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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Amazon Launches The All-New Kindle Paperwhite in India

amazon india

amazon indiaToday Amazon announced that the all-new Kindle Paperwhite—is now available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.in and begins shipping February 4, 2014. The new Kindle Paperwhite features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers. While, the new Kindle Paperwhite is priced at Rs. 10,999/-, the new Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G model is priced at Rs 13999/-.

Starting February 04, 2014, the new Kindle Paperwhite will also be available offline across 250 retail outlets across India including Croma, Reliance Digital, E-Zone, UniverCell and Vijay Sales stores located in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Pune.

Some features of the all-new Kindle Paperwhite are:

  • New display technology with higher contrast:  Higher contrast and better reflectivity means whites are whiter and blacks are blacker, so the pages are virtually indistinguishable from a physical book.
  • Next generation built-in light—Guides light toward the surface of the display so you can read comfortably without eyestrain.
  • New, 25% faster processor—Books open and pages turn faster for a seamless reading experience.
  • New touch technology—19% tighter touch grid makes Kindle Paperwhite respond even more accurately to the smallest touches.
  • New Kindle Page Flip—Skim page-by-page, scan by chapter, or skip to the end of your book, all without losing your place.
  • New Vocabulary Builder—Compiles words you look up in the dictionary into an easy-to-access list.
  • New Smart Lookup—Integrates a full dictionary and Wikipedia so you can access definitions, characters, settings and more without leaving your page or losing your place.
  • – New In-line Footnotes—With a single tap, read the complete text of each footnote in-line without changing the page or losing your place in the book.
  • – New Kindle Free Time- Encourage children to read even more with FreeTime for Kindle Paperwhite. FreeTime lets you create personalized profiles for kids and give them access to titles from your collection of books. Children are rewarded with achievement badges that keep track of their personal reading accomplishments. A progress report keeps parents updated on total time spent reading; number of words looked up, badges earned and books read.
  • – Cloud Collections—Organize your books in customized collections for easy reference, and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes the collections across your Kindle devices and reading apps so they’re available on all of your devices.

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Online Fashion Retailer Zalora to Launch Marketplace

zaloraZALORA, Asia’s leading online fashion destination, has announced it will be launching ZALORA Marketplace in the first half of this year. With over 15 million visits per month to ZALORA, Marketplace will give independent fashion designers and sellers the opportunity to instantly expand their business to ZALORA’s massive customer base and will greatly increase the product assortment available to customers.

ZALORA Marketplace will allow vendors from all over Southeast Asia and Hong Kong to create their own branded storefront within the ZALORA site, which will be run and maintained by the seller with support from a dedicated ZALORA account manager. They will also benefit from a huge increase in brand exposure through free online marketing and advertising that will be part of ZALORA’s overall marketing campaigns.

Set to be one of the most beneficial fashion Marketplaces in Southeast Asia for independent fashion designers and sellers, customers across the region will also benefit from hundreds to potentially thousands of new products and brands available online without having to visit different shopping portals.

“The upcoming launch of Zalora Marketplace is an exciting development for the fashion industry in Southeast Asia as whole,’ said Magnus Grimeland, Managing Director, ZALORA. “We are launching a platform where up and coming brands, boutiques or designers can sell their products alongside our internationally renowned brands, to an already highly established and loyal customer base. We have over 15 million visits to our Zalora sites per month; for an independent fashion seller to have instant access to this kind of audience is a previously unheard of opportunity.”

A dedicated and localized ZALORA Fashion Scout force is currently searching for and recruiting potential brands and designers to come on board for launch.

“We have found some incredible and exciting designers and sellers so far,” said Grimeland. “We are really looking forward to working with them, nurturing them at this stage of the journey and seeing how far their business can expand through Marketplace.

There has never been a better time than now to bring fashion retail businesses online, especially throughout Asia Pacific where the internet population is already over 200 million people and growing steadily. According to research* around 11%-15% of total global retail sales will be conducted through online channels by 2020, with Asia Pacific accounting for a very large portion of that. For fashion designers and sellers looking to expand their sales and reach, online is the only place to be.”

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Zepo : India E-Commerce Census 2013-14 .Your neighborhood businessman goes online!

ecommerce-census

Ecommerce is to small businesses today, what the telephone was in the 90’s – another great medium to take orders!

5 years ago, a designer running a boutique in the HauzKhas village in Delhi, wouldn’t have thought it was possible to sell her dresses all the way to a customer in Chennai. With the growing usage of internet and social media, the far-fetched has become a reality now. And it won’t be long before you find every business in the neighborhood handing out business cards with not just telephone numbers but their website address too!

Zepo, an ecommerce platform, based out of Mumbai, is playing its part in trying to facilitate small retailers and manufacturers across India, setup their own exclusive retail space on the web; their own online stores at literally half the cost.

It recently concluded a survey of the 900+ online stores operating on its platform. The figures not only substantiate the claims that ecommerce is becoming a preferred point of sale among SMEs but also provides insights into the ecommerce trends of small businesses.

India Ecommerce Census

Put your comment in the comments section. Checkout Zepo

 

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Marketplaces vs. Online Sellers: A Story of Broken Promises

Marketplace

E-commerce marketplaces are to online sellers what shopping complexes are to retailers.

