Everyone loves online shopping. What they hate is the feeling of an empty bank account after they’re done. So if someone comes up to you, and tells you that they’ll give you money to shop, you’re not going to say no.
At first the idea behind Bonusbay may sound absurd. A company that gives you money to shop online? But it is as it explains – Bonusbay is a completely free service that helps you get money back on your online purchases. No frills, no secret agendas.
The idea of it is refreshing, especially after the noise from various discounts and marketing schemes that seem to have a string attached. And the more I explored Bonusbay, the more it made sense.
It goes like this. When you buy something from Zalora for 250 SGD, you can get 20 SGD in bonuses through Bonusbay. They will open a balance for you in Bonusbay account, and once your balance hits a limit of 15 SGD, you can ask for the amount to be transferred to your PayPal account. Yes, it’s real money.
BonusBay And World Domination
Bonusbay’s Singapore team: CEO Tatu Koistinen, middle of the back row, Techonology Manager top row, first person on the left, and the rest of the Singapore team on bottom, 3 ladies from the right.
This brilliant idea comes from Finland, where a group of friends who studied in the same university noticed that there were lot of loyalty programs for physical stores but, but for some reason no one had thought to make one for e-commerce. These friends saw this as their chance to build a service that fans of online-shopping can’t say no to.
“The inspiration to Bonusbay was normal loyalty programs. People prefer buying from certain store when they get some extra money. Web shops always want to have more good quality users,” said CEO Tatu Koistinen.
Bonusbay has come a long way since its launch, having rooted itself as leaders in Finland and Russia, and building strong presence in Sweden and Turkey.
Its aim? “To be the leading e-commerce loyalty program in the world,” Koistinen answered.
‘Kiasu’ Singaporeans, Time To Pay Attention
From the first glance, it pretty obvious that BonusBay and Singaporeans could be a match made in heaven.
The first reason is that Singaporeans are no strangers to online shopping. In fact, they’re best friends, or secret lovers that they don’t tell their friends about. From a study made in July, its projected that Singapore is expected to hit $4.4 billion in revenue in 2015 from e-commerce alone. We’re just addicted to the stuff, and getting more so with the option of shopping on our mobile devices.
The second reason is that Singaporeans love anything to do with money. While discounts and promotions are good, but nothing feels more tangible and visible than being given real money. And yes, Bonusbay does give you actual money – transferred straight into your bank account.
Depending on the online store, Bonusbay would provide you a bonus rate that determines how much you get back from your purchase. The bonus rate is always a percentage, meaning that the more you spend, the more you get back. As if you need any more reason to shop more. For example, the Apple Store gets you a 1% bonus rate, so if you’re thinking of ordering an iPhone 6 at the S$988 price tag, you get $9.88 back. Booking.com gives you a 3.8% bonus rate, so if you’re planning a weekend getaway, that bonus rate should be able to cover some shopping during that time.
“We will bring better deals for their normal e-commerce. People can earn some extra money when shopping in their favourite shops as usual,” said Koistinen. “We really believe that this should be a must-have thing for all online shoppers. Whether they are buying fashion, travel or electronics.”
Singapore is Bonusbay’s first stop in the Asian market on its conquest for world domination, with the site launched just this month. The Bonusbay team consists of 5 people, and hold a simple promise – to offer good quality service for consumers and merchants.
“We will work hard in Singapore to find right partners to tell about our service to users,” said Koistinen when asked on Bonusbay’s next step. “We continuously are looking for new merchants and even better deals to make our service even more appealing. We also aim to be the market leader in 10 country by the end of 2015. Naturally this includes Singapore.”
How To BonusBay?
1. Create an account, and log in to your Bonusbay account.
2. Log on the webstore through the Bonusbay site. Do make sure that your AdBlock is off and your browser enables cookies to be stored, to allow webstores to register you as a Bonusbay member.
3. Make a purchase in the webstore as you normally would. This would probably be the most difficult part.
That’s it! It’s pretty simple and straight forward. In fact, that’s the best thing about Bonusbay. It’s transparent, and straightforward, no quirks, no hidden agendas. Their bonuses come from the webstore’s sales commission to it, and you get a share of the same pie for no extra charge.
I gave Bonusbay a quick try on my next trip to Luxola, and got a small sum back for a Face Mask I would have bought anyway. It just feels like I have a friend on the inside, sneaking me discounts when the boss isn’t looking. And it feels pretty nice.
What I found most surprising while browsing through their online store partners was the variety of stores available. It’s not just about women’s clothing and fashion. You would spend most online on holidays, and they happen to have travel partners like Booking.com or Zuji, and even airlines like Qatar and Finnair. Even smaller buys like food and drink, they’ve got partners with RedMart and FoodPanda if you’re looking to order food into the office.
So next time you feel that urge to shop online again, I would suggest checking Bonusbay to see what bonuses you can get first.
If you’ve read this article and are feeling tempted, there’s good news! Vulcan Post Readers will receive a $5 welcome bonus upon registering for Bonusbay. Just head onto www.bonusbay.sg/vulcanpost and sign up through there to get your $5 welcome bonus!