Tinder the dating app solves an mCommerce problem

mcommerce

Mobile shopping has exploded in recent years, and online retailers have responded by designing mobile friendly sites and apps. But rather than design these experiences for the mobile context, this often equates to adapting the catalog storefront for the smaller screen.

The catalog storefront was introduced in the mid-to-late 90′s, created for desktop dimensions, at a time when tables-based Web design was de facto, pages took eons to load and if you wanted to take an action – you’d double click.

Long live the catalog?

15 years+ later, we’re still clinging to the catalog approach, trying to squeeze it into Facebook, apps, and any new touchpoint that comes along.

On mobile devices, no matter how responsive or “mobile friendly” your site is, navigation (for the most part) still sucks on mobile. Menus are hidden behind “hamburgers.” It’s easy to mis-touch the wrong link target. Paginated category pages are hell. Refine and sort tools? *If* the user notices them, using them is far more of a challenge than mobile.

The more categories and SKUs you have, the more difficult it is to merchandise and support product discovery navigation through menus and search/category pages. The answer is not to offer less than your full catalog on mobile. You simply can’t.

One way to reinvent the product discovery experience is to take a cue from the dating app Tinder. Tinder has popularized the “swipe right for yes, left for no” gesture for browsing matches.

eBags Obsession

eBags swiped right on the idea and rolled out eBags Obsession in August, a Tinderfied version of its handbag category cooked up in its hack day.

Rather than fumble through thousands of SKUs (eBags reports over 12,000), the customer can quickly rifle through large images of handbag styles, building a personally curated list of favorites — much like flipping through a rack of merchandise in-store.

10 of the first 100 users of the feature bought a handbag, not too shabby.

Leveraging data for personalization

eBags also uses this data to improve its own algorithm, which already consists of 100 factors. This data can be used to personalize to the user who’s played the “game,” and tune product recommendations and other merchandising across the site (collecting “people who like this tend to like that” feedback much faster than via traditional catalog browsing habits).

Mobile first means understanding mobile context

Though eBags’ site is responsive, the Obsession feature was created specifically for mobile devices, understanding that gestures and user context (quick, gamified experiences that are fun to do while waiting in line, etc) are important to the mobile experience.

When designing your own mobile experiences, remember that touch screens, gestures, geolocation, camera, shake/accelerometer, voice input and push notifications are native to the mobile device, and considering them may improve your mobile experience.

Gesture conventions

Obsession isn’t the only swipe-shopping game in town, affiliate fashion apps Stylect, Mallzee and Kwoller all use the feature. But as established online retailers like eBags adopt and promote the experience, it may catch on as a mobile shopping convention.

The key takeaway here is mobile experience *must* evolve to better suit device context. Adapting the online catalog to fit mobile dimensions may not be the optimal experience. Ecommerce merchandisers, designers and developers should keep a close eye on what’s trending in mobile behavior, and see how that might improve the shopping experience.

Source: Elastic Blog

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PricePanda’s online price comparison platform lets you get the best deals from popular shops.

PricePanda

PricePandaIndian ecommerce industry is shining with 1000’s of ecommerce sites popping up around the country the options for the buyer  is immense. Indian e-commerce sector will become a 504-billion rupees industry in the next 3 years. More and more Indian retail companies are going online to lure the customers available online. According to a recent report published by McKinsey & Co, there will be more than 500 million internet users in India by 2015, and a significant proportion of that will carry out online transactions on a regular basis.

With the emergence of new internet-based retailers, finding the right deal is a time consuming process for theconsumers in the internet world. Searching a number of online stores one-by-one and comparing prices online could be a tiresome and time-consuming task.

PricePanda which recently launched in India tries to solve this growing problem for the online consumers with the launch of its site PricePanda in India. It brings in a host of convenience, time saving and cost benefits to the online shoppers. It is a price comparison engine, which currently offers prices for mobile phones, computers ,cameras, clothing, accessories & shoes  is trying to solve this problem. Customers can compare different deals for the requested products in order to make informed purchasing decisions. Clicking on a deal will redirect the user to the merchant’s online shop where the product can be ordered.

Pricepanda’s platform empowers ecommerce businesses with helping them to convert their offerings into sales.It helps find the most affordable deals in a chosen product segment from a number of online stores, ensuring the best cost saving deals for online shoppers. Moreover, it also brings several other benefits that can greatly enhance the online shopping experience of the online buyers.

