Looks like Goibibo, the online travel ticketing venture from Ibibo, has started offering discount coupons worth Rs 5,000 on every domestic flight booking. Among the vouchers offered include flight booking discounts at Goibibo and discount vouchers from Naspers’ own e-commerce business Tradus.in along with discount vouchers from various other e-commerce portals like Wopshop, Fashos.com, Freecultr, Bagittoday, Fernsnpetals among others.
A done to death model? Started by the online recharge and couponing site Freecharge.in who has a patent pending on this business model, the couponing model seems to have become quite a trend among e-commerce sites with most of the online recharge portals like Paytm*, MobiKwik and Rechargeitnow offering discount vouchers now. In conversation with Medianama, Freecharge.in CEO Kunal Shah had said earlier this year that they had added a couponing model to convert its low margin recharge business to have slightly better margins. So we assume other recharge sites also followed suit in order to increase their margins. What’s interesting about Goibibo offer though is that one can find similar Goibibo coupons across most of the existing couponing sites.
MobiKwik co-founder, Upasana Taku, had informed MediaNama earlier this year that offering coupons was no big a deal and various companies in fact keep looking for various distribution platforms to distribute these discount coupons. She claimed that MobiKwik had managed to tie-up with several companies like Cleartrip, ibibo, IndiaPlaza and others within a month of launching this feature.
While the couponing model appears to be a win-win for both the coupon provider and the site offering them, since both get to pull-in new users, we are not quite sure how many people actually make use of these coupons.
Other Ibibo developments: Last month, Naspers subsidiary MIH Group, which is also the owner of Ibibo, had acquired a 51% stake in Gurgaon-based travel company Tek Travels which operates a B2B travel portal Travel Boutique Online, to improve the company’s offerings in the domestic online business travel space.
In March 2012, Ibibo had re-positioned itself as a gaming network from its previous social networking avatar. Prior to that, the company had launched its game developer platform, ibibo Open, to enable developers make social and multiplayer games on ibibo targeting Indian audiences. It had also signed up several international developers such as the Singapore-based Game Ventures, China-based Kingnet and Perfect World Studios and the Germany-based Plinga and had introduced desktop and mobile games.
In October 2011, Naspers had launched a payment gateway called PayU, to allow e-commerce sites integrate their transactions through online payments and had deployed it on Ibibo and its e-commerce sites tradus.in and Goibibo.
*Disclosure: PayTM is an advertiser with Medianama