Marketplaces have not only leveled the ecommerce playing field for SMBs but also provided so much more visibility to these niche brands that are taking the online shopping industry by storm.

So naturally, when an online marketplace, let’s call them ScamTag.com for namesake, approached Saumya Gupta to host her brand, Ten On Ten’s apparel on their marketplace, she was more than stoked. With an online presence, spanning from her own online store to selling on bigger marketplaces like Flipkart, Myntra and ShopClues, this was more than a welcome move.

Saumya Gupta, like so many entrepreneurs today, is the one-woman show behind her very own successful apparel brand, Ten On Ten Clothing. From scooting the bazaars of Mumbai for raw materials to taking customer calls at 2 in the night, she is CEO to customer service executive all rolled into one.

The first couple of months of tying up with ScamTag did brilliantly for Ten On Ten. Saumya was seeing a flurry of orders coming in from ScamTag and was happy about the exposure and the subsequent customer interest Ten On Ten was gathering.

Without complaints, she diligently processed the orders she received, undertook a quality check at her end to keep up with the belief that only the best reach the customer and never came across an unhappy customer. All was hunky dory! Until, the day, she asked the team at ScamTag to pay her for the orders she had processed and the stock they still had at their warehouses, which summed up to a total of Rs. 1.8 lacs! Only to be denied what she had rightfully earned as an entrepreneur, even after having signed anMoU with ScamTag.

So what the hell happened?

ScamTag refused to settle all payments for Ten On Ten citing reasons like repetitive customer complaints, return of goods by the customers and products not meeting their quality checks. All of which, Saumya, was not even once informed about.

Once ScamTag refused payment to Saumya, she had no option but to take a legal recourse. And even then ScamTag.com did not straighten their act. From the company complaining to having never received the signed MoU, to managers acting as CEOs, to even going to the lengths of stalking Saumya on WhatsApp (!), they must have tried every trick in the trade to get to her to withdraw her demand for getting paid!

Finally after haggling between their respective lawyers and much threat, over a period of 3 months, the company returned 1.1 lac in cash out of the 1.8 lacs they owed her. And returned goods worth Rs. 70,000! How is an entrepreneur supposed to react to such a scenario, other than completely giving up faith in online marketplaces?

Should you be wary of all online marketplaces?

To understand the same, a little backdrop into how marketplaces operate is needed. You see, traditional online marketplaces are nothing but a collection of online shops, much like a shopping complex. Each brand maintains its own shop and controls its own inventory. And the best part about it being, other than the low commission of around 10%-12% per sale, is that the store owner knows exactly who the customer is! They can directly interact with the customer, address concerns and redress returns accordingly.

However, in the case of marketplaces like ScamTag, they are a “shopping website that hosts flash sales”. To give you a fairer idea, such marketplaces work on the basis of purchase-order. A customer buys a product on their website and the marketplace raises a purchase order for the same. Once the brand owner, in this case Saumya, receives the purchase order, the order is processed, quality checked and sent back to ScamTag which subsequently sends it to the customer. The downside to such a model being that the store owner is never in touch with the end customer and has to rely completely on the marketplace to act as a mediator, which operates on anything around 30% to 60% commission per sale.

As a word of advice to fellow entrepreneurs, Saumya strongly suggests, reading between the lines before signing MoUs of any kind and better still, always having a lawyer look at the documents you are about to sign. And always choosing wisely about whom to do business with.

Even though ScamTag was a relatively new venture, Saumya saw an opportunity and went for it. But only to be disappointed. Today, she has sworn-off marketplaces that work on the purchase-order or flash sales model completely, standing firmly in favor of inventory-based marketplaces or rather selling via her own online store.

This post is not a discouragement for anyone wanting to sell on online marketplaces. On the contrary, we advise online sellers to sell at online marketplaces too, in order to get that more visibility for their brand and grow their sales. But as a final word of advice, when choosing a marketplace to sell on, make sure you choose wisely and do a thorough background check on the company you’re about to tie-up with. Also, do read all agreements very carefully and better still have a lawyer look into the same.

Have you endured something like that? What is your take on the entire episode? Do drop in and join in the conversation in the comments below! Let this be a word of advice for all fellow entrepreneurs and e-tailers.

Guest post by : Nitin Purswani , CEO of Zepo

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PricePanda releases iPhone App to enforce M-Commerce in SEA

pricepanda

pricepandaLeading price comparison website PricePanda has launched its iOS app in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. Only a few weeks ago the company already introduced its app for Android. With their new app, PricePanda’s broad selection of prices and products in various categories such as Computers, Health and Beauty or Home Appliances is just a few clicks away.

M-Commerce is exploding in South East Asia – the number of users who access the internet via their phones is increasing rapidly and leapfrogging the traditional desktop users. According to Nielsen’s report “Decoding the Asian Mobile Consumer markets such as Singapore (87%) or Malaysia (80%) already have higher smartphone penetration rates than for instance the US smartphone market (60%). In South East Asia alone, smartphone owners spent an average of more than three hours per day on their smartphones. As this growth gains momentum, mobile commerce will play an increasingly critical role in shaping the future of retail in Asia.