PricePanda enables shoppers to find and compare more than 70,000 products from over 100 categories such as computers, software, health and beauty, home appliances, gaming, music and movies. Apart from India, the other eight countries include Argentina, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico , Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

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Qatar’s Ooredoo, and Germany’s Rocket Internet forms partnership to develop & promote e-commerce, digital services in Asia

ooredoo

ooredooOoredoo (Previously Qtel) has announced a partnership with the Internet incubator Rocket Internet, to jointly develop e-commerce and other digital services in Asia.

Ooredoo and Rocket Internet will become equal partners in Asia Internet Holding, a joint venture that will create and develop online businesses in the region.

E-commerce is part of Ooredoo’s strategy to invest in new businesses that provide growth opportunities and develop new revenue streams. Increasing disposable income and Internet penetration are key drivers for e-commerce growth in Asia and Ooredoo and Rocket are keen to benefit from this trend.

Growing smartphone penetration and limited fixed line infrastructure are reinforcing mobile as the preferred medium for e-commerce in Asia, especially in Indonesia, which is Asia’s second largest online market just behind China – Ooredoo is present in Indonesia through Indosat, which has 60mn customers.

Ooredoo Group CEO Dr Nasser Marafih said: “A fundamental shift is happening across our markets, as more people buy goods and services online through their mobile phones.

This is even more evident in our Asian footprint. We believe that offering e-commerce services will further support our ambition of enriching people’s lives. We are pleased to have entered into a partnership with Rocket and look forward to harnessing their knowledge and experience gained elsewhere into making our joint venture an e-commerce market leader across Asia.”

Asia Internet Holding will cover some 15 markets in Asia including Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia, with ventures ranging from online retail and marketplaces to payment services. Several successful ventures were launched over the last two years including Daraz.pk, Lamudi.com, Carmudi.com, Kaymu.com, Pricepanda.com and EasyTaxi.com.

Oliver Samwer, co-founder of Rocket Internet, said, “We look forward to working with a partner as innovative and customer-centric as Ooredoo in Asia. Our partnership will accelerate the development of Asia Internet Holding in the region and help our businesses succeed. We feel that by bringing e-commerce models that have worked well elsewhere in the world to Asia, and that by partnering with an operator like Ooredoo, we can jointly bring better services to customers.”

This investment is subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities in the countries where the service will be provided, and expected to be concluded in the second quarter of this year.

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India’s PayTM driving innovative commerce & payments looking to capture bigger share of this growing market

PayTM

PayTMEcommerce in India has seen a tremendous growth and traction in the last couple of years. The major growth can be seen from top ecommerce platforms Flipkart,Myntra,Jabong,Snapdeal and now Amazon reaching the billion dollar club. As a result the payment space is heating up and PayTM is spearheading this growth offering a range of solutions for mobile users to recharge prepaid connections, buy tickets and transfer money to friends and family. With 3.7 Million customers already in its kitty, PayTM now looks at introducing innovative payment solutions to its customers for an excellent user experience.

PayTM has launched a secured wallet a few months back which hopefully will reduce transaction failure rate by 20% and will enable faster checkout. The benefits of using a wallet today for consumers is that personal information is pre stored in advance to speed up checkout, text-message based transactions as well as making it possible to pay using a phone both while shopping online and at physical stores.

Payment failure is a big concern for every ecommerce venture today and most failures happen at the banks backend. With PayTM’s m-wallet consumer’s money is already stored bypassing the bank. It is a highly secured environment.

PayTM also has offers discounts, cash backs just like credit cards do. The scope today is huge considering India’s big and diverse market. PayTM can be used to pay bills and insurance premiums and perform other financial transactions directly from their mobile phones.

Through PayTm’s platform users can recharge/pay bills of their mobile phones, Direct to Home TV subscriptions, electricity bill payment, land line bill payment, gas bill payment & toll card recharge.

Another recent development is the launch of its bus booking service across India. With this service consumers can plan and book a bus ticket to any destination within India.

PayTM definitely looks on course to tap the huge growing payments and commerce market in India

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Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten to enter India in the next six to eight months

Rakuten

RakutenSeeks to tap the  Rs.62,000 crore e-commerce market
Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc. may enter India in the next six to eight months, and is seeking a strategic alliance to tap rapid growth in the country’s Rs.62,000 crore e-commerce market, said three persons familiar with the company’s plan.

Looks like Rakuten is exploring the possibility of starting a travel and hospitality portal in India, said one of the three persons, an executive with a large consulting company.

