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Effect Of Demonetisation On Online Shopping Traffic

Effect Of Demonetisation On Online Shopping Traffic

On the night of November 8, 2016, something unusual happened. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi perhaps announced the most significant economical change during the lifetime of most Indians. 86% of our country’s currency notes would cease to be legal tender in just 4 hours. That’s a very short notice and it has since had tremendous impact on trade & consumer demand. Streets are relatively empty and people are lining up to exchange/deposit currency outside banks and ATMs. Enough discussion and debate is already happening on these topics, so I wil spare you that. However there are some interesting data points that we are seeing at Pricebaba. Sharing some of those.

Loss of COD

To begin with, it’s difficult for the ecommerce industry that runs primarily on COD. There is panic, lots of cancelled orders and volumes have gone down significantly. We at Pricebaba are seeing a good 30% drop in organic traffic to our site which we believe would be the same for marketplaces too. May be even more for some of them.

While we initially panicked thinking something went horribly wrong, here is a graph that shows a story, the night of November 8.


There was a 26.40% drop in user sessions between 8PM and 9PM alone. That was instant.

While city-level data on Google Analytics isn’t always the most accurate, here is the drop across some top cities comparing November 6,7 to November 9-10:

Mumbai – 29.2%

New Delhi – 37.7%

Ahmedabad – 28%

Bengaluru – 25.6%

Kolkata – 26.6%

This has a good impact on the number of people clicking through and going to ecommerce sites. Let’s look at the trends via our Clevertap panel:


Clicks to top ecommerce sites by time (November 1-7)


Clicks to top ecommerce sites by time (8th November)

Notice the drop in affiliate clicks post 8 pm on November 8? Post November 8, we have seen a 19-20% drop in traffic redirecting to top ecommerce sites from Pricebaba. This can be directly attributed to the web traffic drop.

If you were wondering which range of products were most impacted, here is the price split. The below table shows % drop in traffic going to ecommerce sites for different price range. 


It seems that the traffic interest in lower-end products is more impacted than higher end. It would be interesting to see how long it takes for the recovery in consumer demand. Our belief is that we will see good recovery once withdrawal limits from bank accounts are lifted.

Above data is largely for electronics category, mostly mobile phones. Any more insights you want us to look at? Feel free to comment below or tag us on twitter @Pricebaba.

PS: We are very much in favour of this government move and are waiting for figures on how much black money was snipped in this movement!