Junglee.com has portrayed itself as a e-commerce price-comparison website. But is it just that?

Joseph Varugis  |  Singapore
Published 2014-11-03 15:00:01

Now that the Diwali spirit has concluded and you’ve witnessed every e-commerce site out there, offering you tons of discounts to lure you to their sites, it is quite likely that you’ve faced a whole lot of confusion! How do you equate all the supposed offers, who’s really giving you the best deal? If only there was a one-stop location that would end your woes and point you in the right direction; well, turns out there seems to be just the stop!

If you’d been at your TV screens or browsing YouTube anytime over the past month, chances are you’d have come across the well-known TV and IPL host, Gaurav Kapur coming to the rescue of a troubled couple, facing the dreaded task of choosing between e-commerce portals for the best deal, simply saying – ‘Just Go Junglee!’

Junglee.com boasts of being a website where you can compare the costs of products from over 2000 shopping sites, showcasing over 3 crore (30 million) products in its catalogue. As they portray it, and as it would most likely seem to the innocent mind – Junglee is the site to go to solve your problems by directing you to the e-retailer offering you the best price on the product you desire, from among all possible offerings. Well, as much as that would be ideal, things are a tiny bit more complicated than that.

Image Credit: junglee.com
Image Credit: junglee.com

You see, Junglee is owned by Amazon, which happens to be one of the three biggest e-commerce players in India, the others being Flipkart and Snapdeal; players that are currently involved in a quite a fiery tussle with each other. As common sense would dictate, the biggest and most powerful contenders, would be the one’s to offer you the best deals. Now do you still think Junglee will show you the best price available on the market?

Well, plain and simple, they do not. If you use Junglee to search for any common products such as electronic goods that aren’t restricted to one particular site and would thus be available on all of them, your search will list you offerings from Amazon, and a host of other sites, except for Flipkart, Myntra (owned by Flipkart) and Snapdeal. Better still, if you search for products exclusive to Flipkart or Snapdeal, you won’t find them.

Image Credit: junglee.com
Image Credit: junglee.com

As is obvious, when a user wishes to visit a website that compares all the available prices in the market, they’d (most likely) be looking for a site which compares the prices on the sites that really give the best deals, i.e. – Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. And Amazon was smart enough to bring out a campaign to target those very customers, who when actually use the site and see the available offerings, forget for the time-being, the existence of its rivals, Flipkart and Snapdeal, and go ahead with their purchase ignoring those two, which would lead them to the most reliable and well-known name of the lot (with a decent price), which in most cases, would direct them to Amazon.

So, if all Junglee does is direct the bulk of the e-commerce traffic, which includes Flipkart and Snapdeal loyalists to a site that would ultimately lead a sizeable portion among them to make their final purchases on Amazon, what does that make it? That would make Junglee not the selfless saviour it is painted to be, but a genuinely brilliant, though slightly immoral marketing campaign. Is Amazon trying to fool you with this ploy? Probably. But they should get some credit for being smart about it and besides, they really haven’t hidden the fact that they’re owned by Amazon.

Image Credit: amazon.in
Image Credit: amazon.in

That being said, in order to keep up its image of being a site for comparisons, Junglee does list products from smaller e-commerce vendors such as LensKart, that offer products that Amazon does no cater to. You shouldn’t go there to compare prices between Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, but you could check out some other products there that none of them offer. So overall, Junglee is a somewhat useful site to use, as long as you go into it with your eyes open to their intentions.

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