Rakuten has various businesses such as e-retail, travel and financial services (payment solutions). Its 100% subsidiary Rakuten Travel operates an online hotel reservation website with over 1.8 million room nights booked per month. The firm has access to more than 20,000 domestic and 15,000 international hotels and has a presence in South Korea and China.

Founded by Hiroshi Mikitani in 1997, Rakuten runs a multi-category shopping portal Rakuten Global Market and host of other portals such as Rakuten Coupons and TicketStar, among others. In the face of a stagnating Japanese economy and weak consumer sentiment, the Japanese firm has been aggressively eyeing global growth markets.

On a shopping spreee, Rakuten recently acquired Cyprus-based call and messaging app provider Viber Media Ltd for $900 million from Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco. In the last two years, it has bought US-based e-commerce portal Buy.com for $250 million and rebranded it “Rakuten.com Shopping,” e-reading platform Kobo, Spanish video streaming service Wuaki.tv and global video streaming platform Viki.

For the past few months, teams from Rakuten have been consulting investors, companies and industry experts as it explored the Indian market.

Experts say that since Rakuten’s strength lies in its online shopping business, it would make sense for the company to eventually enter that segment. The current foreign direct investment policy does not allow foreign capital in single- or multi-brand online retailing.

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MBA graduates eye e-commerce jobs in India

ecommerce

In a stamp of approval for the fast-growing startup ecosystem in the country, one-fourth of MBA students from across India’s top-tier business schools, including the IIMs, said they would prefer working for the fledgling e-commerce sector, pipping traditional favourites like consulting and financial services jobs.

The sector, which has been flush with funds on the back of growing adoption of online shopping, is now the second most preferred job avenue for B-school graduates after the FMCG industry.

Continuing with its rapid acceptance among management graduates, e-commerce has dethroned management consultancy from the second spot for the first time this year even as sectors such as manufacturing, software and IT services fell out of the top 10 league, said findings from a survey conducted by global market research firm Nielsen and shared exclusively with TOI.

Investment banking, a much coveted sector for MBA graduates in the pre-economic crisis days, is now at a lowly 10th spot, having lost its sheen internationally and in India among MBAs. Investment banks with fat bonuses on offer were a big draw before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

What is significant though is that despite economic uncertainty still looming large, the trend of young MBA graduates looking to board the startup bandwagon has only gone up over the past couple of years in India.

Nielsen India’s Campus recruiter Index, an annual survey mapping preferred career choices of 1,600 MBA students from the top 35 management institutions, ranked Hindustan Unilever on top of the list of recruiters followed by Procter & Gamble and Google.

E-commerce companies made a total of 81 offers constituting about 28% of the overall technology offers at ISB, where leading the pack were Amazon, Flipkart, InMobi and Myntra.com. The year witnessed a 50% increase in the number of startups participating in the placements process, Menon said. Many new startups like Silicon Valley venture capital fund Sequoia Capital-backed BankBazaar.com and Zomato came to ISB for the first time.

At IIM-Calcutta, the world’s largest online retailer Amazon made the highest number of offers on campus at 16 for leadership and operations roles.

“Two years back, students graduating from top B-schools like the IIMs would ask if there was job security in e-commerce. They wanted jobs in consulting and I-banks. But things have changed quite dramatically as these youngsters realize jobs in startups offer a larger canvas for them to make an impact,” said Kunal Bahl, co-founder, Snapdeal, which is backed by eBay and other top VC funds. Bahl, a Wharton graduate, said Snapdeal hired around 25 MBA graduates from different IIMs this year.

Sankarshan Basu, chairperson, career development services at IIM Bangalore, said consulting and finance occupied the top spots with close to half of the graduating batch joining them while FMCG, e-commerce and technology companies hired the remaining 50%. XLRI’s placement chairman Rajiv Mishra said FMCG had maintained its pole position at the B-school this year.

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Exclusive Interview : Sahil Chalana , Founder of Coupon Aggregation portal Zoutons.com

Sahil Chalana

Sahil ChalanaWe spoke to Sahil Chalana, one of the Founders of Zoutons.com, an online Coupon Aggregation and deal Discovery portal. Sahil, a BITS Pilani Alumnus, is also the CEO of 3.14 Digital , a digital performance marketing firm founded by him in 2010. 3.14 Digital has a large client base including, Educomp Raffles, NIIT Imperia, Foodpanda India etc.

Q: So What is Zoutons.com all about and What is the Business Model?

