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Did the expected ban on ecommerce discounts make CouponDunia add cashbacks to its model?

(by Sneha Johari and Nikhil Pahwa) Times Internet* owned CouponDunia is now giving users cashbacks for shopping via the site, apart from also offering discounts. This is particularly interesting in the context of the recent notification from the Indian government on ecommerce, which stated that: “Ecommerce entities providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services and shall maintain a level playing field” So, does this mean that coupons, which are an indirect way of influencing the sale price of goods and services, will no longer be allowed? In that sense, is this Coupondunia's way of pivoting to cashbacks from discounts, once the policy is applicable? Coupondunia founder Sameer Parwani says this move has nothing to do with policy changes. "We made the decision to go cashback months ago, before the FDI rules were announced. Cashback is where we want to be whether or not e-commerce marketplaces find a way to continue deep discounts or they don't", he says, adding that "If they do continue deep discounting, then the coupon part of our site remains strong and we'll continue to have a strong funnel of users who first look for coupons and then get pulled into cashback. On the other hand if deep discounting does end, then the only way to save online will be via cashback and therefore the offering becomes even more valuable for consumers." Perhaps it's not even indirect discounting CouponDunia receives a commission when users shop via their site, which it gives back to users in…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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