Louis Iskandar, co-founder at PricePanda: “We are delighted to offer our app for both iOS and Android devices in South East Asia from now onwards. M-commerce is not just an additional channel for us, but is also an entry point to gaining many more customers with our quick and easy-to-use price comparison app. With an increase of 61% in smartphone sales in the last years in South East Asia, the m-commerce wave is quickly catching on all markets we operate in and will play a key role in shaping the future of retail in Asia. Therefore PricePanda seizes this enormous opportunity and supports the m-commerce movement with a valuable app.”

The free PricePanda App in brief:

  • Compare prices for thousands of products to find the best deal on the go
  • Visit the shop’s website or call them directly from within the app
  • Search for offers by entering the product name
  • Discover top products and swipe through them
  • Browse through dozens categories and find new products
  • Order on the go, get the product delivered to your doorstep
  • Fast and intuitive navigation
  • International known brands and product assortment

 

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BuyingIQ spearheading the Indian comparison shopping market with 750,000 monthly users

BuyingIQ

BuyingIQWhile online shopping is picking up in India, the influence of Internet on consumer decision making is increasing at a much faster rate. The Internet influences over 30B USD consumer spending in India which is as much as ~ 5X the size of the Indian Ecommerce market.

When it comes to Internet influence, the impact on electronic buying decision ranks at the top. In 2012, as many  as 35 million Indians researched online before purchasing an electronic product. This research before buying is essentially aimed at answering some of these specific questions – which product to buy? Is this the best available price? Is the seller trustworthy? What are my other options other than this product? What is the opinion among people about this product? and so on…

BuyingIQ, an intelligent shopping engine is one such player enabling electronic shoppers make smarter buying decisions on the Internet.

Founded by IIT Delhi-BITS Pilani alumni in Nov 2012, BuyingIQ at present attracts over 750,000 visitors monthly, growing by ~40% month-on-month.

The team is being led by Piyush Taneja and Saumitra Purohit. Piyush has a B.Tech from IIT Delhi while Saumitra has an Integrated Masters from BITS Pilani. Both of them had a consulting job at PwC India before they founded BuyingIQ.

Although there are some other players with similar offering in the market, BuyingIQ scores over the competition by performing on the following aspects:

Deal Comparison and not Price comparison – Price comparison is misleading most of the times as it doesn’t consider discount coupons and other freebies available from the seller. BuyingIQ claims to have price data with over 98% accuracy and it further lists all the necessary details like additional offers and discount coupons made available by the seller all put together in one place. This helps the user make a comprehensive deal to deal comparison and not just price comparison which otherwise can be quite misleading for a user, hence providing a much more rewarding shopping experience. Demo – Price Comparison

Alternatives Recommendation Tool – BuyingIQ offers its users an alternative recommendation tool which performs an algorithmic driven comparison of products taking into account – product specifications, user response and popularity of the product to recommend the user with best alternative products available in the market for a product they are interested in. These alternative product recommendations can further be personalized by the user on the basis of specific feature he/she is interested in. Demo – Product Recommendation

Other differentiators being a huge in-depth electronic product catalogue; better in-site search and navigation; and a very elegant and optimized UX – which has ensured large first-time customer retention and a very fast growing, organically driven user base.

In the next few weeks, BuyingIQ plans to release a major product upgrade with community driven features at the heart of, it and plans to release its Android and iOS app by early next year. The current revenue revenue streams for BuyingIQ are in the form of online affiliate partners and display a networks. The company is working on developing newer revenue streams by venturing into data analytics – ecommerce price intelligence service and physical retail listing.

Although the company is currently cash flow positive, BuyingIQ seeks to raise a round of funding to focus on product development, extend its reach across various mobile platforms and venture into physical retail listing.

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eBay To Acquire Global Payment Platform Braintree For $800 Million

ebay

ebayYesterday eBay.Inc announced that it has agreed to acquire Braintree, the innovative global payment platform powering the next generation of leading online and mobile-first startups, for total consideration of approximately $800 million in cash.

Commenting on this, eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe said,”Braintree is a perfect fit with PayPal. Bill Ready and his team add complementary talent and technology that we believe will help accelerate PayPal’s global leadership in mobile payments. Together, we expect that PayPal and Braintree also will accelerate our leadership in supporting developers who are creating innovative solutions for next generation commerce startups.”

Braintree’s payment platform powers next generation innovators such as Airbnb, OpenTable, TaskRabbit and Uber, which are creating compelling new consumer experiences and disrupting legacy business models. Once the acquisition is completed, Braintree will continue to operate as a separate service within PayPal under the continued leadership of Braintree CEO Bill Ready, who will report to PayPal President David Marcus. Braintree’s management team and employees are expected to stay in place.

Venmo, Braintree’s mobile application that gives people an easy way to pay each other using their mobile devices and leveraging social networks, is part of the acquisition and will help to contribute to PayPal’s mobile payments capabilities. PayPal already has a strong presence in mobile, projecting mobile payment volume of more than $20 billion this year.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close late in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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