Membership benefits for online retailers
Is it really beneficial to sign up with online shopping websites? Do you truly get better deals, bigger discounts and offers if you are a member? We find out.
Most online retailers will allow you to shop without signing up. Some will send you promotions and recommendations if you become a member, some will even if you haven’t. But most don’t have anything special for you if you hold an account.
However, some do offer a little more, but you have to do quite a bit of shopping for it to be really useful. FashionAndYou, for instance, lets you rack up reward points while shopping, which could benefit you in the long run. Jabong, on the other hand, gives two discount vouchers to all new members.
|Online retailer||Sign-up required to make purchases||Shopping money/Discounts/Deals on sign-up||Site’s own e-Cash system||Members: newsletter/Email promotions|
Flipkart offers no real membership benefit; you will get personalized recommendations if you sign up for an account, although you can still shop without creating one. In addition, Flipkart has a ‘Wallet’ option available to members which is a sort of pre-paid system in which you maintain a balance and through which you can pay for items purchased. It makes shopping online a bit easier, since you don’t have to enter your credit card or bank details each time you shop.
Snapdeal promises quicker and smoother transactions if you sign up, and will let you track the history of each of your orders if you do. Like Flipkart, you can also use the site’s electronic cash option – called SD cash – to make purchases simpler.
The sign-up process with Infibeam is really easy; you don’t even need an email confirmation. But there doesn’t seem to be a system in place to inform members of discounts or any other benefits, although you can subscribe for discounts and offers at the bottom of the page.
Like Infbeam, Saholic needs no email confirmation to create an account and there’s no mention of any notification on deals or offers when you signing up.
Jabong is the only site we’ve across which actually offers a benefit just for signing up. On doing so you’ll get vouchers which can save you as much as Rs1,500. You get 1 voucher for 10% off on purchases above Rs1,000 (up to a maximum discount of Rs500) and another for 20% off on purchases above Rs2,000 (up to a maximum discount of Rs1,000). Unfortunately, they are only valid on non-discounted products and you must use them within 10 days of signing up.
With Indiatimes Shopping you will have to create an account to shop. And hence the site doesn’t afford you any benefits for doing so. The only convenience is that you won’t have to re-enter shipping details and the like, but that’s true for any registration.
HomeShop18 is another online retailer which offers no real benefits for signing up other than the conveniences like tracking the delivery status, access to a list of your past orders and future purchases with the Wishlist option. If you subscribe to the site’s weekly newsletter you will be kept updated on new products.
In terms of member benefits FashionAndYou is like a forum where members earn points and climb up the social ladder. The system is not so simple though. You must join the FashionAndYou Rewards program – by shopping for Rs1,500 in a single purchase – to earn benefits. Then you earn points every time you shop and move up tier levels for more benefits at each tier, such as access to hidden sales.
Yebhi is another online portal which has perks for signing up. You get a total of Rs2,000 off spread out over four deals. They are: Rs200 off on purchases over Rs1,000, Rs300 off on purchases over Rs1,499, Rs500 off on purchases over Rs2,499, and Rs1,000 cash back on purchases over Rs2,000. But when we created an account and signed in, we couldn’t see these promos offered as we proceeded to checkout.
Myntra is the only site on our list which needs you to enter your cell phone number in order to sign up. You get a coupon for 25% off on a minimum purchase of Rs1,499 and you have 15 days’ time in which to use it. In addition, you can earn coupons worth up to Rs1,500 for each friend you refer to the website.