolution of Brand India has been remarkable since the liberalization. With the advancement of IT and commerce here, it is an important brand in the world that the other economies look up to.

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