Zoutons.com is an online Coupons and Deal Discovery Platform featuring coupons from more than 300 ecommerce portals including top stores like Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, and Snapdeal etc

The Business Model is simple, we direct traffic onto the shopping portal websites where users apply the coupons they have discovered on our website. This way we generate transactions for these stores and pay us an affiliate commission for every transaction, which varies from 5-20% of the sale.

zoutonsApart from this, we are the only Couponing Portal to Feature Exclusive Bank Coupons. So if you are searching for HDFC Bank Coupons or the Citibank Card offers, we have the most updated list of card offers.

We also offer brand wise coupons which further reduces the effort of users in finding appropriately matched coupons to their shopping needs.

The portal is ergonomically designed for startup stores, providing them a genuine platform to enhance their consumer reach through coupons.

Q: Why Zoutons.com and how did it all start?

I am also the founder 3.14 Digital, a 30 people strong Digital Performance Marketing company having specializations in Lead Generation and Cost per Acquisition (CPA) models for Education, BFSI & ecommerce verticals.

At a point in the beginning of 2013, when our ecommerce revenue was really picking, Nishit, who is the other founder, came up with the idea of getting into a coupon Aggregation Platform for e-retailers.

Since internally many of us were Discount and Bargain Hunters, launching Zoutons was also in a way gratification for us as well as a step to diversify as a company. We launched Zoutons in July 2013.

Q: How do you differentiate yourself from other couponing Portals?

We try to differentiate ourselves from our competitors in several ways.
First, we put of a lot of Focus on the coupon & deal Quality. At the end of the day, it’s all about giving your users the best experience which in our case the best coupons which they could use.
Second, we are the only site to focus on coupons and offers by Banks and brands. When the user goes to an e-commerce site, he might easily miss the fact that his bank is offering him a discount. On Zoutons, you can look for bank wise Coupons and not miss any.
Real Time coupon Syndication & feeds – We also do some real time coupon syndication. Lot of couponing websites do this manually. We are trying to automate this. Also, since 30% of traffic of ours is already mobile, there is a greater focus we are putting on getting the mobile piece right.

Q: What is your Current Team size and growth Plans?

The zoutons.com team consists of 6 people, ably assisted by the Affiliate team from 3.14 Digital. Most of the time is spent on training people on how to deliver the best of Coupon and Deals to our Users.

Right now we offer deals, discounts and coupons on around 300 Stores, 50 banks and 450 Brands. We have an aim to touch 700 Stores and 1500 brands by end March 2014. From a user point of we just crossed 100,000 users in December this year. We would like to touch a million users served by February.

Q: Tell us about your Technology Platform and upcoming features?

The Coupon Aggregation Platform is built on Open source LAMP. The Technology is in-house though the initial Design was outsourced.

From a Features point of view, our biggest priority is going Mobile. We are currently in the process of coming with an Android app and a much faster version of the current Mobile Website.

We are also building real time Coupon Syndication Engine that would add and update coupons just when they are created an ecommerce stores so that there is manual Lag. In future, we would like to have more personalization feature that shows coupons according to users’ past buying experience.

Q: Have you raised any Funding? What is it that you are looking for from the next round?

We have internally incubated Zoutons and have put in cash of around Rs 20 Lacs.  We are using that fund to build our technology and team.

The Angel round is enough to sustain us till March. Once we have crossed a milestone of serving a million visitors, we would like approach investors with the possibility of a next round.

Q: Who are the Founders and their background?

Zoutons.com was founded by me and Nishit Kumar. I am also the founder of 3.14 Digital, a top affiliate Marketing company and had graduated from BITS Pilani in 2010.

zouton-founders

Nishit Kumar who is the other founder of Zoutons and is currently leading the team, joined 3.14 Digital as an Associate in early 2013. He graduated from Lovely Professional University in 2012.

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eBay India collaborates with PAYBACK; Consumers can now redeem their PAYBACK points on eBay India

eBay and Payback

eBay and PaybackeBay India , India’s leading eCommerce marketplace announced its collaboration with PAYBACK for the PAYBACK Loyalty Program, which enables consumers to redeem their PAYBACK points on eBay India. eBay India and PAYBACK consumers will benefit by using the accumulated points to make purchases on a wide variety of products available on eBay India. Consumers may also club an eBay India offer with the PAYBACK points to enjoy better deals for purchases made on eBay India.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Shivani Dhanda – Head Marketing, eBay India, said, “At eBay India, we are committed to grow the eCommerce market in India and  continuously look at opportunities to evoke online shopping trial and also engage existing consumers. Our collaboration with PAYBACK is a head start in creating loyalty in the online shopping space.”

