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How Groupon Conquered the Indian Market with Onions

Onion price is a highly political and economically significant factor in India. When the onion prices soared in India in the last few months, Groupon came up with a brilliant, out of the box marketing idea. Read the story of how they conquered the Indian market just with a vegetable - onion!

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How Groupon Conquered the Indian Market with Onions

  1. 1. How Groupon Conquered the Indian Market with Onions! Analysis By
  2. 2. Overview • Onion is politically and economically significant to India– a little background • Inner details of Groupon’s onion marketing blitzkrieg • The results Analysis by
  3. 3. India’s love affair with onion – a little background Image: http://climatekids.nasa.gov People in India eat their way through 15 million tonnes of onions a year. Almost every dish uses it, whether cooked in a curry or eaten raw as an accompaniment to almost every meal. Analysis by
  4. 4. India is the second largest producer of onion Analysis by
  5. 5. Leading onion producing states in India Analysis by
  6. 6. Lasalgaon in Maharashtra is Asia’s biggest onion market Image:fotojournalismus Analysis by
  7. 7. Mass appeal makes it a political weapon • The Congress Party won national elections in 1980 after turning the high price of onions into a campaign issue. In 1998, the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost control of the capital, New Delhi, when a shortage of onions sent prices soaring. • Indian government banned onion exports for two weeks in August 2013 and then hiked the minimum price to discourage exports. They are also considering importing onions from neighboring countries. Analysis by
  8. 8. Starting August 2013, onion prices started going up The price of a kilogram of onions in India’s cities has more than doubled since the beginning of August, from less than Rs 30 (45 cents), to Rs.70 ($1.14) Analysis by
  9. 9. Crazy things happen In India when onion prices increase • In an unusual case of robbery, three armed men stopped a truck carrying onion and decamped with the vehicle at Shahpura village on Jaipur-Delhi highway. • In the capital city of Delhi, The Bharatiya Janata Party opened special stalls to sell onions at rates significantly lower than the market price, in a bid to embarrass the government. Analysis by
  10. 10. People started protests across the country against the price rise Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images Analysis by
  11. 11. Reuters Analysis by
  12. 12. Groupon Spotted an Opportunity in it Analysis by
  13. 13. • Groupon.co.in (US based discounted deals site Groupon’s Indian arm) spotted a great marketing opportunity in onion price rise to draw more traffic to their site. • They started a weeklong bargain on Sep.5, and offered 1 kilogram of onions at 9 rupees (about $0.14) for 3,000 buyers for the next 7 days. The Idea – Sell onions at 85% Discount Analysis by
  14. 14. Groupon’s tongue-in-cheek Ad read like this People haven’t experienced onions in a long, long time. That sweet, pungent aroma of onions being sautéed to a nice golden brown before being added to your mum’s signature curry is no longer familiar. Chai times haven’t been the same without the crispy, spicy onion bhajis of childhood. Even your favorite bhel puri doesn’t taste the same, now that it doesn’t include a generous dose of finely-chopped, crunchy onions to balance out the khatta-meeta chutneys so perfectly. The world as you’ve tasted is over…until now. Onions have moved on from the kitchen to the spotlight. his much-coveted, much-written- about, much-craved-for vegetable is now almost as expensive as caviar, diamonds and Donald Trump’s wig! Men are scrambling to the market to pick the perfect onion ring to please their ladies. In a time when the onion prices are grabbing more headlines and spamming more Facebook timelines than Miley Cyrus’ outrageous VMA performance, Groupon steps in to save the day (your taste buds may now thank us). Analysis by
  15. 15. They started with a teaser on Facebook Analysis by
  16. 16. On Sep 5th, revealed the deal on Facebook Analysis by
  17. 17. It took only 44 minutes to sell the first 3,000 kilograms of onions, and the sudden traffic spike crashed Groupon's Indian site Analysis by
  18. 18. The site's Chief Executive Ankur Warikoo tweeted Analysis by
  19. 19. They conducted #onionify contest on Twitter Analysis by
  20. 20. Conducted e-mail campaigns around it Analysis by
  21. 21. Day this deal went live, the total Google searches for Groupon jumped by 400% in a single day Image: Nextbigwhat.com Analysis by
  22. 22. More than 22 tonnes of onion were sold in 7 Days Analysis by
  23. 23. Execution • They tied up with one of largest onion distributors to procure 3,000 kilograms of fresh onions every day. The customers were barred from buying more than one kilogram of onions per address. • The sale of onions would start at 1 pm everyday until 3000 kg of onions are sold for the day for seven consecutive days from the 5th September. • Since they ordered 21 tonnes in bulk for 7 days, they would have got a good bargain. Analysis by
  24. 24. Orders were home delivered free of cost in 78 cities across India within few days .. Analysis by
  25. 25. According to a response in Quora by Ankur Warikoo, the CEO of Groupon India The Results Analysis by
  26. 26. Gained wide media publicity on leading publications Analysis by
  27. 27. International media coverage followed Analysis by
  28. 28. Several Indian TV channels picked it up Analysis by
  29. 29. Huge increase in traffic to Groupon site Source: Google Trends Analysis by
  30. 30. Gained high value links, citations and social sharing from an SEO perspective Analysis by
  31. 31. They got over 16,500 new buyers on the site over 7 days, at a never before cost Analysis by
  32. 32. They activated over 3000 buyers that had not bought anything in the past 90 days Analysis by
  33. 33. Business went up by 60% and later stabilized at 12% higher than the base before Analysis by
  34. 34. The deal was nationally trending on twitter for a total of 28 hours Analysis by
  35. 35. Finally, business generated by the new customers has paid itself over several times (compared to the spending for the exercise) Analysis by
  36. 36. For more online marketing case studies, updates and news, click below to follow us Presented By