She further added, “Our main objective is to encourage more Indians to enjoy the many benefits of online shopping. This collaboration provides an easy avenue for customers to redeem their accumulated points from a wide selection of 1.5 million products across 2,000 categories at their convenience”.

To redeem PAYBACK points on eBay India, consumers are required to link their eBay India account to their PAYBACK account. Each PAYBACK point is equivalent to twenty five paise.

eBay India (www.ebay.in) is India’s leading online shopping destination with the widest range of great deals on over 1.5 million products across gadgets, lifestyle, collectibles & media categories. eBay India has 2.1 million active users from 4,306 Indian cities, towns and rural areas.

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How to buy gifts without having to worry about it

Gift

There are numerous occasions when one wants to give a gift to friends or relatives but   money is limited. This feeling generally is a setback for youths who are into a relationship and are not able to buy the gift of their choice for their beloved as they are too expensive.

There are numerous occasions when we want to express our love and affection to the special someone in our life. But, pocket money is limited and gift items that may add value to a relationship are many. Managing both the things together gets somewhat difficult and most of youngsters end up with no money in pockets to manage monthly expenses. However, money crunch cannot stop them to go shopping for gifts.

Shopping itself is a task that takes your valuable time and energy. There are several products like clothes, jewellery, footwear, jackets and accessories that tempt us to buy. However, it causes much inconvenience to look for things you need to buy from one shop to another. Above all, it is quite dissappointing when we do not get the things that we desire.

But, Gen-next need not worry. The way and means of shopping has changed. The online multi-brands stores have come as a solution to all the worries of young guns who are leaving behind the traditional way of shopping. They are buying things the way they want. Single platform or shop, gift coupons, vouchers, credit and debit card, monthly instalment facility from banks have brought back the joy of gifting. Registering for price alerts along with discount gift coupons can save a lot of money for those who buy gifts frequently. Each time you buy something, it increases your chance to get gift coupons of higher value.

The sudden spurt of online shops selling all kinds of brands at a single platform has changed the meaning of shopping altogether. It has given option to compare and buy the best in the market. Replacing brick and mortar shops, online shops are turning out to be saviour for shopping freak people who often get amazed by the products. The added advantage of redeeming gift coupons is an added advantage with online shopping.

Today, all big retailers have online shopping stores selling a range of products virtually. Be it anything all kinds of products are available on the virtual world where you can compare prices and get the best deal with a single click. Online shopping has come as a respite for people who do not wish to step out of their homes for anything they need. One can shop anytime and from anywhere. After all, it saves money, time and energy in today’s fast paced life.

Started in the year 2007, Myntra is one of the biggest shopping portals for all the online shoppers. Grab the best discounts and offers from the new collection available, or you can also get additional discount on the products using Myntra’s discount coupons. The wide range of products lets you simply choose the best one that suits your style. Be a trendsetter and walk in style with the latest in the fashion trends with 100% original products from over 500+ brands to shop from. The online shop store offers to its customers a hassle free shopping experience with the widest range of products and brands.

Online shops are win-win situation for both customers and shop owners as it is pocket friendly for customers and shopkeepers too need put heavy investment in market to purchase or take a shop on rent. Virtual world has lot to offer. So, don’t wait and feel the experience.

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GoIbibo.com Launches goCash Closed Wallet

goibibo

goibiboOnline travel aggregator, GoIbibo.com has launched a closed wallet named goCash. In the online travel industry, one of the biggest problems for a customer is to get fast refunds in case he/she decides to change or cancel their travel plans. Goibibo’s goCash solves this exact pain point by delivering instant refunds into the Goibibo goCash wallet.

On an average 2 out of every 3 people book again within 10 days of cancellation. Therefore, goCash enables customers to use their cancellation money for their future booking across the gamut of travel services available on Goibibo. Furthermore travellers can get extra bonus by using gocash currency.

So how does goCash work?

  • Cancellations and refunds: While doing a cancellation on goibibo, the user gets the opportunity to opt for refund to goCash, instead of refund to his/her debit/credit card. If chosen, this goCash amount is credited into his goibibo account instantly and allows the user to book any ticket on goibibo.com. As a launch offer, the user gets 2% bonus goCash (the offer is valid for 3 months from today).
  • Booking: While booking, if the user is logged in and has goCash in his account, goibibo will seamlessly deduct the booking amount from goCash. The user need only pay the difference, if any. If he/she has sufficient goCash, this means no more payment hassle – booking completed within seconds – flat.
  • goCash account: As with any currency, transparency remains our first necessity. Users can easily see all the transactions that happened on their goCash account, anytime.

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